Justin_Case001

To Absent Friends

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Although everyone is welcome in this thread, I will be speaking directly to my fellow Americans.

Shortly after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando some years ago, I had planned to create a tribute featuring Appledash (in honor of the gay community, naturally), using my own realistic 3D pony models.  However, before I could make the render, life got in the way.  My family and I moved across country, and I had to start packing up my PC immediately.  The move was very difficult on me for a lot of reasons, and it would be about a year before I would have my PC set up again and be back to a somewhat normal life.  But even then, I continued to go through very rough and dark times emotionally.  It would be even longer before I started to improve, and then many other priorities seem to pop up.  By the time I started thinking about my Appledash memorial again, there had been so many mass shootings that it seemed tragically pointless to make something focusing on one particular incident from years ago.  The simple fact that there have been so many mass shootings that we can't even commit them to memory anymore is so horrible and bewildering that it's beyond words.

But I haven't forgotten, and I still wanted to make my tribute.  I wanted to make a picture that captures how I feel after every shooting.  ...how I'm feeling right now.  This is no longer a tribute solely for the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.  This is simply a tribute for every person who has died at the hands of sick, twisted f*cks in mass shootings.

To absent friends...

Spoiler

1959200607_RememberMe.thumb.jpg.cdbc62f1a78e2150a114c291575b9f1d.jpg

We will remember you.

 

But this thread is about more than just remembrance.  Something has to change.  And that is why, rather than thoughts and prayers, I offer something that might actually have an effect.  I offer my suggestions on how decrease gun violence in our country.

  1. Require safety training courses as a prerequisite for gun ownership.  This is not unreasonable.  We test people's knowledge, competence, and safety for driving cars before allowing them to do so.  Why shouldn't we do the same for guns?  I've heard and considered a lot of arguments from all sides on this issue, and I'm not convinced that repealing the second amendment would solve anything.  (Although, at this point, I feel like I would be open to trying anything that would change the status quo.)  I don't officially support anything as extreme as a complete gun ban, but safety training is a completely fair request.  Training should include education on safe storage in order to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.
  2. Support and work towards a reformation of Islam.  Certainly not all mass shootings are jihadism, but many are, such as the Pulse Nightclub.  Islam needs to see a reform much like western Christianity in which the most violent parts of the doctrine are no longer taken literally.  This would go a long way towards decreasing violence worldwide.  It is a war of ideas that we must win in order for there to be any hope of a sustainable peace between Islam and the rest of the world.  This change can only happen from within, which is why we need to support, embolden, and amplify the voices of Muslim reformers such as Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  A great place to start would be to throw some money at the Quilliam Foundation.
  3. Put more money, resources, and humanpower into the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.  We may be able to identify and help people before they become shooters.

 

Those are my ideas.  Don't like 'em?  That's fine.  Then come up with a new plan, but don't tell me we're doing nothing.  I'm fed up with watching the carnage and then pretending like it didn't happen two days later.  Let this thread be a place for remembrance, but more importantly, let it be a place where we can brainstorm ways to fix this.  We need to speak up, we need to keep the pressure on those at the top, and we need to make our voices heard.  This thread will do absolutely nothing on its own.  It's like screaming into a void unless we take these ideas somewhere that they might be heard.  That's why I'm imploring each and every one of you to write your member of congress as soon as you leave this thread.  Give them your ideas.  Don't just think about doing it.  Actually do it.  Take my ideas, or any other ideas from this thread that you like, as well as your own, and email them to your member of congress.  If you don't like any of the ideas in this thread, and you don't have any yourself, then just ask your congressperson what they're doing about the problem.  Remind them, and keep on doing it.  Contact them monthly and ask what they're doing to fix this.  Make them think about it.  Don't let them forget and grow complacent.  I have already sent my three-part plan to my congressperson.  Now it's your turn.  Go now.

Lastly, I urge you all not to turn this into a heated debate, if possible.  I chose not to put this in the debate symposium because that's not what I wanted it to be.  If you don't like someone's ideas, fine.  Just leave them be and offer your own.  I don't want to start a fight.  I want to spark constructive ideas that we can take to the government.  We're all sick of this sh*t.  Let's do something about it.

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On 8/15/2019 at 7:18 PM, Justin_Case001 said:
  • Support and work towards a reformation of Islam. 

I don't really like that you singled out Islam here. Especially not since according to this data from the Anti-defamation league the vast majority of extremist murder in the US 2018 were committed by right-wing extremists. But then again, terror attacks carried out by Muslims receive on average 357 percent more media coverage than those committed by other groups, so it's not weird that people tend to single them out. 

Look, I'm not trying to downplay the acts of Muslim terrorists, I just want people to realize that this issue isn't going to be solved until we remove all extremism. 

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(edited)
1 hour ago, Black Sabbath said:

I don't really like that you singled out Islam here. Especially not since according to this data from the Anti-defamation league the vast majority of extremist murder in the US 2018 were committed by right-wing extremists. But then again, terror attacks carried out by Muslims receive on average 357 percent more media coverage than those committed by other groups, so it's not weird that people tend to single them out. 

Look, I'm not trying to downplay the acts of Muslim terrorists, I just want people to realize that this issue isn't going to be solved until we remove all extremism. 

This kind of sentiment is dangerous as well. We've all seen how certain politicians can easily twist this into general Islamophobia. 

People should also realize that while mass shootings are high-profile tragic events, gun violence happens on a daily basis and most of it goes unreported. Any kind of conversation on this shouldn't overly laser focus on mass shootings but gun violence as a whole. 

Edited by Anneal

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