"Thoughts and prayers." Those are the two main things doled out immediately in the wake of a mass shooting in the United States.
Let's face it. While platitudes are all well and good, they are merely a contrivance to fill the silence that has stunned devastated communities.
As many American citizens call for stricter gun legislation, there are just as many who advocate for their right to the Second Amendment.
How has this become the polarizing issue in the country while many other parts of the world maintain peace–presumably due to citizens not having the right to bear arms?
Genuinely curious to hear from a specific demographic, Redditor Wonderful-Wash-2145 asked:
"To the Americans who don’t agree with changing the gun laws? Why?"
People shared their informed opinions in great detail.
When Gun Advocates Lack Common Sense Or Knowledge
"I live in a state, California, which has all of the gun laws that people are asking for and then some. While our gun violence isn't as high as a lot of other states, it was already rapidly trending downward before our biggest laws, like our 'Assault Weapons' ban passed. And we've still had our share of mass shootings. With the laws in place it's easy to see why they're ineffective."
"Assault Weapons ban? Because the only thing separating an AR-15 from any other semi-automatic rifle are ergonomic features like the stock and grip, AR-15s and similar rifles are still sold here, just with those features swapped out for less comfortable alternatives."
"'Universal' Background Checks? What people don't realize is that every gun store around the country has to run background checks on buyers already, 'Universal' means that private sellers have to do that too. How is that accomplished? The buyer and seller have to meet at a gun shop so the gun shop can run the background check. The problem is, there's nothing to stop someone from just NOT doing that. If you want to sell a gun to your best friend, there's nothing stopping you from doing it in the comfort of your own home, no paperwork required. So universal background checks aren't universal, they're voluntary but if people called them voluntary background checks, it would be too self-evident that they're not much of a solution."
"Before people say 'Well one state having those laws is ineffective because people can just buy from another state.' No, that's not legal. You can only legally buy a gun in the state in which you reside. Do people still do it? Yes, people break the law by buying from private sellers, which more laws wouldn't prevent."
"Americans buy 15 Million guns a year from dealers, who knows how many are purchased from private sellers. Countries like Australia where gun control has been effective only had a few million guns in their whole country, much less the hundreds of millions that the US has."
"The reason gun nuts oppose 'common sense' gun control is that a prerequisite for common sense is common knowledge, and it's rare for gun control advocates to have knowledge of both firearms and the laws that currently regulate them in pro gun control states like California."
In The Absence Of Enforcement
"And, a lot of the existing laws aren't enforced. Domestic abusers are supposed to surrender their arms are rarely do and the police rarely follow up, for example. I saw a thread yesterday where someone cited 27,000 known firearms holders that were illegal that law enforcement didn't do anything about."
Weak arguments were also presented.
"So why not make guns have to be registered the way cars are? If I want to sell my car to my friend, I have to fill out paperwork to tell the state that the title for that car is being transferred to my friend. Can’t we do the same for guns?"
A Salesman's Statistic
"I sell auto insurance. Do you know how often someone comes in to insure a vehicle they purchased but never put into their name? Literally like 5 times a weeks if not more."
"A big problem with anything regulatory is how ripe it is to be exploited for the person doing the regulations. A lot of gun control measures have to be enforced by someone and if that person is racist, guess who gets the regulations enforced against them more often? It's still a policing issue when at the core a large group of people simply can't trust the police, and now this is putting both parties in an even more dangerous position."
The thread continued sparking a lengthy discussion about gun culture.
A Slippery Slope
"I think one of the concerns that people are thinking about is that the 'gun reform' movement is a stomach that can't ever be satisfied, meaning, they are always going to ask for more ways to reform guns until eventually people won't get to have any. And I think people who are against gun reform know that 'gun reform' is a slippy slope to banning guns outright and overturning the 2nd Amendment."
What's The Point?
"Governments do not care about their people. Look at selling drugs to the black community, poisoning alcohol during prohibition, anti-privacy laws, I could go on but there's no need to fill paragraphs of these things. And we're supposed to hand over our tools of self-defense and expect the government to protect us? The same government that just sat there outside the Uvalde school?"
"And how are they going to get guns out of the hands of criminals anyway? A good chunk of these shooters are already using guns they can't legally own. If they try to completely get rid of firearms through a 'war on guns' in the same way they've waged a 'war on drugs' for decades, then the amount of illegal, untraceable firearms is only going to go up with every passing decade."
The Challenge Of Regulating Culture
"I think people are dancing around a core point here as well: you cannot legislate culture."
"Say we do implement just the most severe of gun laws and, miracle beyond miracles, they are 100% effective. Alright, so if I want to hurt a bunch of people en masse and guns are out of the question what do I do? What about just running a van through a crowd? What about some improvised explosive devices? Knives?"
"People think guns are the problem, but they are just a very convenient tool by which the problem expresses itself. I’ve lived in many of the so-called 'safe countries' with strong gun laws. In some respects, they are indeed safer, but it’s because the laws reflect a pre-existing cultural sentiment. This also doesn’t mean random mass violence doesn’t happen. I’m going to use Japan here because that’s a country I spent a long time in: there were the famous sarin gas attacks in 1994, also a murderer who drove a vehicle through a crowd in Akihabara (early 2000’s, I believe), and a lot more public stabbing sprees than you’d expect. One even happened a few stations down from me while living there and three little girls on their way to school died. It’s more of historical crime now, but there was also an early 1900’s mass shooting where a man, rejected by local women, decided to cut off power in his local village and systematically execute everyone in their sleep before blowing his own head off at dawn."
"The effort needs to be put into why we seem to have so many disaffected people who are so far gone that mass shootings seem like a reasonable consideration. Gun laws are ultimately just a bandaid fix and, because a good portion of the U.S. is culturally attuned to firearms in a positive way, it’s a bandaid fix that one would have to fight tooth and nail for."
"It would be an inefficient fight and even absolute victory would just result in a half measure. I oppose gun laws for precisely the same reason I oppose the war on drugs; it’s a fight that will never end just by slapping on new policies. Generations of legislators and activists will commit to it and unfathomable amounts of tax dollars will be dumped into it and in 30 years we will still be asking ourselves the same fundamental questions about our safety."
"The uncomfortable reality, at least from where I sit, is that a lasting solution is going to have to be proactive, play the long game, and be willing to figure out what has gone so wrong in our social makeup as to push people to random acts of mass violence."
"And even then, there will still just be psychopaths beyond salvaging and reincorporating into functional society."
"I also know people will want to just say 'no, more just gun laws' or 'this is all the fault of capitalism' etc. etc. but I think those who hold these simplistic, one-note positions are fooling themselves into thinking that this is as easy as identifying the sole 'big bad thing' and then destroying it. As a historian, I can guarantee you that it’s never just one factor at play.'
"I couldn’t agree more that Americans need a more proactive and preventative approach to this issue. But I think guns are just the patsy boogeyman that is simple and comfortable to place blame on. If Americans choose to fight that fight, then so be it, but I maintain that it will be long and ineffectual. In the mean time, more will die and we can all happily believe we are doing something about it."
What Is It About America?
"I get 'gun culture'. But why is the US more violent?"
I think madmen and people that commit acts of random violence are basically the same % in every country. Difference is that if a mad men in my country comes at a supermarket with a knife, he might kill one or two people but he will get tackled."
"Taking a car trough a crowd, been there. That's a different animal, is terrorism."
The thread was full of debates with pro-gun activists presenting their case and anti-gun advocates responding with arguments.
It's an endless discussion that has no resolve in sight.
So now what? What are your thoughts and suggestions that would promote a compromise or solution about gun control?
America is in quite a state right now.
We are hurting in ways we've never hurt before.
And getting better doesn't seem like an option on the horizon.
America gets a lot wrong everyday.
But, maybe let's try to focus on what America does right.
Maybe it can be a little comfort in times of struggle.
People from all over the world want to live here.
Redditor Ulrich-Stern wanted to discuss the best of America. They asked:
"What does the United States get right?"
I think America certainly has a strong work ethic. We know how to work and win.
Getting AroundCivil Rights Equality GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
"Accessibility code for buildings. I come from a country where disability is looked upon like a crime or fault. USA does an amazing job making things accessible. I haven’t seen all of USA but majority of the places has amazing system."
"Our public libraries are a real backbone for the country."
"Andrew Carnegie's groundwork in building the institution of free libraries, even in small towns, set a precedent that we wouldn't fathom today but couldn't live without. They often serve not only as an information exchange but as cultural hub, art gallery, performing arts center, tax aid, voter registration, job resources, etc. in communities."
"Plus they're one of the only places you can just exist for hours indoors without the expectation you must buy something.And I feel like they've adapted to the ever-changing needs of their patrons in modern times faster in the US than most places."
"'A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.' -Andrew Carnegie"
'restore' or 'create'
"Valuing actual wilderness in places like national parks. Here in England, they will 'restore' or 'create' natural habitats, which is sort-of nice, but they are almost like zoos. They are too small to survive by themselves so they are actively maintained."
"And in some English national parks, they actually allow housing developments as long as the architectural design is sympathetic. Here, 'countryside"'means farms. There is still a notion in the USA of protecting some large wilderness areas from development."
"The rate of smoking cigarettes. We do very little well in the US when it comes to overall health, but we are light years better than most places when it comes to the prevalence of cigarette smoking. Hardcore anti smoking adds + laws of inconvenience + social stigma really did work."
HollywoodMovie Theater Reaction GIF by CBSGiphy
"Films. Don't get me wrong, the US can put out some bad films, but the best ones I've seen are usually American."
We do do films well. That is a big plus.
FamilyKids Playing GIF by moodmanGiphy
"The United States adopts more children than the rest of the world combined."
"Burgers. Motherfreakin' burgers."
"I'd expand that to sandwiches in general. Burgers, Philly cheese steaks, Reubens, subs, clubs, chopped cheese, po'boys, just this whole sandwich spectrum. Americans just took sandwich concepts from across the globe and ran with them."
"I've always envied your wildlife. I'm from England and the only large wild animals (other than fish) we have are deer, boar and foxes. And they're incredibly rare. I've always thought it was so cool one country could have bears, moose, cougars, alligators, panthers, bison/buffalo, etc."
"Gas stations like QuikTrip, where they have clean bathrooms, lighted parking lots, free air for your tires, ten different coffees on tap, beer, hotdogs, any soft drink or snack you want, the list goes on. In other countries -- you're not gonna believe this -- their gas stations only sell... gas."
POWERbill nye GIFGiphy
"The US is an absolute science powerhouse. The technology we come out with has touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet."
"I say this as an immigrant who came to this country, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt. But it truly gives people a second chance at life. My life would be nowhere near as good as it is right now if I were back in my home country."
Maybe America isn't the hot mess a lot of people think it is. We'll see...
Sex is an important part of life.
That is just a fact.
But sex is also about connection and intimacy.
So it's not a surprise when many relationships take a hit after the sex dries up.
It's not something to ignore.
It's the biggest problem in the world, but partners should discuss it.
RedditorItsyBitsyJoxywanted to hear about reasons to stick around with a partner when there is no sexy time. They asked:
"Would you be in a sexless relationship? What circumstance would you find acceptable for this?"
Sex is fun. And when the sex stopped in my relationships... so did the fun. But that is just me.
A Certain EraVery Funny Oops GIF by America's Funniest Home VideosGiphy
"I'm over 80."
"There’s a lot of people that are going to be real shocked once they hit their 70s."
"Our second child has ruined her sex drive. Intimacy is still there but extremely infrequently. I've learned how much that intimacy brings to the relationship, it feels very lonely and although I know it's not her fault, it can still make you feel like she's not attracted to me anymore. It can be pretty lonely too if you go from a romantic relationship to borderline platonic one. You can't help wonder how much is body changes and how much is you."
"I had rectal cancer and because of the surgery I can no longer get an erection, it's very lonely."
"Not sure if one exists, but a site to just make friends to be cuddle buddies, or whatever, should exist for people like you & me. I lost my sex drive & would like a relationship for that occasionally."
"In my case, it's not wanting to see someone very often, as well as the lack of sex drive, that I think would make it difficult. I also don't like people over to my home as it's too small for a couch & we'd be hanging out on my bed, which is weird to me."
"I'm in one now. My husband had a stroke... no sex is not the big problem for either one of us."
"This comment brings a lot of perspective. My gut reaction to this question was no. Sex was and still is pretty significant in my relationship with my wife. We’re in our 30’s and have been together over a decade. But if something happened to her and it was no longer an option? I would never leave her and love her too damned much to imagine it, no matter how much we love sex."
PainScarlett Johansson GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"I have a near sexless marriage. The love is strong, but the desire is one-sided. That hurts."
Sexless over loveless is definitely easier. So there is that.
Over time...up s GIFGiphy
"I am happily married to my good lady for decades and decades. There are times when it has been sexless for whatever reason but never has it been loveless.I wouldn’t have lasted 2 days in a loveless relationship."
You play the cards you are dealt
"I’m dating a man who got diagnosed with prostate cancer a year or so into our relationship. Prostate had to come out and it’s a hit or miss whether or not sexual function comes back. In his case, it was a miss. He wanted me to move on because he got very depressed over it."
"He’s so pleasant and a real decent human being so I stayed with him. Who would abandon someone due to a health crisis? Unfortunately he got bladder cancer next so this is another hurdle to go over. You play the cards you are dealt. We are together in this."
"The reasons for the 'sexlessness' and the depth of the relationship are key factors. My wife got breast cancer at 40 and while she lived another 8 years, the chemotherapy nullified her libido and made intercourse impossible. And yet I dearly wish we could have grown old together whether or not this would have changed. But that’s completely different from cohabiting a loveless marriage or even facing such a situation in one’s youth only a few years after marriage. That would be hard."
"A sexless relationship is better than a loveless relationship, as long as I'm loved and we share physical affection like cuddling and kisses and I'm allowed to beat my meat when I need too I wouldn't care. Just a heads up to all the people who take this personally enough to comment how wrong I am."
"There's no such thing as a wrong option, my opinion is in regards to myself and myself alone I'm not answering for anyone else. Different opinions aren't wrong... OP asked a question to be answered from your own point of view..so there's no reason to call anyone else wrong... it's about you, answer for YOU I've answered for me."
Love is there...Checking In I Love You GIF by Seize the AwkwardGiphy
"I'm in one. Not happy about it, but love is still there so that's nice."
"Same. Maybe had it once in the last 12 years. Finally decided to go to couples/sex therapy this year. Not sure it is helping, but at least I finally brought up that I wanted to try something. My wife is my best friend and I love here with every fiber, just wish there was more intimacy there."
it never happens...
"We haven't had sex in five months due to numerous reasons. Never have alone time with my mom and daughter here. We're both too tired. Our bed we have sex on is where my mom is sleeping. Our waterbed is difficult to use. We always say next weekend and it never happens. We're still going strong though. We love each other and that's what matters."
Well I guess some people can make it work. More power to you.
We all have things which get on our nerves.
Some people have a fairly high tolerance level, and are only truly perturbed by things which are beyond the bounds of common decency, or which are universally accepted as annoying or inconvenient.
Others are not so lucky, and tend to be set off by things which might go completely unnoticed by everyone else.
Redditor Onatic420 was curious to learn the things which instantly make others want to pull their hair out and scream, leading them to ask:
"What do you find annoying as f*ck?"
Is it so hard to pick up after yourself?
"Habitual litterers."- SuvenPan
"When people don’t clean up after themselves."- cheeto_has_spoken
If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
"People that can dish it but can’t take it."
"I work with a dude like this and it’s terrible."- MF_GhidraTea Time Reaction GIF by Kamie CrawfordGiphy
Never judge something by it's size.
"When skin tears near your fingernail and that teeny tiny wound hurts way more than it should."- BlackCaaaaat
"When mosquitoes fly by ur ears."- AxcesDrifter
Back to where we started...
"The Reddit app when it scrolls back up to the top of the 65 TRILLION FKN articles you’ve read."
"It should burn the articles as you read them."- Deathdar1577
Take some responsibility!
"A person's inability to say sorry."- rohankentsorry kristen wiig GIFGiphy
Get out of the way!
"People who leave the f*cking shopping carts in middle of the f*cking aisle!"- otherm0ther
But enough about me, what do you think of me?
"People who make it all about themselves."- ExtensionAir7Proud Drag Queen GIF by CameoGiphy
A lost cause
"Willfully ignorant people."- KingZaneTheStrange
Be it the way another person behaves or common, every day occurrences, we all have things which get on our nerves.
Most of the time it's best to grin and bear it.
But next time you see someone litter, it might be a fine opportunity to let that anger out.
For your sake, and everyone else's.
How many of us heard the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" as a child?
Or were told by their parents that watching too much television would make your eyes fall out?
Needless to say, these, as well as other sayings and superstitions, were not 100% accurate, possibly even having no truth to them whatsoever
Rather, these were merely a way to encourage, or scare, children into better eating habits, or getting away from the TV once and a while.
Some however, have, took these and other unsubstantiated pieces of information literally, and continue to believe them to be true.
Redditor wste96 was curious to believe what other falsehoods people continue to believe, in spite of proof to the contrary, leading them to ask:
"What's the biggest lie ever told that we, as a society, still believe in?"
Justice will be served... won't it?
"What goes around comes around."
"Sometimes it doesn't."- Recent_View6254
"That people get what they deserve, or must deserve what they get."- HugeMcAwesome
It's just a phase.... or is it?
"That acne will go away after your teen years."- One_Arachnid_1256Scared Freak Out GIF by Lillee JeanGiphy
Better cut back on those TV dinners...
"Microwaves give you cancer"- Salt-Significance702
Absolutely no justification.
"That torture is an effective method of extracting information."
"Every ten years or so, some three letter agency or another is forced to admit that their torture program yielded nothing but false leads and wrecked lives."
"Then goes straight back to doing it."
"The general population shrugs and says 'if it's the only way to get intel' as if they weren't just told point blank that it doesn't work."- barnfodder
A little kindness goes a very long way
"That being nice and accommodating is a sign of weakness."- AidilAfham42Be Nice GIF by Susanne LambGiphy
"Square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don't lose their shape..."
"Diamonds are rare which us why they are expensive."
"They're very very common, their price is kept high by controlling how many enter the market by the De Beers group, which basically has a monopoly on them and hoards them."
"Synthetic/lab grown diamonds are the exact same as natural and even cheaper to make, but people are still convinced they're not as good as 'real' diamonds."- no_ps_wow
Unrealistic expectations on society
"That we need to work tirelessly and wear ourselves out in order to have a good future and stay happy."- iambigego
"Go to a great college and get a great job and have a great life."- MewsikMaker
When you just can't hold it any more...
"That there is a chemical you can put in pools that turns blue when you pee."- Sad_Cherry2884GIF by South Park Giphy
As the saying goes, you can't believe everything you read.
But for the sake of others, still best to avoid peeing in pools.