Talk:Helping Give Away Psychological Science/Coping with Shootings Toolkit

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Coping with Shootings Toolkit?[edit source]

(sigh) I do not mean to be unduly harsh in my assessment of your resource. There's a large amount of misinformation on Wikiversity, and I've not had an easy time of clearing it up. The media tends to put undue emphasis on particular events and topics, and "shootings" are one of them. They weave an ethos of popular culture and social issues that are far removed from our actual imperatives and interests, and so it always pains me when people entertain their narrative. Part of the problem is that it makes its way into academia, and people become preoccupied with such issues. There is always some political motive, and the copycat effect is no doubt a factor. Monkey see, monkey do. It's a form of cultural decay. Yes, I do think this resource constitutes a form of FUD. It validates and reinforces the media-driven hysteria over "gun violence", which itself is a public relations strategy designed to make us amenable to various legal prohibitions and surveillance measures. I should have been more polite, but my point remains the same. AP295 (discusscontribs) 01:28, 16 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And since I was rude earlier, I will explain the source of my irritation. The beauty of what you have here is that I'd look like a raving lunatic if I simply told you it should be taken down. After all, what kind of monster wouldn't want people to have access to helpful resources in the event of a shooting? But that's not quite the full story. A common motif in propaganda is the presupposition of some crisis. Something that demands our attention. In this case, it's "school shootings". Naturally such events are rare, despite the best efforts of the media in promoting indiscriminate murder as a method of relieving one's frustration. People will assume an ulterior motive and react as I just reacted, and so I don't feel as though this resource is what we need. It is burdened by political connotations and it pokes at a very sore subject. For all I know, you're just a student who was told to create this resource (in which case I'd like to have a word with whoever put you up to this), and so I don't want to discourage you, but realize what you are doing here. To you, it may seem well-intended but for many it will test the limits of their patience and civility. I don't know whether you understand what I'm saying or not, but that's the best I can do to explain it. I'd certainly hope that victims of violence would have access to any helpful resources, but on the other hand "shooting drills" and media such as this resource are by-and-large intended to serve as agitprop and FUD. I'm not saying that is your intention, but consider this: about 72,000 people died of drug overdose (mostly opioids and more recently synthetic opioids) during 2019 in the United States. In 2015 over 700 of them were teens aged 15-19 but there were "only" 52,000 overdose deaths that year, and I was unable to find more recent information on fatal overdoses in adolescents. We hardly ever hear about them, not because their deaths of despair aren't tragic or that heroin isn't a serious issue, but because they don't help the media promote a political agenda. I hope and pray that most people are able to recognize the bias and undue weight the media gives toward politically convenient events and tragedies. It's unconscionable, and that is why I was frustrated earlier, but I know there's no ulterior motive on your part. AP295 (discusscontribs) 03:20, 16 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And the reason I bring up overdose deaths is to give you a sense of scale. Various sources of information discuss the opioid problem in terms of "deaths per 100,000". This is fine, but you will never hear the phrase "mass shooting deaths per capita" from the mass media. In other words, it's fearmongering. From what I found in a cursory search, the (annual) "mass shooting" fatalities in the US in very recent years is somewhere between 100 and 500. There are a similar number of lightning injuries in America per year (source). In other words, you're actually more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed in a mass shooting. It's a silly comparison, but it should give you a sense of how the media distorts our perception of scale and our sense of danger. I realize that the total number of gun fatalities is higher than this, but a big contributor is inner-city violence and most of those offenders are in violation of the laws already on the books (and break dozens more in the commission of such crimes). Repeating arms have been around for over one hundred years. One of the most popular semi-automatic handgun designs today, the 1911, was developed in, you guessed it, 1911. Semi-automatic rifles were mass produced for WW2 and many civilians still use those same firearms today for hunting and sport. The phrase "school shooting" was virtually unheard of before a psychopath named Dylan Kleebold and his clinically depressed crony Eric Harris decided to shoot up a school in 1999. The media had a field day, and they've extensively covered every similar event since then. So if it is to be considered a "crisis", then what do you think is the cause? Good luck with your studies. Going by your name, I wondered whether you might be a foreign student. If so, then you may be lacking some cultural context, and I hope this makes things clearer. Ask me whatever you like, I promise to keep it civil. AP295 (discusscontribs)

There are so many interesting things you could study in psychology. I've always wanted to read more about cognitive psychology. For instance, Bayesian models of cognition are fascinating. However, from the outside looking in, it seems to me like there's an overwhelming focus on psychiatry. Everyone's gotta have a prozac script and a safe space. Doesn't it ever seem a bit wishy-washy to you? AP295 (discusscontribs)

Here's a question. Would this resource be any less useful to anyone if it were simply entitled "helping children cope with traumatic experiences" or something to that effect? As far as I can see it only bears a superficial (at best) relevance to "shootings" specifically. It could just as easily have been called "helping children cope with traumatic experiences" and it would be useful to many more people. Car crashes, accidents in the home, other violent encounters, etc. To me, it seems like thinly-veiled political agitprop disguised as community outreach in order to avoid criticism. I will not edit your resource but I disagree with its needless emphasis on "shootings" rather than trauma in general. It limits the usefulness of the article and clearly belies a political objective. I know you're a student and I really don't like having to pan your resource like this but it's a political issue that a lot of people take very seriously, and for very good reason. I hope you'll forgive me. I fear that gun control measures like confiscation will lead to standoffs and bloodshed. It's not something I want to see. Many Americans including myself treasure our constitution, but unfortunately fewer and fewer people in academia seem to share this sentiment. Such a polarized culture is not healthy, and I think we can do better. AP295 (discusscontribs) 21:22, 17 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]