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6 10, 3:39am
It might have more to do with the history and socioeconomic effects of the history, but that does not mean it has nothing to do with us being dumber than everyone else. Maybe we in fact aren't, as I tend to believe that nationality is not correlated to intelligence. But given that A - we created those historical problems, as almost none of the history that we're dealing with was out of the control of Americans as a whole (at various points in history), we've actually had more control over our own destiny than almost any other country, and B - our responses historically, including still today, tend to be incredibly short-sighted and have often made the effects worse, not better. We've compounded our problems exponentially by poor decisions.
Your last sentence is also partially true, partially not. It's true that it's something of a red herring, but not completely. Violence may be violence, but it's FAR more destructive when a gun is involved. Anyone that thinks gun control will fix the problem magically is hopelessly naive. It's too easy to be destructive, for one, and no amount of gun control will ever prevent the "bad guys" from having guns. However, that doesn't mean it is a bad idea to have any. It's been ridiculously easy for people who obviously shouldn't have a gun to legally get one. It doesn't take much to see that at least having some common sense restrictions are likely to have a positive impact. Granted, it'd probably only avert a tragedy every now and then, but that's better than nothing. Still, I would agree that given the intransigence of both sides in the gun debate, there are far more useful places to spend our energy. It's not a red herring, but it isn't worth the fight it'd take to only reduce the violence a bit.