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gruff5
419244.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:57 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Your argument attempting to link the Army and youth knife crime has so many holes and flaws that I can only admire your willingness to try to defend it.

The link is a conceptual one. The vast majority of youths who carry knives do so in the mistaken belief that this will make them safer - that possessing weapons of violence will give them protection. The opposite is the case. If there are nuclear missiles one day flying over Europe, which country will be top of the target list do you think? Can you work out why? And yes, I do think there is a conceptual link between offensive knives & nuclear weapons & military spending etc etc

I don't wish to offend QI folks who've been in the ATC or similar, I don't actually think that participating in that organisation by itself leads on to violence. It's the glorification of the military and their activities I find distasteful. Hearing on R4 yesterday that we (the UK population) don't appreciate what our lads in 'Stan & Iraq were doing for us got me apopolectic on this.

The German & Japanese populations have, since WWII, had a distaste for military adventures abroad - and a jolly good thing too.

 
PDR
419251.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:11 am Reply with quote

Whereas what gets me apoplectic is the way people lump Afganistan and Iraq together as if they were the same issue. The presence in Afganistan is in direct support of a UN mandate to relieve the local population of the attentions of an evil and highly oppresive regime. The isn't (and never has been) any doubt that this is a legal and justified action.

PDR

 
Nigelblt
419261.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:29 am Reply with quote

Is it not possible to teach all those admirable skills: self-reliance, leadership, respect for others, team building etc. without teaching people how to kill at the same time?

My son has recently been on a school sponsored expedition to Morocco where the children were expected to do all the fund-raising, all the planning, take turns at leading the expedition, buy the supplies etc. They did this in the context of a hike up the region's highest mountain (the youngest group ever to achieve this) and helping build a classroom in a rural school. Not once did they need to know how to shoot or stab another person.

While you can admire the craftsmanship and design that has gone into the knives featured on this thread, it is still a terrible shame that all that skill has been diverted into finding more efficient ways to slice open human flesh rather than to produce something positive.

 
soup
419396.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:15 am Reply with quote

Nigelblt wrote:
Is it not possible to teach all those admirable skills: self-reliance, leadership, respect for others, team building etc. without teaching people how to kill at the same time?


Yup. I was never in all my time in the ATC taught how to kill/butcher etc people. Did fire weapons but I would say that it was drummed into people that weapons were not toys and not a way of settling playground/pub etc disputes and to respect weapons of any description .

Aside. Wonder if there are stats on ex-servicemen versus ex-cadets versus civilians who go on to crime with a weapon?

 
Arcane
419403.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:29 am Reply with quote

soup wrote:

Aside. Wonder if there are stats on ex-servicemen versus ex-cadets versus civilians who go on to crime with a weapon?


I'll word my response carefully... A certain ex-serviceman who was qualified as a marksman threatened to shoot his family if his wife ever tried to leave him and take the children. He reminded his wife and children many times he was a qualified marksman, and gave the impression that trying to escape would be impossible as he had the skills to shoot them in difficult situations. It was never carried out, but the threat did nearly as much damage. This was over 20 years ago, and the ex-serviceman did have mental health issues.

 
Izzardesque
419404.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:33 am Reply with quote

One man does not make a trend.

 
Arcane
419409.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:35 am Reply with quote

Of course not Izz, but it's just an example. I also recall this ex-serviceman mentioning at least one suicide of another fellow ex-serviceman. I wonder if there were higher gun crime/suicide rates because a) they are familiar and comfortable with guns and b) their military training desensitises them to gun use. Now, I am not saying that this is the case or that all ex-military personnel would do this, I am merely wondering aloud. I tried to find some statistics, but I'm not having much luck. I did read on one website that it's estimated over 200,000 veterans have committed suicide since Vietnam, but I couldn't find (on a quick search) any statistics pages.

 
Nigelblt
419435.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:19 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I was never in all my time in the ATC taught how to kill/butcher etc people. Did fire weapons but I would say that it was drummed into people that weapons were not toys and not a way of settling playground/pub etc disputes and to respect weapons of any description


Then you were trained how to kill people. What other reason is there to "fire weapons" in the armed forces. You were also have been taught when it is deemed appropriate or acceptable to kill and it is entirely possible that you would never use that training but it was there all the same.

All I suggest is that you can do all the character building, glider flying, survival training stuff that the CCF, ATC etc. do admirably well, but without the militaristic element or any need to fire weapons.

 
Nigelblt
419440.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:34 am Reply with quote

Currently approximately 9% of the UK prison population is ex-servicemen. The proposed reason for a recent large increase being that they are suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
From the NAPO report:
Quote:
The case studies show that most of the soldiers who had served in either the Gulf or Afghanistan were suffering from post traumatic stress, that little support or counselling was available on discharge from the forces, that virtually all became involved in heavy drinking or drug taking and in consequence involvement in violent offences, sometimes domestically related, happened routinely.

 
Izzardesque
419447.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:50 am Reply with quote

So not related to the training they received but from a recognised mental disorder caused by experiences they received.

 
Nigelblt
419475.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:14 am Reply with quote

Indeed, experiences they would never have had to suffer if we stopped considering killing people as an acceptable career choice.

 
Izzardesque
419483.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:26 am Reply with quote

Personally, I think that rightly or wrongly we will never be without some sort of Armed Forces. So someone will have to make that choice.

 
PDR
419513.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:10 am Reply with quote

reddygirl wrote:
Of course not Izz, but it's just an example.


But an example is not a trend.

1. My maternal grandfather was an engineering officer, chief engineer/engineering commander (Garden Island) in the Aussie Navy and/or Lighthouse service for his entire working life. He spend the war dodging bombs and torpedos on a number of corvettes (two of which were sunk from under him) in the south china sea, was captured and escaped and generally suffered most of the privations which the war with Japan threw at him. This caused him so much mental damage that he went on to become a loving father and grandfather, pillar of the local comunity and all round good egg.

2. Leonard Cheshire was a wartime bomber pilot who bombed cities and factories and was an official observer at the dropping of an atomic bomb on Japan. He went on to become a reknowned doer of charitable works and founded organisations which created homes for orphans and the like.

3. A chap called John Kennedy - commanded Torpedo boats in the Med. Was injured, sunk, all the usual stuff. But went on to become one of the USA's more respected leaders.

4. A respected and famous wartime Major who commanded sections of a beach during the D-Day landings, running around dodging bombs and bullets and up to his knees in blood and carnage. He went on to do quite a few good things as well - his name was Dennis Healey.

5. Son of an aristocratic family who flew light bombers in the war with zeal and vigor. You may have heard of him - his name was (Viscount) Anthony Wedgewood Benn.

I could go on, but there is no particluar correlation, and if there is then my five examples trump your one! Whilst it is probably true that today's ex-servicemen are more prone to violent acts than non-ex-servicemen that is more likely to be because those who are predesposed towards violent behaviour are far more likely to have sought careers in the services in the first place.

PDR

 
Sadurian Mike
419520.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:18 am Reply with quote

Can I just make a small plea that that the military=killers or disciplined professionals argument be moved elsewhere ("Fresh Hell" seems appropriate).

It would be a shame to completely ruin this thread with a potentially vitriolic, and completely subjective, argument.

 
Izzardesque
419523.  Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:24 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
3. A chap called John Kennedy - commanded Torpedo boats in the Med. Was injured, sunk, all the usual stuff. But went on to become one of the USA's more respected leaders.

PDR


Nope, never heard of him... :p

 

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