We need to change our gun culture in America | An alternative view | Diana Diamond
We live in a country that loves guns – more so than any other country in the world. Many Americans idolize them. This reverence for guns has deepened over the past 10 years, for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s a need for men to feel macho, for women to feel protected. What if guns could kill – if I feel better, then I want a gun, say countless Americans.
It may be because many believe that gun control is a culturally elitist point of view, which contradicts the feelings of the most ordinary Americans, those who love their guns, love to hunt, enjoy the status of owning a gun – all of his friends have one, some have two…or three…or more Maybe it’s because, as many Second Amendment supporters proclaim, owning guns is one of our cherished American freedoms, and we want our freedoms, and we will fight for them if anyone interferes with them.
With all these attitudes, it will be difficult to get rid of powerful weapons in our country, since owning them has become an inherent right.
What we need to do is change our gun culture in America.
An example of cultural insights: A few years ago my husband and I took a cruise on the Mississippi and stopped in Vicksburg, Mississippi for lunch. Next to us, two women in their thirties were talking.
“Oh no!” they suddenly proclaimed, as she rummaged through her purse. “Oh, how could I do that,” she cried, glancing at our table. “Have you lost your cell phone? ” I asked. “No, she repeated, I left my gun at home. How could I do this.
Is there a problem here in Vicksburg, I asked? “No, I guess we don’t have a lot of problems because it’s a nice town. I was born here.” She asked where we are from. California. “Oh, they don’t like guns there, do they?” she asked. Some of us don’t.
Growing more animated, she told me they liked guns in Mississippi. “We actually just bought my five-year-old daughter a nice pink pistol and my seven-year-old son a blue pistol. We’ll give them lessons next week on how to use them. At this age. I asked?
“Yes. We have guns at home. My husband and I each have one by our bedside, and a gun in the closet, and two guns downstairs. We feel safe now.
I couldn’t find anything to answer
One of the major firearms manufacturers, Daniel Defense, has released a new ad, a newscast commentator showed the audience this week. It depicted a small child, maybe two years old, holding an AR-15 in his hands. The voiceover said that if a child gets used to a gun like this at an early age, he’ll use it for the rest of his life!
Many state laws don’t even allow children to be photographed with knives, cigarettes or alcohol, the commenter said. But of course, there are no laws prohibiting ads with small children holding guns. Texas allows 18-year-olds to buy AR-15s, but not handguns.
Again, we have a gun culture problem in our country.
Indeed, the cover of the Sunday Review section of the NYT this week repeatedly proclaimed on the page: “Authorities say the shooter was able to obtain the weapons legally. Keep this phrase in mind.
Yes, we have heard that our country has more guns and gun deaths than any other Western country. Famed columnist Fareed Zakaria on his CNN Sunday program pointed out the specific differences,
It had a big bar graph that showed the huge number of gun homicides in this country compared to other Western countries. According to a study by the University of Washington, the rate of firearm homicide in the United States is 8% higher than in Canada, 50% higher than in Germany, 100 times higher than in UK and Japan, 250 times higher than in the US. In other words, the United States is off the charts.
You know the statistics: the United States represents 4% of the world’s population, but is responsible for 50% of the sales of firearms in the world. AR-15 sales run into the millions a year. The NSSF (a firearms industry trade association) estimated that more than 16 million “modern sporting rifles” were in circulation in 2018.
We are told that the reasons for all the school massacres and shootings are that many have been committed by the mentally ill in our country. But certainly. we cannot have more mentally ill people than Britain, Germany or Japan that would account for our higher number of gun homicides.
The fact is, we have the most heavily armed civilian culture in the world.
Yes, there are many things we can do to control gun violence – only sell to people over 21; conduct more background checks, ban the sale of AR-15s and other high-powered firearms and cartridges. All the right measures to enact.
But to me, the real problem in this country is the gun culture that says our freedom to have guns outweighs the result of hundreds of adults and children dying from these weapons. These people also had rights – and every living child still has the right not to be killed by a gun. Right now, “the freedom for me to have a gun” trumps everything. We have to change this culture.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving changed the drunk driving culture in our country years ago – we all know that due to government action the fines and penalties now applied are severe if we are caught driving while intoxicated – loss of license, inability to obtain car insurance, etc. And the Americans reacted.
If the two 18-year-olds from Buffalo and Uvalde weren’t carrying AR15s and magazines, many of those shot would be alive today. People are shouting “do something!” We must act now.
Guns kill, period.
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