Are Americans obsessed with Guns?

Out of all of the countries, the Unites States of America is the country with the highest gun ownership. For every 100 people 88.8 citizens of the United States own a gun (BBC.CO.UK). That is a relatively high amount of gun ownership in a country. Is it because the citizens of the Unites States are obsessed with guns? It could be possible, another possibility is because of their history with this weapon. The citizens of the United States have such symbiotic relationship with guns that they become a part of their family. They take a stance that it can be seen as unpatriotic to be anti-gun. It has become so defined into that they have made this object a part of their culture and in essence their identity. It goes as far back to the creation of the country, in order for this country to become its own it needed the gun, if it was not for the gun then a break away between the colonials and the crown may not have even happened, the gun has become their patron saint. The amendment mostly recognized and the one that is most readily defended is the second amendment that grants the right of a well-armed militia, granting gun ownership to the citizens of the United States. So are the citizens obsessed with guns? Yes, they are so obsessed that they cannot fathom living without it, they embrace and defended as if it were their own child, it is as if the gun validates them as a culture, it is part of the painting of the United States culture.

This obsession then becomes a problem. It seems that every few months there is always an incident involving a deadly shooting where innocent people are killed. Events like Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Charleston, Chattanooga, and Colorado Springs…etc. the list unfortunately goes on. While all of these events are complicated on their own, with diverse reasons for the crime, a shared element that all of these cases share is that they were carried out because of our lax gun laws here in the United States. Regardless of whether the people feel about it; our gun laws are an integral part in the reasons as to why so many mass shootings happened in the United States. Both the people, and the organization that has become the vanguard for second amendment rights, NRA (National Rifle Association) need to understand that there needs to be a reform of our gun laws. The fact that almost every day there was a mass shootings in the United States in appalling, according gunviolancearchive.org, which documents and reports mass shootings on a daily basis reported that in 2015 there were 325 mass shootings in the United States and because of that 367 citizens died in 2015 because of the mass shootings. So our gun laws have to drastically change and it is not just the laws but the culture of it as well.

When one compares gun ownership per citizen to the United Kingdom, the United States has 321 million citizens whilst the United Kingdom has roughly 64 million. In the UK only about 4 million people legally held guns; compared to the U.S, 270 million people legally held guns. Not only that but also the amount of deaths from gun related incidents (not mass shootings), in the United States there were 12, 570 people killed in gun related incidents in 2014 while in the UK there were only 30 people killed and that is excluding Northern Ireland (BBC.COM.UK). The comparison is baffling to say the least, in order to understand as to why these things happen one must understand how prevalent guns are in the United States, “The culture has structural manifestations pertaining to gun ownership in a variety of geographic locales: gun clubs, shooting ranges, shooting competitions, and gun shows. So many people own guns and make use of these clubs, ranges, and shows that members of the gun culture are demographically indistinguishable from the wider gun population. By this definition of the gun culture, it is easy to argue not only that America has a gun culture, but America is a gun culture” (Kohn, 2004).  The gun culture is so prevalent here that not a day goes by that you do not see an ad or a show that details the many kinds of guns and how to handle said guns.

It is way too easy to acquire a gun here in the United States, even though I understand that one is able to acquire but it should not be done just because you can but rather do you really need it and what are your intentions in regards to having a gun. Is the United States obsessed with guns?  There is no doubt that they are because of it is so tied to the culture and to the identity of the people that letting go of or relinquishing the gun would be also to relinquish their identity, it is part of their history and their struggle as a people.

Works Cited

Mass Shootings 2015, http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shootings/2015

Kohn, Abigail, “The Wild West Down Under: Comparing American and Australian Expressions of Gun Enthusiasm” 2004

“Why are Americans so obsessed with Guns?” http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3t2hv4

My name is David Alfredo Paulino. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a international studies major with a concentration in Global Political Systems and my minors are Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Asia and the Middle East. I was born in Manhattan, NYC, but I currently live in the Bronx with my Mother, little sister, and Stepfather. Although I was born here most of my fondest memories come from my frequent visits to the Dominican Republic, and always being there. I even stayed there for a year due to my constant going back and forth, I grew to love the atmosphere there and sometimes I yearn for it more than the actual city.

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