Updated: Feb 10, 2018
You would think that having multiple mass shootings lately in the past few years would be eye opening. If that fact isn’t enough, the US even has the most mass shootings in the world. On top of that, Harvard studies has shown that there’s a public attack, on average, once every 64 days. So what is the big problem?
Guns. That may seem like the most obvious and repetitive response and yet it is such a provoking answer during debates. Why? Americans have been raised on the freedom to bear arms, or more commonly known as the second amendment.
Many conservatives have prided themselves on the fact that Americans are able to have guns, and one of the main causes of this pride is patriarchal society showing that it is masculine to carry open arms and react violently. Pro-gun advocates talk about how if a mass shooting was to occur, they would just crank out a gun to stop the intruder and criminal. Although that might seem logical to some, carrying open arms also portrays plenty of dangers to society.
First off, many mass shootings are caused by those who are mentally ill. Guns are able to be easily obtained by anyone because we don’t have background checks. Background checks aren’t supposed to be dangerous to all of those who own guns, either.
The most common misconception with gun control is that liberals want to seize the whole supply of guns, which might be true for some, but most gun control just means to get rid of excessively big guns like machine guns and sniper rifles for the general public or to convey background checks.
Along with that, the US does, in fact, have the most guns than in any other country. If someone really is looking for a gun, they will find and obtain one easily, sure, but guns that are smaller would be more effective in preventing bigger shootings. Background checks would just make sure that you have the morally right motives with your gun and make it more difficult for someone who is mentally ill to get a gun right away.
However, one of the biggest problems is that guns are just another white (and male) privilege. People subconsciously tolerate mass shootings when the culprit is white and deem that they are mentally ill. However, when a black person is the oppressor, racist remarks are made saying that it is because they are black.
However, in a poll, 72% of black people said it was more important to control gun ownership while 57% of white people said it was more important to protect gun rights. It should be no surprise that black individuals have said this, for they also say they still don’t feel safe in the US as well.
It also seems that too many generalizations show POC’s wanting to own a gun to create trouble because gun violence is a "black problem." However, if they have a toy gun or BB gun, they are shot. However, a white person owning a gun? It’s for self-defense, hunting, and exercising their second amendment rights!
Congress, especially under Trump’s administration, has the majority as white and male as well, along with the fact that they are heavily conservative, so gun control may seem hopeless. Why are they the main competitors in the fight against gun control? With that being said, electing other minorities and genders in Congress would probably eliminate some of these problems with gun control.
Researchers are even saying that white people are fueling the resentment to gun control, and yet the effects of guns barely affect them. In 2010, black people were 55% of homicides. White men own the most guns in other polls, and just to fuel their own white nationalism. Get this fact too: the gun industry makes more money off mass shootings and yet that isn’t considered a problem in society. White males are leaders in making profit off of the distribution of guns as well- yet that doesn’t raise red flags because we are too comfortable in a society to let change occur.
How many more mass shootings does it take for gun control laws to actually go into place like other superpower countries - Japan, Great Britain, and Australia for example - have? ✉
article by: kaitlin browne
visual by: all credit @ photojustice.tumblr.com