Gun Culture: American Poison

The United States has an addiction. A deadly, senseless addiction.

It’s not coffee, it’s not heroin. It’s guns.

The Second Amendment has wreaked havoc on our nation. The right to bear arms now runs deep in our country’s culture; firearms are perhaps the hottest debate in the United States. Our citizens arm themselves at a deadly cost, so why do we keep stocking up on dangerous weapons?

American culture, since the birth of our nation, has always been intertwined with guns. The American Revolution itself was brought on from a series of events including gun violence, leading to the implementation of the Second Amendment. National celebrities were people like George Washington, who received the nomination for presidency based on his success in the Revolutionary War. Actors like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood rose to fame based on the gun-slinging, wild west characters they played in films. Especially in the South, family hunting trips defined the childhood of many Americans.

For over two hundred years, the idea of the trigger-happy freedom fighter has been implemented into our culture.

To start, let’s discuss who exactly is purchasing these guns. A June 2015 study conducted by seven psychologists found that an overwhelming majority of gun owners (who tend to be white with a high income) have a propensity for impulsive, aggressive behavior both verbally and physically. It also noted that many gun owners have a “potentially dangerous habit of keeping their guns close at hand.”

That means approximately 22 million people with hostile tendencies in America also own a gun, about nine percent of aggressive people overall.

Jennifer Carlson, a sociologist at the University of Toronto, has suggested that men, who are the overwhelmingly majority of perpetrators of domestic terrorism, often carry guns to balance out insecurities. Carlson correlates the rise of toxic masculinity in America with the rise of male gun ownership, stating that carrying a firearm can “address social insecurities far beyond crime”. She also suggests that those with insecurities may be more likely to unnecessarily use their gun to assert masculinity.

In America, there are nearly 12,000 gun homicides per year.

Every single day, 93 Americans are killed due to gun violence, seven of those will be children.  All of these lives, these good American people, have been lost to an entirely preventable cause. There is no excuse for this senseless violence anymore. It’s our duty to speak up and demand action now. Americans, as a whole, must demand better background checks, comprehensive training, and a required national registry for gun owners. Gun control is no longer an argument, it is a necessity.

Check out this article if you would like to sign petitions that demand gun control.

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Micaela Tompkins
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Micaela is a 16 year old living in the eastern United States who loves writing, politics, painting, and Harry Styles. You can contact her at micaelatom@gmail.com.

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