to be confused about the reaction to the Boston bombings and the reaction to gun control laws confusing(19 Posts)
As an American, it all makes very little sense to me either and I find the collective attitude about gun control to be one of the most embarrassing aspects of US culture.
I have had some colourful debates with
redneck relatives who would rather die than give up the precious weapons that bring them such a feeling of security, protecting their properties, family, etc. I feel safe wherever I travel to in the US, and I certainly did not need a firearm to feel so.
The gun manufactures are the big power behind stooping this legislation. Some polls show that over 90 percent of Americans want sooner gun laws but the NRA is fighting tooth and nail against it.
I'm embarrassed to say that I don't pay that much attention to what's going on in Congress and am really underinformed most of the time. But I have the impression that precedent-setting has a lot to do with what's going on here wrt. gun-control legislation: there is often a lot of worry here about the slippery slope when laws are proposed; people always seem to be fearing that if we pass proposed law A it will open the door for related proposed law B to be passed. Which is a reasonable fear, I guess, but then again, I always think it is very frustrating b/c it seems to prevent anyone from behaving reasonably. So even if one is for A one cannot support it b/c one is not for B, which means we can't have A no matter how much we need it. I think it really works against our best interests.
So in this case the concern would be, I imagine, that the proposal of new background checks is alarming b/c it could be seen and used as a step closer to banning guns or greatly restricting gun ownership. I think a lot of people who own guns are for gun control and responsible ownership. But I think the side that fears gun-banning feels it cannot agree to stronger gun control b/c they think the issue would not stop there; they think the other side will take that as a first step and run with it so that in a hot minute we'd be allowed to own no guns at all.
Sorry for all those metaphors.
Btw. I am for gun control and responsible ownership myself.
It is very confusing in that it seems to be more a cultural thing. America was settled by people who hunted of course and they still seem to live in the past. The arms manufactures are behind the 'we love our guns' thing IMO and have a lot of power in the USA.
I live between France and England in a rural area so I try to view it more objectively than when I was a 'townie'. The older men LOVE their guns and hunting in the winter, there are shops that sell all sorts of weapons openly (I haven't been in one to know if you need a licence to buy a gun ) the hunting is properly licenced and controlled though and they don't have as many incidents of lone gunmen (though they do have them) as they do in America.
The odd thing is despite the slightly manic driving, in our area there is hardly any crime.
Makes no sense (and I spent the first 2/3 of my life in America).
I can see that there's a historical background to it, but American society and the strength, size and power of weapons available has changed drastically.
I would be slightly more understanding if people were concerned that they were being threatened with an outright ban on any kind of gun (although would still disagree), but they're not, the proposals have only been around background checks.
Respect for Obama- he is at least trying with that and Obamacare.
I can understand KeatsiePie's viewpoints of her country and I am sympathetic to the idea that people are wanting some form of control over their own lives.
Trouble is, the right to bear arms is leading to an escalation in the guns that people have, and the responses they want authorities to give.
EG Newtown, the gunman had certain weapons, so people argue for the teachers to be armed. Leading, in future, to a gunman having weapons bigger than the teachers', leading to people to demand ever more armoury in the classroom/school.
It's a vicious circle, and at some point people are going to have to have the courage to break it.
I have to go to bed so sorry that I'm going to post and run, but fwiw. (as an American) I think the American gun control thing is so complicated. First, our cultural inheritance includes the DIY/Wild West/frontier-settling heritage which produced the attitude that one should be able to defend oneself and one's family and one's land.
Then there's the common fear, which I think (not a scholar of history) comes from the country's revolution for independence, that the governing body is not always trustworthy and that the common man must be prepared to stand up for what's right -- militia-forming sounds insane now but it's part of where we "came from" so to speak. And now as our policies relating to e.g., Homeland Security have alarmed many people, that fear that the government can't always be trusted has been renewed. So for a lot of people who I think are otherwise not necessarily crazy right-wingers, it is scary to think of the government/military having all the guns and the citizens not having any.
It's just such a big country and there are so many conflicting interests (as there are anywhere, but I can only speak to how it seems to feel to people here) that I think more and more people are feeling like their interests are not anyone's priority but their own. The housing crisis and subsequent recession really drove that home for a lot of people here: the sense that they were taken advantage of by big-business interests, and then that the government's response helped those businesses and not the people who were going under. Not that this makes you necessarily wish to run out and buy a gun, but I do think more and more people are feeling like they are really on their own here.
I just can't get into the mindset of anyone wanted to own a gun, the mindset of Americans who hold this so dear I find totally baffling. Another tragedy will happen and it will just strengthen their resolve.
If all those 85 people per day died in one daily incident very day for weeks and months there would be outrage and guns would be banned so fast. But for some reason as its separate incidents then that's ok.
Even larger incidents like Newtown are dismissed as been "one offs".
I can't understand why people feel that way. I would imagine the recent bombing will only strengthen many people's desire to keep the right to bear arms. They'll talk about how important it is to be able to protect themselves against crazy bombers.
America is a screwed up country where legislators have an insane set of priorities
I've seen several 'this is the reason we need access to guns' type responses, but, well, you have access to guns and it didn't exactly stop it, did it?
What I don't understand is that Obama was trying to increase background checks on gun owners - not refuse guns altogether. I don't understand how that could be a bad thing. Must be some dodgy gun lovers in the Senate.
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