The Land of Guns and Death

by Crow
"Freedom" is a symbolic word of this super-multiracial nation, the United States of America. Since the beginning of the U.S., an enormous number of people have come to this country from all over the world because of being attracted to freedom. However, this freedom was then taken away with guns from the people who had lived in this land before that. This was the origin of a long and brutal tradition of using guns in the U.S. And in the beginning of this country, the people who started calling the land the U.S. didn't have the same cultures, rules, and senses of values. It gave rise to a subconscious anxiety toward different races and cultures among the people, and they chose the way of self-defense with guns. As a result, the mutual mistrust increased in the people in the U.S., and they came to believe that the power was justice. In my opinion, this fact has caused the large amount of gun violence in the U.S. today. Americans still have not been able to take their hands off guns because of this history.

The history of this country began with guns. In the very beginning of this country, Americans started subjugating Native Americans with guns instead of considering living together. Then, after they finished the conquest of the land, they started killing each other to satisfy their desire for wealth or power. In those days, the people who had different backgrounds didn't have the same common rules, cultures, and senses of values. Therefore, they lived with their own beliefs, and there must have been almost no public order. In those days, only power was considered to be justice. Americans had to protect themselves and their freedom from their neighbors. It was because they were aware that freedom was fragile from their history; it was always possible that freedom could be encroached upon, just as their forefather had done to Native Americans. To Americans, the people around them must have been seen as enemies. Then Americans grabbed guns in the belief that the power was justice, and it brought a subconscious anxiety to Americans. Ironically, Americans got freedom with guns and mutual distrust grew because of guns. What was even worse, as the country became bigger, the mutual distrust in Americans became more serious and more invisible. As a matter of course, gun violence also increased more with the spread of the mistrust.

America started its history with shooting Native Americans and with shooting each other, however, it doesn't mean that America has never taken measures to deal with gun violence. As a matter of fact, in the middle of the century, America had stricter gun control laws than most of Europe, but those laws didn't go far enough in curbing gun violence because of the corruption of the enforcers. By that time, of course, America had become a civilized country, and in addition it had become one of the richest countries in the world. Americans were living with public order; at the same time they were singing the praises of individual freedom. However, on the other hand, America still suffered much higher murder rates than other countries. Americans still kept manufacturing stronger guns and killing each other. It was because even though they had strong gun control laws, those laws didn't have much effect upon control gun violence. A law itself has no effect; a law is only effective if it is enforced. But in those days, bribery was quite common among the police and administrative organizations, and the government had become corrupt. Consequently, the people began losing reliance on the government, and a tendency to be nervous about different races became deeper and spread out more among the people. In addition, shrewd and cold-blooded organized crimes had increased a lot. Therefore, those strict gun control laws were not able to stop an increase of gun violence. The people were not able to take their hands off the guns. Americans still believed that the power was justice, and distrusted their neighbors. It has continued today.

Until today, there have been almost no amendments to the "stricter" gun control laws in 1950s, even though, some brutal massacres have been taking place in each year since then. According to a report of CNN, about 65 million handguns are owned by Americans who want to protect themselves from the millions of other Americans' guns and some 35,000 Americans are killed by Americans every year. In striking contrast to the U.S., the world's current trends of gun bans have become stronger and stricter these days. For instance, Great Britain and Australia passed stricter gun bans right after horrible massacres took place in both countries in the 1990s, and both countries have succeeded in reducing their firearm death rates since then. What makes this difference in the quickness of the response between the U.S. and other countries? Since the end of Cold War, America has been losing its unity year by year. With the breaking up the unity as a country, the people have been coming to rely more upon their own beliefs, religions, and races. In fact, murders and gun violence that seem to be caused by racial discrimination and extreme beliefs called hate crimes have increased. It has deepened a gulf among people more. Therefore, Americans don't want to pass gun bans because they are afraid of living without gun protection.

There are already too many guns in this land, and banning all of those guns is impossible in actuality. In addition, the subconscious anxiety of a multiracial nation among the people has become stronger and deeper, so Americans have to continue the life protected with guns. Americans will choose to live in fear with guns rather than to live in fear without guns. Therefore, Americans will never be able to pass an effective gun control law, which can say "Good-bye" to the gun culture, until they solve the anxiety. All we can do is to give people information and education about different cultures, races, and religions in order to decrease the anxiety toward them. It is because a gun itself doesn't harm anybody; a human being harms somebody with a gun.