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Essay: The legalisation of guns

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Argumentative Essay: Gun Culture and the American SocietyGun culture is the attitudes, feelings, values and behaviors of a society or any social group in which guns are used. Guns have been around for centuries, and these have had a variety of purposes. According to David Yamane, he divided gun culture into two categories, gun culture 1.0 and gun culture 2.0. Gun culture 1.0 is what he called guns for purposes other than self-defense. These include but are not limited to recreational activities, sports and safety reasons. Back in the early 1900’s the usage of such tools was often directed towards the recreational aspect, such as hunting. Progressively these activities started to settle and become sports practiced by particular groups of people. Introducing guns to the citizens also led to many other complications, so for safety reasons guns were used by police officers and law enforcement officials all across the U.S. Nowadays, people can acquire guns easily, and as a result of this, many horrible events have happened. However, these incidents are not necessarily issues of the modern day, but rather an issue that has happened from the beginning, with the difference being that there have not been any regulations with respect to gun control since its beginnings. Gun culture 2.0 is what Yamane calls gun for safety or self-defenseand for this reason, the companymade guns cheaper than it was so, many people in this country could afford it easily. The fact here is that instead of using their weapons in the appropriate situations (when there is something that needs self-protection), but most of the society are using their guns for taking the lives of innocent people away and or for committing suicide.

On the other hand, Jennifer L. Murray describes the gun culture through the connection between the media and mass shootings in the United States. In her writing, she talked about the media culture, how they report on the gun related issues and how that is became an opening door for many killers/murderers. From her point, it is clear that the group of teenage people are more connected to the social media and that they are sensitive in doing what they have seen on there and that it is very important for the media how they portray the killers and describes the victims. For this, Murray’s point is that the news media are responsible for the fellow killers to take the same actions that had been done previously. The most recent incident revolving gun regulation issues happened early this year, February 14, 2018 also known as one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S history. Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers, but yet was pleaded not guilty. On the other hand, there is Cynthia Brown who was tried as an adult and sentenced to life prison because she had used self-defense and killed her rapist at the age of sixteen.Gun culture is a broad and complex topic in America. When we talk about guns and its related issues, media comes into play. And although media and news are important aspects of today’s society, the way that the news are presented to the public can have detrimental effect on their viewers, given that the way that the killers are portrayed is often misleading. In America, gun control remains as just an oral history, but no exercise. When it comes to treating gun related problems, there is no right judgment in this country, more of racism. My argument with respect to this issue is that the media is one of the main reasons for gun related crimes keep happening nationwide. This argument can be supported using the points made by Jennifer L. Murray. The author talks about gun culture in this country and the many implications that misrepresentation of the media have causes many more crimes to occur due to the

sensationalization of the killers in the news over the past decade or so. The Columbine high school shooting was an example provided by the author. Here, she discusses the way that the killers Eric Harris and Dillon Klebold were depicted in the media in a way that victimized them and showed them as less guilty for their acts. They killed around 15 people and left a remaining 23 others with severe wounds. In the article by Jennifer L. Murray, she talked about how the media reports in such a way that motivates others to take the same action and she uses examples about school shootings in this country. Murray talked about the Columbine school shooting in 1999, it was one of the worst school shootings in America. As a result, this prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety in the past years, yet nothing has been settled. The media did a report about this incident in such a way that society became aware of this kind of problems and more importantly, the report in itself depicted the killers in a way such that they were more victims than the actual individuals who lost their lives in such a horrificway.The media depicted the killers as disturbed and mentally unstable teenagers, rather than two people who murdered 15 of their classmates and teachers and then committed suicide soon after. Media coverage of shootings can provide unhappy and ambiguous people with a model of how they can achieve their own distress. One problem that the media has when reporting news like shootings is that their covers feature large, colored portraits of the shooters, while small, black and white portraits of all the victims hover around the border. This, in a way influences potential killers who already have mental disorders to be on the look for the right time to commit such crimes and also be depicted as victims and so on.

In another example on how fellow killers follow the footsteps of previous killers, the Virginia Tech shooter was encouraged by the columbine massacre. In the proclamation he sent NBC, the killer referred to the columbine shooters saying, martyrs like Eric and Dylan. Another study shows that even the columbine shooters used the Oklahoma Citybombings of 1995 as inspiration to blow up the whole school and kill as much people as they could. Glorifying the killers is one way of producing more of them, and in this aspect, the media is makinga big mistake, because of the way that they are being portrayed is causing potential killers to commit these crimes. According to an article “Research Blames Media Coverage for Rise in Mass Shootings”, when media covers the mass shootings with most of the coverage is glamorizing the killers, or telling their problems as depressed, bullied, socially isolated and many other descriptions, others are inspired to copy it in the hope that they could reach the same level if they do the same thing. In this article, the researchers came up with the conclusion that if media reports in such a responsible way, taking into a consideration how they covernews like shootings, the rate of mass shootings could have decreased at least in one-third. The best way that the media could prevent or at least decreases the mass shootings, the researchers said is by not glorifying the shooters, by not talking the kinds of weapons they used, by not explaining the reason why they have committed the crime (because it motivates people with the same problems to take the same action) and last but not least by trying not to cover their news coverage by larger photo/view of the killers (others may see that as celebrating what those people have done). However, the media should turn their gears into talking more about the victims, how losing their loved ones could affect their entire life, what good things those who died could have done if they were alive and or how bright their future would be. In this way the fellow killers could

change their mind and could think better for their future life, instead of thinking taking their lives and other innocent people lives’ away.1 Over all, the time that the society used to believe that guns are for fun, for competition or for showing their ability and power as men, and of course as a safety guard at appropriate time and places,has passed and now we are in the era where so
ciety has to think twice about the usage of the gun whether it is been using for fun in such as hunting and shooting target activities or it is been using for fun in killings for no reason. Because today, the guns are benefiting in taking away the lives of crimeless people in such a terrifying way. By the meaning of self-defenseand protection, getting guns became easier than getting anything, and most of those who owned it, they useat a wrong place. Specially in the United States, this issue needs very careful attention from the government and the society before it starts happening every second or minute and the media has to change the habit of reporting the mass shootings when it happens.

1. Morrison, Sara. “Research Blames Media Coverage For Rise InMass Shootings.” Vocativ, Vocativ, 4 Aug. 2016, www.vocativ.com/348189/mass-shootings-media-coverage/index.html.

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