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December 24, 2012
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Guns and American culture

:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
This is not another thread about whether or not the USA should implement gun control or not - there are already plenty of those.

As an outsider however, I do often wonder how guns became such a big deal to have in the USA. It seems to be so ingrained in the "wants and needs" of the average american (at least, that is how I've come to see it) that some (most?) Americans can't even imagine living without a gun.

It baffles me to be honest. In my own culture, guns are not common. They are not being held in high esteem. There are strict laws about who gets to own a gun and how those guns should be kept. It is not normal to carry a gun everywhere you go.

So to be honest, I simply do not understand the "pro gun" movement in the USA. Their arguments feel contradictory to me. I guess it has more to do with cultural influences and upbringing than pure cold logic, since you could have logical arguments for both sides without ever coming to an agreement. Which brings me to the question: why does it seem that americans have this (to me unhealthy) attachments to their guns? Is it cultural? And if so, why?

And how about people in other countries? What are your cultural views toward gun ownership and control?
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Devious Comments

:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
As far as I understand: It really depends on which culture you've grown up with. If you've grown up in a culture with weapons, it's common sence to have it in every days household, and visa versa.
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:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
if so, would it ever be possible for the pro- and anti gun people in the USA to come to an agreement?
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:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
In my opinion, it kind of depends on what the terms are going to be. But in all fairness, I don't think the system are going to change much.
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:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
No, I don't think so either. It is so ingrained in american culture, that it will take a long time to break away from.
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
Not one they're both completely happy with.
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I think it's just the fact that US culture is shot through with a deeply ingrained outrageous paranoia, expertly demonstrated for us by our own little ~sonrouge
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:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
*chuckles* I try to understand it... but I just can't.
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Likewise, I find it strange that a country who's population has never suffered any kind of invasion is so paranoid about just that. And they also enjoy one of the fairest and non-abusive/oppressive governments in the world, yet are more paranoid that just about any other population about their government oppressing them. =p
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Up yours.
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm sorry, I don't swing that way.
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Child. :no:
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Perhaps it's because many Americans see them for what they are, which is simply tools that can be used for various purposes (including entertainment) and not some boogeyman that can kill without anyone behind it?

And the "unhealthy attachment" could be because some of us understand that value of property rights and know that gun confiscation is opening the door to further potential violations of said property rights.
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:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
How are guns entertainment? o0 (which is a serious question btw. I simply cannot shake the feeling that it so damn easy to make a deadly mistake with guns that I cannot see them as being fun.)

Anyhow, this point is where our cultures differ, I guess. When I hear someone talking about "property rights" and the "right to defend them", I always get this image of a rednecked american guy with a rifle in his hand and a grumpy expression on his face, shooting at everyone who dares to set foot on His Lawn.

Where as I see it, you do have a right to defend yourself. But if that means giving an AK or even a simple handgun to that crazy guy down the street... I don't feel safer. Au contraire. It would make me VERY jumpy if I knew that total stranger that looks at me funny carries a gun.
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
I only want to comment on the entertainment part. While I'm from the UK and have no problem with the fact our guns are tightly controlled, I know from the short time I was in the Territorial Army that target practice is really fun, I'm sure hunting is just as entertaining for those so inclined. In the same way not everybody likes to play games and watch movies, not everyone enjoys shooting. Guns are considered safe when operated properly but I know exactly how you feel about deadly mistakes. It's for the same reason I don't like driving, a mere error of judgement can cost someone their life, I'm not saying guns are as bad as cars, I only use the example because that's why I understand the feeling of helplessness and danger associated with it and yet people often enjoy driving.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
"Anyhow, this point is where our cultures differ, I guess. When I hear someone talking about "property rights" and the "right to defend them", I always get this image of a rednecked american guy with a rifle in his hand and a grumpy expression on his face, shooting at everyone who dares to set foot on His Lawn."

And perhaps that's your problem; you're making an assumption based on zero evidence.

"How are guns entertainment?"

Target shooting, gun training (I don't know about you, but I've been to a few classes and they're a lot of fun, especially when there's other people there), and you can tinker with them, changing them in all kinds of ways.

"How are guns entertainment? o0 (which is a serious question btw. I simply cannot shake the feeling that it so damn easy to make a deadly mistake with guns that I cannot see them as being fun.)"

A gun is a tool, like anything else; it can't do anything on its own and the only way its dangerous is if the user mishandles it...which is one reason why gun owners are the ones who stress respecting a gun and treating it always as if it's loaded the loudest.

"But if that means giving an AK or even a simple handgun to that crazy guy down the street... I don't feel safer. Au contraire. It would make me VERY jumpy if I knew that total stranger that looks at me funny carries a gun."

Crazy how? If you ask the right people, I'm crazy because my job involves going into burning buildings and pulling people out, then going back in to do the same thing over and over. And if you're so scared that a funny look (funny how?) and a gun make you jumpy, then the problem is you, not the other person.
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:iconchakatblackstar:
ChakatBlackstar Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Other then killing and entertainment, what else can guns be used for? Also, aren't there other forms of entertainment that are cheaper, safer, and more fun then shooting at targets? Like video games. A console or gaming computer are much cheaper then a rifle, and no one dies. Well...not without respawning a few seconds later.

And I can understand how ToshaDaydreamer up there feels about people with guns looking at you funny. As a member of the LGBT community, I'm always a bit nervous when I see some fundie or a redneck much less a redneck with a firearm on him because I'm used to hearing stories about how others have been shot and murdered for even being suspected of being gay, lesbian, bi, or trans. It makes a person a bit nervous when these bigots have access to such easy methods of murder.
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:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Weapons in USA has been part of their culture for a long period. I cannot give criticism to USA becuase I have no (real) idea about their culture. I often listen and read articles criticizing about their goverment and culture, but everything they write and say, isn't nessesarily the truth is it? I'm being careful representing a country I'm not familiar with. But in my culture and my view it's all wrong to have a gun in a normal family household.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
"my view it's all wrong to have a gun in a normal family household."

Why?
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:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Read my post? :P
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I did. And now I'm asking why you believe it's wrong to have a gun in a normal family household.
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:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
From my point of view. If you're from Norway there's no point having a gun in your household, unless your hunting for animals, but then you need to have a license and non voilent record. I can't tell if it's right or wrong for an american citizen simply because I'm not familiar with their culture at all. Now if you heard about the massacre in Norway (22th July 2011) we did strenghtned our anti-terrorism, but we didn't change our policy against weapons. A lot of massacre have happened in USA the past years. But from my point of view I can't see the point of increasing the weapons instead of decreasing it. But then again I'm not familiar with american culture.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Is there a point in having a super expensive, gas guzzling Hummer? Is there a point in having a three-story mansion? Is there a point in having more than one vehicle? Probably not...but does it pick your pocket or break your leg if someone who wants to have such things gets them?
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:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Really, I'm looking at this topic from several perspectives, not just one single line. My intention is not to be offensive.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
And you're not, but that's what people need to take into consideration when they say "What's the point of owning..." The point is that they have a right to own such things if they want them; that's how property rights work.
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(1 Reply)
:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I can't answer for him, but as I see it, the chances of a deadly accident with a gun are higher than me being mugged and needing a gun to defend myself (which would not work anyway, the bad guy has his gun ready to shoot way sooner than I could), so I would not feel any safer if I knew there was a gun around.

I would want to protect my children, and therefore would not have any guns in the house.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
If that's the way you feel, you have the right not to buy a gun or allow anyone living in your home to buy one, but by what right do you try and prevent other people from owning them if they want them? Their owning a gun does nothing to you.

And I was raised up around guns since I was six years old. A gun will not hurt you if you treat it with respect and aren't stupid with it.
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:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Now we digress in the pro-gun-vs-anti-gun arguments, and that was not what I wanted with this topic. There are other topics about that subject.

(but I do appreciate you answering my questions).

But why do you think that this point of view is so common in the USA and not common in other countries? Why the USA only? Why do you feel like you need a gun to protect yourself, while people in other countries don't share that sentiment?
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I've never been to another country, so I can't say, though I do know that other countries hold different beliefs that have an effect on their views and actions (hell, just look at Japan in WWII to see how much their beliefs held them). I will say that America stands out among other countries in that it was one of the first to base its government on respect for individual rights that existed independent of government and society. The question is best for a sociologist.
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:iconslolv:
Slolv Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Seems you have been raised with good parents then :) But what about parents who didn't treat their childrens the same way as yours? I'm working with child psychology ;)
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
First off, bear in mind that no law is going to prevent all cases. And the time for punishment is when a crime is actually committed, not before.

And if that's the case, the ones who should be punished are the parents in question. There's no moral or logical justification for treating all parents (or anyone for that matter), their actions be damned, as guilty until proven innocent based on the actions of a few.
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
The idea is that a society of armed individuals can resist an oppressive government. Well, that may have made sense when the second amendment was drafted, but, there's not alot a gun can do for you against cruise missile strikes.

There is also a racism element with gun nuts (I mean the really psychotic ones.) In past decades, many leaders in organizations like the NRA were members of the Ku Klux Klan, and the threat of being shot at was used to keep black people in line.

There's also people that think carrying a gun makes them have a bigger penis.
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
To be fair the protection that modern citizens have against their government isn't really their advanced weaponry, it's the measures said government would have to take to counter them.
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
That's true, and international pressures do play a role.
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:icontoshadaydreamer:
ToshaDaydreamer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Hehe, I know all the "logical" arguments for and against gun control, but I'm talking about the underlying emotions that often seem to override the logic. How "I have a right to defend my children" suddenly translates to "we need armed men at every primary school". Why the idolization of guns?
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
It's more about attempting to maintain order and control in the school system, which has been seen to be descending into Chaos.
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:iconvicsor-s3:
Vicsor-S3 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pretty much the same here. I don't understand this fear that society would collapse if we remove the general public's ability to own and operate an M-1 Tank (humorous exaggeration provided by WildwoodClaire).
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
History has demonstrated what happens when the wrong government comes in after gun control is enacted:

[link]
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is such an outrageously irrational, biased and unreputable site.

Try to bring something credible to the discussion.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I don't recall sending it to you, windbag.
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:iconvicsor-s3:
Vicsor-S3 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
'That is such an outrageously irrational, biased and unreputable site.

Try to bring something credible to the discussion.'

Any better when I reply with exactly the same?
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Foolish of me not to expect an irrational response.
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:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Funny coming from someone who gave no actual response.
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm not going to waste my time. You clearly have an unhealthy obsession and I cannot change your mind because you are beyond repair.

What I will say, however, is that sometimes one can shout so loud that nobody will listen. Try to show a little subtlety if you want people to take you seriously. It's clear to me that nobody here does, and that's probably true offline also -- you said yourself that it's something that you're 'used to'.
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(1 Reply)
:iconsonrouge:
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Actually, I'm used to people dismissing something that they don't like out of hand, so it doesn't bother me anymore. Usually means they're don't have anything to counter it with and are too much of a wimp to say so.
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're free to exercise your right to be mistaken.
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Try to remember the moment when you posted it on a public forum.
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