Hello readers. It’s been a while. Between classes with massive workloads and lots hours at work, I haven’t made time to write what’s been on my mind. But today, I’m making that time.
Like many others, what’s on my mind today is gun control. As I was perusing newspapers in Spain for a current events assignment, the Parkland, Florida school shooting kept appearing in these international publications. The most interesting thing about US affairs in international newspapers is the perspective.
From outside the US, there isn’t such a partisan divide between gun control advocates and gun owners. Reading the articles from El Pais on the Parkland incident, this lack of bias was instantly apparent. After this, the question that keeps rolling around my head is “When did weapons and children’s death become a partisan issue in the US?”
I was listening to a podcast yesterday, 538 Politics I believe, and they mentioned the NRA as a uniquely American phenomenon. Many claim the NRA is what drives some of our political representatives to victim blame, or return to the same tired and often untrue argument of mental instability of the perpetrator. This op-ed by Adam Winkler discusses the previous positions of the NRA, including advocacy for gun control.
After an avid discussion (or argument) on Facebook recently, I realized that opinions held on this particular topic aren’t always educated. They often consist of, “I like guns and I know a lot about them and the Constitution guarantees my rights to them so please don’t try to control me.” But what also needs to be considered is this: not everyone understands weapons, and the constitutional provision that allows citizens to have weapons is quite vague and CLEARLY from a different time. Furthermore, to echo the survivors of Parkland,
“Nobody needs an AR-15 to defend themselves.”
So I’m forced to conclude that partisanship on the gun control debate is a result of uneducated or willfully ignorant perspectives from US citizens. Or it could just be the phenomenon of US narcissism.
You can keep your guns, but seriously, do you need a semi-automatic rifle?
Photo Credit: Paul Tong / Tribune Media Services