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What is the fascination with Guns in America ?

edited April 2016 in Gun Control Debates Posts: 11
Having studied the facts about guns from both sides for many years and debated the same (mostly with pro-gun folk) I am still at a loss as to the reason we are so fascinated with guns in America. There is of course a long history of gun use from when the constitution was written, at which time there was only 5 million people in America and guns were needed for protection, for a standing army, and even to potentially protect people from a tyrannical government. However, that was over two hundred years ago and America now has a large enough army to protect itself, a national guard to protect from a tyrannical government and 300 million people who need to coexist peacefully. There is zero evidence that guns make us safer personally, but lots of evidence to show guns make us less safe and make our kids less safe.  No other country has such a fascination with guns and no other developed country has such high gun deaths, or homicide rate. The only real answer I have heard to support owning a gun is "I just really like them". What other reason is there?

Comments

  • I think historically people have an interest in guns with sports such as hunting. Western societies directed towards southern American culture are the most fascinated with guns. Guns may provide self defense but have the capability to harm greatly. 
  • Posts: 5
    Probably MasterFarquan is right, we have a history that promotes gun use and also we have it in our culture, guns are part of our culture as those leafs are part of the Canadian culture. The average American feels protected if he or she has a gun with him, that's how it's been from generations ago.
  • I agree with you, but the American public seems to me to be mislead on the facts. Most of all, there are many many more bad uses of guns than there are successful defense uses. I read a few studies from hospitals where they observed that even where guns were used for defense, they resulted in more injury and death, than any perceived success. It seems to me the whole "guns offering us protection" is a myth and the CDC have been prevented from studying and reporting on the facts to the public because the NRA managed to get the (corrupt) congress to pull the funding on any studying/observing - likely because they are scared that people may actually start to see that factually guns are very dangerous.
  • Posts: 2
    "I just really like them" probably is the only real reason, unfortunately.  People like guns.  They think they're cool.  They see them on TV.  They know they're powerful.  Guns make them feel powerful.  It's the same type of coolness some people feel riding Harley motorcycles.  Or the same type of coolness people used to feel about smoking cigarettes back in the day. 

    It's all about how they make people feel.  Do they make them feel safer?  Not me.  Living in a house with guns makes me feel less safe.  For some people though, maybe it makes them feel safe.  More than that though, I think they just enjoy it.  It's the reason why they practice shooting so often.  It's fun for them.  They just really like them. 
    Letsfixthis
  • Seems you are the one mislead on the facts here. To whit:

    "There is zero evidence that guns make us safer personally, but lots of evidence to show guns make us less safe and make our kids less safe."

    There is quite a bit of evidence that firearms are effective self-defense tools and the CDC has noted that using a firearm in self-defense generally outcomes better for the victim than other self-defensive strategies.

    "No other country has such a fascination with guns and no other developed country has such high gun deaths, or homicide rate. "

    Brazil, Russia, Honduras, and many, many others easily eclipse the US on both metrics as well as violent crimes as a whole.

    'Most of all, there are many many more bad uses of guns than there are successful defense uses."

    That is an outright fabrication. Even the lowest, most inaccurate studies conducted by the US DoJ on the topic of defensive gun use found that DGU's occurred at least as frequently as criminal use.  Most studies found DGU's happened at a much higher rate.

    "I read a few studies from hospitals where they observed that even where guns were used for defense, they resulted in more injury and death, than any perceived success."

    I'd love to see those studies as none are even mentioned in the CDC's studies.  I believe that is another fabrication on your part.

    "It seems to me the whole "guns offering us protection" is a myth and the CDC have been prevented from studying and reporting on the facts to the public because the NRA managed to get the (corrupt) congress to pull the funding on any studying/observing"

    This statement itself is a myth commonly promoted by gun-control advocacy groups that prefer to ignore the incredibly poor and biased studies conducted by the CDC and DoJ during the 1990's. The CDC was in no-way prevented from conducting actual research, it was prevented from conducting research to push a political agenda which it was very guilty of doing.  The CDC meta-analysis from 2004 proves that they were not prevented by anything the NRA did.  

    "likely because they are scared that people may actually start to see that factually guns are very dangerous."

    Doubtful since firearms sales in the US are setting regular records these last several years and every new firearm includes numerous documents on safe handling of firearms and the dangers involved in violating fundamental safe handling procedures.





  • Posts: 75
    People have a proclivity to own guns due to a pervasive sense of powerlessness. There is this subconscious need in individuals to have a sense of control and this pervades all facets of life. When one is unarmed, there is this sense of vulnerability. Even with the best police force, insecurity is guaranteed to rear its ugly head and strikes like a nightmare when least expected. The problem is that anyone with a gun can turn into an agent of death at any moment through commission or omission. Guns also have a kind of lethal aesthetic value related to the macho feelings aroused by military parades but unfortunately this has its utility in their ability to kill.
    Letsfixthis
  • Posts: 6
    There's a difference between owning a hunting gun or other kind of hunting weapon, from owning guns intended for combat. Hunting animals if a sport for some, and for some others it's protection against predators like bears and wolves when they're out in the wild.

    Saying that a person likes a gun is also different than actually having a functional combat intended gun in one's living room. I like looking at these things at museums but I don't find much purpose in using those outside a shooting range.

    There's more ways to defend oneself than having guns lying around. If anything your attacker might even grab hold of them and use them against you.
  • There is also an American identity that includes guns.  The crazy part is that it is manufactured.  Several people have already mentioned the fact that there were fewer people and fewer guns when when the Constitution was written.  And, truly, not everyone had a gun. Back then they were very expensive and required a gunsmith (which were few and far between 'in the beginning') to fix.

    The pervasiveness of guns only came after the Industrial Revolution, which allowed many, many guns to be produced. Unfortunately for Winchester et al. they did not have a domestic market that could support production so they sold them abroad.

    In the early 20th Century, there was migration to the cities (also a result of the Industrial Revolution) and guns were even less in demand, the domestic market shrinking even further.  This is when Winchester and Colt, etc. began a marketing strategy to emotionally connect Americans to the gun.  Then, add Hollywood with the likes of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.  And there you have it, a manufactured American identity by way of marketing and Hollywood.  So very American, eh?
  • Posts: 24
    I think that @Mossy really does sum it up, and is also correct in stating that it is unfortunate.  I think that it is also unfortunate that I am just another fool who also happens to think so.  I do not actually own a firearm, but I have nothing against it and plan on having one in my lifetime.  It is a dangerous thing to consider cool, and hopefully it is coupled with the sense of that danger than they can have.  Like they say...only in America.
  • Posts: 9
    here is the reality of all this gun control nonsense .. this is the truth .. this is what Americans think and want ..... also pay close attention to the adfly link videos in the description .. The world is not blind ...
  • This question can vary, I suppose. If you are a normal american, we have guns to protect. We need to protect ourself, our families, our homes, etc... Then we have some people who are obbsessed because of what they can do with a gun. It puts fear in some. 
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