[1]Gun that organizations like the NRA should not have

1Gun Violence Archive.  “Mass Shootings.” http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting., Accessed December 07, 2017.

2 “Two of the deadliest mass
shootings in U.S. history come just 35 days apart.” Cbsnews, November 7,
2017. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/deadliest-mass-shootings-us-las-vegas-texas-church/. Accessed December 7, 2017.

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3Ibid

4 Zhou Youyou. “Three percent
of the population own half of the civilian guns in the US.” Quartz.
October 06, 2017.
https://qz.com/1095899/gun-ownership-in-america-in-three-charts/. (Accessed December 08, 2017.)

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            Between the three authors, Aninsi
and Stroebe would most likely disagree the most. Stroebe argues that there
needs to be a culture change in America’s attitude towards guns (as implied by
the title of his paper) because he thinks that for this reason that we cannot
have a conversation on how to fix this problem with increased gun control or
much less even get any gun legislation done in the United States. He also
believes that organizations like the NRA should not have as much influence as
they do in American politics. Aninsi says that our culture should stay the way
it is for the second amendment is what guarantees us individual and collective
freedom and that it was put in place for a reason. This reason is protection
from anarchy and tyranny. He believes that if we stray away from the second
amendment and the culture that surrounds it then this would strip us from the
very foundations of our individual and collective freedoms. 

            Two pieces of literature I read for
my culture hypothesis are pro-gun and they both argue or at least imply that
gun culture is not directly linked on gun violence in the United States. Although
they seem to be on the same side, while Aninsi tries to look at the root of
what creates our gun culture and why America should not mess with it in the
first place, Halbrook debunks the culture argument entirely with Switzerland as
an example. Halbrook brings up every argument brought up in the United States,
explains how those same arguments apply to Switzerland, and explains why it is
wrong. For example, main points made by anti-gun lobbyists is that 11if
there are more guns then there are more homicides, banning them will save
lives, and that if everyone is armed then that would be counterintuitive and
more people would end up getting shot that way. Halbrook’s counterargument to
those kinds of arguments would be that Switzerland’s largest city of Zurich
celebrates guns by holding two large gun themed holidays and despite this it is
12held
as the best city in the world as well as one of the safest. One counterargument
he would make specifically addressing the “we do not need more of our citizens
to be armed” is that a large number of citizens in Switzerland are armed and
once again it still is one of the safest cities in the world. 13Switzerland
is ranked third in civilian gun ownership with about 3.4 million firearms for
their population of about 8 million.

Connections, Contrasts, and Synthesis

            Another article I read was “Effect
of Gun Culture and Firearm Laws on Gun Violence and Mass Shootings in the
United States: A Multi-Level Quantitative Analysis” by Frederic Lemieux.
Lemieux directly does a study on a possible correlation between gun culture and
mass shootings, homicides, and gun violence along with other factors that may
cause these events as well. When talking about culture, he starts with the
stand your ground law and how it is “rooted in American culture have easy
access to firearms and the enactment of laws that authorize citizens to use a
gun in public spaces to defend themselves.”10  In the actual study itself, he organizes it into
a three-level, cross-sectional approach. The macro level is based on an international
comparison between 25 developed countries. It is also based on military expenditure
because war culture and militarization of several sectors of the society that ascribe
value to the use of military tools and tactics to resolve social problems are linked
based on numerous studies.

            The next article I read on gun
culture’s effect on gun violence was called 8″Antagonisms
and the Discursive Sedimentation of American Gun Culture: A New Framework” by
Alexei Anisin. Anisin takes a more historical look at our gun culture and where
it comes from. He believes that our gun culture stems from the second amendment
to the constitution that gives man right to bear arms to protect us from
tyranny as well as anarchy. Anisin also says that the right to bear arms is an
individual freedom and a collective freedom and says that “if individuals do
not have the ability to obtain or access firearms, they will no longer be
living in a country that provides them with”9
these values. Aninsi also did acknowledge the costs of the right for citizens
to bear arms which is gun violence and how the second amendment does not seem
to take that into account.  

            The first two pieces of literature I
read on this were 6″Citizens in Arms: The
Swiss Experience” by Stephen P. Halbrook and 7″Firearm
Availability and Violent Death: The Need for a Culture Change in Attitudes
toward Guns” by Wolfgang Stroebe. These both take two different sides and
have two different approaches. Halbrook just talks about how gun culture is not
the problem and talks about how little gun violence occurs in Switzerland
despite them also having a big gun culture arguably more popular than that of
the United States. Stroebe on the other hand does not exactly address any kind
of causal relation between gun culture and gun violence but instead talks about
why whether or not there is any kind of relation between the two, real gun
control legislation can never be passed anyways due to the NRA’s heavy
influence in American politics today.

            I would like to test my culture
hypothesis first which was that America’s gun culture is the reason why there
is so much gun violence. I came up with this hypothesis based firstly on how
much influence the NRA seems to have in elections (both presidential and
local). I also based this on the abundance of guns in America. According to 4Quartz,
The US owns “about half the world’s guns while making up only 5% of the world
population.” As well as somewhere between 270 to 310 million guns nationwide
which is almost one gun per person.5        

Culture

1With 328 mass shootings happening in the U.S only as
of 2017, there has unsurprisingly been major concern over how to resolve this
problem of mass gun violence or just gun violence in general. The issue is that
America is yet to come to an agreement on how to fix this problem. This is
nothing too new either, this is something that we see in the news quite often
especially with the most two most recent and most deadly Las Vegas shooting
that happened in October and the shooting that occurred at a church in
Sutherland Springs, Texas only a month ago.2  In an attempt to possibly figure out some
type of conclusion as to why these events occur so often in the United States,
in this paper I proposed the two hypotheses that mass gun violence or just gun
violence in general occur because of mental illness, and because of our large
gun culture. With how often these events keep occurring along with the
occurrence of the deadliest mass shooting (Las Vegas) in The United States3
happening a few weeks before our first research assignment I felt the need to
somehow get to the bottom of it with those two hypotheses.