This morning, I woke up and saw the NYT alerts on my phone. “27 Deaths in Connecticut Elementary School Includes 20 Children.” I was immediately horrified and had a heavy heart, but I was in a hurry to get to a tutoring session and didn’t get a chance to read up on the story.
I arrived at the girl’s house thinking we’d read some fun articles on Christmas. Instead, CNN was playing on TV. The girl’s mom asked me if I had heard the news, and asked me to watch CNN with the girl and explain what is happening. Piers Morgan was on, and there I was, learning details of this tragic story in absolute horror with my student. Meanwhile, this 11-year-old girl is asking me all sorts of questions that I was not at all prepared to answer.
“Why do Americans have guns?” the girl asked. I had to tell her the origin of the Second Amendment, and the whole story on fighting the British in the Revolutionary War. I couldn’t believe I was uttering those words to justify why Americans are allowed to own guns circa 2012 – the girl gave me a total “are you serious?” look.
We watched CNN for 90 minutes, and I explained to her what was going on and discussed various key vocabulary terms relating to the story – gunman, conscious, empathy, victim, etc. As if “Why Americans have guns?” wasn’t bad enough. Piers Morgan had some guest on the show that was STILL arguing for the right to bear arms and claimed that shootings have all happened in areas where guns are banned. Incredibly flawed logic. Girl asked, “What are they arguing about?” Oh dear. More than anything, it was extremely embarrassing for me to have to explain that whole ordeal to an 11-year-old Chinese girl.
In a sharp contrast, a deranged person in China also attempted mass killing yesterday. But, because he only had a knife and not a gun, no one was killed. To anyone other than the gun-loving Americans, the notion of a private citizen owning guns legally is absolutely crazy. As shootings happen with increased frequency in the US, the rest of the world is looking at Americans wondering how gun control is still an issue to be debate over
For the pro-gun folks, perhaps think about whether you’d like some deranged person pointing a gun at you. If the answer is no, then please trade this “freedom” for other innocent individuals’ lives. As with every other shooting that has happened, I sincerely hope this is THE lesson that will wake the American people to demand for change, and lead politicians to do the right thing, and allow lobbyists to have a conscious and will finally budge an inch.
1 thought on ““Why do Americans have guns?””
Thing is, millions of Americans have guns not for self defense, but as a recreational activity or a hobby (like collectors of other historical stuff). For them, it’s a normal activity like playing the piano or fishing; and so of course they wouldn’t want that taken away. It’s like taking away a part of themselves, like taking away a piano player’s instrument. I’d argue that those guns-for-self-defense advocates are a very small but vocal minority, and not a real reflection of why gun control is progressing so slowly in America.
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