Freedom and fear: The foundations of the US’ deadly gun culture – World

The year was 1776. Shortly after the American colony declared independence from Britain, war escalated and the Founding Fathers were in deep controversy. Should Americans have the right to own firearms as individuals or as local militiamen?

Controversy escalates as a landmark Supreme Court ruling expands gun rights on Thursday, just weeks after the mass murder of 19 children at a Texas school, and outsiders are asking why Americans are so obsessed with the guns used in those massacres at such a horrific frequency. I wonder.

Experts say there is a growing belief in the traditions that underpin Britain’s freedom from Britain and, most recently, consumers need guns for personal safety.

In the last two decades, with more than two million guns on the US market, America has shifted from “Gun Culture 1.0,” where guns were used for sport and hunting, to “Gun Culture 2.0,” which many Americans use. Essential to protecting your home and family.

Read more: How America Differentiates the World by Fighting Gun Violence

According to former industry executive Ryan Busse, the shift was largely driven by a nearly $20 billion gun industry advertisement that leveraged fears of crime and racial upheaval.

Recent mass murders are “a by-product of the gun industry business model designed to profit from growing hatred, fear and intrigue”, Busse wrote May online magazine the bulwark.

But after the shootings of black people in a New York state supermarket in May and the shootings of children and teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas, an agreement emerged that US lawmakers should adopt new gun control measures.

At about the same time, the US Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a New York state law restricting who can own a firearm. This is a significant extension of gun rights.

guns and new nations

The men who designed the New America in the 1770s and 1780s had no questions about gun ownership.

They said that the European monarchy and its gun monopoly were the source of the oppression the American colonists were fighting.

James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” cites “the advantage of armed forces that Americans possess over citizens of almost every other nation.” But he and the other founders understood that the matter was complicated. The new state did not trust the early federal government and wanted its own laws and its own weapons.

They recognized the people they needed to hunt and protect themselves from wild animals and thieves. However, some feared that more personal firearms could increase border lawlessness.

Was a personal gun necessary to protect against tyranny? Couldn’t the local armed militia fulfill that role? Or will the militia become a source of local oppression? A compromise was reached in 1791 in the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to firearms, the most analyzed phrase in the US Constitution. Keeping the weapon and carrying it will not infringe.”

Gun Control in the 1960s

Over the next two centuries, guns became an integral part of American life and mythology.

Read more: What the ‘gun culture’ study tells us

As Wake Forest University professor David Yamane explained, Gun Culture 1.0 was about guns as an important tool for pioneers to hunt game and fight pests, genocide Native Americans and control slaves.

However, at the beginning of the 20th century, an increasingly urbanized United States was filled with guns and had a notable level of gun crime not seen in any other country.

From 1900 to 1964, the late historian Richard Hofstadter wrote that the country recorded more than 265,000 gun homicides, 330,000 suicides, and 139,000 gun accidents.

In response to a surge in organized crime violence, in 1934 the federal government banned machine guns and required gun registration and taxation.

Individual states have added their own controls, such as banning the possession of firearms in public or concealed public places.

The public was for that kind of control. According to opinion polling firm Gallup, in 1959, 60% of Americans supported a complete ban on personal pistols.

The assassinations of John F Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy, and Martin Luther King demanded strict regulation in 1968.

But gun manufacturers and the increasingly powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), citing the second amendment, blocked the new legislation from doing more than implementing easily bypassable restrictions on direct mail-order gun sales.

holy second fertilization

Over the next two decades, the NRA forged a joint cause with Republicans to assert that the Second Amendment is absolute to protect gun rights and that any regulation is an attack on American “freedom”.

To achieve this, according to Barnard College professor Matthew Lacombe, has to do with the NRA’s creating and advertising a distinct gun-centric ideology and social identity for gun owners.

Gun owners united around this ideology to form a strong voting power, especially in rural areas that Republicans were trying to take away from Democrats.

West Point Military Academy professor Jessica Dawson said the NRA had a common cause with the religious right, an organization that believes in the supremacy of Christianity in American culture and constitution.

Building on “the neo-Christian right’s belief in moral corruption, mistrust of government, and belief in evil,” Dawson argued that the NRA leadership was “religiously coded to elevate the Second Amendment to a level higher than the limits of secular government.” I started using the language.” .

self defense

However, shifting the focus to the second amendment to gun manufacturers, whose sales had stagnated due to the sharp decline in hunting and shooting sports until the 1990s, did not help.

According to Busse, this paved the way for Gun Culture 2.0 when the NRA and the gun industry started telling consumers they needed personal firearms to protect themselves.

Gun marketing shows that more and more people are being attacked by mobs and thieves, exaggerating the need for personal “tactical” gear.

The period parallels the rise of white nationalism with Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president.

“Fifteen years ago, under NRA orders,” Busse wrote, “the firearms industry reached a grim turning point as it began marketing increasingly aggressive and militaristic guns and tactical gear.”

Meanwhile, many states have responded to concerns about increasing crime by allowing people to carry guns in public without permission.

In fact, while violent crime has tended to decline over the past two decades, gun-related homicides have skyrocketed in recent years.

Read more: Why U.S. Gun Violence Soars in Warm Weather

Yamane of Wake Forest said it was a key turning point for Gun Culture 2.0 and helped sell pistols purchased by people of all races amid the exaggerated fear of mutually destructive violence.

Sales have surged since 2009, and since 2013, it has surpassed 10 million units a year, mainly selling AR-15 assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols.

Yamane wrote, “The majority of gun owners today, especially new gun owners, cite self-defense as their primary reason for owning a gun.”