The Question of Gun Violence

Category: Society
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The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one (Mcavoy). America is a country overflowing with individuals holding a great sense of nationalism and pride. Many of these individuals remark that America is the greatest country in the world. This statement is direct, and it takes a stand that no other country is as great as America. Although the United States has many aspects that are great, gun violence is a rising issue holding back the country. The right to bear arms is what fuels this violence, but there are many factors which contribute to the problem. Films have provided an enormous amount of exposure to gun violence which only furthers the issue. Gun violence is a product of the constitutional right given, and this issue will continue to kill thousands of people if not dealt with.

The United States experience gun violence to an unprecedented degree. In the last couple years, this violence has elevated significantly and it is our friends, family, and neighbors who are impacted. The National Vital Statistics Reports remarks, in 2015, 36,252 persons died from injury by firearms in the United States (CDC). This statistic demonstrates the alarming degree to which our country is affected by guns. This conclusion adds weight to the argument in indicating significance. These numbers represent human lives, and one of these numbers could have been you. Furthermore, it is important to recognize the number of guns distributed throughout the United States. The Small Arms Survey argues, for 2017, the number of civilian-owned firearms in the US was 120.5 guns per 100 residents (Small Arms Survey). This makes a disturbing assertion that there are more guns than citizens. These findings challenge the common assumption that guns are not a normal household item like a microwave. This research sheds new light on guns as a widely common possession. Ultimately what is at stake here is human lives, and if guns are providing protection, then why is it that so many people are being killed? While it is true that guns are responsible for numerous deaths each year, it does not necessarily follow that they are not protecting people. In addition, gun violence has to do with exposure, particularly in film.

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Guns have become a central topic in the media, not only in the news but also in films. American film is a reflection of our popular culture. With the mass exposure to gun violence in movies, it seems as though the population has become desensitized to the seriousness of the issue. In a scientific study on the trends of gun violence in movies, the connection between youth and violence were examined. In conclusion to the study, Brad Bushman concedes, the mere presence of guns in these films may increase the aggressive behavior of youth (Bushman et al.). This is notable to the topic of gun violence, as it indicates the media has an alarming influence. In making this comment, Bush argues that movies are partially responsible for the growing violence in youth. If this study is correct, as I think they are, then we need to reassess the popular assumption that violence in movies does not have much influence on violence in real life. To emphasize this point, it is important to note this violence in relation to the human psyche. LZ Granderson concludes, background checks and assault rifle bans will not free us from our most debilitating shackle, and that is our numbness, if not addiction, to violence, particularly in film (Granderson). Granderson is arguing that it is more than just guns, but particularly an addiction to violence seen in films. Granderson’s theory of an addiction to violence is extremely useful because it sheds light on why violence is such a huge part of movies. The discussion of gun violence in movies is, in fact, addressing the larger matter of reducing gun violence. Though I concede that gun violence is a huge problem which needs to be dealt with, I still insist that there are positive aspects to guns.

In contrast, guns have had a benefit on society. Part of the issue of gun violence has to do with safety. In society, people feel an overwhelming need to protect themselves. Elizabeth Waugaman emphasizes, next to America’s tottering belief that it is the most powerful nation on earth, its citizens have lived for almost one hundred and fifty years with the paradoxical knowledge that the president can be shot dead at any moment. This fear reverberates throughout the society: If the president is not safe, no one is safe (Waugaman). On April 14th, 1865 Abraham Lincoln became the first president to be assassinated. This is relevant because not only was this incident done with a gun but it also made an alarming change in the preconception that the President is the safest in the country. When this changed, so did every citizens idea of safety. Conventional wisdom has it that if the president is not safe from guns, then how can anyone else be safe. Citizens feel they deserve the right to protect themselves, and the right to bear arms provides just that. At the same time that I believe we should eliminate guns, I also believe that this will not totally eliminate gun violence.

Gun violence is a catastrophic issue which has plagued our society. However, this problem has not emerged suddenly but gradually, as a result of the second amendment. The degree to which the United States has specifically experienced gun violence is concerning, and it is impertinent it is dealt with. Gun violence affects every citizen and threatens the future of the country. Furthermore, newly found research suggests the problem is much larger than conceived. At first glance, the controversy of gun violence and gun control seems like a surface issue. But on closer inspection, it is found this is an issue deeply embedded within society, including popular culture. Additionally, it is of importance to consider the opposing argument of the benefits of guns in society. Overall, these findings have important consequences for the broader domain of violence.

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The Question Of Gun Violence. (2020, Feb 08). Retrieved from