Gun Culture in the USA

Gun-related policies differ from state to state. Such coastal states as New York, New Jersey and California are the main supporters of the gun control issues, while Western and Southern states are not in favor of intensifying gun control policies, and the Midwest areas usually are a mixture of both opinions (Hollywood as History: The “New” Hollywood, 2007). There is a difference to the issue of the gun control in relation to the party political basis as well. Thus, the Democratic Party displays more pro-gun policy than the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party support gun rights completely (Spitzer, 1995).

It is obvious that there is no unique attitude towards establishment of the stricter gun-control policy among different parties and among government of different states. Gun-control policies still remain one of the most controversial issues of today’s US politics. This is mainly due to the fact that there is still no agreement whether gun possession leads to the higher levels of crime and homicide. It was argued that these phenomena do not have direct dependence on the number of guns in use.

Therefore, one more question may be raised, namely: “Can we trace the high level of gun-related crimes to the peculiarities of the US culture, which popularizes firearms? ” Guns are very popular in the contemporary U. S. culture. There are a lot of movies, TV shows, books and music, which draw attention of the public to guns. In fact, American people are overwhelmed by the scenes of gun violence (Report Urges FCC to Regulate TV Violence, 2007). In his research “America as a Gun Culture” Richard Hofstadter introduced the phrase “Gun Culture” to denote affection of the US people for the gun (Hofstadter, 1970).

The issue of the gun culture occupies an important place in the problem of gun-related issues. Thus, if the people become to feel at home with guns they stop realizing potential dangers these tools have. Kids are too familiar with the guns due to the numerous TV programs and movies. The problem with this is that people stop considering guns as means of self-protection, but see them as an essential part of their lives usually disregarding potential dangers associated with gun possession and use. So, the conclusion can be made that the gun culture is an important component of the gun debate.

Conclusion The findings of the paper give basis for making the following conclusions: 1. as the statistic data show there is a high level of gun possession in the USA, however, there is no direct connection between the level of gun possession and gun-related crimes; 2. Although many scholars maintain that there should be a direct dependence between the high level of gun possession and the high level of gun-related crimes, the other scholars managed to prove that in some cases we can even speak about the decrease of crime level with the increase of the number of guns possessed by civilians;

3. the statistic data show that there is no direct dependence between homicide and suicide rates and the gun policies of the state. Thus, many countries with the same gun-control policies have lower level of gun-related crimes. On the contrary, the countries with stricter gun-possession policies may have higher level of crimes, with the criminals making use of the other weapons rather than guns. Based on these facts, the conclusion can be made that there is no direct correspondence between the gun-control policies and the level of gun-related crimes;

4. the question of gun-related legislature is also a controversial issue. Gun-related policies differ between different political parties and different states; 5. the issue of the gun culture occupies an important place in the problem of gun-related issues. The main problem with it is that due to the “gun culture” of the USA people pay less attention to the possible dangers associated with the possession and the use of firearms.

References

Bill of Rights (2007). Online. Available from: <http:///www. archives. gov> 12 November 2007. The Center for Responsive Politics, Annual Lobbying on Ideology/Single-Issue database. Firearm-related deaths in the United States and 35 other high- and upper-middle income countries. (2005). International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 7. Cukier and Sidel (2006). The Global Gun Epidemic. Praeger Security International. Westport. "Gun Control", Just the Facts, 2005-12-30