A gun culture
The excerpt understudy is an extract from the controversial book, published in 2000 and written by the American professor of colonial and legal history, Michael Bellesiles. The book was awarded the prestigious Bancroft Prize of Columbia University.. The theme of the extract is interesting since over the last several decades, the debate has been characterized by a politicalstalemate opposing advocates for an individual's right to own firearms relying on the Constitution and those focusing on the duty of government to prevent crime and maintain order. The author aims at convincing the reader of the danger of the American Constitution second amendment.
The text can be divided into 3 parts.
✓ L 1 to 25. In this part, Bellesiles tells the story of two young boys whowere responsible of a murderous ambush in Arkansas, US, illustrating the easy accessibility of firearms as well as the lack of parental guidance and role modelling.
✓ L 26 to 43. From the example of the Golden brothers, the author starts up the debate concerning “ the gun culture” in the US, he wonders how did gun violence managed to reach such an important place in the American society, thenhe illustrates the gun culture presenting several figures and drawing parallels with other countries.
✓ L 44 to the end of the extract. In this part, after laying stress on the social aspects of the gun culture, notably showing its influence on young Americans entertainment, Bellesiles tries to focus on the causes of the phenomenon and finger-points the government inexistent control of armcarrying.
➢ A school shooting is an incident in which gun violence occurs at an educational institution. School shooting is a topic of intense interest in the United States. As stated in the text, American schools started taking special measures such as metal detectors to prevent their happening.
➢ According to polls, there is no specific profile thatwould fit to every school shooter. Some lived with both parents in "an ideal, All-American family." Some were children of divorce, or lived in foster homes. But in most of the cases, the common found point was that killers do not 'snap'. They plan. They acquire weapons. Besides, The example given by Bellesiles shows that Andrew and Mitchell Golden succeeded into providing themselves 3 rifles and 7pistols.
➢ School shootings are more frequent in the US than in any other rich country, and since 1966 over a 100 of school shooting have been listed. One of the bloodiest was in 1999 in Columbine high school, Colorado where 15 persons were killed by two teenagers. Of course mental and psychological history are to take in consideration, however and above all such incidents also lead tonationwide discussion on gun laws, since we only observe high rates of school violence in countries were legislation on guns are tolerant ( Finland, Canada for example).
WHO IS TO BLAME?
Families: Today, more and more Americans are placing the responsibility in parents.
➢ Offering guns as gifts, keeping guns loaded and sometimes unlocked at hand’s reach is thoughtless.
➢Parents should be more involved into their children’s life and put an end to the lack of parenting and role modelling. However it is hard because children spend most of their time at school, in the street, or in front of the screen. It is difficult for parents to see the alarms of their children’s marginality.
✓ In the US, the “gun culture” refers to the culture shared bypeople in the gun politics debate, generally those who advocate preserving gun rights and who are against more gun control.
✓ Americans’ affection for guns has always been dominant in its culture. The image of the gun spread by medias is one of a power and masculinity symbol. In the 19th century, movies about the westward expansion, showed cow boys moving to the Wild West and self defending...
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