Georgia Rosenberg ’19, Staff Writer
“Go, machine gun, shoot! Now! Now!” These are the words that effortlessly pour out of the mouths of middle school boys. Boys this age with whom I’ve interacted use gun apps on their phones, which allow them to switch between the noises of weapons, sometimes wanting to use a machine gun, other times wanting to use the noise of a handgun or an AK-47. To American boys this age, gun talk and the noises of mass weapons scaring innocent people is hilarious and fun. But to me, this is an indication of the terrible gun epidemic in our country. Furthermore, the fact that an app of a virtual closet of every weapon one could possibly imagine exists at their fingertips is demonstrative of the American glorification of guns. Young boys of America are so terribly in awe of the world of weaponry.
This example proves a larger point. The frequency of gun violence in America has led to a desensitization of the topic. According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2016 alone, there have been a total of 49,856 incidents of gun violence. These incidents have led to 12,868 deaths and 26,614 injuries. 594 children ages 0-11 have been killed this year due to gun violence. All of these statistics come from only 11 months of the year 2016. It is evident that gun violence is a significant issue in our country. Yet, so many are blind to this, and many passionately defend the Second Amendment.
The abundance of gun related deaths in the United States has made the issue more and more ubiquitous. However, this is an issue that must be tackled, and the root of this problem not only comes from the easy purchasing of guns and mass weapons in the U.S., but also from the glorification of guns in American culture. Our children are exposed to weaponry and the world of guns starting at such a young age. From the first moment they pick up an Xbox controller to play Call of Duty, they are hooked, believing that guns are not mass weapons that injure and kill so many in our country, but rather that they are entertaining toys to play and joke around with.
The people of the United States must begin to recognize that the exaltation of guns in our country is an issue deeply rooted in our culture. As for the issue of gun violence as a whole, common sense gun control is the only answer to how we can keep mass weapons out of the hands of those who intend to cause harm to our communities.
There is a reason why the U.S. has had more public mass shootings than any other country in the world. It is not solely because of our lack of rational gun laws, but also because of the exaltation of gun possession in our country. If young boys in my area marvel at the world of weaponry, I can only imagine how many children across the country are doing the same.
Illustrated by Mary Zech ’17, Staff Writer