Gun Culture in America

A Socio-political Riddle

  • Srinibas Barik Shailabala College, Cuttack
Keywords: Gun Culture


Excessive inclination of Americans for possession of weapons, predominantly firearms, is a veritable teaser to the members of civilized society anywhere in the world. There are many in the U.S. itself who have expressed dismay and shock over the consequent losses that the reckless use of lethal weapons have wrought among a sizeable section of their population. Most shocking of those has been the penetration of the gun culture in the minds of young school children, who in many cases, have become the victims as well as the accused in numerous dastardly acts of misuse of such weapons. The Sandy Hook school shooting was a powerful shocker which did not only move the president of the U.S. into tears, it marked a new low in the morality of whole of humanity.

When such shockers shatter the harmony and peace in society anywhere they pose more questions as to the future of human civilization than they answer on the status quo. Was it ordained for mankind that ascending the steps of gradual progress and development at some point of time they would use their inventions against each other both within and outside the geographical confines ? Was this the goal that the best of species among nature’s creation ever dreamt of ? Sanity and civility were the resultant offshoot of a long journey that took mankind along continuous quest for order in place of disorderliness, cooperation in place of conflict, law in place of chaos, peace and harmony instead of mutual hatred. But after a few thousand years of the progress of human civilization, a dangerous drift has been conspicuous which portrays a pathetic apocalypse that the whole of humanity seems destined to approach. Degeneration of societies and their members is ubiquitous and universal and its severity poses a big question mark on the very survival of human civilization itself.

The history and culture of society going against a possible turn-around in the prevailing gun culture in the U.S., it would be an uphill task to teach people to forgo arms. But the price (in terms of precious human lives) that has been paid (by Americans), it is high time for a serious engagement with the problem (of gun culture) which may benefit not only Americans but many others in the world.