Opinion: Gun culture in the United States


Photo by Karolina Grabowska

The Prairie News is a student-led free press organization. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer and not those of WTAMU.

Gun culture in the U.S. is best defined by the second amendment, which allows “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” In the U.S., three in 10 adults say they own a gun. Americans exercise their gun rights by purchasing and carrying arms to protect themselves and their families. If an American wants to own a gun, they can. If they do not want to, they also have the freedom to choose.

There are many organizations within the U.S. that lobby for gun rights. Gun Owners of America is one of many, and each one lobbies to protect the second amendment rights of gun owners. As much as people lobby for their gun rights, there are also people lobbying for the enactment of policies that restrict the guns Americans can purchase.

Protectors of the second amendment also lobby for their rights, and they have more backing than gun control activists, according to the fundraising statistics. The issue is polarizing, but the second amendment weighs the balance more heavily on the side of protecting the second amendment.

According to the U.S. Department for Justice, homicide by handguns are common. Guns can protect, and they can kill. Those citizens who choose not to carry guns may also choose to lobby to restrict access to certain weapons. Lobbying groups include Sandy Hook Promise amongst others. The groups seek to have an outcome of gun control.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, S .2938, is an act enacted by President Biden which is intended to add extra barriers to obtaining a gun, such as expanding background check requirements and broadening existing restrictions. Within the gun culture of the U.S, lobbying has a clear effect.

Lobbying extends beyond gun control, and also includes protecting gun access. Groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) are self-described as a “premier on firearms education” and seeks to defend the second amendment through political lobbying. Such as with gun control lobbying, includes donations to different political groups to protect their interests.

Gun culture in the U.S. focuses on gun rights and gun control. These interests are based on people’s individual backgrounds, and the freedom of the U.S. allows different groups to fight for their rights. The second amendment is the beginning of gun culture, but it has developed to include many other policies and attitudes towards the amendment and how people choose or not choose to use weapons.

The second amendment advocates freedom, and although there has been a history of violence, the origin of the second amendment was for people to protect themselves. Of course, over time, this protection extended to other activities but ultimately, gun culture relies on the decisions citizens make, whether good or bad.
Gun culture in the U.S. is an ongoing discussion, we must await the policies that the federal government and state governments make to either protect the rights of citizens or to extend policies that control gun usage. Gun culture is one that divides people, but it can also unite people.