Guns! Guns! Guns!

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Jun 14, 2016 01:43
I’m so sorry to hear the news that a gunman killed 49 people in Orlando. Chinese official media reported it sensationally, as it does usual, trying to hint that the US is a perilous country to live in. Anti-American netizens deride, “Isn’t that a nation that advocates freedom? People get slaughtered! ” The bane seems to be civilian rights to bear arms.

Truly, in the eyes of Chinese people, the US is an unsafe country. A Chinese guidebook to NYC told me to “stay away from Brooklyn at night!”, because there is gang violence, robbery, rape, rampant drug use, or whatever to make that district hazardous. Last year in LA, when I decided to take a walk outside after dinner, my uncle said to me, “Although it’s a very safe neighborhood, I hope you come back early.” When I visited a market in Omaha, I was surprised to find a gun section.

I felt a bit uncomfortable while traveling in the US. There are many problems in China, but it is way safer than in the US, and we don’t have to constantly worry about security issues.

However, those Chinese netizens don’t seem to know that there is such a thing as the 2nd Amendment. The right to own guns is one of those fundamental values that Americans don’t want to screw with. To change it would require a majority vote in both the House and Senate. If it was to be amended, other values would be open to modification by extension, too. They believe that the Bill of Rights the founding fathers drafted hundreds of years ago serves as the basic social fabric that shaped the most powerful country in history.

I appreciate American culture very much. But I doubt sometimes that, when there is little sign of gun control, with the growing ethnic and religious diversity in the US, when violent conflicts occur, how could it be possible for the society to prevent possible gun rampages? We have an old Chinese saying that “People know manners when the warehouses are loaded.” It’s apparent that the US is an affluent nation, and most of citizens obey laws. What if an economic recession hits the country again in the future and there is a breakdown in law and order, which allows vandalism or mass killing to sprout and eventually go into full swing across the nation? Someone dosen’t have to use guns to decimate people, but guns make it a lot easier.