Originally Posted by mamapigeon
I personally like that people have the freedom to own weapons here. Do I want an assault rifle? No, but I want the right to own one.
If you honestly want to know why people are buying assault rifles, why don't you contact some gun clubs and ask people? I don't think you're going to get the answer you're looking for on mothering, where I'm pretty sure most of the members do not own assault rifles.
This has turned out to be an interesting and meaningful discussion. Thank you so so so much all for this continuing effort to help me understand. Although I am citizen now, I still feel very much like a foreigner, you know, English is my second language and I do have a thick accent and I don't know so many cultural landmarks that are second nature to most americans.
As mamapigeion suggests above, I googled "gun club". Apparently there is some movie or a video game with that name, so it was not so easy to actually find the name of a real gun club. Surprisingly, there is a shooting range for rifles near Union Square in Manhattan- "West Side Rifle and Pistol Range". I was just at Union Square to see the holiday market two days ago with my daughter. Never would I have supposed that there is a shooting range so close by. To me Union Square is the symbol of diversity, fashion, street musicians, open air Yoga in the summer, children playing, and just the awesome rebellious cool culture of downtown NYC... It's a hub for peaceful fashionistas, gay and transgender kids showing off drag queens styles, old men playing chess on the square... I love Union Square, I love going there and despite how crowded it is, I take any chance I can to stroll around there.
But anyway, people on Yelp wrote reviews about it, so I read them. A lot of them say they just love guns, they don't know why, but they do. Men and women. One complains about the restrictive NYC gun laws. So I am going further with this because I am starting to consider a documentary project. I have done a few short docs before, am a visual artist by training and have worked for film projects, so I feel I could potentially do this if I organize it correctly. I have never really thought about this subject matter before and I know next to nothing about guns and gun laws, however, I feel this would be the right way to focus the energy and interest I have toward this subject in the wake of the Dec 14 Newtown Shooting.
Of course, it is extremely difficult to organize a doc research stage because of the many directions this can take, however, I feel it is about giving everyone a voice. The point of view must not be judgemental, like, oh you gun owners, you are the bad guys, no no. The POV must be able to disclose in a personal way what these people really feel/think. So it would take gun owners who want to participate and who want to relay their view truthfully...
Originally Posted by meemee
LONG over? i dont think so. whoever said that.
the answer you are looking for is not easy to find. its a historical answer - its a kind of conditioning that our history here has brought into the minds of the people and which continue to exist.
i mean do we buy into everything we are told? do you believe racism has ended?
this is the country of the macho man who had to have his gun to protect himself from the "Indians" and hunt and put food on the table.
to me why own such guns. why do we drink soda? why should soda even be manufactured. its advertising - the way of life that's keeping the gun alive.
the man today is still the macho man. he still has to put food on the table. and he needs to feel macho. you know like on new years eve you go shoot some rounds at midnight.
now automatic weapons have been banned a while. but semi automatic? was for a short while. 10 years and so was large ammunition. and during those years statistics show it didnt really have that great an effect on homicide.
but i agree with pp. gun is just one aspect of it. just talking about guns is not going to solve anything.
the point to me of importance is not just how to stop the murder of kids, but also how to stop kids like Adam L. developing. we dont know all the details so i cant really point a finger to his mom or family. but i can definitely point a finger to all of us who failed Adam. all teh bullying and meaness that happens in school. our whole philosophy of trying to fit the round peg into a square is at the bottom of this.
however ... to be real... what's the big deal here. so 20 kids die and the whole nation is in uproar. we are fed by the media who pushes our buttons to get an emotional response. i mean we ARE adam Lanza's in many places around the world arent we? In Pakistan our drones have killed almost 200 children. isnt our government Adam Lanza. arent u and i adam lanzas to the Pakistani family? or is it because after all they are not americans who cares. we only care for our own. not others. so how could i point a finger at adam lanza and say hey you cant kill, when I do that all the time in other countries. the only difference. no mass hysteria develops around the drone attacks. until they decide they've had enough and cause another 9/11. and then suddenly they are the terrorists and we are the poor suffering nation.
so arent we a little hypocritical asking for our children to be safe at the cost of other children?
the answer is not that simple. esp. when the media with its reporting is deciding how you should think and react.
so therefore i ask you (universal) - do you really not see the why?
thank you for your passionate answer. I kind of know what you are talking about because children dying from shooting is a global problem, and yes, it does not occur only here at all. I really feel for what you are feeling because before I "understood" the USA, I was extremely critical of its foreign policies, of its approach toward many countries that is so demanding and domineering. Yes, it is beyond sad. Yes, children are dying right now because of bombing, gunning and shooting and all that war brings.
So in a way, yes, your view helps explain why and I do see why, the culture of warring has permeated us, therefore it is more than natural that this stuff is happening, that alienated young men who are acutely intelligent but lack social skills spend their life holed up with aggressive video games and armed to the teeth parents.
You bring up so many important points.... I can't address them all right now. Yes, human life in many countries isn't as valued and protected as here, mainly because of politics, so when something like this happens here, we get this response. I feel that the Media tries to feed us emotional cues, however, one cannot help but have a core-shaking emotional response to what just happened. We are not having it because of the media, but because we are mothers.
Originally Posted by rubidoux
I have serious misgivings about the police and the State in general. I used to be a criminal defense attorney because I thought the system was insanely corrupt. But I still mostly agree with this. As scary as I find the police to be, I would not trade them in for a bunch of armed militia types.
Also a super interesting point. Never thought that the people would want to form armed militias and have the right to. I'd think that sounds highly illegal, but if that is why citizens are arming themselves, then i guess it is not.
regarding the Police.... There is Police everywhere in NYC... as you can imagine. There are many controversial views about them here, one only needs to read the paper. The system probably is corrupt.
But, I would never never want random people in NYC owning guns. That would be soooo scary. There are just too many people here, this is truly an anthill.
To be honest with you, what just happened last Friday has generated some anxiety for me which I did not have before.
Traveling on the bus with my daughter, a young man sat across from us. He was about 20 and seemed kind of detached. At first I tried to give a small nod and greet and I did not want to think bad thoughts, but he really was kind of removed with a flat face. And he even sat where the seats are supposed to be for the elderly and did not move when an elderly woman was looking for a seat.
ANyway, I tried to not look his way and toward the end of the ride right before we were getting off the bus, he summoned my attention and said: "Excuse me, your pocket book is about to fall". I picked it up, thanked him (somewhat relieved), grabbed my kid and diaper bag and stroller and got out of the bus to plunge into a dense sea of strangers, a crowded but typical NYC scene, really thankful that at least in this city, rifle ownership is illegal (at least that is what I know as of now).
Only half an hour later, another young man sat across from us in the subway on the G line, and stared me down in a really cold way. His face was really kind of anxious and a little angry and I looked away quickly and did not look at him again. If I was on my own, this would really not impress me, but being with the little one makes a huge difference. It is just the reality of a city I guess, but one can't help but experience, process and think about what happened.
There is a ton of undercover police on the subway and I am thankful about that!
Thanks again to all of you for all your in-depth answers and please keep them coming and continue to share your view with me. This thread has been a special place to process and there is nothing like mothers sharing with each other.