Thursday, February 15, 2018

The American Gun Problem, As Seen From a Foreigner...

I am loathe to get into the gun debate. It's too emotional of an issue to talk about with the majority of Americans and anyone who knows me knows that I am an emotionless lump. I learned long ago not to engage in internet debates because...well...most sane people have learned by now what a huge waste of time those are. So when a tragedy like a school shooting happens in the US, the last thing I will do is go on Facebook or Twitter to talk about it. Instead, I seek out people who I know I can have a rational discussion with. Ironically, the most rational friend I have who I can talk about anything with, without fear of being judged, labeled, or subjected to irrational fear or emotion, is a European friend. He is completely removed from the US yet he speaks very good English and is very astute on the dynamics of what makes our country what it is. Sometimes he seems to understand my home country better than even I do. I asked him for his thoughts on the gun problem in the US and, to be honest, I fully expected a strong anti-gun diatribe as he was born and raised in one of the most anti-gun countries in the world (The Netherlands). What I received, however, was some wise words that took me completely by surprise and really illustrated what a complicated problem guns are in the US. The last paragraph (upon which the emphasis is mine), in particular, really sums up the problem to me. Here are his thoughts...

"The way I see it, guns merely facilitate these insane killings. Access to the guns is not the cause. The root cause is something sociopsychological. 

The fact guns are so easily accessible in the US makes for some spectacular outbursts, obviously. If you take away the guns, you will somewhat limit the number of mass killings, I'm absolutely sure. But, for me the way more important and unsettling question is; What causes these people to go down a mental path which leads to this sort of behavior? 

That's something nobody cares to talk about it seems. All news agencies try to put their own spin on the news and "cover" the situation as a "gun rights" issue. A couple of days pass, the news drops the fake outrage about what happened (yes, fake, because shit, how often can something happen before it becomes the norm?) and the entire nation is back to waiting for this shit to happen again like a bunch of mindless drones. 

When I look at American history in general and the way you guys as a society arrived at this point where so much emphasis and importance is put on shallow things (Always bigger and better, always the most beautiful and best, always be part of our team or you are against us) and the, in my opinion, fake patriotism... That inevitably has to lead to people not being able to make the right choices. 

When you teach kids that kind of thinking, the kids that cannot fit into "the group" (for whatever reason) will fall harder and deeper than in other countries. Plus detecting and properly guiding those people is often times difficult to do because, well, we don't look at the outsiders, right? "They're out their out of their own volition. If you want to be popular (and check all of the boxes our society has deemed important) you can always try out for the team!"

Don't get me wrong btw, I absolutely hate equality of outcome philosophies. But I can see why the US (very hesitant to say 'your' here, because I feel you exist outside of US society despite of your American passport) society breeds people who commit these sorts of acts. Throw a bunch of guns at a group of socially neurotic people and how can you expect anything else than what we're seeing over and over again? 

Shit, even the fact that Americans are simply unable to distance themselves from this fake "Guns for all! v.s. Gun Laws for all!" issue enough to see how fucked up it is that this happens over and over again, is proof that the US can't think properly. It's sick. When you hit your mailbox everyday when backing out of the driveway, what do you do? Move the mailbox and thus remove the 'problem', or say you have a right to put your mailbox there and keep hitting it? 

.... I'd ask the question "What the fuck is wrong with you that you can't back out of the driveway without hitting something? Why don't we fix that instead."

No comments: