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Gun Culture in America

When asked, "How do you feel about guns?" nearly every American will respond with an overwhelming force. Whether positive or negative, people have strong feelings about guns. It's no surprise, since gun violence and control are one of the most talked about topics in today's political climate.

As of May 8th, there have been 202 mass shootings (BBC) in the United States, 55 in the month of April. In this context, a mass shooting is an altercation in which four or more people are killed or injured (excluding the shooter) with a gun. This regular cycle of yet another shooting and yet another accident and yet another altercation is the new normal here in the US. It's clearly a problem, but what are we doing about it?

There is, of course, the controversial option of gun control. Unsurprisingly, there is resistance in both directions, with bills being proposed in favor of more and less gun control. Conservatives plan to reduce violence with proposals like arming teachers (BBC) and focusing on mental health, while Democrats place blame on the guns themselves, calling for more restrictions before being able to purchase a firearm.

So is it mental health? A recent mall shooting in Allen, Texas (BBC) shows this to not always be true. The gunman was seen with an insignia related to a hate group. His social media shows history of white supremacy and other right-wing extreme ideals. He was also seen wearing a patch reading RWDS--Right Wing Death Squad--also popular in those circles.

Mass shootings aren't the only problem with guns in America, individual events happen nearly every day, for everyday reasons. Ringing the wrong doorbell, turning around in the wrong driveway, and getting in the wrong car (BBC). These are now punishable by death, or so some Americans believe and show with their actions.

Regardless of your view on gun control, we can all agree something needs to be done about the needless violence within our country. So the real question is, where do we go from here?

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