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Guns in America – Voices

“It’s complicated, I don’t think any average person needs a gun, but for people in specific situations, it can be a way of protecting themselves.”
Queens, NY
I’m in support of gun control, but it has to be paired with the demilitarization of the police. The Second Amendment was created for the purpose of people being able to protect themselves from the government in the case of an uprising or oppression.

If you only take guns away from civilians and not law enforcement or the military, then there’s no balance to that power structure. If gun control laws were not paired with these things, guns would definitely be used to oppress black people in the same way that drug laws have been.

It’s hard to say whether citizens having guns is a helpful or efficient tool of defense. Theoretically, it can make people safer, but realistically, I don’t think it does.

It’s complicated, I don’t think any average person needs a gun, but for people in specific situations like domestic abuse and people who are being oppressed, it can be a way of protecting themselves. Plus, people are oppressed by the state and if there were ever an actual uprising against that, guns would make people safer.

A couple of years ago, I probably would have simply said ‘I’m for gun control’ without understanding the nuances of the issue.

I guess over the past few years, seeing the militarization of the police and the way that so many unarmed black people have been killed, along with the war in Afghanistan that’s been going on for seventeen years, it’s clear now that the issue is more complicated.

In general, with gun violence, I’d say a lot of it stems from socioeconomic inequality and racism related to urbanization, white flight, ‘ghetto formation’, and capitalism that create and keep people in violent neighborhoods.

When I think of mass shootings, specifically, a lot of it stems from toxic masculinity. A lot of times it’s men who felt isolated because they never learned to deal with their emotions. I think a lot of these issues stem from toxic masculinity and white supremacy.

I think that education reform and teaching people about the power structures at play as well as social-emotional intelligence could help prevent mass shootings. Also, in theory, if guns were controlled on a large scale, including state systems, that would also help prevent mass shootings and gun violence.

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