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Guns in America

How Masculinity and Gun Violence Are Connected



Scenery of a lake with one huge dark brown rock and a few medium rocks, brown dirt and some bushes with just twigs on it on a sunny day.
Peabody, MA

The issues of masculinity and gun violence are intimately connected, but it’s not a casual relationship. Gun ownership is masculine in nature.

When you think of guns, you think of power and control; if that’s not stereotypical masculinity, then I don’t know what is. There is a whole pink cameo movement about women taking ownership of their gun ownership.

As a feminist, I like the idea of women staking their claim in a male dominated field, but since I am not personally pro-gun, I feel conflicted about it.

I don’t know why aggression is so valued in our culture. I really do feel like guns are an embodiment of that aggression, of an aggressive desire for independence.

People refuse to let go of their guns because if they agree that the government knows what’s best, they lose their construed idea of independence. Personally, I value the safety of our whole country over my right to own a semi-automatic rifle.

It’s a tricky legal and moral dilemma. Do you give up your right for the good of the many? I want to say yes, but sometimes I worry that is the decision that leads to dangerous government power.

There’s a lot of pressure on young men to be powerful and to provide for a family. Owning a gun allows them to do both.

Most men that I have personally spoken to have a lot of complicated emotions about it. The most liberal guys I know are pretty firmly anti-gun, but don’t want to say it because it doesn’t sound masculine.

I think that disregards the nuance of the situation because I don’t understand why universal background checks diminishes the power of holding a firearm. It just prevents the people who shouldn’t have guns from actually having guns. That sounds like the ultimate way to protect your family to me.