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Why The Debate Over Gun Culture Should Be Political

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Due to the shooting over a school in Texas in May, the debate about gun culture gets emphasized again. Only this year, EducationWeek confirmed that there were already 27 shootings in the United States and this number leaves a huge question: how are guns not a political issue? 

They are. Violence is political and guns generate violence, therefore, they are a political matter and also a social one. This culture is more seen and spoken in the US, because of its legalization, but guns are a problem in the entire world. In Brazil, for example, guns are not legalized, but there are still thousands of deaths due to them every year, so it’s incorrect to say that violence shouldn’t be debated in society.

What is gun culture?

Gun culture is the alarming and dangerous behavior of a society that constantly deals with the consequences of its use. Using the excuse of protection, this culture leaves deep scars on people. 

It’s more common in countries, states, or regions that have liberal laws about guns such as the US, Yemen, Canada, Uruguay, and many others. This culture disseminates violence by romanticizing what it means to own a gun. 

The real problem with owning a gun is the mentality that comes with it: power and protection. However, these two feelings can elaborate into something that could be physically harmful to others. To explain how the idea of a gun is not appealing in the reality, see the chart on the BBC website regarding how gun-related deaths break down (data from the United States).

What also has to be considered is the fact that gun culture doesn't start with the population, but with the government. Politics are involved as well in all of the creation, and especially the dissemination of this culture.

Politics as violence

To talk about violence is to talk of political and social actions that construct a population, which means that it is a consequence of the government's struggle to solve problems. According to the research Atlas da Violência 2021, Brazil registered an increase of 35,2% in violent deaths until August; and the country doesn’t have liberal laws about guns. This information confirms that violence is a matter for the entire society.

In this case, politics matter to help end this cycle, but, in reality, only ends up reinforcing it because it obstructs the problems the government needs to solve. Thousands of people die in the Brazilian favelas every day and guns are present in this environment.

Politics tends to solve violence with more violence, embodying the prejudices it carries. It’s clear that politicians only solve problems that can be harmful to themselves, and this will continue to happen if the population doesn’t show their manifestations and vote for politicians who act on stopping this never-ending cycle.

The importance of a debate

If gun culture is violence and violence is a social matter, then gun culture should be discussed by politicians and society. The consequences of using guns are many, such as leaving a giant hole in the detention of the violence cycle. The debate over gun culture is political because guns are political. From their production to the selling and legalization, all the process is conducted by politics. The sooner people realize that everything about gun culture is political, the sooner violence has a chance to come to an end.

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The article above was written by Camila Lutfi and edited by Carolina Azevedo. Like this type of content? Check out Her Campus Casper Libero for more!

Camila Lutfi

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student, passionate by writing and open to new lessons. Feminist, art lover and body positive, always smiling to life!
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