Gun Control In The United States Sample Essay

Gun ownership has been a political tradition in the United States right from the first day. The main reason for this is self-defense as the natural and undeniable right guaranteed appropriately by the Constitution. On the contrary, the modern history of the USA goes with gun violence. This term does not solely cover public mass shootings but also so-called daily violence, that is, shooting as a part of the routine. Such cases are not necessarily given equal publicity but still have numerous victims every year. The problem has grown especially acute against the background of the social tensions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine restrictions.

To acknowledge that the issue has always been, and remains, highly debatable would mean to say nothing. Every new case of mass shooting triggers intractable controversies at all levels of American society. The primary question is whether gun control needs strengthening or prohibitive measures will never allow an effective settlement of the problem. Those who insist on stricter limitations regarding gun ownership consider weapons to be the cause of violence. Meanwhile, the brutal force had been used for thousands of years before the invention of the firearm. This suggests that violence as a phenomenon has a social origin, and no increases in gun control would help.

The Nature of Violence

For as long as humans exist, they have committed violent actions and frequently blamed various external factors for such behavior. During the past decade, the primary focus has been on video games, most notably, shooters. They are widely believed to encourage gamers to translate in-game gunfights into action. For instance, much of the attention to the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 looked at the fact that the shooter, Adam Lanza, had taken an interest in violent games. However, many other phenomena had been stigmatized similarly, including Shakespeare’s works suspected of producing violence in the readers (Bezio). Also, games were not the only activity Lanza had ever done, which does not mean they need to blame everything. All of the phenomena people used to place the burden on, such as television or rock’n’roll music, are no more than possible tools for escapism.

Practically, American history already has several examples of gun control laws whose effect is dramatically far from perfect. Thus, Kopel mentions the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 that unexpectedly became a complete failure (58). He refers to the fundamental research by sociology professor Wright and his colleagues that proved the inadequacy of direct banning in real-case scenarios. In particular, Detroit accepted the law that extended the imprisonment by two years in case the crime was committed with a gun. As a result, judges frequently lightened the punishments for the offenses themselves to counterbalance the extra years. The unforeseen manifestation of the human factor meant little to no change to gun crime rates (Kopel 58). This experience illustrates one of the ways society unconsciously but continually supports violence.

Another point to consider is the fact that the impossibility of purchasing a gun legally does not preclude violations and bypassing of the law. Wright’s further research revealed that less than 10 percent of the criminals who took part in the survey had bought their guns from gun stores. Some of the alternative ways to acquire weapons were stealing them and involving “surrogate buyers” with clean felony records (Kopel 59). Simply put, a criminal or one with a firm crime-related intention is not likely to obey the law.

Finally, guns are indispensable from the perspective of self-defense that is the stumbling block of firearm ownership in the United States. According to the same survey by Wright, 39 percent of the respondents would not attack even a hypothetically armed person, and over a half – an armed one. Besides, almost three-quarters agreed that the fear of being shot made burglars avoid buildings with people inside (Kopel 59). The survey outcomes suggest that firearm is helpful in crime prevention, which should not be neglected during the gun control debate.

All of the above allows assuming that neither guns nor video games or any other activities are the source of violence. The possession of a weapon will not encourage a well-meaning individual to commit anything forbidden, and an ordinary gamer will not kill anyone in reality. Violence originates from inside both a particular personality and the entire society in general. Thus, Bezio insists that being exposed to abuse, both physical and psychological, can result in violent behavior. Apparently, constant pressure leads to an accumulation of anger that finally haves its way in the form of hurting the other. She also mentions “ideologies that reward and condone aggression, particularly in men” among the reasons (Bezio). Otherwise stated, real-life violence breeds real-life violence, and indifference makes a substantial contribution to that.

What Is Said in Defense of Gun Control

Those who insist on additional measures against guns are mostly concerned with their excessive availability. Thus, Hummer, with reference to Collier highlights that the vast majority of mass murderers are not mentally ill, hence allowed to gun shops. She classifies them as “upset or angry people in a crisis who get their hands on an easily accessible gun” (Hummer 4). According to her, easy access to a firearm increases the chance that someone opts for shooting rather than less lethal ways to unleash their fury or disappointment. It is also worth noting that the lack of diagnosed mental health disorders eliminates any special supervision. In light of this, potentially dangerous individuals mix with society. In brief, although a random gun is not a murder weapon, it may become one in a hand of an emotionally distressed person.

Theoretically, the assumption that guns should be banned for the threat they carry is logical, but practically, anything is potentially hazardous. Several people have died in car accidents as well as airplane crashes, but there are no official proposals of additional limitations to using those vehicles. One can simply pick a stone lying in the street to injury somebody else, needless to say, about an ordinary kitchen knife. If a person has the intention to hurt someone, they find ways to do so, some of which may be absolutely unpredictable. Therefore, educating people to avoid abusive behavior makes incomparably more sense than trying to control everything that is hypothetically harmful.

Another frequent argument for gun control is the deficiency of alternative solutions to the problem of gun violence. “Unfortunately, we are left to choose between doing nothing and coercion. For victims […] doing nothing results in ongoing violence”, Eckstein and Partlow Lefevre proclaim (240). One has to agree that the problem exists and requires deliberate attention to reducing the number of victims. In that context, doing nothing is unacceptable, and restrictions seem to be the only option of what actually to do.

However, coercion is neither an appropriate solution in real terms since it hardly yields any noticeable results. Based on the findings of the above-mentioned research by Wright, a significant minority of armed criminals acquire their guns legally (Kopel 59). The likely result of restrictions is an upsurge in unlawful firearm trade along with shoplifting rather than a substantial reduction in armed attacks. The reason is clear: the chance that an individual who already has a criminal intention will stop at the law is extremely poor.

Considering all of the above, a more effective solution lies in minimizing the supposed social contributors to becoming a criminal. In particular, masculinity should stop being associated with aggression, and supporting all forms of xenophobia should grow unacceptable. In addition, it would be relevant to encourage those who detect abusive behavior in themselves to take psychotherapy courses. Along with the other measures, this one could reduce the probability that abusers themselves or their victims will ever take a gun for shooting people.

In conclusion, gun control is not likely to make a considerable difference to gun violence rates. Although weapons are used for killing, they do not cause violence but simply are a tool. Besides, research has indicated their efficiency in terms of self-defense, which is the primary reason for gun ownership. Violence as a phenomenon derives from other violence, notably physical and psychological abuse as well as the culture of aggression. Monitoring and minimizing those destructive practices would enable reducing the number of shooters.

Works Cited

Bezio, Kristin M. S. “Stop Blaming Video Games for America’s Gun Violence.” Christian Science Monitor, 2013, Web.

Eckstein, Justin, and Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre. “Since Sandy Hook: Strategic Maneuvering in the Gun Control Debate.” Western Journal of Communication, vol. 81, no. 2, 2017, pp. 225-242.

Hummer, Claire. Gun Control in the United States: An Analysis of Federal and International Policies and Applications. Portland State University, 2016.

Kopel, David B. “Hold Your Fire: Gun Control Won’t Stop Rising Violence.” Policy Review, no. 63, 1993, pp. 58–65, Web.

Portrayal Of Sexuality In Older Adults

Any issues pertaining to sex tend to be highly sensitive. It does, after all, concern deeply intimate experiences, which may evoke substantial emotional reactions even from mentally stoic people. The sensitivity is even higher when the discussion concerns people of old age. Modern society has numerous stereotypes, which devalue older people’s ability to have sex, possess libido, or even have intimate cravings. Yet, as more and more social groups receive attention, older people are also incentivized to continue their investment in their sexual life. One particular promotional advertisement on YouTube, “Sexuality and the Older Person,” showcases the growing social encouragement of the elderly people’s interest in sex.

The video itself is a promotional clip, which advertises a self-help company Altura Learning’s courses designed to help older people embrace their sexuality. The message is conveyed via voice-over narration, which is reinforced by visual scenes of an elder couple in various romantic situations. The narrator begins by addressing a common stereotype shared by young people that senior age means no active sex life. They proceed to explain that many elder people also limit themselves to the same idea. However, it does not have to be this way, as the narrator explains that this program can show elder people how to uncover their sexuality.

Although the video is brief and falls within the time frame of 47 seconds, it manages to convey its message fully and clearly. The main idea is that sex is not a prerogative of young people exclusively, but it can be enjoyed at a senior age as well. A less clear message is that modern society has an obfuscated understanding of sexuality, which can be attributed to the emphasis on youth’s sexual drives. Naturally, the ultimate purpose of the video is to attract attention to Altura Learning’s program, which promises to help elder people to reclaim their sexuality. Nevertheless, it boasts an overall positive attitude to elder people’s sexual interests.

The portrayal of sexuality is multifold, manifesting in different aspects. First, the narrator acknowledges the problem of the human body becoming weaker with the advancing age. They even refer to the opinion held primarily by youths that old age means a lack of sexual abilities. The scenes featuring the ad’s characters indicate a different perspective. The couple in the video appears to be physically aroused by each other, which is seen in their gestures, mimics, and behavior in an intimate environment. It can be stated that the video attempts to persuade the viewers that the absence of physical attraction, which is characteristic of younger years, does not necessarily stop physiological arousal.

The idea that elder people do not pristine the beauty of their partners to be aroused is corroborated by the existing research. Parnar (2021) writes that elder people have different sex drivers than young ones, which explains the generational gap in the understanding of sexuality. However, senior citizens can appreciate the beauty of the human body, their physical attraction forms when there is enough trust and comfort between the partners. Provided personal comfort is assured, elder people can get physiologically aroused and physically enjoy the subsequent experience. Subsequently, the advertisement’s emphasis on comfort is an essential part of the activation of physiology in the sexual development of adults.

At this point, the importance of psychological comfort for elder people would be evident. However, sexuality is not limited to physicality and physical arousal. The moment that many young people and society in general miss lies in the fact that sexual relations are intrinsically related to psychology. It is the feeling of trust and comfort that drives people to become physical with each other. This is especially important for elder people, who no longer enjoy the attractiveness of youth and may have physical restrictions to have sex. The creators of the advertisement understand it and accentuate the psychological aspect.

Psychologically, the advertisement propagates trust, reliance on each other, and openness to one’s inner desires. The couple depicted in the video has much quality time. They are shown to be walking, visiting a restaurant, staying in a hotel, all of which reinforce their amount of shared experiences. With such non-verbal signs as smiling over a meal, holding the partner’s hand, and hugging them tenderly from behind, the advertisement shows that sexuality is primarily expressed through such subtleties. Yet, these small expressions of affection accumulate and generate the overall atmosphere of mutual attraction.

The advertisement’s emphasis on psychology also is also proved by the research. As it has already been stated, physicality becomes less important in arousal as people get older. The time required for physical arousal significantly increases as well. However, in the case of elder people, arousal is first and foremost psychological (Parnar, 2021). This is why the advertisement places so much importance on depicting seemingly mundane activities. Elder people are driven towards affection and trust, which further motivate them towards sex. Achievement of these feelings is possible due to the continuous supply of shared experiences, where devotion, attraction, and trust are displayed with subtle non-verbal signals.

However, neither the physiological aspect nor the psychological one are as creeping as the social dismissal. It should be noted that the advertisement does not visualize the stereotypical beliefs of young people about elder people’s sexuality. Nevertheless, they are present and understood by the viewer, especially by a senior audience. The narrator verbally acknowledges the problem experienced by many elder people. However, they also state that the belief in the inherent inability or inappropriateness of elder people to engage sexually is mistaken. They communicate that it is possible to overcome the social stigma regarding sex.

The same problem is acknowledged by the research, which also berates social pressure. The issue of society believing that elder people are not able to or should not be able to engage in sex actively harms the senior couples (Syme & Cohn, 2020). As elder people succumb to such stereotypes, they begin to think this way as well. Another consequence lies in the obscured understanding of sexuality, which is harmful to both younger and elder generations in the long term perspective (Syme & Cohn, 2020). Overcoming such rigid thinking can be both mentally liberating and psychologically beneficial for elder people.

Altogether, “Sexuality and the Older Person” is an effective promotional advertisement, which captures the physiological, psychological, and social problems of elder people in their sex lives. Physiological aspect is acknowledged by the decreased attractiveness and physical urges. Psychological comfort and trust are imperative in sexual development. Finally, social stereotypes hinge the ability of elder people to enjoy themselves. The advertisement acknowledges these problems and promotes the message, which motivates elder people to embrace their sexuality.

References

AlturaLearning. (2016). Sexuality and the Older Person [Video file].

Parmar, S. (2021). Ethical aspects of sexuality in old age. Global Bioethics Enquiry 2021, 9(1), 46-49.

Syme, M. L., & Cohn, T. J. (2020). Aging sexual stereotypes and sexual expression in mid-and later life: Examining the stereotype matching effect. Aging & Mental Health, 72(1), 1-8.

Ray Bradbury’s Critique Of The American Society In “The Veldt”

“The Veldt” is a short science fiction story by Ray Bradbury published in 1950. Concerned with rapid technological development and the spread of consumerism philosophy among Americans, the author sought to warn his readers about the possible negative impacts of these tendencies on individuals and society. The writer argues that although robotization of everyday tasks can make life easier, it also leads to the alienation of the human being from his nature. Additionally, it also leads to a decay of the family and degradation of parenting. Moreover, Bradbury asserts that material prosperity and increasing comfort will never bring happiness.

The negative impact of technology on society and specifically on each family is the first and major theme of the story. The author shows that for the family members, even the simplest everyday tasks become difficult to accomplish. “You mean you want to fry my eggs for me?… And darn my socks?… And sweep the house?” asks George when his wife offers to leave their house for some time (331). Similarly, Peter surprises, “Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it? And brush my own teeth and comb my hair and give myself a bath?” (335). However, if adults at some point understood what technologies took from them, the children cannot imagine their lives without the clever house and the “nursery” at all. It is dreadful to think about what would happen with Peter and Wendy if they are deprived of all the robotic appliances one day. In this regard, the choice of children’s names may also have a hidden meaning. Bradbury most probably sought to refer the readers to James M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, where two main heroes – Peter Pan and Wendy Darling – refuse to mature.

Moreover, Bradbury warns that technology can negatively affect the ability of parents to raise their kids. The author argues that feelings of love and care between family members exist not only due to blood relations but due to acts of mutual responsibility. Therefore, as George and Lydia transferred all the parenting functions to robots, their children do not have any warm feelings for their father and mother. Mr. and Mrs. Hadley are aware that they should be more strict with their kids but do not know how to realize that wisdom in practice. For instance, when parents fight with their children over closing the room, George says, “All right, go play in Africa” (335). That clearly indicates the father’s inability to act during such situations and prefers the technology to solve the problem.

Finally, the author argues that consumerism is not the way to achieve happiness. The name of the house where Hadleys live – Happylife Home – represents the family’s value system. Seeking maximum comfort through material things was their ultimate goal. However, when most of their demands were satisfied, George and Lydia started feeling alienated and nostalgic about simple things they used to do with their own hands. Therefore, the writer criticizes his countrymates for seeking happiness in gaining material wealth and seeking comfort. Rather, Bradbury wants to show that work is what determines the spiritual well-being of the person.

In summary, “The Veldt” presents Ray Bradbury’s concerns regarding technology development and its effect on human beings. The author warns that the former can negatively affect the lives of families, children’s development, and parenting. For example, Peter and Wendy are unlikely ever to become mature as they are unable to do simple things by themselves. Their upbringing is fully a responsibility of the robotic systems and the “nursery” room. On the other hand, when George and Lydia want to participate in their kids’ lives, the parents do not have sufficient skills to manage the latter. Additionally, Bradbury criticizes the American society and its values that were shaped during the 1950s and continue to exist in the 21st century. The writer maintains that pursue of material well-being and comfort is unable to make people happy.

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