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Old 01-07-2013, 02:20 AM   #1
Muse
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Default With 5% of the world's population, Americans now possess ~1/2 of the world's guns

In yesterday's (Sunday) Oakland Tribune

Our gun-obsessed language reveals much about us

By Joe Lurie

Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune Guest Commentary
Posted: 01/05/2013 10:00:00 AM PST
Updated: 01/05/2013 04:34:52 PM PST

With 5 percent of the world's population, Americans now possess about half of the world's guns. Is it any wonder then that mass shootings in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the past decade? And in the wake of the grotesque massacre at Sandy Hook, is it surprising that sales of kids' bulletproof backpacks have soared, or that our culture more than ever is drenched in the language of guns?

As I watch left- and right-wing politicians and pundits "up in arms" on TV, battling in a "crossfire" of blame, each side looking for a "smoking gun" to explain or cast blame for horrifying gun-related catastrophes, I've become increasingly aware of how our culture's preoccupations with guns are reflected even during innocent "shooting the breeze" conversations.

We often value the "straight shooter," yet are wary of those who "shoot their mouths off," those who "shoot from the hip" or glibly end an argument with a "parting shot." We caution colleagues to avoid "shooting themselves in the foot," and counsel them not to "shoot the messenger."

Without suspecting what drives our language, we are "blown away" by adorable photos of loved ones. At the movies, many audiences are thrilled by "shoot-'em-up," "double-barreled action" scenes, or are excited by car chases where actors "gun" their engines.

I often ask friends to "shoot me" an email and I've encouraged job seekers to give an interview their "best shot" and "stick to their guns" during salary discussions. And if a job is offered, I might congratulate them for doing a "bang-up" job.

In sensitive business negotiations, I've advised patience, urging clients to "troubleshoot" solutions, but to avoid "jumping the gun" and to be aware of "loaded" questions." To get the biggest "bang for the buck," I've recommended bringing the "big guns" to the table. We look for "silver bullet" solutions, hoping for "bulletproof" results. And when success is in sight, we say: "You're on target," or "you're going great guns!"

We encourage entrepreneurial risk taking, even if the project doesn't have a "shot in hell." Just "fire away" when you make that "killer" presentation, and if your idea is "shot down," don't be "gun shy." Just "bite the bullet" and go at it again, with "guns blazing." Don't be afraid to "shoot for the moon," even if it looks like a "shot in the dark."

Having worked as a university executive with students from more than 80 countries, I've noticed that students from abroad are struck by the violent language in our songs and films, and they hear it bleeding into our political discourse.

Many have asked me in amazement why it is even necessary to state that guns and ammunition are banned from university residence halls. Yet, "son of a gun," 26 colleges in three states permit guns on college campuses. And gun liberalization legislation for colleges is in the "cross hairs" in at least nine more states.

I've heard staff and students alike stressed by an approaching deadline, instinctively describing themselves as being "under the gun." Sometimes my colleagues have described emotional co-workers as "loose cannons" or having "hair-trigger" personalities. And when a student has gone off "half-cocked," psychologists have advised employees to "keep their powders dry" and to review "bullet point" guidelines for handling volatile personalities.

In the same way that the U.S. is flooded with millions of guns (there are 90 guns per 100 Americans), so our newscasts -- "sure as shootin' " -- are exploding almost nightly with murder stories, reflecting the newsroom mantra: "If it bleeds, it leads."

When the local story becomes a national tragedy, there is "new ammunition" for both gun control supporters and opponents of fire arm bans in such places as elementary schools, day care centers, churches, or even the neighborhood bar!

The world of guns has had our rhetoric in its sights for a very long time. And our wounded language -- now more than ever with a gun to its head -- is telling us that our culture is on the firing line.
- - - -
Joe Lurie, executive director emeritus at the University of California's International House, is currently a cross-cultural communications consultant.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #2
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With 5 percent of the world's population, Americans now possess about half of the world's guns.
'Murika confirmed for best country in the history of the Earth.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:26 AM   #3
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that is a pretty fucking dumb article.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:27 AM   #4
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A US Mainland invasion by foreigners, as well as a systematic confiscation by US Armed Forces, is thankfully highly unlikely due to us being armed.

There is a reason that only the 1st is in front of the 2nd.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:30 AM   #5
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we also have the largest collection of SSRI addicts and free ranging psychiatric patients and nut cases in the world all protected by the ACLU. When are we going to get a public registry of people on psychiatric drugs?? Who are they?? Where are they?? Are the around and about in places that result in a threat to public safety?? Read the MSDS of any psychiatric drug and ask your self..would I want this person around sharp objects or in areas where public safety is a concern. Where is the public registry??
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:33 AM   #6
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that is a pretty fucking dumb article.
Oh, and you come off as a potential Nobel Prize winner.

OK, it's not an op ed piece but it does make a point or two and in spades.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:34 AM   #7
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A US Mainland invasion by foreigners, as well as a systematic confiscation by US Armed Forces, is thankfully highly unlikely due to us being armed.

There is a reason that only the 1st is in front of the 2nd.
Man, what movies have you been watching?
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:58 AM   #8
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Wahoo we are number 1 at something again!

I don't have a gun so will someone protect me from a tyrannical government ran by American citizens? I'm scared they might take my guns so I haven't bought any.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:11 AM   #9
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Wahoo we are number 1 at something again!

I don't have a gun so will someone protect me from a tyrannical government ran by American citizens? I'm scared they might take my guns so I haven't bought any.
Usually felons and/or the mentally deranged can't buy firearms, i'm glad to see that in your case the system worked. If you think there was a mistake made you can contest it.
http://www.ecriminalrecords.com/reso...nformation.htm
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:13 AM   #10
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Oh, and you come off as a potential Nobel Prize winner.

OK, it's not an op ed piece but it does make a point or two and in spades.
It hasn't make any point that hasn't been made before, so it's pointless. Does it convince gun owners to give up their guns? Not by a long shot. Go ahead and pull up another article, and find another statistic to trying to "make a point", there is time to waste after all. There are millions of articles about guns in America, for and against guns. Gun owners are still going to stick by their guns, so to speak.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:20 AM   #11
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LOL....and how does this author know exactly how many guns there are world wide? Did they go to each 3rd world country dominated by drugs, war or terrorism and take a poll? For that statement to be true then either:
a) each person in America owns a gun (not possible)
b) each gun owner must have a secret armory in their garage with hundreds of weapons. (also not possible)

The mass shootings are not because of guns. They are because of a culture in which people have no respect for one another.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:12 AM   #12
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LOL....and how does this author know exactly how many guns there are world wide? Did they go to each 3rd world country dominated by drugs, war or terrorism and take a poll? For that statement to be true then either:
a) each person in America owns a gun (not possible)
b) each gun owner must have a secret armory in their garage with hundreds of weapons. (also not possible)

The mass shootings are not because of guns. They are because of a culture in which people have no respect for one another.
researches like that, is just data crossing, public held companies have to tell how many products are sold at each quarter

really easy to do...
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:15 AM   #13
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biased author is biased. Once that's figured out in the first few lines its time to stop reading.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:35 AM   #14
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this thing is ridiculous
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muse View Post
Man, what movies have you been watching?
It's called "history" and not repeating it.

Mark my words, gun control is NOT about your safety and security. It's about disarming the public, one step at a time. All despotic regimes do it. ALL.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:58 AM   #16
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Gun debate is a waste. The real debate that can save lives is the one on mental health. We need a real debate on tracking crazy loons, notifying people around them that they are crazy and also on the widespread abuse of prescription drugs that alter the brain. We also need to reevaluate giving brain altering drugs to children because parents and teachers can't deal with kids behavior.

Then we can start evaluating our love of extreme violence in our culture. The types of disgusting violence in our movies, TV shows, video games, magazines etc.

Violence exists in the human heart and mind, not in the tools a human uses to inflict violence upon others.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #17
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We have had guns since we got here. The mass shootings are for the most part recent.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #18
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We also have 0% of all genocide that occurs in the world.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muse View Post
Oh, and you come off as a potential Nobel Prize winner.

OK, it's not an op ed piece but it does make a point or two and in spades.
the writer tries to use idioms to prove that guns are dangerous to (y)our culture, does the commonly used word fuck mean that we have a culture of rape going?

also he disregards the origin of the idioms, for instance, son of a gun has nothing to do with guns, but comes from women getting impregnated on the gun deck of naval vessels (the term far predates any modern firearm).
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:42 AM   #20
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47
The World Bank estimates that out of the 500 million total firearms available worldwide, 100 million are of the Kalashnikov family, and 75 million are AK-47s.[74]
These numbers would render the oakland tribs numbers somewhat questionable.
or
We should be grateful that most of the world’s guns are in god fearing democracy loving hands.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
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We have had guns since we got here. The mass shootings are for the most part recent.
Exactly.

Mass shootings used to be carried out exclusively by governments. I guess they don't like the competition.

BTW, government is historically the most dangerous thing on earth. That's why the founding fathers wanted to make sure the population was armed. They understood this.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #22
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Apparently, the fellow that wrote that article doesn't understand that the history of america is the history of the gun. That's not something to be ashamed of.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:57 AM   #23
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Mass shootings haven't "skyrocketed in the last decade". More lies.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:02 AM   #24
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I like this marine's lettter to Feinstein:

"Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joshua Boston
Cpl, United States Marine Corps
2004-2012"
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #25
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It is a well done piece with all those metaphors but hardly compelling. I assure you the same language is used in much of the west even where gun ownership is less. Also to be fair much of the world is so despondently poor that owning a gun is beyond their financial reach anyway, that is unless they're 11 years old and Commander Killsalot gave it to them.
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