I know I’ve blabbed on about gun control once already but I read the most amazing article today and I hope you read it too (I even braved what will probably be heap of pro-gun backlash and posted it to FB but it’s too important for me not to share, regardless of whatever comments I might incite). It was written by a New Zealander and the point that he makes really hits home. Non-Americans think that the USA, as a country, and Americans, in general, are simply insane. And to be honest, they are probably right.
There are Americans out there who support gun control. There are Americans out there who understand how insane this debate is (check out the Daily Show from Jan 8 of this year). Gun control worked in Australia. Australia is really not so different from the USA. Yet in this regard, the USA and Australia couldn’t be more radically different.
How many mass shootings will it take for any change to happen? How many people killed? Will it take the death of someone you know and love by a firearm before you support stricter gun control? Please think critically about this. We have given our politicians and representatives power – and we need to hold them accountable for representing the NRA’s best interests, which I think we can safely say, are not the interests of most Americans. All I can do is try and spread the word and hopefully get people discussing gun control, and hopefully pierce the USA-centric bubble that I think many of us Americans live in. It’s hard not to feel as though the world revolves around the USA, as the rest of the world does follow what happens there. But in reality there is a big wide world out there and it doesn’t revolve around us, even though we may think it does. Europe is just as big, just as rich (if not more so) – but oh so much more quiet. I guess it’s a bit like when you meet Americans or Europeans outside of the USA and Europe – the Europeans are quiet, educated and enjoy polite conversation, and the Americans are always the loud ones that you’re forced to pay attention to… You think I’m joking, but I’m not.
I must admit I am biased – living here in New Zealand, and surrounded by liberal kiwis. Most of whom do think my country is insane (D tells me this on a nearly daily basis, usually while watching the daily show or reading reddit. Funny, that!). Yes, I have been influenced by my peers over the time I’ve been here. Regardless, I still think it’s important for Americans to try and perceive America from an outsider’s perspective. Did you know that not even NZ police officers carry guns? Only senior police officers have guns – and its locked in the boot of their patrol car. Talk about cultural differences (I think I may have been here several years before I realized that the police officers were not armed with guns).
Anyways, if you are reading this, please comment. As an American, were/are you aware of how we are perceived by non-Americans? As a non-American, how do you honestly feel about the USA?