'Romanticisation of Guns': What Young Indian Americans Think About US' Gun Laws
"It's well known throughout the rest of the world that guns are a cultural cornerstone of America," said one.
(This story was first published on 20 April 2022 and has been republished from The Quint's archives in light of a shooting in Texas, where a teenage gunman killed 18 children in an elementary school on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.)
After a mass shooting in a Brooklyn subway on 12 April that left 29 people injured, The Quint spoke to young Indian Americans to learn about their views on gun laws in the United States.
They tell us about why the Indian diaspora community in the US is not as outspoken about gun laws as compared to American people, and about their thoughts on the Second Amendment.
Why Indian Americans Aren't As Outspoken In Their Criticism of Gun Laws
When asked about whether the Indian American community has a passion for guns, Arnold Pierce, a student based in Memphis, told The Quint that "India has so many issues, that guns are the last thing on their mind."
"In the United States, they glorify guns," he added.
Similarly, Aparna Priyadarshi, a manager at a non-profit organisation in Pennsylvania, said that in the US, "there is this fascination, this near romanticisation of guns."
She went on to say that guns are deeply embedded in American culture, as they have been for centuries.
"It's well known throughout the rest of the world that guns are a cultural cornerstone of America," she added.
Going into some of the technical reasons behind the average Indian American's lack of fervour for guns, Vinayak Sankaranaraynan, a student in New Jersey, argued that "a vast majority of Indian Americans live in urban areas, and there is not such a feeling of insecurity due to which they feel that they'll need a gun."
Additionally, he said that they are mostly "well-educated, white collar employees."
The Problem With Gun Laws & The Second Amendment
Talking about the Second Amendment that gives people the right to bear arms, Phillip Pierce, another student based in Memphis, told The Quint that "people take that very seriously."
"We'e not saying take away all the guns. We're just saying that there should be more restrictions, and people can still have the right to bear arms without having access to buy semi-automatics," he added.
Sankaranaraynan took it a step further and asserted that "there is something fundamentally wrong with the fact that America is one of the few countries that makes it a fundamental right via the Second Amendment to bear arms."
Additionally, claiming that it has been "directly responsible for so much unnecessary harm and tragedy," Priyadarshi said that "the Second Amendment has been able to insert itself so deeply into the cultural DNA into the cultural DNA of Americans. "
"It's just so easy for anyone who is 18 to just go inside a store and purchase a gun."
The Brooklyn Shooting
"When I first heard about the Brooklyn shooting, I was devastated, but nowadays, it is becoming so normal, that every time I watch TV, turn the news on, there's always some kind of violence," said Pierce, when asked about his immediate reaction to the Brooklyn Subway Shooting.
Sankaranaraynan, while saying that he too was saddened by the shooting, added that he wasn't at all surprised because "shootings are something that have endemic in America throughout its history."
"When you see this event happen, you think to yourself, what's new? Another day, another mass shooting. I have this general feeling of disillusionment that nothing will fundamentally change," Priyadarshi concluded.
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