I'm sure this will evoke some fairly strong responses from some in the forum but I ask out of genuine interest and curiosity. My primary question though is, what drives the gun culture in the US? I live in Canada where gun violence is relatively muted and we have fairly strict gun laws while still allowing gun ownership and I just wonder what it is about American culture that precludes any sort of common sense with regards to the gun debate? The fact that these tragedies keep occurring is terrible and I don't understand how people can continue rationalize American citizen's right to military-style weapons. What purpose could anyone have for a high-powered automatic or semi-automatic weapon? I get sport shooting could be fun and I understand people are into hunting but the weapons available are so far and above what's required for either of these activities.
I know the initial defense is the 2nd amendment and blah, blah blah but the fact is it was an amendment, it could not have been foreseen that these modern weapons would exist and guess what guys, the Brits aren't coming back. I don't understand the part of the American psyche that requires everyone to defend themselves. From what? Then one of the proposed solutions is always well if more good guys had guns then we could just revert to the wild west and the good guys could shoot all the bad guys but why have this sort of personal arms race where every citizen is looking to be more armed than the next? After that the pro-gun groups like to point to items like mental health or the media as items that need to be resolved to address gun violence but the fact is that these same factors are present in every other first world country, and none of them have a murder rate or gun violence anywhere close to America. How can people not intuitively make the connection that the only difference is the availability of guns? I've included a short article below outlining some statistics which I'm sure people are already aware of or will outright dismiss as "fake news" based on conclusion rather than content.
I don't get it and I appreciate I'm not from the US so maybe I can't "get it" but any colour would be interesting. From an outsiders perspective though, while I generally strongly disagree with Trump on almost everything, I am naively hopeful that his irreverence to the traditional institutions of American governance could finally lead to someone telling the NRA to fck off and end its choke-hold on the American right. The NRA seems to have an astonishing amount of influence in America and hopefully this can be the catalyst to end that.
Had a longer, more concise post typed out but of course there was an error when I hit submit :-(