Gun Violence and the Relation to Gender

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With the two most recent mass shootings, the media has been talking a lot about gun violence and where our country stands on the second amendment. This controversy has also been brought up in a few of my classes. Many people are saying it is mental health issue or a gun issue. However, the president of the United States of America made a comment about the recent shooting in Texas saying, “This is a mental health issue, not a gun issue” (see video). Most of everyone could agree that the problem stems from either guns, mental health, or poor government regulation. What people fail to see is how gender also plays a role.

I grew up in a family that did not own a gun, but I can understand why someone would want one to protect themselves or ones home. However, I personally do not see a point as to why assault weapons are seen as a use of defense. A weapon build and designed for mass killing does not come across as something to insure security and safety. I always thought that the US should draw more attention to issues with gun control, but I now think it is more important to look at these mass shooting from a different stand point. These shooting are done by men; “men commit over 90% of violent crimes of all kinds,”(Katz). So, if both men and woman share mental illness and both own guns, then why are more men committing these shootings?

According to Jackson Katz, the issue is, “cultural narratives about man hood and ideology’s about man hood.” He also said that when you look at, “school shooting and rampage shooting, its generally revenge killing by boys or men who have been bullied… or experienced great loss or rejection”. Men experience rejection in not getting a job they wanted, or their girlfriend is the one to break up with them. Boys are taught that if something does not go there way, they should fight back in a violent way. This can be seen in some of these shootings. On the other hand, it is a double standard. If a woman was to be a the one holding the gun in a mass shooting, society would then blame it on her gender. This is because, lets face it, most of society pairs female rage with hormones. There are many other factors that also come into play when a mass shooting takes place. The persons health background, mental health status, the governments gun control, and race all are factors that could have been the reason for the violent act. I think it is important for us to look at these past incandescence, and sadly future ones, from all side, including gender.

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