American Identity - The Identity Of Gun by primusboy


									American Identity - The Identity Of Gun
In general the term of identity defines as whatever makes an entity with
different qualities and characteristics recognizable and distinguished
from the others. A person's identity includes a sense of continuity, a
sense of uniqueness from others and a sense of affiliation; by them an
individual is recognized.
There are several different types of identity such as cultural identity,
social identity, ethnic identity and religious identity.
American identity:
To explain the term of American identity it is necessary to know about
the American cultural and national identity. In general Cultural and
national identity refers to the common feelings and beliefs of a group
with common culture, all the individuals in the new World are divided
into different nations sharing their own common identity and usually
common origin.
As culture is the main factor in articulating a nation's identity, we can
concentrate on the American culture in order to explore American
Gun as a symbol of power and violence is one of the cultural icons in the
United States. Guns have occupied a unique position in US politics. The
United States' society has been divided in two groups; a group which
advocate the right of caring guns for self-defense and a group which is
against the right to possess and carry arms that leads to the violent
crimes and massacres in America. Although the second group tries to ban
this right but it seems impossible to become successful because the
American mind and heart have been intermingled with the idea of the
necessity of having gun. As much they try to convince other group by
reminding them massacres in American schools for example the massacre
happened in the year 1999 at Columbine high school in Colorado which led
to the death of 12 students and their teacher by two of their friends
caring gun to the school, less they gain success in gun control issue
because those anti-gun advocates can not establish the proper link
between gun and violence , they face with this claim that "people kill
people not gun kill people by itself" The idea of possessing guns has
stemmed from nation's frontier history.
The trace of guns can be seen in every part of the America's soil
especially in west where the wilderness of environment and the existence
of Indian tribes forced settlers to use guns in order to secure
themselves and their families in confrontation with dangers.
There are two views of the wilderness; either it means savagery which
threatened new settlers' community or a fertile land enabled settlers to
cultivate there what they desired. Both of these two views share the
common belief that it was the wilderness helped settlers to establish
civilization during the time when they were trying to remove obstacles
presented by nature and indian people.
The 'Wild West' is still in the psyche of the US. A good example to prove
this claim is the request of Mr. Bush to have Bin Laden 'dead or alive'
which reaped continuously in aftermath the terrorist attacks in 9/11.
The importance of guns in American culture also stemmed from the
necessity of hunting in the culture of American people, especially in
those early years of the European arrival to the New Land of America.
"To understand gun talk, I had to understand what America means to
millions of ordinary people and how these beliefs shaped their sense of
who they are, were, and must remain in the future." Joan Burbick, 2006
Joan Burdick, a professor of English and American studies at Washington
State University, in her book "Gun Show Nation" talks about the trace of
gun in American national and political identity. She focuses on how far
gun identity has been successful in introducing its products, guns, so
cleverly to convey the concept of patriotism and to label those who use
them as law-abiding civilian shooters.
Burdick also draws a picture of a white, middle-aged man [as a symbol of
many white people in America] who believe that gun itself can stop
violence, in contrast with the history of America [that not only had been
witnessed many wars between American people and the world beyond the sea
but even the trace of guns in the death of many people in the United
Although the American identity intermingled with the identity of gun
which has been troublemaking inside the America , reminding the
presidential assassination and the death of students in their schools as
a notable examples in the history of the United States, but this identity
helped America to feel proudness and self-confidence to follow the
concept of manifest destiny in order to bring democracy beyond the
continent through wars relied on the power of gun.
1.Burdick, Joan, Gun Show Nation: The Lethal Politics of Guns in America,
New Press, 2006

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