Las Vegas Shooting
ZooとThoughts is created to motivate your learning of English. A language is not only vocabulary and grammar, it is also grown from culture. By learning about culture, the language becomes even less foreign because you are able to understand the nuances within the vocabulary and grammar. If you are in a conversation with someone and you are discussing a topic it is important to understand the words they are saying, the context in which they are saying them, and the culture that helped shape that opinion. That’s what this page is meant to do – help you understand on a deeper level.
First of all, ZooとEigo would like to express our sorrow for the families and victims affected by this tragic and horrible event. There’s not a lot that words can do probably in times like these, but I hope that we as The United States of America and as citizens of this world can build a better future where this doesn’t happen again. We’re so sorry for your loss.
Obviously this event has once again started the discussion about gun control and gun violence in America. It’s a very important topic and while this page tries really hard to adhere to an unbiased opinion and to not get overly political, this is a discussion that we should have right now. We should talk while our hearts our heavy and our pain is persistent. Otherwise, six months, a year from now, or whenever the next worst mass shooting in American history occurs, we will have forgotten the heartache we are all feeling right now. This discussion needs to happen now. Gun rights are not political once gun violence is part of our daily lifestyle.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Las Vegas this week. I grew up in Utah and it was a six hour road trip to get to Vegas. I’ve walked through the Mandalay Bay hotel and been in awe of it’s beauty. Now that hotel is marked in my mind as the perch for a murderer. I want to share a few experiences with you that are shaping my views on gun laws right now.
The first experiences come from my childhood. My dad was in the Army, he flew the helicopters and he kept a depleted uranium bullet on his desk. The thing always terrified me. It was about 6 inches or 15 cm in height and I could just barely wrap my six year old hand around it. If you google it, you can find examples. That thing is a part of a weapon of war. It was used to blow up tanks, and would be shot from a fully automatic rifle on an Apache helicopter. My next experience comes from when I was in middle school. In Utah, it’s very easy to go to the mountains on a public range and shoot guns. At that time I shot a hand pistol and I tried my brother’s AR-15, semi automatic. The hand pistol was heavy and awkward and very hard to aim with. To tell you the truth I enjoyed to AR-15 more. It felt more weighty and secure in my hands, and it was fun to use the scope to aim at things. My favorite thing that I shot that day besides the watermelons was a piece of computer equipment that was really far away. I barely nicked it, but it was fun. I spent the day with my brother and his friend, I was allowed to do some thing girls didn’t usually do, and I got to watch the force of a gun from WW1 or WW2 bring my brother to his feet when he shot it.
The next experience is very recent. As you know from a previous post, we evacuated during hurricane Irma. At that time my brother brought his gun with him. There are two reasons why he did that; one, if perhaps are house got destroyed by the hurricane, it would not be responsible to leave it for looters; second, we were traveling to an area that we didn’t know during a crisis situation, so having a gun with us was a form of protection. Again it was his AR-15, the same gun that I shot in middle school. During the hurricane when the lights were out and we only had a transistor radio and a kerosene lamp, I was comforted that he had his gun. It’s calming to watch my brother take apart and put together that gun because he’s methodical about it. He’s very careful where he places the gun in relation to where he and his family is sitting, he slides the bullets in, clicks the magazine into place. He’s going through a mental checklist. When we sat on the porch of that house and looked at a completely black forest behind us, I felt comforted.
My last experience is from when I traveled to Japan this summer. I went to the movie theaters with my SO and I was surprised when I entered the movie theater. I was surprised because there was nobody there to check my purse. You could just walk in and buy your ticket inside. At that time I still wasn’t aware of why I was surprised, I couldn’t pinpoint it. The worker at the theater checked our tickets right at the door to the theater, and once again there was no purse check, just a friendly smile. I’m not sure when I realized it, but here’s the realization: my purse gets checked in the US because they’re worried that I’m going to bring a gun into the movie theater. I also went to watch a big public fireworks display in Japan, and again, they only took our tickets and gave us a bag that had fans in it and other goodies. There was no metal detector or purse check. When I go to Disney, every bag, backpack, baby stroller, and camera bag gets checked. They’ve even went so far as to go through my mom’s wallet – which was wrong, and we told the supervisor. You can also get pulled aside for additional screening where you walk through a metal detector. Maybe, just maybe I felt more comfort in Japan going to the movie theater, getting on a bus, going to a public event, or even just walking around at night because I didn’t need to worry about another person being able to pick me off and drop me easier than a fly simply because they had a gun. I didn’t need my brother’s protection in the form of a gun because the likelihood of somebody else having one was infinitesimally small.
From my experiences I have felt both comfort and fear from guns. On the whole, I don’t like them. It was fun when I was younger, but especially after Vegas, and not just Vegas but also Orlando, Sandy Hook, and the literally thousands of others that don’t make national and international news, I would much rather want to not be afraid. I don’t want to witness the paranoia of businesses and officials around me. I would much rather walk into a movie theater and be more worried about being caught with candy that I brought in, because I don’t want to pay movie theater prices, than walk in and be bag checked, and have my belongings gone through. I don’t feel free when other people’s irresponsibility results in my private belongings being scrutinized.
I was in a car accident last night. A deer hit my car and the force of the impact caused the back window to explode and leave glass all over the car. Of the hundreds of thoughts that went through mine and my mom’s mind in that split second one of them was wondering if the glass had blown out because of a bullet. When the police man came I realize now that I might have acted incorrectly because I was standing outside the car waiting for him. How is that incorrect? Because police officers, the men and women who are there to protect us, also have to worry about their lives and figure out if I have a gun on me.
Again, my deepest condolences are with the victims and families of the mass shooting. I hope we can resolve to find better solutions for all of our futures. Next weeks post will be about my car accident with the deer, so please come back and see us! Please tell me what you want to learn about! As always, we want to grow our community here, so please share this site with your friends and if you have English speaking friends who are even a little bit interested in Japanese, please check out japaneseaquarium.com. See you next time!
I want to know, what your thoughts on this culture point? Leave a comment below. Is it important to you? Do you have a deeper understanding now? Is it important in your culture or family culture? Please let me know what you think, what you would like to learn next! Please share this page with your friends so we can grow our community!