Friday, April 10, 2009
Another Question They Ask
The other thing the hopeful immigrants to the US whom I work with ask me frequently is,
'Will I have to get a gun when we move to America?'
Now after the shooting at this community and immigration center in Binghamton, NY, I expect more questions. 'Will we be safe in our English classes?' 'Can't the US police do anything about these shootings?' Why does this happen so much in America?'
As usual I'll try to be reassuring, but of course, I can't answer these questions.
This morning, a woman told me her children are 9 and 12, and she's worried they won't be safe in American public schools.
Should I tell her that I would be worried about the same thing if we were moving back to the US?
Usually, I point out that the danger in US public schools has been sensationalized and exaggerated. I tell them that they probably won't be in 'bad' neighborhoods too often in the US, and when they are, nothing will happen to them. I tell them, no, do not buy a gun, because you're statistically more likely to shoot someone in your own family with it. All of these things are true.
But when I hear myself saying them, it don't sound so reassuring.
There are too many guns in the US, and they're too easy to get. Everyone knows this. Assault weapons are only good for one thing: killing lots of humans. So why are they still obtainable by madmen with grudges? It's the gun lobby, stoopid. It's about money. Everybody knows.