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  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:44am
NewsChina Insider

'Americans love their guns': Chinese microbloggers mock US firearms culture

Recent shooting incidents in the United States have inspired a flurry of conversation on the Chinese internet

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 7:33am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 11:36am

In the wake of Ferguson and the accidental death of a shooting instructor in Arizona, US gun culture has been a hot topic on the minds of Chinese social media users for the last several weeks.

“Americans love guns” was the common stereotype echoed from a number of commentators on Chinese social network Weibo, where debates on United States domestic affairs have been trending ever since the April 9th police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

On Monday, the news of the death of 39-year-old Charles Vacca at the hands of a nine-year-old girl only added further fuel to the conversation. Vacca, an instructor at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, was accidentally shot through the head while teaching the girl how to fire an Uzi sub-machine gun.

WATCH: The moments before a girl accidentally shoots her instructor dead

“If Americans start teaching their children how to use an Uzi at such a young age, it’s no wonder that shootings in the United States occur so frequently,” one Weibo microblogger wrote as news of the incident emerged. “And [owning and using guns] is still considered a ‘normal’ thing in the US, simply because it’s a so-called ‘democratic’ country.”

“I think China is right to prohibit firearms,” another wrote, “It makes things safer, and if this [sort of disaster] was only an accident, just imagine an actual dispute.”

On Thursday, pro-Beijing mouthpiece Global Times published a cartoon depicting their view of the Arizona accident.

America’s complex relationship with firearms has long been a topic of fascination in China, likely because of the relative rarity of guns in the county. Multiple news portals such as Guancha.cn – a site resembling a Chinese-language version of The Huffington Post – have topic pages solely devoted to “US shootings”.

“Obama has spoken at so many ‘sad occasions’ [caused by gun-related deaths] already, and will likely continue to do so in the future,” the topic page’s description reads. “The price of gun freedom is the need to live in the confines of fear. Legal gun ownership may reduce crime rates, but mortality rates continue to escalate. Whether owning guns leads to a reduction in crime or an increase in massacres is a constant topic of controversy amongst the public. Is it guns that are at fault, people, or the political system itself?”

Gun incidents like Ferguson and their resulting outcry have also provided China's state media with ample ammunition for arguing that America must handle its domestic issues before “trying to play the role of an international human rights judge and defender”, as argued in a recent Xinhua editorial.

But despite this rhetoric, not all Chinese observers were critical of the United States’ firearm laws.

“The little girl shouldn’t have been using the gun in the first place,” one Weibo user commented on news of the Arizona shooting. “If you really know how to responsibly use an Uzi, and understand the damage it can cause, you definitely won’t be casually shot… I think that it’s fine for citizens to legally own firearms [if they know what they’re doing].”

A January study by Yale University scientists found that gun-related injuries hospitalise or kill over 7,000 children and adolescents each year in the US. 


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This article is now closed to comments

the US does need to step up its gun control laws, but i would also argue that very few chinese (and very few people around the world who aren't americans) really understand the root of US gun culture and how to evolved from a number of sources, including america's colonial roots, revolutionary war, expansion and wild west periods, and current social class and crime situations. plenty of people in other countries, especially the chinese, love to wag their fingers at the crazy americans and call them gun-worshippers, but have those folks immigrate over to a crappy neighbourhood in washington DC and there's a high probability that they might end up owning a firearm for protection purposes just like everyone else. not to be in full support of rampant gun use and putting weapons in the hands of 9 year old kids, but this is the truth.
Daniel Lee
The NRA will be very proud with this killing by the nine-year-old girl. Guns don't kill people, the NRA says, people kills people!
The exact figures were 88.8% of the general population, 84% of gun owners and 74% of NRA members. This was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine on 21|3|13. It was a randomised survey, pilot tested with n being 2703. Honestly, I don't give a shxt if Americans like killing each other so by all means, keep your guns. I quoted this as an example to illustrate what Gilens and Page found ie when the majority of the population desired a policy change, no matter which president/party was in power, they generally did not get their wish.
Formerly ******
It never ceases to amaze me that citizens of countries wherein the governments wrongly and without due process imprison people and, sometimes, torture and murder them, sing the praises of how safe are their countries and take pride in criticizing the US gun laws. Perhaps a few facts for your deluded puppets.
Most gun murders in the US are one criminal killing another criminal.
Eliminate the crime stats of the inner-cities, mostly black and non-white Hispanic people, then the US has the lowest crime rate in the world, lower than even Japan's. Yes, that's right, the communities with the highest legal gun ownership, including legal ownership of semi-automatic weapons, have the lowest crime rates in the world.
Over one million crimes in the US are prevented each year, because a private citizen was able to prevent the crime merely by making the criminal aware that the citizen was armed.
Besides, people shouldn't fear the government, the government should fear the people.
For those who want to entrust the government to protect them, including reducing the freedom of people, keep in mind Benjamin Franklin's quote, to para-phrase, 'Those who choose security over freedom will end up with neither.' Or, as the NRA puts it, 'When saving your life or protecting yourself depends upon acting in seconds, the police are only minutes away.'
Great example of US-style 'democracy' . Recent polls showed that up to 90% of the general public in the US favour background checks and yet, gun control legislations have not been put in place. People just don't understand that no matter who you vote for, it doesn't make a huge difference in the end.
raygun. you are so wrong!
first, the opinion poll is more like 70%, not 90%
second, opinion poll doesn't mean "vote".
third, US is NOT A DEMOCRACY. United States is a Constitutional Republic country (check the US constitution please). meaning, i vote for a political representative who then go to the congress to write/vote/pass bills to become laws. the political rep (congress person) may NOT represent ALL my interest but i will still vote for him as she may represent some elements which happen to be my core interest. as such, a pro gun rep. can also be popular among an anti gun constituents. hope this help.
Formerly ******
@ raygun (What a name for someone who favors gun control laws. Are you schizophrenic? Or just a clueless clutz?):
Those polls are misleading. When the question is re-phrased to include information on existing laws governing background checks, then the percentage drops to well under 50%. By the way, such polls are conducted by radical, leftists organizations. Perhaps these organizations want to disarm America so that they might conduct a communist-type, reign of terror in which millions are killed by the government.
Throughout history, governments have been the worst ****s of their own people. Consult further, the murderous records of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler. All proponents of banning private ownership of firearms. You actually can go back almost 2,000 years to find similar laws governing the ownership of any type of weapon by any private citizen and in all instances, these governments were murderous, when dealing with their own people.
@ raygun (名字還真有人人,偏愛的槍支控制法。你是精神分裂症嗎?或只是毫無章法的 clutz 嗎?):
這些民調是誤導的。當問題是重新措辭,包括對現有法律背景資訊檢查,然後所占百分比下降,好在 50%以下。順便說一句,這樣的調查是由激進的左派組織進行。也許這些組織想要解除美國,所以,他們可能會進行共產主義式的恐怖統治中,數以百萬計死的政府。
縱觀歷史,各國政府一直惡劣的兇手的他們自己的人。進一步,諮詢的史達林、 毛澤東、 波爾布特和希特勒的記錄。禁止私人擁有槍支的所有擁護者。你其實可以再去近 2000 年找到類似法律擁有權的任何類型的武器,任何私人的公民和在所有情況下,這些政府在殺人不眨眼,與他們自己的人打交道時。
"Eliminate the crime stats of the inner-cities........ then the US has the lowest crime rate in the world" Honestly you are such a genius! Oh and how can there be misleading polls in the US? Surely this is not propaganda like what they do in communist China?
PS: you don't realize raygun is a fictional weapon? Have you actually witnessed someone killed by a raygun? Perhaps you have. Delusions are common in schizephrenia.
Formerly ******
@ TheBlueSkies:
What innocent black teen? Should your reference be to the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, then you'd better get straight your facts. First, the 18 year-old was shot by an on-duty police officer. Second, the 18 year-old man was about six feet, five inches tall and weighed close to 300 pounds. Third, he had assaulted the police officer and broke the officer's eye socket. Last, just minutes before this 18 year-old man was shot by the police officer, he'd robbed a store of a $50 box of cigars and viciously manhandled an Indian store clerk less than half his size when the store clerk (the owner) tried to take back the box of cigars.
Is this the innocent teen to which refer you?
@ TheBlueSkies:
什麼無辜的黑人青年?您參考應該到射擊在弗格森,密蘇里州,然後你最好直你的事實。第一,18 歲被槍殺一名值班警官。第二,18 歲男子被約六英尺,五英寸高,體重將近 300 磅。第三,他曾毆打警務人員,打破了軍官的眼窩。最後,只是幾分鐘之前這個 18 歲男子被槍殺警官,他搶了一 $50 盒的雪茄店和惡毒地粗暴對待印度商店職員他大小小於一半時店店員 (擁有者) 試圖收回的雪茄盒。
To Americans, having someone getting shot in the head by a kid is an acceptable cost of this love of freedom...as long as it is someone else getting shot...



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