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Sociological Perspectives on the Gun Debate
Introduction
After the recent mass shooting last month at Umpqua Community College, the gun debate has resurfaced to top public discourses on this divisive societal issue. The debate on guns pits two opposing sides: those who want a ban on civilian gun ownership and those who are pro-ownership of guns by civilians. Pro-ownership of guns faction argues that guns are effective defensive weapons against their lives and properties. On the other hand, the anti-gun group insists that civilian ownership of guns is a threat to their lives, and those of others, as evidenced by the wanton shooting in the past month. This paper provides a sociological analysis of the gun problems in America.
The Root of the Problem
Maslow hierarchy of needs theory seems relevant when discussing this deep divisive sociological problem in America. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, human needs can be ranked and presented in a pyramid shape in a descending order from need for self-actualization, need for esteem, need to belong, need for safety, and physiological needs. The need for safety becomes relevant in this discussion, given the two-faction debate on the importance of guns to American civilians. However, such a discussion can be futile if the roots of the problem are not explored properly. Civilian ownership of a gun is supported by the second amendment of the American constitution in 1791.

Wait! recent incident, current media headline, government policy, a particular law, a movie, a book, or even music lyrics, etc. paper is just an example!

The right to keep and arm oneself was developed from the need to support the needs of humans for personal safety, resist oppression, and to a certain extent, the civic duty of Americans in defending their country. For a long time, the right was not abused by Americans, and the recent mass shootings have called for a more sober discussion on the topic.
Social Learning Theory
One can reasonably argue that the people accused of committing mass shootings on unarmed and innocent fellow civilians are deviants, and their actions speak volumes about their personal development. Social learning theory explains the concept of socialization and the manner in which the concept has an effect on the development of the self. According to Akers and Gary (22), this theory directs the incorporation of cultural variables towards explaining of deviant social behavior. Moreover, the theory lays emphasis on definitional learning, although the character can be associated with some different concepts on a bigger level. The focus of the paper must always be on those accused of committing the atrocities, and their personal learning process, and how the society socializes such individuals. People tend to lay blame on different objects and institutions when explaining the problem of mass shootings in the United States. The media, parents, gender, medical infrastructure, gun stores, and amongst others have received their fair share of blame concerning the civilian mass shootings across the country.
The public seems outraged against the media for providing products that depict violence such as video games movies to the people accused of such socially deviant actions. A person’s identity is the reflection of the individual’s reaction to the expectations of the society, and not from the unconscious mind. This means that the society feeds the killers with the ideas these ideas not spring from the unconscious mind directing them to commit the atrocities.
The development of an individual’s identity oozes from a learned reaction to a certain pertinent social stimuli. Individuals cannot just develop behaviors and attitudes overnight, rather the behaviors and attitudes seem to develop as a reaction to a certain level of encouragement and reinforcement from people within the metaphorical grasps of an individual’s hand. Movies and video games transmit the undesired behaviors to these individuals and hence act as undesired social stimuli to such people. Social learning theory aptly informs any reader of the situation that the behaviors obtained from the surrounding explain the motive of individuals who abuse the right to own guns in America.
Social Action Theory
There is a section of social scientists that have attempted the presented the problem of frequent mass shootings from the conflict perspective. The conflict perspective was borne out of Karl Marx perception in the society in the form of class struggles, and the mass shooting is the manifestations of social changes in the society (Macionis and Linda 200). Most reports on violent shootings indicate that the shooters are male and from affluent backgrounds or middle-class backgrounds. However, this theory has failed to link class struggles to the violence, and this is because it is expected that males from poor backgrounds attacking those from the high and middle-income backgrounds, and not the converse. Max Weber’s social action theory seem more suited to this discussion than those above. Social action in a sociological context refers to an act that considers the actions and the reactions of people. Sociologists believe that an action to be social and that if the individual that is acting considers the behavior of other people, and then his act is successfully oriented.
Conclusion
The proponents and opponents of civilian ownership of guns are embroiled in the tussle pitting different interest, but primarily converging on the needs for safety. The mass shooting in the past month has reawakened the debate on civilian ownership of guns, and this paper has discussed the motive behind the shootings against the needs for safety.
Works Cited
Akers, Ronad L, and Gary F. Jensen. Social Learning Theory and the Explanation of Crime.
New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2011. Print.
Macionis, John J, and Linda M. Gerber. Sociology. Scarborough, Ont: Prentice-Hall Allyn and
Bacon Canada, 1999. Print.

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