How should gun laws change?

Why the US won't change its gun laws ...

Is it really that easy to buy a gun in the US? And if so, why is that so? These were just two questions that historian Dr. Markus Hünemörder gave an answer in a lecture in English to high school students at the Johann-Andreas-Schmeller-Gymnasium.

NABBURG “On average in America there is actually a weapon for every person,” says Hünemörder, who teaches American cultural history at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. This is primarily due to historical and constitutional reasons. Personal armament is a fundamental right and anchored in the constitution. A look back at the history of the United States also provides explanations, according to von Hünemörder: “The cowboy myth and a lack of state presence in the sparsely populated expanses of the USA made weapons an expression of self-assertion and national pride in the 18th and 19th centuries . ”And so there are currently 400 million legally acquired guns in private hands in the United States. Hünemörder explained the dangers associated with this using statistics from 2016: 23,000 suicides, 14,500 deaths from outside influences and 500 random victims - all of them in connection with the use of firearms.

Hünemörder does not believe that something will soon change with the help of stricter gun laws and pointed out in this context that the public debate about this in the USA has been stalling for years. "In addition, attempts at regulation fail due to a lack of political will and the influence of the gun lobby." Even with a view to the increasing number of rampages in American schools, Hünemörder sees no quick solutions. In the long term, this development can only be countered with more youth social work and targeted anti-bullying programs, but not with stricter gun laws.

John Layman from the US state of Maine, who is currently working as a foreign language assistant at high school, also confirmed that weapons are indeed part of everyday life in American schools. He said that it was normal at his old school to transport guns in the car as a student. Only in the school car park they shouldn't have parked with it.

Not only such surprising or disturbing insights aroused great interest among the students. Hünemörder himself, who has already been a guest at the JAS-Gymnasium as a speaker, knew how to discuss a difficult and controversial topic in a both entertaining and vivid manner.