Foreigners think Americans are 'bananas' when you explain our gun culture to them: Korea-based American scholar
People mourn as they attend a vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 25, 2022(AFP)

On Thursday, Robert Kelly, an American scholar living in Korea, broke down the extent to which other countries find America's gun culture "bananas" — and see the entire way the United States approaches guns to be backwards and dangerous.

"I have lived outside the US for almost 18 years – in East Asia and Western Europe – and I have discussed guns in America with non-Americans countless times given that my area is political science," wrote Kelly. "Non-Americans are genuinely curious why we allow private fire arm ownership, especially when it so obviously correlates with gun violence. I can say that I have never had a non-American ever tell me they wished their country had US gun laws. Not one."

"In short, there is no other country in the world which approaches guns with the laxity we do," Kelly continued. "No other conservative party in a democracy approaches guns as the GOP does. Often my students here often don’t even understand how gun ownership is a ‘conservative’ or partisan issue, which is something Americans should know. Righties in other countries are not gun fetishists. Even other societies with a frontier tradition — Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia — don’t have the gun culture we do."

"No one else talks about an ‘armed citizenry’ resisting tyranny. When you try to explain this one, my students often can’t even figure out why they would battling their own democratic government. Good question! And then they wonder how regular Americans with guns could outshoot the cops or the military. They can’t, of course. Another good question!" continued Kelly. "And very definitely, no one wants armed teachers, metal detectors in schools, open carry, concealed carry, and so on. Hardening schools and letting regular people walk around packing strikes them as insanely dangerous."

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The United States is a dramatic outlier in mass shootings, with far more of them than any other country. And, wrote Kelly, this leads his students abroad to reach the conclusion that U.S. gun culture is indefensible and dangerous.

"Inevitably then, I get three or four papers a year in my US politics class on guns, and they’re uniformly negative and incredulous," wrote Kelly. "One particular title I remember from years back: ‘The US is a Gun-ocracy.’ That just about sums it up."

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