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美國作業:有關槍支管制困境簡析A Brief Analysis of the Gun Control Dilemma i

時間:2019-06-26 09:45來源:未知 作者:anne 點擊:
1 Introduction介紹 在過去的幾十年里,美國與槍支有關的暴力事件非常嚴重,已經成為公眾關注的問題。因此,美國人之間就槍支管制問題展開了激烈的辯論。盡管美國還有許多其他爭議性問題,
1  Introduction介紹
在過去的幾十年里,美國與槍支有關的暴力事件非常嚴重,已經成為公眾關注的問題。因此,美國人之間就槍支管制問題展開了激烈的辯論。盡管美國還有許多其他爭議性問題,但很難找到一個比槍支管制更能激起多年憤怒和刻薄的問題(厄斯金,1972:455-469)。
During the last few decades gun-related violence in the United States has been so serious that it has become a public concern. As a result, there has been an intense debate over gun control among the Americans. Although there are many other controversial issues in the United States, it is hard to find one that provokes more anger and vitriol across years than gun control (Erskine, 1972:455-469).
爭論的關鍵是因果關系問題。這里的邏輯是,如果槍支和暴力之間存在因果關系,美國必須采取更嚴格的槍支管制法律(Grigsby,2010:15)。鑒于美國的槍支流行率和暴力率都遠遠高于幾乎所有其他工業國家,許多美國人認為,槍支暴力有因果關系。因此,他們呼吁制定槍支管制法律,并被稱為槍支管制倡導者(盧埃林,1999:194)。然而,反對者否認這種因果關系。他們認為,美國的高暴力率是由其他因素造成的,而不是槍械流行,如社會異質性和經濟不平等。因此,他們認為槍支管制在減少國內暴力犯罪方面是無效的。
At the crux of the controversy is the question of causality. The logic here is that if there is a causal relationship between gun and violence, the United States has to adopt stricter gun control laws (Grigsby, 2010:15). In view of the fact that both gun prevalence and violence rates in the United States are much higher than those of almost all other industrial nations, many Americans believe that there is a gun-violence causality. Therefore, they cry for gun control law making and are known as gun control advocates (Llewellyn, 1999:194). However, opponents deny such a causal relationship. They argue that the high violence rate in the United States is engendered by other factors rather than gun prevalence, such as social heterogeneity and economic inequality. Therefore, they argue that gun control would not be effective in reducing violent crimes in the nation.
另一個主要的爭議是,為什么美國沒有像其他工業國家一樣采用嚴格的槍支管制法。根據槍支管制反對者的說法,答案在于美國歷史和憲法。他們認為,美國歷史與槍支所有權和槍支暴力緊密相連,這在美國公民中激起了對槍支的強烈熱愛。因此,美國人反對嚴格的槍支管制。此外,他們認為美國憲法第二修正案保留了公民持有武器的權利,任何關于槍支的規定都是違憲的。然而,這種推理方式遭到了槍支管制倡導者的駁斥,他們認為美國槍支法的松懈是由于槍支管制反對者的激烈和不合理的反對。
Another major controversy is over the reason why the United States does not adopt strict gun control laws as other industrial nations. According to gun control opponents, the answer lies in the US history and the Constitution. They hold that the US history has been closely entwined with gun ownership and gun violence, which has provoked in its citizens an ardent love of firearms. Therefore, the Americans are opposed to strict gun control. Further, they believe that the Second Amendment of the US Constitution preserves the right of the citizens to hold arms and any regulation over guns would be unconstitutional. However, this way of reasoning is refuted by gun control advocates, who argue that the laxity of gun laws in the United States results from the fierce and irrational opposition of gun control opponents.
在過去的幾年里,學校槍擊案在美國頻繁發生。這使全國恐慌,并為槍支辯論增添了更多的燃料。那么辯論的哪一方更接近事實呢?為什么美國不像其他工業國家一樣采取嚴格的槍支管制?這些問題引起了我的興趣(勞滕伯格,2011:213)。本文是我對槍支辯論的研究成果,旨在回答這兩個問題。
During the past few years, school shootings took place in the United States very frequently. This alarmed the nation and added more fuel to the gun debate. Then which side of the debate is nearer to the truth? And why doesn't the United States adopt strict gun regulations as other industrial nations? These questions intrigue me (Lautenberg, 2011:213). This thesis is the result of my study on the gun debate, aiming to answer those two questions.
2  TheAmerican Gun Culture
2.1 The Formation of the American Gun Culture
The United States has a social history that is almost a formula for violence. According to some American historians, violence in this nation seems to fall into two major categories (Gandelman, 2013:73). The first is negative violence including criminal violence, feuds, the violence of prejudice, urban riots, freelance multiple murder, and lynching, political assassination that all seem to be in no direct way connected with any socially or historically constructive development (Hadaegh, 2015:32). But it is the other category of the American violence, namely, the so-called "positive violence" that occupies vaster room in American historical account and is considered more important in the nation's history. After all, the Republic was born only after a revolution which, both in its origin and its progresses, was replete with domestic violence; it was soon afterwards engaged in a war, though unofficially declared, with France between 1798 and 1800, won a "Second War for Independence" against the British in 1812 and seized a large part of southwest territory from Mexico at the heels of an unprovoked war (Smathers, 2012:73). Even the nation's unity got eventually maintained through immense bloodshed, although the descriptions of these efforts attached more emphasis to the salves' newly-obtained freedom and the assured union of nation, which, in contrast, ignored the vast waves of violence engendered afterwards. The very land upon which the great nation rises was reward from wars with Indians that lasted for centuries and the legend of western frontier would have been impossible but for the vigilante violence that made order and stability alive again in the wilderness. Even labor violence, though despised by the majority of the American public, turned to be the only path to recognition and a decent life for industrial workers, hence necessary and indispensable in preserving social harmony. 
Given such history, it is not surprising that the American nation formed a unique gun culture very early on. The formation of this gun culture has several sources, including puritanism, early frontier wars with native Americans, the American revolution, and the westward movement.
2.1.1 The Influence of Puritanism
Theoretically speaking, religion, to be more exact here, Puritanism is one cause--a primitive as well as ever-lasting cause--of violence in that it helps to create a key part of a person's identity. Puritanism effortlessly lends "an aura of concreteness, timelessness and supernatural authority to what is really contingent and fabricated". (Kenen, 2000:16) Hence the identity derived from this belief is envisioned and treated not as a deliberate act of human beings but as "transcendentally authorized", natural and eternal: "In the Bible, the identity of ancient Israel is shored up with the myth that it is God-given."(Luhar, 2012:87) By the same token, the identity of newcomers to the new world, instead of being created by their own painstaking efforts, was given as God's design and will. These Puritans thus viewed themselves as selected by God whereas their survival and later development over the land were considered to be planned and blessed by Him. Anyone who dare pose any obstacle to this survival or development, therefore, becomes the enemy to God, violating God's will and hence deserving God's punishments to be executed by His elects through whatever means (Llenas, 2013:76). 
2.1.2 The Influence of Early Frontier Wars with Native Americans
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, skirmishes between the Native Americans and the white men were frequent and often brutal. In these early wars, weaponry was critical to the outcomes of most battles, and the side which had better and more firearms usually won. According to some chroniclers, the possession and use of this weaponry on the frontier inevitably influenced the American character. "One may see in these circumstances the roots of the Americans' celebrated self-reliance and individualism, but they were equally well to explain some of the less attractive elements of the national character. Through the early years, men habitually carried weapons during every waking hour. They became inured to violence [and] to settling disagreements directly and by force.”(Paulson, 2007:47)
2.1.3 The Influence of the American Revolution
During the battles of the American Revolution, firearms, especially rifles, continued to play an important role as the Americans fought against the Red Coats. The British troops used the Brown Bess, a non-rifled musket that was inaccurate beyond a few dozen yards. In contrast, colonists used the Pennsylvania rifle, with a bored barrel that imparted a tight spin on the bullet and was accurate at a far greater distance. Moreover, it could be reloaded faster. This rifle struck such terror into the hearts of British regulars that George Washington asked his troops to be dressed in the frontiersman's hunting shirt, since the British thought every such person a complete marksman." (Ghitis, 2009:122) According to some historians, "the success [of the rifle] helped to instill in the American mind a conviction of the complete superiority of the armed yeoman to the military professional of Europe." (Shafaee, 2010:99)


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