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从俄勒冈枪击案看美国持枪文化
Real gun shooting experience has changed my view towards US gun culture

10月1日,美国俄勒冈州一所社区大学发生重大枪击事件,导致13人死亡,26岁的抢手在与警察交火中丧生。罗斯伯格市发生的这起枪支暴力事件是美国各地近年来发生的一系列血腥屠杀事件中的最新一起。它是2015年迄今为止美国发生的最致命枪击案,同时也是美国自2013年以来第994起4人以上死亡(包括抢手)的枪击事件。
 
On Oct.1, a mass shooting in a community college in Oregon killed 13 people. The gun man, a 26 year old was dead during the gun exchanges with the police. The violence in Roseburg was the latest in a flurry of mass killings in recent years across the United States. It was the deadliest so far in 2015 and was the 994 incidents in the US where there were four or more victims (including the shooter) since 2013. 


这起枪击案再次让美国以及全世界为之震惊,同时也令美国总统奥巴马愤怒不已,并指称 枪击事件已经沦为美国社会的家常便饭。但是尽管有关收紧枪械管制的辩论持续升温,奥巴马对此似乎仍无计可施。

The incident, which sent another shock wave across the country and the world, has left the president Obama visibly irritated and prompted him to call the gun massacres a routine. But despite the heated debates over a tightened law on gun control, the president seems unable to do anything to turn the tied around. 


美国“屡见不鲜的重大枪击事件”也在中国社交媒体上引发热议。由于在中国枪支很罕见,且持有枪械属于非法行为,许多中国网民将美国枪支泛滥归咎于其民主制度,并指责美国政府的枪械管制政策软弱无力。

The “routine mass shootings” in the US has also sparked heated conversations in Chinese social media. Many people in China, a country where firearms are rarity and owning a gun is illegal, blame the prevalent gun ownership in US on its democratic system, accusing that the government gun control policies lack teeth.  


在有关俄勒冈校园枪击案的新闻爆出后,一名博主在微博上写道:“如果美国人在孩子小小年级就开始教他们使用冲锋枪,那枪击案在美国如此频繁也就不足为奇了,在美国持有和使用枪支仍被视为‘正常’之事,而这完全是因为其是所谓的‘民主’国家。”

“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.”  


但是,在对美国根深蒂固的持枪文化及其长久的历史进行深入探讨后,你可能会得出不同的结论。

But an insightful look at US deep rooted gun culture and its profound history may lead you to different conclusion.  


事实上,有很大一部分美国人,尤其是南方各州的居民都很喜欢持枪。毫不夸大其词地说,持枪是美国人的天性。据估计目前美国人所持有的枪支达到近3亿支,几乎相当于人手一支枪。

In fact, a significant portion of Americans – especially in the southern states -- like guns. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that gun ownership is in Americans’ DNA. It's estimated that there are roughly 300 million guns in the country, which equates to nearly one gun per person.


但去年美国南部乔治亚州之行让我对美国的持枪文化有了更深入的了解。  

But it was through my last year’s visit to Georgia, a southern state in the US that I have more deep understanding of this gun culture. 


在乔治亚州,沃尔玛出售成箱的子弹就像食杂店出售瓶装水一样司空见惯,几乎所有乔 州居民家中都有一支枪作为自卫武器。

In Georgia, boxes of ammunitions were sold at Walmart just as bottles of water were sold in groceries, and almost 100% of households in Georgia had a gun in their home as a self-defence weapon. 


当地的电台和报纸等媒体亦鼓励所有居民持有枪支,尤其是妇女和华裔等少数族裔居民。当我走进乔治亚州一家射击场进行我平生第一次实弹射击时,办公室里的一位女职员热情地迎接了我,而她的一番话令让我这名在对枪支极其疏远和陌生的文化中长大的亚裔的内心之恐惧和担忧顿消。

The local media – including radios and papers -- encourage all residents to own a gun, especially women and ethnic minorities like Chinese. When I walked into a shooting range in Georgia, where I had my first life time experience of real gun shooting, a female clerk at the office offered me a warm greeting. Her words instantly relieved the fears and concerns of an Asian who grew up in a culture where gun was distant and remote:


她告诉我:“乔治亚州的很多女性都参加过射击训练,我们鼓励女性练习射击,因为这是女性学习自我保护的重要方式。”

“Many women in Georgia have had shooting drills…. We encourage women to practise gun shooting, as it is an important way for women to learn how to protect themselves,” she said to me.


尽管她的妇女练习射击以提高自卫能力的建议令我有点震惊,但事实上在这个美国南部州份这种建议是司空见惯。如何使用枪支保护自己,或在射杀家庭入侵者后该如何应对其法律后果也是当地电台谈话节目、报纸文章以及居民经常热议的话题。

Although her suggestion -- that women practise shooting for self-defence seemed a bit shocking to me at the time, it turned out to be a quite common advice in this southern state of America. How to use a gun to protect yourself, or how to deal with the legal aftermath of shooting a home intruder -- has become very common discussing topic in radio talk shows, newspaper articles and the conversations with locals. 


乔治亚州尤其鼓励当地的美籍华人使用枪支保护自己。当地一位居民告诉我,由于华人持枪率低于当地平均水平,华裔社区通常被认为是毫无防卫能力,从而更有可能遭受其他人的威胁或欺负。

Chinese Americans in Georgia are particularly encouraged to protect themselves through gun ownership. Being less armed than the local average, the Chinese community is generally perceived as defenceless, thus more likely to be bullied or taken advantage of by others – a local resident told me. 


在射击场摆好射击姿势后,我手握短枪瞄准5米外的标靶,用颤抖的双手对着假想入侵者连续开了10枪。我因在这个在持枪文化盛行的乔治亚州成功地射杀了这个对我生命构成威胁的假象的入侵者而深感如释负重。

After posing a shooting stance at the range –holding a gun straight and aiming at the target 5 meters away, I fired a consecutive 10 shots at the perceived intruder with trembling hands. I breathed a sigh of relief when I successfully killed an imaginary intruder who posed a threat to my life in this gun culture-prevalent state.


在我从乔治亚州返程时,我从汽车里听到一位访谈节目主持人在通过电台信号高喊道:“与其你被6个人抬走,还不如被12个人审判”。这位主持人称,在你的生命受到威胁时,你最好开枪自救然后面对12名陪审员,而不是被人杀害然后被6名医护人员用担架抬走。

“You are better off being judged by 12 than carried out by 6” a talk show host shouted through the radio wave as I listened in the car during my return trip from Georgia. According to him, when your life was threatened, you’d better fire the shots to save your own life and then face 12 jurors, than being killed and carried out by 6 paramedics on a stretcher. 


他还称:“你最好进行自我保护,而不是依赖政府保护你。”

“You’ are also better off protecting yourself than relying on the government to protect you.” He added.


从乔治亚州返回后,我对美国的持枪文化有了截然不同的看法。我相信所有热衷于谴责美国人,并将他们称之为“拜枪主义者”的大陆新移民们终究有一天也会成为持枪者,当然这是出于自我保护的目的。

I came back from Georgia with a completely different view on the US gun culture. And I believe any new immigrant from China who loves to wag their fingers at Americans’ and call them gun-worshipers would become a gun owner one day – for self-protection, of course.


美国普遍的持枪现象和根深蒂固的持枪文化,令奥巴马和美国立法者在阻止重大枪击惨案的发生上感到力不从心。但是实际上,俄勒冈州的重大枪击事件可能只会导致越来越多人持有枪支,因为它将促使更多美国人依靠自己的武器对抗暴力和保护自身及家人的福祉。

Amid this widespread gun-ownership and the deep-rooted gun culture in the US, Obama and the US lawmakers feel helpless to prevent the mass shooting tragedy from happening. In fact, Oregon’s shooting incident would only lead to a growing trend of gun ownership as it will prompt more Americans to rely on their weapons to fight violence and to safeguard the wellbeing of themselves and the families.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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