Guns and Responsibility

Marina Pascual, College of DuPage


The United States leads the world in the number of mass shootings. My poster board provides excerpts from philosophers Bruno Latour and Hannah Arendt to answer who or what is responsible for the distinct number of mass shootings in the United States when compared to other countries. I used Latour’s excerpt to demonstrate the question of responsibility in a mass shooting is often more complicated than just the gunman or the gun. He argues that it is the essential combination of the shooter and the gun that turns a violent encounter into a deadly shooting. I employed Arendt’s philosophy of collective responsibility to assert a person is responsible for all of the deeds their state has claimed. By choosing not to vote for increased gun control measures, government officials are collectively responsible for atrocities committed and citizens are responsible for voting for their officials. The shooter is not the only responsible party. It is also the responsibility of the firearms themselves, gun manufactures, the government, and the citizens to prevent firearms from reaching a potentially dangerous person. People must fight to keep firearms away from those who could use it for malice or they share the responsibility of the tragedy.