International Students and Gun Ranges? An Astounding Mixture

Recently, I was sitting waiting for my International Business class to start and chatting with some of the other students in the class. I really enjoy this class, because over half of the students are international students, and so I get to make new friends from around the world and learn a lot. I am never disappointed by the things that I learn, but rather, intensely intrigued. This day was no different.

A new friend of mine, Pierre, and I were having a conversation about his experiences thus far in the States. I always like to ask my new international friends questions about their time here, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I really do learn a lot from simple questions. During one of these revealing question-and-answers, Pierre revealed to me that he had recently gone to the gun range.

“Really?” I asked, a bit astonished, and confused, and maybe even with a hint of distaste. Guns are a hot-button topic in the US all the time, especially considering the sheer number of children that are murdered every year in their own classrooms by their own classmates. Can you tell how I feel about guns?

My relationship with guns is tenuous. My family owns several guns. I’ve shot several guns. I understand why people want them and why people think they need them…. but I also believe that in the big picture, guns are completely unnecessary deadly weapons. The most rational argument for guns is that people want them for hunting. Personally, I find hunting distasteful as well, but I see the worth in it to control animal populations, as well as for those people who must hunt for food. Trophy and pure sport hunters, however, disgust me. However, even though I understand why humans hunt (when it is with pure intentions, anyway) and how it can be good for the whole, I disagree with the use of guns for hunting. If you want to hunt something, unleash your wild, instinctual side and use a bow and arrow. Guns make it far too easy. The world would be a better place without guns, yet, I know that such a thing will never happen.

Please excuse my rant, but also notice that I kept it within this blog post for your reading pleasure. If you want to have a chat sometime and hear my entire opinion (who wouldn’t want that?), hit me up sometime.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming: International students like going to gun ranges to shoot guns. It’s something that is on several of their lists to do in America…. Because guns are hard to come by in most other places. They are either heavily regulated or completely illegal. In fact, I can confidently guess that most international students who attend OU never shot a gun before they arrived in the states. Many of them probably remain that way, but several of them head to the gun range, pay a couple of bucks, and sink some shots into a flimsy piece of paper a couple of yards away.

For some reason, this news startled me, and I’m still thinking about it. I can’t believe that something us red-blooded Americans hear about and have access to every day, and something we can use however we please, is like an exciting toy to foreign people. They want to try it out and see what it is like to hold deadly force in their own hands. I understand that guns can be fun to handle, and it can be exciting to hit your target perfectly, but otherwise, I really don’t see the appeal. Disclaimer: I’m 100% not judging international students for wanting to shoot guns. It’s a novel activity that they’ve never done in their lives and may never do again, by all means, we should allow them to do so in a safe and controlled environment. I’m still simply perplexed by the idea that international students want to go to shooting ranges. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Other than more rants in my head, I think I’ll end this blog post here, for the sake of brevity and intrigue.