What We Talk About When We Talk About Guns-
What was your viewpoint regarding firearms, their uses and misuses, and legislation coming in to the project?
Before this project, I thought we should have gun control. Does that mean I think every person needs to give up their firearms or have them taken away? No. But, I do think that in order for us to be more safe and to reduce shootings, that it should be better controlled. Yes, I know that it's not all about the guns, but the people too. How I thought about it was this: If we have stricter gun laws and more control, that means less people will get their hands on firearms, which would then reduce the amount of shootings we are having. I thought that if people really want to buy a gun, then there should be a harder process to get a gun. Such as screenings, safety classes, background checks, etc. After the project, I would still say I have the same viewpoint as I had before, but also a little different. Due to the fact that I worked on the gun safe room, where I had to research the guns and their uses, I have come to the conclusion that I think some guns should just not exist. At all. And those are automatic guns. Full-automatic. I never understood their point, and I do not now. If you are a hunter, you have other guns such as rifles. If you need to protect yourself? Pistols. But, fully automatic guns should not exist in my opinion.
In what ways was that viewpoint challenged by our class conversations, your research, and the exhibition?
My viewpoint regarding firearms have been challenged by again, just working in the room that I did. Researching those guns and being in a group that for the most part had different views than mine were challenging. I understood where they were coming from, and even essentially understood why they think what they do, but it was hard for me to sometimes agree to do something or talk in my group when my viewpoint was different than theirs. The research that I did was interesting because I got to research the guns and what they were used for and their history. It was interesting and eye-opening to see how different these particular types of guns were used back then, to how they are used now.
What adversity did you face during this project and how did you overcome it/make your way through it?
Adversity that I faced from the duration of this project mainly included disagreement. Although, I tried to seek out the people who had different opinions or viewpoints than I did and have a solid conversation about why we have a different opinion on the topic and to come to an understanding of each other, it was kind of hard. Some people get really, really heated about the topic of guns and either shut down completely or get angry. It was hard when at the beginning of this project when we were more so talking as a whole class and some people from the "other side" felt like they weren't being heard, and when everyone would listen and talk back to it, those people still felt like they were being "attacked" or "unheard", and it was a little bit difficult to try and spark a conversation when people felt that way.
In what ways did you contribute to your group and the class as a whole?
I contributed to my group by doing the gun profiles, (researching their about, uses and histories) as well as working on the makeshift gun safe we made for the room. I worked on five of the profiles and edited ten of them. As for the class as a whole, I think by mainly working on the gun safe room contributed to it, because it was one less thing the project managers had to worry about, and it was something that I also helped my group with.
What can you point to in the exhibition that is yours (e.g. something you made, researched, etc.)
Gun profiles was a major thing that I had been apart of, which had a role into the room I was doing. I researched the different types of guns and their histories, as well as spent my time refining and redoing other peoples profiles as well when it was crunch time. The main profiles that I worked on were automatic rifles, assault rifles, personal defense weapon, AR-15 rifle, AK-47 rifle and the 22 long rifle. I also helped with making the gun safe for our room, such as putting the wheel in it, carving out a space for the calculator to sit (the padlock) and hot gluing the top closed.