Op-ed: Can Chinese Philosophers Provide Solutions on Dealing with Gun Violence | Teen Ink

Op-ed: Can Chinese Philosophers Provide Solutions on Dealing with Gun Violence

February 21, 2023
By GD_Yun BRONZE, La Canada, California
GD_Yun BRONZE, La Canada, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Op-ed: Can Chinese Philosophers Provide Solutions on Dealing with Gun Violence

In the first 25 days of the new year 2023, there have been 39 mass shootings in the United States. Over 2919 dead and 2191 were injured. The United States' gun violence is out of control. While countries like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Britain have all had their gun violence rates almost cut in half in the past 10 years, the United States’ rates have only been increasing. 

A contributing factor is the sheer number of guns in the United States. There are 393 million owned firearms in the US, not including unregistered and illegal weapons. That would be 120 firearms per 100 citizens in the United States

In California, out of the 39 mass shootings worldwide, several have appeared in back-to-back succession. The Monterey Park and the Bay shooting happen 1 - 2 days apart from each other. The Monterey Park shooting happened on January 21, 2023, and killed 11 people and left 9 people wounded. The shooter attacked the Star Dance Studio and the Lai Lai Ballroom which was a couple of miles away. These Dance studios and Monterey Park mainly consisted of Asian Americans, and the community was left shaken. The Bay shooting killed 7 and left one person injured and was located at Half Moon Bay. The two perpetrators were both over the age of 60 and both used a semi-automatic pistol that they made.

Most countries that have had their gun violence rates drop all had one thing in common. They all implemented a new law or program which significantly lowered their gun-related deaths. In my opinion, we should follow these countries and make a new program or law, banning rapid-fire rifles and shotguns. 

What these countries are doing is similar to what the Chinese philosopher Han Feizi did in the Warring States Period, around 453-221 BCE called Legalism. Legalism is the ideal/belief that all humans are born evil and have strict laws. Also, Legalism has the ideal that bad behavior should result in harsh punishment, while good behavior would be rewarded. Han Feizi said, “The intelligent ruler does not value people who are themselves good without rewards and punishments. Why is that? The laws of the state cannot be neglected, and it is not one man who is being ruled.” This quote tells us that the great philosopher Han Feizi would rather have a good citizen when there are harsh rules, punishments, and rewards than a good citizen when there are restrictions. It's not who is good or who is bad but if the citizens can fall in line and allow the emperor to maintain order.

Earlier, This is similar to Legalism having strict laws and very harsh punishments. Another example that promotes the Legalism beliefs, is that all humans are born evil. According to CNN, “Firearm injuries are now the leading cause of death among people younger than 24 in the United States, according to a study published in the December 2022 edition of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.” 

Every place that has implemented a slight legalist ideal to this situation has decreased their gun violence dramatically and the only reason why the US's problem isn't getting better is that we haven’t implemented a law like this. Also, the guns used in the Monterey and Bay shooting were pistols that were handmade. The US has to fix this since a person was able to make their own gun finding or buying parts. If the US implements a Legalist ideal, it could make the gun violence rates drop and make the country a safer place.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.