Gun Culture Sweden and the United States


The way of life in different countries varies due to the values thatthe society places on the community. Each region has a modern culturethat changes with time. However, there are traces of traditionalpractices though their elements fade with time. Gun ownership is aprimarily varied culture in different cultures. The citizens’capacity to acquire and use guns is not only subject to the rulesimposed by the state but also by the values that the society placeson the arms. The American and the Swedish gun ownership and usecultures exhibit differences, and these are visible from the numberof atrocities committed using illegal and legal arms.

The United States culture f owning guns can be traced to the popularculture of cowboys in the 19th century mainly for sharpshooting andhunting. With the emergence of gangster films, gun ownership, and usetook another turn wit a good number of the citizens purchasing gunsto commit crimes. The Constitution of the United States also allowspeople to own guns if they are of good character and not under theinfluence of drugs (Max, 2012). Also, individuals who might have beendischarged from the disciplined forces for unbecoming behavior orhaving been discharged from prison are not allowed to own guns.However, there is still a large number of illegal guns in thesociety.

The popular culture of gangsters, especially among the youth, is amajor cause of regular indiscriminative shootings in schools andpublic places. Although it is illegal to commit murder in the UnitedStates, people are free to carry guns in various states forself-defense purposes. According to the United nation’s report,five out of 100,000 people die from gun wounds and fatal shots (Max,2012).

Gun culture n Sweden exhibits a sharp contrast with the situation inthe United States. Unlike the gangster culture in America thatinstigated any young people to acquire guns both legally andillegally in the United States, the major reason driving people toown arms n Sweden is hunting. The country has a long history ofhunting and people join hunting groups to gain experience with arms.It is a requirement of the law that an individual should have been amember of a hunting group for at least six months before beingallowed to own guns. The minimum age of owning a gun is 18 years.However, before youths attain this age parents usually introducetheir children to hunting and this changes the gun cultureorientation (Max, 2012).

As seen from the American context, weapons are primarily acquired forself-defense. In Sweden, they are for hunting. After six months, somedoes not get a right to own high caliber weapons and they have togain experience with small arms first. Therefore, chances of misusingthe gun or accidental shooting are very rare. In America,indiscriminative shootings hit the headlines occasionally mainlyperpetrated by teenagers who have no previous experience with guns(Max, 2012).

In conclusion, the two countries have different gun culture. InAmerica, civilians wielding guns intimidate others, and they areperceived as possible threat. In Sweden, citizens are not allowed bylaw to carry their weapons to public places (Max, 2012). However,people from hunting trips do not send chills among the people sincetheir intention is well known. The guns are not meant for the crimebut hunting.


Max,F. (2012, 15 December). What makes America`s gun culture totallyunique in the world, in four charts. Washington Post.Retrieved from