It did not take more than 45 hours since I arrived to see one of the most disturbing American stereotypes perfectly fulfilled. On my second day in Memphis, Tennessee, a local student invited me and my German fellow students to visit the pyramid in downtown Memphis. It houses the world’s largest Bass Pro Shops on almost 50,000 square meter. Bass Pro Shops offer housing, fishing and camping merchandise.
Bass Pro Shops often get criticized because of their sale of weapons. In 2012, the gunman James Holmes killed 12 people and hurt 70 more in the Aurora shooting in a movie theater. Investigations revealed that he bought two of his four firearms in a Bass Pro Shop in Denver. When I went into the pyramid in Memphis to visit the Bass Pro Shop, the stereotype hat every American carries a gun seemed fulfilled.
I was shocked by what I saw. A little shooting-range was located inside the shop and several parents showed their children how to shoot with guns. Nerveless some of these children did not look older than four years old. Yet, their parents put guns and rifles into their small hands.
Even if these guns were just toy guns, parents showing their children how to shoot is totally irresponsible. From a European perspective, it is hard to believe that some parts of the American society obviously did not learn anything from the gun violence in the last years. The answer to gun violence is not to teach little children how to shoot. The answer is to abolish the second amendment which allows people to keep and bear guns. Only the state should be allowed to carry guns.