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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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(定期ポスト)Vanity Fairを読もう

 


モギケンの「原書を一冊読め通せ」という発言が英語学習界隈で批判を浴びましたが、雑誌なら眺めるだけでも背景知識の強化はできます。誰が、どんなトピックが取り上げられているか知るだけでも違いますからね。

雑誌Vanity Fairは月刊ですし、ハリウッドネタから社会派ネタまで幅広いトピックを取り上げているのでとっつき易いと思います。動画は今月のカバーストーリーのMargot Robbieというセクシーな女優がオーストラリアのスラングを説明してくれているものです。Margot Robbieに惹かれて読み始めたんですが、銃規制の読み応えのある記事もありましたのでそちらも紹介させてもらいます。

THE CIVIL WAR THAT COULD DOOM THE N.R.A.
As the tragic pattern of gun violence continues, federal gun laws remain unchanged, thanks to the hardball tactics of the National Rifle Association. But despite the organization’s $310 million in revenues, political clout, and five-million-plus membership, the N.R.A. does face a genuine threat to its future: a growing divide between its ferocious leadership and sportsman rank-and-file.

• BY SARAH ELLISONJUNE 27, 2016 5:00 AM


アメリカの銃規制が一向に進まないのはNRAという強力なロビー団体があるからだというのは日本でも知られていることですが、the N.R.A. is not a monolith. It is malleableと、この団体は一枚岩ではなく、さまざまな亀裂が入っているというのが記事の趣旨です。

This is the N.R.A. that we now take for granted, but it has existed as such for little more than a generation. And the crucial takeaway from recent history is that the N.R.A. is not a monolith. It is malleable

it has existed as such for little more than a generationとあるのは、以前取り上げたNew Yorkerの記事でも触れていましたが1960年ごろまではNPAは銃規制に協力的で現在のような主張をするようになったのは1970年代を過ぎてからのようです。

また白人・男性というのが構成員のようですが、会員を増やす努力をしたものの女性や世帯の銃の所有率は減少傾向に歯止めがかかっていないようです。そうなると銃メーカーはすでに銃を持っているひとに複数売りつけるということをやっているそうです。また3Dプリンターで銃が個人で作れるようになった場合、銃メーカーと銃所有者の利益が相反することも予想されるので将来は安泰ではなさそうです。

Demographic shifts in the country don’t favor the core constituency of the N.R.A., which is white and male; the group likes to present women as the “fastest growing segment” of its membership, but according to a General Social Survey conducted by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, since 1980 gun ownership among women has remained largely unchanged. The number of gun-owning households in America is shrinking: from about half in 1977 to about a third in 2015. To keep gun sales rising—as they have been—the gun industry needs to sell more guns to people who already own guns, a practice that gun critics call “hoarding” and that gun enthusiasts call “collecting.” Either way, the industry must produce ever more attractive gun models to sell to fewer people. It is this self-interested agenda on the part of manufacturers, as much as a constitutional concern about gun rights, that lies behind the N.R.A.’s opposition to any form of effective regulation. Meanwhile, technological advances, such as the 3-D printing of guns, which allows anyone with a 3-D printer to build a gun in the privacy of his home, may eventually force the N.R.A. to choose between the interests of its financial backers (gun manufacturers and distributors would hate the idea of 3-D printing, for obvious reasons) and those of some of its most ardent constituents (who love the idea)

そうは言っても、銃所有以外にもさまざまな政治問題に絡んでいることは驚きです。所有者しか使えないスマートガンに反対したり、銃に関する研究に反対していて犯罪防止に及び腰のイメージは拭えないです。スマートガンについては先月の60 Minutesでも取り上げていましたね。

Meanwhile, the N.R.A. has broadened its activities into political arenas that have little to do with the actual ownership of guns. It has worked to pass bills that prevent pediatricians from speaking to patients and their families about guns they have in their homes. It has lobbied for bills that prevent military counselors from asking enlisted and former military officers about their personal firearms, even if the soldiers appear at risk of doing harm to themselves or others. The N.R.A. opposes micro-stamping, a technology that would help match bullets found at crime scenes to the guns from which they were fired. The organization opposes “smart gun” technology, used in Europe, which permits a gun to be fired only by its owner. The group has lobbied aggressively to prevent the Centers for Disease Control from studying gun violence as a public-health issue, even though the C.D.C. routinely studies the health consequences of many products and technologies, including automobiles.

議員が恐れているのはNRAに刃向かうと落選させられる可能性があるからですが、そんな力も大してないのではと記事で取り上げたりしています。また500万人の会員も銃所有者全体から見るとわずかのようですし、そもそも会員になるのは銃のイベントに無料で参加できるから会員になっているひとがほとんどだというのです。

As for those members, what does that claimed number of five million actually represent? Mother Jones has done extensive work analyzing the actual number of members of the N.R.A., a figure the organization guards with extreme secrecy. It appears to fluctuate. Even taken at face value, the number is a tiny sliver of gun owners in America—about 6 percent. And there are good reasons not to take the number at face value. Many of those members are people who signed up in order to get into other events free—such as the people who signed up at the Great American Outdoor Show I attended. Manufacturers such as Beretta, Taurus, Browning, Wilson, and Tactical Combat have, at times, given free memberships to anyone buying one of their products. The N.R.A. itself, according to a 2012 document obtained by Bloomberg News, regards only half of its membership as “active and interested.”

個人的にはオバマ大統領は健康保険制度を立ち上げることに成功しましたので、ヒラリー大統領には銃規制を成功させてもらいたいです。
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Yuta

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