Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gun Laws in UK vs. US

   Guns in the United States is almost a way of life for Americans; in the UK their gun laws are more restricted. In the US, we use guns for police officers, hunting, and for shooting sports. It can be easily said that the US is very reliant on our firearms. In the second Amendment, it states that we have the right to bare arms and I believe that Americans take full advantage of it. Citizens find freedom in firearms because they can be use them for fun such as hunting and also protection in a household. Police officers in the US find firearms as a source of a defense mechanism against criminals. A negative result to having guns available in the US is that guns can be placed in the wrong hands and be used to commit criminal acts. This raises the rates to have higher gun crimes in the US. It would be hard to do without guns in the US, but somehow the UK has found a perfect balance in their gun laws.
    The gun laws in the UK is a completely different situation than in the US. It is very uncommon for UK's citizens to have firearms and even for their police offers. I am not saying that they do not have guns at all because they do. It is just the laws are stricter than in the US. For example, any citizen in the UK that has a gun has to be licensed. Citizens go through programs to become licensed. There are major restrictions when it comes to the UK's police officers because not every officer gets to carry a gun like the US. There are very few officers who carry guns in the UK but the ones that do are specially trained and licensed. It would be looked at that the UK has had more control over their guns privileges to citizens and police officers. This results into low statistics in gun crimes.
     By having these two different cultures and looking at the situations that they have with guns and the laws pertaining to guns, it goes to show not every culture can have the same laws. We have to look at the situations that they have been through over the years and what would be best for the cultures now. As I explained, the UK has never had a problem with guns so if guns were completely taken way it would not be a huge deal. But to have the US to have no guns allowed would probably be a bigger challenge than it would ever be worth. This goes to show that cultures become accustomed to certain circumstances. While in London I would love to investigate further into this topic because I take a huge interest in guns. I think it will be interesting to see a culture that is the complete opposite.

The Terminology in London vs America

   In every culture, communication is a huge aspect of life. It is how people interact with one another or get around the area. Every culture is different when it comes to language or terminology. As a class we have been meeting for over several of weeks trying to prepare ourselves for our trip to London. One class period that really stuck out to me was learning the terminology for the basic sayings in London terms. The first step in adapting to the culture is to learn the slang that they use.
   The most common phases that should be learned before traveling anywhere is: where is the restroom, where is a restaurant, where is a telephone, and where can I get help? In London terms to try to find the bathroom, I would have ask "where is the loo?" It is more common in London to have restaurants  be referred to as pubs or cafes. To find the location of a telephone, I would simply have to ask "where is the bowler?" The last common phrase has to do with finding help or receiving help. In the United States we reach help by calling 911. However, in London we would have to all 999. Even though all of these phrases are simple, just knowing the correct terminology for the British culture makes a few things in our London trip go smoother. 
     There is a lot of different terminology just between British and the United States communication. The top ten different terminology that I got the kicked out of the most were the following: hole in the wall means ATM, return stands for a round trip, wad stands for money, posh frock stands for best dress, and trainers means sneakers. The next five in the list continues dealing with just food: afters means desserts, nutty means sandwich, fairy cake stands for cupcake, joint means a piece of meat, and scoff stands for food. Even though we are traveling to London and do not have to learn another language, we need to know the different terminology because if we do not, the British are going to have no idea what we are trying to say. Wish me the best of luck remembering all the terminology. Who knows - it might just stick and when I return to the United Sates no one will have the slightest clue what I am saying. 

The Typical American Stereotypes

    No matter what part of the world is traveled, there will always be situations where there are different  stereotypes. The main focus is going to be the stereotypes that Americans typically get from the British. One of the main stereotypes is that Americans are stupid and very uneducated. This particular stereotype makes me start thinking how their school systems are different to our school systems. This would have an impact on the stereotype of Americans being stupid in their eyes. The next stereotype is that Americans are fat and that our portions are extremely big. Americans are looked at in the UK as we are constantly consuming food to our bodies. I can completely understand this stereotype because as an American we rely on food and fast food that is completely unhealthy for us. Obesity is a huge problem in the United States and this is why this particular stereotype can be very fitting for us. A stereotype that I one hundred precent agree with that the British has about Americans is that we are very proud and speak our minds. To us it is completely normal, until we go to another culture and they are more reserved such as London. I know personally that I can be a very loud person and speak whatever comes to mind. This has me eager to go to London and experience first hand how Americans are so much louder the British. The last stereotype that caught me by surprised that the British has about Americans is we are actually friendly people and we are very confident. Even though most people think of stereotypes as a negative aspect, there are also some positive stereotypes. British do have several of stereotypes that are negative towards Americans but at the same time there are a few positive aspects of Americans in the British's eyes. I am extremely interested to see while in London how they stereotype us when we are there and if what I found is actually true or not. Stay tuned on an update on American stereotypes experienced first hand in London.

The Roller Coaster of Emotions

     The reasoning behind my blog title; Lost in London. I did not call my blog this because I plan to get lost. I am actually terrified to be the one American who gets lost on the trip. I picked this particular title for my blog  because I am lost in exactly what I want to do in my life. I know I want to be involved in criminal justice, I just do not know exactly what I want to be. In London I will still be lost in picking the exact direction I want to take with my career, but by the time I arrive home I hope to know exactly what direction I am going to be taking. The journey is going to open so many doors that have yet to even be imagined.    
      Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had the dream to travel the world. I was always told that, "you do not know what the world has to offer until you see it first hand." This statement has stuck with me over the years of growing up and has kept my interest in seeing the world going still till this day. I am a junior in college and my little girl dream is becoming true. In less than three weeks, I will be on a flight to London. 
      I will be traveling with the criminal justice studies to London the further my education in the criminal justice field. Not only am I passionate about traveling the world but I was extremely passionate about criminal justice. This trip is to not only see what the world has to offer in a different culture but to further my passion in criminal justice as a become closer to receiving a degree in this career field. I am going to gain the knowledge first hand of how two different criminal justice systems run according to the best interest of their culture. This will help me be more rounded of a person seeking a career in the criminal justice field. 
      Excitement is not the only word I would describe how I feel about this trip. I personally am extremely nervous, not because I will be out of the United States but because it will be a culture shock to me and I do not want to fail at adapting to the new lifestyle for a short period of time. In other words, I do not want to stick out like a sore thumb because I am a tourist. I want to do my best to try to blended in as much as possible. I might also add that I am terrified of planes, so that does not help with my nerves at all. Deep down in my heart I know this is going to be a positive adventure because I am going to experience a lot with some amazing people by my side. I am ready for a trip of a lifetime!