Todd: So I'm here with Shantel and we're talking about stereotypes or about images people have about Americans. We're both teachers in Japan and it's interesting what people think about Americans. So I want to bring up a touchy topic, guns.
Shantel: Guns in America.
Todd: Yeah, so I have to admit that my students also are shocked when I tell them that pretty much everybody that I know has shot a gun.
Todd: (laughs) And every family I know has a gun and it's really shocking when people hear that, but it's kind of true, I think.
Shantel: Yeah, I think especially since you and I both are from rural towns.
Todd: Rural areas, yeah.
Shantel: But I grew up in a household that had several guns because my father is a hunter, so I think this is a little bit rare, the hunting at least, but I grew up and learned how to hunt along with my brother, and so for me it was, it was really normal to shoot a gun, to know how to be safe with a gun, to know when you can use it, how to clean it, things like this, and I think a lot of people in my town knew, a lot of, a lot of my friends and family members knew how to do it but in Japan, it's ... I if I tell someone that I have a gun in my home in America, the, the look on their face is-
Shantel: ... like horror, scared-
Shantel: ... very confused, why would anyone have a gun? And, I think I can understand because in Japan that is just not the case, guns are not as common or as readily available to the public in general.
Todd: Yeah, and I have to admit like I grew up on a farm and we had, you know, rifles and shotguns and we had them for either hunting or we actually had them for, to protect livestock like animals on the farm, but we never really used them. Well, actually I shouldn't say that, we could use them for target practice and we would, if we were bored, sometimes we would go out in the field and have, you know, try to hit tin cans or something. That was kind of how we would pass the time. But I have to admit, I was always freaked out when I saw handguns. I didn't like handguns, I never did.
Shantel: Oh, aha.
Todd: I don't know why, it just was like, you know, you'd see somebody would have one on a shelf or something like that and I thought, "Oh, wow, that's kind of weird." But the rifles and shotguns never bothered me at all.