Following are the last 5 Chinese misconceptions about America (See Part 1).
6. America has poor national security due to rampant firearms
This misconception has come from long-term exaggeration in Chinese state media, and even sensational media coverage in the West too.
America does give every adult over the age of 21 the right to bear arms, which is stated clearly in the 2nd amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, pondered for a long time on this, and believed that U.S. citizens should have freedom of firearms and ammunition.
As well as hunting and self-defense, it should help citizens protect themselves if they were taken over by an authoritarian government. Citizens’ weapons can help play the role of deterring tyrant leaders.
Of course, we do hear reports of U.S. campus shootings or public massacres. In general, though, the U.S. has strict management of firearms and its security is generally quite good.
In America, procedures for buying a rifle or a pistol are quite strict. If you want a rifle, you need to submit a written application to the police. The police will give you a reply within 24 hours, and you’ll have to go in for an interview.
However, the permit excludes pistols. The regulations are much stricter to get a pistol (hand gun). Why are rules so different in the U.S. for buying pistols and rifles? Because pistols are easy to carry and conceal; therefore, they are more dangerous.
In American households, firearms and ammunition must be stored in a safe. Firearms and ammunition are stored separately.
7. States in America are similar to provinces in China
Both China and the United States are roughly the same size in territory. The U.S. has 50 states. The U.S. stands for “the United States of America,” abbreviated as USA.
Unlike China’s provinces, however, the states are more like countries that are united under one constitution. They surrender their diplomatic rights and the rights to declare war, but reserve other powers. So each state also has its own constitution and laws, which vary from state to state, including the tax rates.
Governors of the 50 states do not take orders from the president, and their fate of appointment is not controlled by the U.S. president; they are voted in by the people.
When the U.S. president inspects states, governors and mayors do not need to accompany or receive the president.
8. America has serious racial discrimination
Actually, in the history of America, racial discrimination was rampant, and that was a shame. However, American people are proud to have worked hard for over a century to resolve their slave issue; it also has laws against racial discrimination. In the U.S., discrimination is a very sensitive subject, and a crime.
We can easily say that the United States has more races and ethnic groups than any other countries in the world. Considering this, the different ethnic groups and nationalities generally get along pretty harmoniously.
9. Children from poor families cannot afford education
Many Chinese people have deep misunderstandings about education in America. In reality, American education is fair, with equal opportunity to education for all.
In the U.S., the 12-year compulsory education system, from elementary (5 years old) to high school graduation, is strictly implemented, and it is free. Students do not pay tuition or other costs. No matter whose child, as long as a child is in the U.S., they can enroll in a school nearby.
Although universities require tuition, students will not have to drop out due to financial reasons. There are more than 40,000 foundations in the U.S., as well as many large companies, that like to assist students from poor families, who have talent, to go to universities.
10. One cannot choose schools
In the United States, one does not choose a school, but one can choose where to live.
That means your child go to a school in that community. Chinese often think that one has to buy a house in that area, and that is not true. One can rent in a certain area, or find someone who will provide accommodation for your child.