Guns kill America


I have written about gun violence in the U.S. before, and I thought it would subside in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings in 2012 which had shaken the American conscience forever. 20 young children and 6 adults died in that massacre. Did the U.S. do anything specific to control guns in its aftermath ? NONE, whatsoever. Contrary to expectations, there are states in the U.S. like Texas which recently enacted legislation to allow carrying of guns in university and college campuses. Can you believe that ? How would you react if you are a professor, or a foreign student, or even a Texan student ? What I cannot understand is that the U.S. continues to have faith in endorsing the liberty enshrined in its constitution to “bear arms”. That was written some 240 years ago, in a different kind of country and different time. This is the 21st Century and some three centuries later, the U.S. still wishes to adopt the same old gun laws. Just look at other “Western” developed countries. Australia, is a case in point, where gun licensing is mandatory and gun population has been drastically reduced with the consensus of citizens. Look at the results – gun violence has been dramatically reduced, and gun-related suicides have also gone down drastically. People are confidently walking the streets for the past 19 years because of the tough gun laws enacted under Prime Minister John Howard. But, where is the U.S. ? Nowhere near any kind of gun control. President Obama can only weep on the national TV and plead with the Congress, which did not even act in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings. Do we think it will act now ? No. The context now, is of course, the slaying of Black men and women at a historically famous church in Charleston, South Carolina. A White man killed 9 Blacks in an unconscionable act of savagery inside the premises of a church. Can this happen anywhere else in the civilized world ? Clearly a racist, hate crime of unpardonable dimensions, this incident is again shaking up the American conscience. So, what is the message the U.S. is sending to the world ? That, it is OK for its citizens to kill each other, when it won’t allow such behaviour elsewhere around the world ? That, it is OK for racism to prevail in the U.S. while it will push for equal treatment elsewhere around the world ? That, it is OK for its citizens to carry guns openly anywhere around the country (most of it), while it purports to be the most advanced country in the world ? That it is OK to have 500M guns in a country with 320M citizens ? And, so on and so forth………… Time to think America. Time to act, Mr Obama. Time to act, Congress. Don’t kill yourselves. Cheers, Vijay Srinivasan 21st June 2015

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