It is long overdue that the legislative & executive branches of US implement better policies on who can possess a gun
As President Barack Obama stated in his media address following the most recent school shooting in the US at Umpqua Community College in Oregon — which resulted in the killing of at least 10 people — the incidents of gun violence, the type of media response to these and his own comments following such mass shootings have become all too routine in the US landscape. While comparisons between the law and order situations in Pakistan and the US would be inappropriate, many will point out the numerous mass shootings in the latter country, quite a few of them in academic settings, making one wonder if one’s children are safe anywhere. This time, the killer’s motive appeared to be his anti-Christian sentiment; in other situations, such killers have known to target people belonging to other faiths or races, and have often suffered from serious mental health issues.
Whatever the motivation of these mass murderers, the fact remains that much of the blame for such violence lies with the American gun lobby and those of the country’s lawmakers who refuse to vote in favour of bills that would lead to better gun control. Gun lobbyists, including the National Rifle Association, claim that instituting more gun control laws, such as increasing the number of background checks and preventing the sale of certain types of advanced weapons, would be akin to violating the constitutional right of American citizens to bear arms — which seemingly should take precedence over citizens’ right to life. Their ridiculous stance that if more people possessed weapons, gun violence could be thwarted bears faulty logic considering President Obama’s reminder that there are approximately as many guns in the US as people. Why, then, if there are enough weapons to go around, has gun violence escalated out of control?
It is long overdue that the legislative and executive branches of the US implement better policies on who can possess a gun. It has come to a point where a way must be found to override the callousness of those in Congress who have repeatedly failed to safeguard American families in schools, places of worship and other public spaces.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2015.
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