In the USA, there is no guarantee that the person who left home will return safely in the evening. Thanks to the easy accessibility of guns. Any adult citizen above the age of 21 can purchase firearms. Therefore, a sense of doom always hangs in this advanced country. It is the country with the largest civilian gun ownership in the world. It has been found that there are more firearms with the citizens than the total population of the country. The law here never considers that adults may go insane and fire that gun on the innocent at some point in time. It seems the court of law still does not admit that “parents’ pistols” can also be used as playthings by their kids. Moreover, since the arms sales involve the trillion-dollar business, the leaders only whimper, not scream, against the increasing gun-shooting violence.
The most gruesome gun attack recently happened at a dance studio in Monterey Park, one of the thickly populated suburbs of Asian Americans in Los Angeles, killing 11 people and leaving nine others injured. A 72-year-old man indiscriminately shot fire at the people in the dance hall. The perpetrator, Huu Can Tran, was found dead quite away from Monterey Park due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The gun attack at Monterey Park was the fatal one since May 2022, when a shooter, an “18-year-old boy”, fired over 19 school students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. The incident plunged the entire country into grief. What is most appalling is the countless gun shooting incidents that occur across the USA yearly while the National Rifle Association harps that Americans need to “buy” more and more guns for “self-defense”. A trick of the trade at the cost of one’s life!
Well, what all drives Americans to fire shots at the innocent? Will the mass demonstrations and candlelight protests bring an end to this vicious shooting culture? No, not at all. Why is there no total ban on a gun-buying spree where people can purchase firearms as they buy cakes from a bakery shop? One finds America the most naïve country to think adults can’t behave like a savage! Racial hatred, particularly white supremacy, is another menace in the US that led to brutal gun violence resulting in horrific bloodshed. What about the January 6, 2023 incident in Virginia where a just “6-year-old child” shot his teacher and wounded her in the classroom? Should teachers also carry a pistol for their defense in school? There are more questions than answers.
The leaders, including from previous governments, are to blame for the rise in gun violence in the country. The most horrendous Las Vegas shooting that killed 60 people and wounded at least 413, and the Orlando nightclub shooting, which left 49 people dead, failed to touch the conscience of the leaders who continue to promote gun sales. They are only good at expressing their hollow condolence messages as routine affairs.
One wonders how many more bloody massacres should happen before political leaders take gun violence with absolute seriousness. Their lackadaisical attitude is more “unpardonable” than barbaric gun shooters. Until the gun craze is checked, humanity will remain defenseless in America.
An India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ that has earned worldwide appreciation. Translated into thirteen languages, his book has been edited by a former NASA scientist – Dr. AV Murali of Houston, USA. Gewali is also a member of the International Human Rights Commission, Zürich, Switzerland.