What Way Out For US From Recurring Shootings? – OpEd


The recurring shootings and violent attacks in USA resulting in loss of innocent lives and injuries to many is a cause for huge concern. With all its mighty economic and military strength and huge network of intelligence agencies, US government seems to be clueless and appears to be facing a helpless situation in preventing such shootings.

There seem to be some pattern in such shootings ,as an individual chooses his time of attack totally unchecked and unnoticed and cause havoc. Of course, the police either catch him or shoot him down but this has not been enough to act as a deterrent against anyone indulging in such motivated violent acts.

There is increasing suspicion not only among the people in US,but all over the world that some extremist terrorist groups are organizing such attacks, choosing own time and place. The US government has not really come out so far with any credible investigation report as to which are the forces behind such attacks. President Trump routinely expresses his shock and condemnation and express his sympathy for the victims but nothing seems to be happening beyond this.

Obviously, such terrorist attacks are becoming a new form of warfare in different parts of the world, particularly in USA, India and several European countries.

It appears that Europe is now more vulnerable to such terrorist attacks , as Germany has thoughtlessly opened the door of Europe for thousands of refugees to enter Europe, with the German government considering their entry as a humanitarian issue.

Canada is also adopting similar policy of entertaining the refugees without adequate verification of their background and it remains to be seen as to what would be the impact of such policy in the social and security scenario in Canada in the coming years.

While US has not followed such policy of entertaining the refugees with open arms, still it has become vulnerable to such acts of terror. President Trump’s move to restrict the entry of persons from some selected countries to US has been vehemently criticized by a section of the US media and of course the pledged critics of Trump. Under their pressure, Trump also appears to have diluted his policy in this regard to some extent.

What is the way out from such internal security crisis situation now faced by US? What are the options left for President Trump, particularly since he would be personally held responsible if such attacks and killings would continue in US?

One obvious need is to severely tighten the gun laws which protect the right of US citizens to keep and bear arms. Today, almost every US citizen possesses a gun to meet the self protection need. This really means that everyone in US is scared that he may be shot down by anyone at any time and must have a gun to retaliate and protect himself.

The recent recurring incidents of shootings and killings in public places further create fear in the mind of the US citizens and perhaps, the gun culture in US will get further reinforced in such situation. This would be a very undesirable trend.

The first reaction of US President to the recurring shootings should be to start imposing severe curbs on the possession of guns by individuals. Of course, the gun lobby will not support this and US President should have the courage of conviction to defy the campaign of the gun lobby.

It is widely rumored that gun lobby in US regularly pays money to many US politicians including several senators in a way, that politicians will never act against the interest of the gun lobby. If this were to be true, then it is high time that this must be ruthlessly exposed by social groups in USA.

As innocent lives are being lost in violent shootings, President Trump cannot prevent the recurrence of shootings without imposing severe curb on the possession of guns by individuals. Unfortunately, Trump appears to be giving an impression that he is in favour of the present gun policy, which is a great cause for concern for those asking for safety and protection of individual citizens in private and public places.

What is very astonishing is that even while shootings take place at such frequent interval, the gun lobby in USA is sitting pretty.

While the terrorists and extremists are suspected to be indulging in shootings in big way, how to distinguish them and isolate them when everyone is having a gun whether he is a terrorist or not?

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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