ISSN 2330-717X

Americans: Stand Up To The Gun Lobby – OpEd

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Salvador Ramos 18-year-old carrying a rifle, walked into Robb Elementary School on May 25 and opened fire, leaving at least 19 children and two teachers dead.Such mass shootings are a common feature of the American gun culture  taking place in schools.Frustrated President Biden said he is “sick and tired” of mass shootings like this, and “we have to act.” “As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said. “When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Then he also decides to ask “Why” it is that events such as mass shootings “Rarely happen anywhere else in the world”.

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Former President Barack Obama, who was in office when a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, said the “US is paralysed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.”And the US continues to remain paralysed by the fear of  the gun lobby.

If Biden is really so concerned about having an “impact on this carnage” I as an ordinary law abiding citizen of the world ask Mr Biden; “But for God’s Sake who the hell is stopping the strongest man of the world at the moment you (Mr Joe Biden) to act to stop and stand up to the gun lobby?”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provisional data shows that more than 45,000 people were killed by guns in 2020, a level of gun deaths not seen in decades.Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, has been calling for immediate action on gun violence. These data illustrate the tragic consequences of the failure to enact evidence-based gun safety laws. This new data shows an average of more than 120 gun deaths per day! 

“Why”  such mass shootings “Rarely happen anywhere else in the world”?

  • The US Constitution  establishes ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms’.
  • American military culture engaged in continuous warfare has e-imbued violence, profit-driven military industrial complex, both of which continue to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.
  • The US is number ‘One’ consumer,exporter and perpetrator of violent conflicts in the world.
  • America is a nation that makes a living through defense contract profits, weapons manufacturing and endless wars.Latest being the ongoing Ukraine Russia war.
  • All of the military equipment featured in blockbuster movies churns out profit for the military industrial complex. TV shows have also got into the same game to make profits(1800 movies and TV shows).Violent video games have accustomed players to interactive war play through military simulations.A multi billion-dollar video game industry an escape from real life!
  • The media, TV friendly  eager to score higher ratings, have been equally complicit in making the population friendly to war like situations and  cultivating loyalty to their war machine.Professor Roger Stahl refers to this as “militainment” —that glorify the military and serve as recruiting tools for America’s expanding military empire through Hollywood blockbusters .

America spends more on war  than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy and Brazil. America polices the globe, with 800 military bases and troops stationed in  countries all over the world.

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How to stop the gun violence?

  • Stringent gun control measures, widespread mental health screening of the general population.
  • Stop treating guns and war as entertainment fodder in movies, music, video games, toys, amusement parks, reality TV, sports and more.
  • Stop distributing and exporting weapons of war to fall in the military industrial complex’s psychological war games for their profits.

The so-called gun lobby  supports candidates who have pledged opposition to gun control measures.  It includes direct contributions to legislators, efforts to independently support elected officials, and campaigns to sway public opinion on issues related to firearms. These lobbies have close ties with the multi-billion dollar firearms industry in the US.

From 1998 to 2020, pro-gun groups paid $171.9m in lobbying to directly affect legislation, according to Open Secrets, a non-profit that tracks spending in US politics. Since 1998, the NRA alone paid $63,857,564 in that category.Trump repeatedly promised to support gun rights, in 2017 telling the NRA “I will never, ever let you down.”In 2021, gun control groups spent $2.9m on lobbying.

Efforts to legislate gun control on a federal level have made little headway in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, but advocates have pointed to a growing gun control movement that they say could lead to change.Democratic officials blaming Republican legislators for remaining beholden to influential pro-gun interests that advocates say have stalled national gun reforms.

US President Joe Biden instead of asking Americans to stand up to gun lobby need to first amend or modify ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms’ which have been enshrined in the US Constitution with some stringent laws as US has lenient gun control laws and firearms can be purchased fairly easily.Stop the practice of legislators to be supported by the gun lobby. However, whenever a mass shootout takes place, demand for tougher gun control laws comes to the fore. ”Will it once again be business as usual or will President Joe Biden act?”

Reference:

Mass Shootings: The Vicious Cycle Fueled By America’s Toxic Cult Of Violence By John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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