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America, at the gunpoint

America, at the gunpoint

The US has been acting as the world’s policeman with an arrogance capable of quashing anybody or anything on Earth.

Even at the United Nations platform for global peace in the wake of episodes of violence in recent past, US President Donald Trump showcased an aggressive ‘performance’ of warmongering against North Korea. America that doesn’t display even a tad guilt or hesitancy in threatening or destroying the foreign countries, is but apprehensive due to the failure in tackling the petty forces inside the country that slaughters its own citizens; this might be an ironical destiny. However, the violence inside the country has been escalating as the days pass. The mass shooting in Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas on Sunday night was the deadliest of all. In the US where guns and guitars are sold together, 64-year old Stephen Paddock opened fire on an open-air music festival killing 59 and injuring 527.

The primary information from the investigations reveal that the mass shooting was a carefully planned one and not out of any sudden incitement or high intoxication. The official authorities have denied any links between Paddock and the Islamic State despite the claims of the terrorist organization. Like eminent American journalist and author Thomas L Friedman said, if Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim, ‘we would be scheduling immediate hearings in Congress about the worst domestic terrorism event since 9/11. Then there would be immediate calls for a commission of inquiry to see what new laws we need to put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We will turn the world upside down to track down the last Islamic State fighter in Syria deploying B-52s, cruise missiles, F-15s, F-22s, F-35s and U-2s. We will ask our best young men and women to make the ultimate sacrifice to kill or capture every last terrorist’, he says. However, when it came to light that the killer was a non-Muslim from the country itself, the President didn’t bother to go for those measures. No one from the government or the Opposition have protested in this regard. But, America is upset. The powerful nation that could easily go to any extent to confront the enemies outside the country, haven’t been able to decide on how to tackle the foes inside. The nation has not completely recovered from the shock of the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016 that killed 49. That’s when the gunman who checked into the hotel room with 23 rifles armed with careful planning, unleashed a barrage of gunfire.

In the case of gun culture, the US is presently entangled in its own legal barriers. According to the Constitutional amendment in 1789, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is safeguarded alongside the security of the free nation. It’s this Constitutional right that the National Rifles Association (NRA) cite while voicing for their right to bear arms. Weapon manufacturing companies have exploited this right. There are 89 guns for 100 US citizens. And what is the price America pays for it? The data says that about 93 US citizens on an average become victims of gun violence and lose their lives every day. Since 2000, at least 15, 983 people have been killed in the skirmishes with the police and the law and order system in the US. At the same time, the Supreme Court had observed four times between 1876 and 1939 that the right to possess the arms for social security, was not a loophole to keep and bear weapons as per the individual’s wish. However, such clarifications remained merely as verdicts.

President Barack Obama decided to form a new law for curbing gun violence when a 20-year old opened fire at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut killing twenty children. But he was compelled to withdraw from his decision after strong opposition from the weapon manufacturing companies and the National Rifles Association that is counted as a ‘third political party’ besides the Democratic and Republic parties. Since then, the Las Vegas tragedy is the 1500th mass shooting after in the US and the 273rd this year. It’s the legislators loyal to the NRA lobby themselves who aggressively objected during all the fifteen times when forming new laws for curtailing gun violence were being contemplated. When the gun violence escalated, the suggestion put forth by the association was a brutal mockery- it was to allow more people to use guns. During the election campaigns, Donald Trump was at the forefront as the advocate of the ‘gun men’. However, Trump who condemned the Las Vegas shooting on Sunday, called it an ‘act of pure evil’.

Whether the tragedy opened the eyes of the Americans is a question and ‘no’ will be the answer, in the case of guns. In the last twenty years, those who possess arms have been campaigning for the right to keep and bear arms, rather than its control. There are 310 million civilian guns in the country where is roughly one gun for every person. Guns supposedly, are a status symbol and a sign of personal liberty. The terrifyingly escalating tragedies prove that the arms manufacturing companies have succeeded in such a symbolising. As long as holding the guns down is perceived as equal to surrendering one’s own freedom, the senseless lot will continue to embrace it. Except the Americans, none could save America from the gunpoint of it’s own citizens.

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