“Countries with stricter gun laws do not have mass killings like the ones in the US”
Once again, there was another mass shooting in the United States where 19 children and two adults were gunned down in Uvalde town in the state of Texas last week.
Reading the ages of the slain children is gut wrenching and something that those families will never be able to likely forget.
The children were massacred in a place where they were supposed to be safe— Classroom.
The perpetrator was a teenager who waited until he turned 18 to go and buy the two automatic rifles that he used for the crime. This was just 10 days after another mass shooting in Buffalo, New York where 10 individuals were killed by a deranged man.
The frequency of such events suggests it is almost predictable. The country is once again plunged into a state of grief and recrimination on what to do with this cycle of violence.
Sadly, even before the victims could be laid to rest, senior politicians in Texas are already signaling their opposition to some kind of gun control.
I wish we can say this is a disease common to all developed countries but it is not.
It is only in the United States where this happens with frightful regularity. It’s, shall we say, a uniquely American phenomenon.
In almost all countries around the world, the obvious solution to this problem would be to limit the proliferation of firearms in the hands of private citizens.
But in the United States, what is simple becomes quite complicated.
For one, there is the second amendment to the US constitution that guaranties the right of citizens to own guns. Because of this, gun ownership is so engrained in the American psyche.
Add the National Rifle Association into the mix with their lobbying and political clout. And it gives us people watching around the world the magnitude and difficulty of the problem faced by those who want to introduce gun regulations.
But must it be that easy to just go to a gun store and buy two automatic rifles like buying a hammer?
Why can’t background checks be done to ensure that only qualified people will be able to buy guns?
But even this background check which is so obvious as a solution could not even reach first base in both Houses of their Congress because lawmakers are afraid of losing the next election.
Time and again, it has been proven that countries with stricter gun laws do not have mass killings like the ones in the United States.
Switzerland is one example. There are a lot of guns in the hands of private citizens in that country. But we do not hear or read of mass shootings happening there.
This is because the Swiss government ensures that only qualified people can possess guns.
Australia and the United Kingdom are two countries that experienced mass shooting much like what happened in the US last week.
What both countries did was to impose stricter gun laws with Australia going to the extent of buying back firearms from gun owners.
We have not heard any mass shootings from the two countries in about two decades.
In that Texas incident, the perpetrator shot his grandmother first before going to the school to shoot those helpless children.
And now we are hearing reports that the police response may have been faulty.
We would hope that what happened in Uvalde, Texas will finally tweak the consciousness of US lawmakers to finally come up with something to put an end to the problem.
Unfortunately, some lawmakers are already blaming mental health as the problem and not the uncontrolled proliferation of guns in the hands of private citizens.
But isn’t that the very purpose of background check? To ensure that those with mental issues and criminal records will not be allowed to buy guns?
If the lawmakers can’t even understand the correlation between the two, then it is a hopeless case.
Come to think about it,:in a country with over 400 million firearms in the hands of 330 million people, what do you really expect?
What seems to be going on there is some kind of a wild west in the 21st century. Only this time, automatic firearms and assault rifles are included in the mix — not just the six shooters.
At this stage, I am pessimistic that the US Congress can stop this shameful American phenomenon.
Look at the NRA convention in Houston, Texas, instead of transferring or postponing it, the event went ahead at the very state where the mass shooting took place while Uvalde went ahead to mourn and bury their dead.
Not an encouraging sign.