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The future mourns our children….

The future mourns our children....When a country with less than five percent of the world’s population has nearly half of the world’s privately owned guns and makes up nearly a third of the world’s mass shootings, it’s time to stop saying guns make us safer. If guns don’t kill people, why do mass killers arm themselves with guns?

Firearms can’t ensure safety in the society, only open arms can. And that is the absolute truth!!!

By Nazarul Islam

Our love affair with guns has nothing to do with tyranny, or militias, or self-preservation. Just ask any NRA member the following: If Jesus Christ himself were to come down off the cross and grant you one wish, would you opt for a world without guns—or the one we live in now?

If every gun owner truly feared for their life and liberty, the answer would be obvious. But it’s not about life and liberty. It’s all about the sheer hard-on of owning a gun.

Two incidents of mass shootings in less than a week in the US underscore yet again the constant threat of gun violence in American society. Last week, a gunman shot dead eight people, six of them women of Asian-American descent, at three spas in Atlanta.

Then, on Monday, a shooting at a supermarket in Colorado left 10 people dead. Monday’s was the seventh mass killing in the US just this year. As with previous incidents, the recent killings have evoked grief, horror, anger and terror. It has also triggered a heated debate on what prompted these killers to go on shooting sprees. Some are describing the Atlanta killings as a hate crime that was driven by anti-Asian racist feelings.

Others are drawing attention to the killer’s frame of mind; the assailant was reportedly a sex addict. Still others maintain that even if the underlying reason was a mental health problem, racist stereotypes that associate Asian women with hyper-sexuality resulted in the perpetrator venting his anger against women of Asian origin. No matter what the motivations were, what enables these mass shooting sprees is the easy availability of automatic weapons to the general populace.

We lose at least eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. When a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America had mobilized teams of doctors and public health officials. We had moved heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children – But not so with gun violence (?) Why??

The right of citizens to bear arms is granted by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, arising from a conception of how to secure the right to personal security, liberty and private property from another age – 1791. Many Americans believe even today that the right to bear arms is the ultimate protection of their individual rights, even of democracy. Over time, it has transformed into a deadly ‘gun culture,’ going from pistols and rifles for self-defence to many now owning military-grade automatic assault weapons.

While the Second Amendment forbids federal and state governments from impinging on citizens’ right to bear arms, gun ownership laws are badly in need of reform. It must start with banning automatic weapons and strictly prohibiting individuals with criminal records or the mentally ill from owning any guns at all. Some measures – such as background checks and restricting sale of automatic weapons—have been put in place in recent years, but these have not been hard to bypass.

The powerful National Rifle Association and the Republican Party have prevented much positive reform. But Democrats now control both the House and the Senate, and President Joe Biden has called for stricter controls on assault weapons and background checks. The President and the US Congress must determinedly move America from 1791 to the 21st century in this respect.

When a country with less than five percent of the world’s population has nearly half of the world’s privately owned guns and makes up nearly a third of the world’s mass shootings, it’s time to stop saying guns make us safer. If guns don’t kill people, why do mass killers arm themselves with guns?

Firearms can’t ensure safety in the society, only open arms can. And that is the absolute truth!!!

_____________________

About the Author

Nazarul IslamThe Bengal-born writer is a senior educationist based in USA. He writes for Sindh Courier and the newspapers of Bangladesh, India and America.
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