Saturday, October 3, 2015

One more mass shooting and few more deaths, will this ever stop?

Another mass shooting happened in USA, this time at Oregon Community College killing nine innocent people and injuring few. I know this is not a new news or first mass shooting incident pf this decade to get shocked beyond limits. I also know that no one will get shocked to read about this incidents, rather many might read the number of victims and try to compare it with number of victims last incident to see which one was worst. So this is what we have become now, these incidents have become so regular that we as a society we are getting immune to severity and seriousness of this heinous crime. I found similar sentiment in President Obama's message about this incident. He sounded upset, frustrated and angry at the same time. He rightly pointed out that our response after all such tragic incidents is becoming very routine, so routine that we all know who will say what. This is such a sad state of affairs for everyone. Guns and gun laws are very controversial and sensitive issue for public and political debate in US for long time. There are people who are for absolute no control over bearing arms (pro gun lobby) and there are people who want to ban guns completely (anti gun lobby). Both sides many times behave like fanatics with little or no real concern towards such tragic incidents except releasing some lip service to condemn such acts. I guess it should be clear to everyone that just condemning or expressing grief or offering prayers and condolence to victims and their families is not enough. We are doing these things for long and we know that these things are not going to stop these murders. When any terrorist act happens do you think just condemnation of that incident or offering prayers and condolences to affected families is enough? Or we want some concrete actions to make sure that such incidents don't happen in future?

Guns are deadly weapons, they have capacity to kill multiple people in short amount of time (mass murders) if they land in wrong hands. We all know about these things, as a society or country we can take few steps to stop or at least minimize these incidents. Every country including US has strict laws for get driving licence. Yes, driving can be a basic right and government is no one to stop anyone from buying a car and driving it on road. But you can not buy car and drive it just like that, there is written test and then road test, registration, insurance requirement etc. concerned authorities who grant driving licence want to make sure that everyone who acquires driving licence is capable enough to understand the responsibilities which come along with the driving right. So I don't understand why people are against introducing some tough rules and background checks before buying deadly weapon like assault gun? After all these are dangerous weapons, no one is saying that you can't have them, just go through some screenings before you buy them. Did you complain when they check or strip search you randomly before getting into aeroplane? Did you complain when any liquid including drinking water was banned from taking into planes? Do you complain when they do your background check before hiring for any job? Do you complain about background checks or even medical fitness tests which are part of selection process for some type of jobs?  Why not?? because we all know that even though some of these things might cause some inconvenience to us personally they are necessary to keep everyone safe. Some of these measures are required to make sure that right people are at right places. Some precautions are necessary to make sure that wrong people don't misuse the rights and privileges offered to them by state. Airport security or background checks before job hiring are not there to ban you or stop you from traveling by plane or hinder your job application process but these things are there to make sure that some lunatic or criminal don't enter the plane or administration and cause some irreparable harm or some devastating tragedy. Isn't is very easy to understand? If I am a law abiding citizen who want to own a gun legally and responsibly then I don't think any investigation or background check can stop me from doing this, why I should be worried about these things? After all these things if at all they get implemented are for public safety, not for banning everyone from buying guns. I don't know why these points fail to make sense to people from both sides who are stakeholders in taking these decisions. I really fail to understand this.
As Mr. Obama said, if as a country US doesn't take any steps to control this, then it means we as a society chose to allow such incidents to happen, then we must take responsibility for these murders. If we can do something to control such crimes and chose not to do anything, then directly or indirectly we are responsible for such acts. Arming everyone is not a viable or practical option to stop the violence in society. Maybe this was an option when there was no law and order with very poorly equipped and efficient police force. Guns are not toys, they are deadly weapons, wrong people armed with them can kill innocent people and not everyone is comfortable in handling them. Surprisingly many of these so called pro life people are very vocal about issues like abortion but totally mum about gun control and mass killings because of deadly assault weapons. This is when this is not at all about banning guns altogether but just to introduce more safety measures so that only right people can buy them. Any constitution or law needs to be updated or tuned as per changing time, every era needs some adjustment in some of the laws. If any society fails to take these steps then people suffer, imagine if tradition of sati would not have been banned in India, imagine if amendments to ban slavery got stuck in similar deadlock. Sounds really scary, right? But we are facing similar situation related with some issues today, but refuse to act. I hope better sense among our society and politicians prevails and they take right decision. Otherwise we will be discussing same issues, mourning for same tragedies and remain a mute spectator to sufferings of our fellow citizens, and we can't blame anyone for this because this is our choice, this is what we chose when we elect people who draft laws for us. Please think over this and then make decision.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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