Yet again a mad man pulled the trigger pumping bullets from his 32-storey hotel room, killing 59 and wounding hundreds in a musical concert in Las Vegas. He was no history sheeter and no terrorist. He was retired, but owning of dozens of lethal arms, assault rifles of the kind one finds only with combat forces in the army.
The absolute power to the US citizens to own firearms is enshrined in the second amendment of their constitution and approximately 300 million firearms are held officially by the Americans and more could be illegally owned. I posted an advisory on the Facebook to the US, that they should follow Australia in outlawing guns held by private citizens.
Soon protests filled my post reminding me of my ignorance of the ground realities of America, the inviolability of the constitutional right of its citizens to possess arms. A few argued that their recourse as saviours of larger calamities, with their tucked in pistols, in case of a deadly assault like in Vegas or earlier in Orlando would be greatly compromised. I was being vainly convinced that it is an inseparable self-defence against assaults and muggings that can happen anytime in any street or in anyone’s home in the US.
The 2nd Constitution Amendment that is being waved at me in support of guns was adopted in December 15, 1791. Obviously, US was then in turmoil and war, both externally and internally. It was a necessity to defend oneself. Surely America has come a long way from the days of the Wild-West in the 226 years of its constitutional amendment. I disbelieve that a constitution amendment brought out in the best interest of its citizens then, looking at its flip side now, cannot be re-modified to bring in a semblance of orderly co-existence for all in the world’s oldest democracy.
Do Americans have low faith for everything around, God, Government and above all with themselves? If a duly elected government cannot enforce law and order on streets, in schools and in concerts, a serious introspection must be made, rather than hoarsely shouting with protective constitution to own guns.
Guns, unfortunately are not bio-degradable and merely add to the individual collection and family heir-loom. It can do nothing but help in annihilation. ‘Guns don’t kill but people do,’ sounds hollow and unreasonable! Australia, the land where convicts of the crown were dropped was also a lawless land in the ancient days. They had courage and conviction to undo all that and have won against a gun-culture.
I am also being reminded, it may not be guns but can be bombs, chemicals that the terrorists can attack with, on hapless unarmed people. Leave it to your government to grow up and maturely tackle such menace. I am reminded of the porous south borders with Mexico, from where people sneak in to loot and kill. Sorry, the Mexicans come for jobs and not to kill.
Unwittingly the Americans have walked into the cobweb of money and power of the gun industry and have entangled themselves on the bogey of self-defence to own guns. If they do not free themselves from the gun owning mind-set, winning over the fear of a lawlessness society, and amend the appropriate parts of the sacrosanct constitution, they would be handing over a horrific future to their progenies.
As a first step, the assault and heavy arms, could be reined in, followed by the small-arms too.
US, which has the power to change the destiny of the world, should begin with changing its own, for the better.
P.S. Guns have divided USA vertically. I have merely given an opinion from India.
In pic: courtesy Newsweek