Gun violence in the US
Life across many locations in the United States of America appears to be out of a virtual game today. As recent reports suggest, a man and woman walked over with guns and opened fire at a social services centre in St. Bernardino, California, killing at least 14 people. The local police chief, Jerrod Burguan, confirmed that the police had been involved in a shootout with the couple, which eventually led to their death. However, the police had also arrested a suspect during the shootout whose connections with the couple has not been identified yet. The police further spoke to the media stating that the two people involved with the shooting go by the name of Syed Farook, 28 and Tahfeen Malik, 27, who were married. The former was also an employee of the St. Bernardino public health department where the shootout took place. However, the point of controversy here is that Americans on a regular basis have gotten used to such violence. It is almost like saying gun violence has become a regular part of their life, something the common American isn’t shocked to see any more. The whole incident took place with extreme speed. The suspects opened fire with hand-guns and rifles under their possession. After the quick shootout, the man and wife stepped into an SUV and fled. The police, however, had received a description of the car and chased down the SUV, eventually killing the suspects.
US President Barack Obama is clearly fed up with gun violence. His speeches regarding the same have become monotonous and mundane with similar things being promised time and again without any real action on the ground. The US Congress itself looks quite clueless on how to deal with this rising problem. The problem though begins with a number of guns people possess. The statistics are mind-blowing: America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population but almost half of its civilian-owned guns. More than half of its civilian population possess arms. With similar such incidents happening time and again, it is clear those authorities have not conducted strong background checks on the people buying these weapons. Moreover, it is easily available to the wrong sort of people.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans voted against barring suspected terrorists, felons, and the mentally ill from getting guns. They’ve reiterated the National Rifle Association’s arguments that doing so would strip some innocent people of their Constitutional rights to gun access just a day after yet another massacre. For the uninitiated, the NRA is an American lobby group which advocates for gun rights enshrined in the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution Suffice to say, the NRA is a major player in American politics. According to a recent study, the NRA spent $11,159,167 on the 2012 election cycle, making it one of the biggest spenders. However, at this rate, the US government must take immediate action.