On the treadmill in my gym every morning, American news comes trickling in on Indian news channels, on little news flashes appearing at the bottom of the screen. Sikh Indian mistaken for a Taliban and assaulted, boy who brings home-made clock to school is suspected of bringing a bomb and then yesterday nine killed in a school shooting- again.
Do I miss the news from other parts of the world or is it really only in America that this happens again and again and again? I remember even when I was new to America I was scared of who would have a gun and who would shoot you because of — nothing. It is what distinguishes America from almost every other country in the world. Gun violence.
How does this work? This whole freedom of gun thing, how does it work along with freedom of speech and freedom for religion and all other freedoms? How is it that a country so advanced in every field allows a young man to even own more than half a dozen guns and there is no red alert as to why he should have so many guns; but a man with the name of Ahmed or Khan or Khalil can not go through security checks without being pulled aside for additional “random” checks, even if he has no history of ever owning a gun? How many children and students have to die from crazy or depressed or “Satan” loving lonely men, and mark you mostly men, who decide to kill as many as he can before ending his own life or being killed.
I had a friend whose family member was a victim of gun violence. The girl had worked hard to get through nursing school. She was killed in the Oikos University Shooting in 2012. And just like that a life was over. America, the land of dreams, the land of guns. Freedom to own guns is in the constitution. How outdated is this constitution then? “America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world — enough to arm every adult in the country.” Researchers point out that owning more guns leads to more gun violence even after taking into account socio-economic factors.
Meanwhile President Obama asks for support from Congress, newspapers and television channels bring flashes of the faces and lives of the most recent victims and families struggle to continue to try and continue with their lives. So much senseless violence in a troubled world. This morning there was a dead cat in the middle of the road I was crossing. I went near to see if there was any hope. There wasn’t. Probably hit by a speeding vehicle. Lying in the middle of a road. A small pool of blood. Nothing to do. Move on. In America repeated deaths in schools by gun violence has become like that. Come close. Inspect. Ruminate. Decry. Move on.