Just a simple question
On April 20, 1999, which happened to coincide with Hitler’s birthday, two senior boys of Columbine High School in Colorado, America, armed with shotguns, semi-automatic handguns and knives, entered their school campus, injuring more than twenty students and killing twelve of them, after failing in their original plan to detonate bombs and blow up the entire school. What resulted from this mass murder shooting was the debate about gun controls, Americans suffering from mental disorders and the necessary precautions that needed to be undertaken to stop such tragedies from happening ever again.
And nearly a decade afterwards, in 2007, at Virginia Tech, the same thing happened, with nearly thirty-two students and teachers killed, and worse, the shooter paying tribute to the two killers of Columbine High School. The former massacre seemed to have created a legacy of its own, and multiple times there have been incidents with several killers trying to copy it. And then the two recent ones in 2012, one at Aurora theatre during the premiere of the Batman movie and then the most shocking and disturbing one at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, where a twenty-year-old man armed with military weapons fired at groups of children, aged between five and ten. He had killed his own mother earlier and then later committed suicide at the school.
The primary consequences of these mass murder shootings are the constant broadcastings of heartbroken families and the president rushing off to provide comfort, and promising that this is the final time something like this will ever happen in America again. The faces of the multiple victims, who had their lives ahead of them, are suddenly all gone in a whir of a moment. But the debates and heated discussions continue as the American public divides into two. Shouldn’t gun laws become stricter, for the safety of civilians after all these tragedies, or should guns be readily available to give protection from the enemies? Why is it so easy for anyone in America to buy a gun, with no need for background checks, especially considering its history of notorious mass murder shootings? Should teachers at school be armed with guns, and what evidence is there not one of them would point it a student? After the Connecticut shooting Lie Pierre (manager of the National Rifle Association of America) said, ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,’ but is that what will be the solution to stop gun violence: more guns? Even the concept sounds ludicrous. And most importantly, why isn’t America banning military assault weapons from being brought by its citizens?
And then the spotlight falls onto the murderers themselves. They were bullied, oppressed, psychologically depressed and took out their anger out on anyone who crossed their paths. But does the blame for their actions solely fall upon themselves or do the parents, the teachers, violence entertainment all take a share as well? Then there’s the slow unfolding of their lives and personalities before they committed the heinous crimes. Most are found to have symptoms of severe mental disorders and have often displayed bouts of violence from their early childhood days. Hasn’t anyone ever bothered or noticed to check them into an asylum or provided them with any sort of help needed? Also, the way American media constantly upgrades about the tragedies have people from all walks of life glued to their televisions, as these massacres sadly become a part of popular culture, and even movies and songs about them are made. Even somewhat farfetched topics like certain books and musicians creating rebellious streaks in the readers and audience come into the picture. The ratings in televisions increase overnight and to another psychopath lurking in the corners this is a chance to take to the streets with armed weapons.
But the main, simple question is getting lost through all these debacles that associate with the tragedies in the months and years afterwards. After all these massacres, why isn’t America taking adequate actions to prevent these shootings? If Columbine or Connecticut massacres weren’t enough, what will take America to initiate the steps of restricting its gun laws and making it a safer place for everyone?
comments powered by Disqus