America needs to tighten gun laws - GulfToday

America needs to tighten gun laws

US gun violence

Ignoring the pattern of such merciless killings and taking a casual approach would send a dangerous signal to cold-blooded criminals.

Gun control may be a hot-button issue in the United States which holds the right to bear arms as almost sacred, but the latest tragedies in which several people were killed or wounded in two mass shootings within just 13 hours should be seen as an unambiguous indication that status quo on the subject cannot remain an option.

The monstrous attacks have startled the world and prompted messages of sympathy for the victims from around the globe and denunciation of the gunmen.

Several politicians are now calling for tighter gun control and rightly so. Better late than never.

Too many similar incidents have happened, for too long, and at regular intervals.

Ignoring the pattern of such merciless killings and taking a casual approach would send a dangerous signal to cold-blooded criminals.

Sunday’s shooting in Dayton is the 22nd mass killing of 2019 in the US, according to the AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database that tracks homicides where four or more people were killed — not including the offender. The 20 mass killings in the US in 2019 that preceded this weekend claimed 96 lives.

On May 31, 2019, longtime city worker DeWayne Craddock opened fire in a building that houses Virginia Beach government offices. He killed 12 people and wounded several others before he was gunned down by police.

On Feb.15, 2019, Gary Martin killed five co-workers at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, during a disciplinary meeting where he was fired. He wounded one other employee and five of the first police officers to arrive at the Chicago plant.

On Nov.7, 2018, Ian David Long killed 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, before taking his own life. Long was a Marine combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

On June 28, 2018, Jarrod Ramos shot through the windows of the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis, Maryland, before turning the weapon on employees there, killing five at The Capital newspaper.

On May 18, 2018, Dimitrios Pagourtzis began shooting during an art class at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. The 17-year-old killed eight students and two teachers.

On Feb.14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It surpassed Columbine High School as the deadliest shooting at a high school in US history.

The list just does not end.

Democratic presidential candidates are pointing a finger of blame at President Donald Trump following recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

In television interviews, several have urged additional gun restrictions such as universal background checks. But they also cited Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and racial language.

Julian Castro, who previously served as San Antonio mayor and US housing secretary, has pointed to a “toxic brew” of white nationalism and says Trump needs to do more to “unite Americans instead of fanning the flames of bigotry.”

Trump, on his part, has branded the shooting “an act of cowardice,” saying in a Twitter post, “I know that I stand with everyone in this country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.”

The truth is that mass shootings have become chillingly common nationwide. Blame game between politicians will not help. America deserves concrete measures to protect innocent people from trigger-happy dangerous criminals. Tighter gun control is the only way forward.

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