Issue :   
Happy Dussehra and Diwali to all Readers.          November 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


Of trigger-happy Yankees !

M. R. Dua

Difficult to believe, yet true: Though American people are said to be the richest and most prosperous on this planet, they are also trigger happy, if the mass gun shooting incidents recorded between the JanuarySeptember 2019 are accurate.
When two horrific incidents of mass shootings, claiming the lives of 31 plus innocent men, women and children and also injuring nearly 120 other persons, were reported from the two densely immigrant-populated states of Texas and Ohio early last August, there were numerous howls of protests and plethora of demands to protect ordinary people from such alarmingly v i o l e n t o c c u r r e n c e s . Several earlier mass shootings including in Florida (18 killed) and in Connecticut (17 dead), both in local high schools. All victims were only young students.

And the irony is that as I write this, at least two shooting incidents have just occurred in New York and Chicago claiming four lives. The national crime statistics recorders say that daily murder toll to minimum six deaths.

Bill Clinton Highly disturbed, eminent persons, including many national leaders, such as the former president, Bill Clinton, have often expressed their extreme sadness and deep shock on mass shootings and stray murders that take place at regular intervals in many cities in the country. In fact, Bill Clinton has recently written in a political news weekly that the ‘victims had their tomorrows taken or their futures forever altered.... In both cases, the gunmen used military-style assault weapons that were purchased locally.' Emerging gory details about these consecutive shootings further sent shock-waves nationwide.
As concerns for such happenings taking place repeatedly mount, it’s being argued that the basic causes of ghastly killings are unhampered access to deadly weapons available even atlocal grocery stores, by just producing a self id. It’s further worrisome thatit’s because of easy availability to guns thatnearly 350 shootings, claiming some 384 lives and hurting some 1,350, have been reported during the 2019 JanuarySeptember period alone.

Significantly, eight of these outrageous events happened in semi-rural areas of America, in schools or universities; twomass killings werereported from places of worship -- a gurdwara and church.

Free and ample availability of assault arms in the United States, such as handguns, AK 47 rifles,other deadly weapons are accelerating frequent use in committing assorted crimes like robbery, sex and revenge killings.

According to psychologists and arms dealers,criminals are also influenced by their peers; lack of attention from their own parents/stepparents; low social and self-esteem, facing domestic abuse or neglect; girlfriends/boyfriends disputes; lowself-worth due to weakness in studies; poverty; homelessness; joblessness; experiencing family violence and maltreatment; feeling letdown, and anger, towards relations, friends. Besides, young men and young women victims of alcohol, drugaddiction, personality disorders depression and stress, serious physical disabilities; and bereavement are said to be the other reasons.

Research studies by university scholars gun-linked violent behaviour have revealed that provocations and seductions spuruse of fire arms for release of feelings of rejection/alienation/ isolation; loss of property; general interest in weapons; deriving pleasure in hurting animals. Failure to resolve even trivial conjugal issues propel mass shootings. Besides, differences in personality traits; illicit relations with men and women; fertility-scarce leading to childlessness among men/women; people with schizophrenia; affiliation toorganized crime have been found to be responsible for mass murders.

In some cases, mental illnesses are also major causes of gun violence, particularly among young people. In the most gun violence killings in Connecticut, Texas and Ohio, the alleged culprits are reportedly suffering from serious mental ailments.

A research study has reported that mental illness and deviant behaviour are causes of gun violence in 3% to 5% cases in the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, and the Democratic Party’s November 2020 presidential election nomination hopeful, Bernie Sanders, both blame mental illness as the prime cause ofthe recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

However, two doctors of Brown University and Washington University in St. Louis, Drs. Jessica Gold and Megan Ranney, have outrightly rejected any link between mental illness and mass shootings.‘There’s no factual link between mental illness and violence against others. People with mental health disorders are more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators, and more likely hurt themselves than others,’ they’ve firmly averred.

In some cases, mental illnesses are major causes of gun violence, particularly among young people. In the most gun violence killings in Connecticut, Texas and Ohio, the alleged culprits are reportedly suffering from serious mental ailments.

Meanwhile, Clinton has said, ‘America has allowed a determined, well-financed group to pretend to grieve with us while spreading paranoia among those who responsibly use guns for hunting, sporting shooting and self-protection. For too long, the gun lobby, National Rifle Association, and their elected allies, have stalled, deflected and changed the conversation until the pressure abates and they can get back to business, heedless of killings yet to come.’

However, opposition Republican Party is pronouncedly against gun-ban, and even President Trump had tweeted last month, ‘Convinced, that many Dem(ocrats) just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward.’

The main reason for Trump favouring no-gun-ban is that Republican Party’s many supporters are NRA lobbyists. The next presidential election is only 11 months away, where Trump is a stout candidate.

Be that as it may, President Bill Clinton had in 1994 enacted gun-ban law because, as he wrote in his piece, that in the past Americans have ‘responsibly used guns for hunting, sports shooting and self-protection.’

However, Clinton favours universal background checks of gun buyers. The new Red Flag Law ‘will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,’ as suggested by Florida’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio, now before Congress, is a likely consensus measure.

Finally, Clinton counsels: the number of ‘per capita and the widespread accessibility of weapons need to be under check,’as also, ‘relaxing assault weapon ban and ammunition-limit, and making improved background checks universal,’ could ease massive mass shootings destroying precious American lives.