California Shooting: What America Needs to Remember

Written by Noah M. Abbot |

 

At 23:20 Pacific Standard time on the Wednesday 7th November in Los Angeles, a gunman armed with a semi-automatic handgun shot into a crowd of college students at a country music festival, the 307th mass shooting in the US in just 311 days. The shooter used a legally owned gun but instead of the usual 11-bullet magazine, he used an illegal extended one. Twelve lives were lost

This is also not the first, and most likely will not be the last, of mass shootings against young students, religious minorities, racial or ethnical groups. Mass shootings are commonly known as a discriminatory assault against people stigmatized as weaker, less important, or unjustly profiled as negative to society. It is the shooter’s violent intention to wipe-out a certain group of people.

As far as genocide goes, this is only a small-scale version of it, but it needs to be treated with the same diligence and progress. Only then may America – the land of the free – avoid more heartbreak and disaster; may save the precious lives of those that make this powerful and wondrous nation so diverse; and be a place where everyone has the right to safety and the right to live free from violence and discrimination.

The nation cannot have social peace and friendship if those that can prevent mass violence do nothing. If the dark corners of USA are allowed to equip themselves with tools of violence (and use them against society), we are no longer free, special, independent and most importantly, we are no longer America.

 

“What did the Founding Fathers mean for to happen, when they penned into the American Constitution the freedom to bear arms?”

In 1791, when the Founding Fathers feared invasions by outside powers, they believed that the public assembly should have access to firearms. Critically regarding this amendment results in the fact that it was written in a time and place where finding affordable commercial weaponry was exceptionally rare. Compare the guns of 1791 to the guns sold at the shows and markets of today.

Let us also not forget that the Founding Fathers placed the freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition ahead of – and separated from – the freedom to bear arms. It’s evident that the architects of the Constitution had different intentions. If the freedom to bear arms was intended to be treated equally to the First Amendment, as some pro-gun advocates argue, then why separate it? Why make it second?

Photo by Jonathan Thorne.

The world we live in today is far unlike to that of 1791. The United States, my, Constitution should reflect that. It is imperative to never forget the sanctity of the nation’s most admirable document, however, shouldn’t the Constitution be celebrated by continuing to make it relevant to the times?

America is built upon innovation and revolutionary ideas, which is clear in the Constitution. Yet, the philosophical positioning of the general public on the Constitution is realistically not the problem, it is something more one-dimensional – profit.

The American arms and weaponry manufacturers are powerful companies. They are backed by an impressive lobbying organisation known as the NRA, the National Rifle Association. This company collects millions of dollars from wealthy and “grassroots” donors and actively spreads their influence over some of the most powerful people in American politics.

They pumped money unusually early into President Trump’s election campaign. They also endorse powerful Republican Senator Marco Rubio in Florida and have a history of financially backing pro-gun lawmakers in Congress. Most importantly, when shootings as high-profile and as volatile like the one in Los Angeles happen, their revenues spike dramatically out of a public fear. They are incredibly strategic in playing this fear against progressive legislation that restricts gun sales and gun access.

By Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA [CC BY 2.0].

 

“America’s youngest and most vulnerable will continue to die, like on Wednesday, because of a system that values bullets and cash over innocent human lives.”

In the US, someone can buy a rifle or other powerful weapon at a gun show without any background check. Criminals can easily access weapons. Those with mental illness or disabilities continue to be stigmatized as the perpetrators. Powerful lawmakers and lobbyists carry on to fight against any new legislation. America’s youngest and most vulnerable will continue to die, like on Wednesday, because of a system that values bullets and cash over innocent human lives.

Make sure to remember, America, make sure the people in power remember: this could be your son or daughter, your mother or father, your cousin, aunt or uncle, your grandparents or grandkids, your friends, wives or husbands. And it could be you.

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