Sunday, August 30, 2015

Journalists' Killings and Issue of Gun Control

Rabin Man Shakya
Former Associate Editor, The Rising Nepal

The fact that  gun violence  is a common thing in the United States  and it is taking a heavy toll on the lives of the American people is evident from the headlines of the national and local newspapers of the US. The issue of gun violence has once again come to the fore recently when Alison Parker, 24, a TV reporter and Adam Ward, 27, a cameraman were fatally shot down by a former TV reporter who eventually killed himself too.

In a scathing editorial headlined "Killings of Journalists Bring Gun Violence to Dark New Level", The New York Times on Aug 26, 2015 said: "It is an increasingly horrific fact of life and death in the United States that easily available guns offer troubled Americans the power to act out their grievances in public."

The New York Times editorial went on to say:"This trend dramatized in recent years by macabre shootings in schools, churches, movie theaters and workplaces, was taken to a dark new level on Wednesday in southwestern Virginia by a disturbed former reporter who chose not only to murder two journalists as they reported live for a television station that had fired him, but also to record and broadcast the theme on social media."

Gun violence should not be tolerated, no matter where it comes from, and in no way may be justified. Gun violence has claimed thousands of lives in the United States every year.

According to a report,  11,208 people were killed in gun violence and 21,175 suicides were committed in the US caused by fire arms. There were 310 million different kinds of guns in America, not including weapons owned by US military, in 2009 according to the data released by the Congressional Research Service.

No doubt, gun violence racking the United States is entirely the fault of easy access and availability of firearms. No logic justifies fatal attacks on journalists, no words excuse killings of innocent reporters. The Congress leaders of the United States must speak out against the gun violence.

Thousands of outrageous acts of homicides and assassinations have been committed in the US. There is no easy solution to the issue of gun violence in the US. But there is a lot that can be done to control guns and crimes in the US. First and foremost, sweeping gun control laws must be introduced in the US to contain the problem of the increasing gun violence.

But past precedents have shown that American political heavyweights especially the Republican stalwarts  have been reluctant to work for gun control. As the NYT editorial honestly pointed out:"There are too many guns, and too little national will to do anything about them".

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