The outbreak of gun violence in two American cities in less than 24 hours shouldn’t be seen as a mere extension of a phenomenon in a country where people randomly open fire in public places, including schools and malls. What the US is increasingly seeing is a series of hate crimes stemming from racial divisions. One of the two shootings, in El Paso on the Texas-Mexico border, was clearly triggered by xenophobic hatred of migrants from the South spread by the likes of US President Donald Trump, who has often called the march of economic migrants as an “invasion”. The white supremacist shooter’s 2,300-word manifesto railing against immigration is a dead giveaway from where such thinking comes. Ironically, Mr Trump is prone to giving himself certificates like a description of himself as the world’s least racist person.
It’s clear racial and religious ideology is triggering a spate of hate crimes with disastrous consequences like mass shootings. Right thinking people may rail against the need for more stringent gun control and tighter laws to prohibit assault weapons that make siuch shootings deadlier, felling a greater number of victims. Gun control alone isn’t going to solve the problem of deranged lunatics taking their weapon out to damage society with murderous explosive power. The propagation of any racial or religious ideology driving people to extremism, either in groups or as “lone wolves”, is equally evil. Unless society wakes up to the danger of leaders and politicians encouraging extremism, like white supermacist leanings or jihad, the world will be condemned to suffer such acts by inflamed people. Those who spread hatred for any reason, including political gain, are just as culpable as those who pull the trigger.