The killing of 17 school children and teachers in his former high school Florida last week by a mentally disturbed ex-school kid was a particularly disturbing event although the United States is tragically inured to violent gun incidents. A lachrymose President got emotionally worked up about the event and spoke of the terrible grief of the kin of the victims when he called upon the survivors at the hospital. Even though he was asked about it, Donald Trump did not mention a word about gun control, which is at the very heart of the problem in the US. The issue may be getting sidetracked by the revelation that the FBI may have botched a potentially life-saving tip on the school shooting teenager, Nikolas Cruz, who was said to have been planning just such an attack. It may suit the Republicans politically to call for the head of the FBI chief because the bureau is investigating the President and is predictably facing a barrage of criticism from Mr Trump and other Republicans accusing the bureau of partisan bias.
The crux of the matter is anyone can buy a gun legally in the US, but after a background check. However, the Second Amendment upholding the right to protect oneself is considered sacrosanct and no matter how much each incident of mass gun violence — like the shooter who took aim at music concert fans recently in Las Vegas — is seen to be overwhelmingly tragic, the debate over the need for stricter gun control will never be won by the doves. It is apparent that a radically new approach is needed although US politicians tend to say after each event it is not the time to discuss gun law reform. This may indeed be the time for the US to think of radical reform as about 18 school shootings have taken place this year alone, according to gun control advocacy groups.