Opinion DC Comment 24 Jan 2023 DC Edit | End gun cu ...

DC Edit | End gun culture in America

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 25, 2023, 12:15 am IST
Updated Jan 25, 2023, 12:15 am IST
A woman reads passages from a bile in front of a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting outside the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California on January 23, 2023. - The 72-year-old Asian immigrant who killed 11 people on January 21, 2023, before shooting himself as police moved in on him was once a regular at the California dance club where a tragic gun massacre unfolded. (Photo: AFP)
 A woman reads passages from a bile in front of a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting outside the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California on January 23, 2023. - The 72-year-old Asian immigrant who killed 11 people on January 21, 2023, before shooting himself as police moved in on him was once a regular at the California dance club where a tragic gun massacre unfolded. (Photo: AFP)

By one count of the inexplicable madness of mass shootings in the United States of America, there were as many as 648 instances in 2022. Not even January has passed and there have been at least 36 incidents already and, shockingly, three mass killings in the last three days in California. Considering most, if not all, shooters are male, what gun violence points to is something sociologists are now describing as stemming from the toxic masculinity of life in America.

Contrary to popular misconception, guns do not, by themselves, kill people. It is obvious people use guns to kill people. And in the US, every person has, by the Second Amendment (adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights), the right to buy a gun to protect himself/herself. Irrespective of the most recent bipartisan legislation — passed in 2022 after 28 years of political stalemate on gun control — to ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that were used recently in the two particularly excruciating massacres of people, including schoolchildren in Uvalde and Buffalo, spasmodic gun violence has held American society in a stranglehold.

No restrictive gun law is a cure-all for gun violence that plagues the nation because it has for centuries been so easy for a person to own a gun. And all it takes to pull out the firearm in a crazed way is a seeming grudge against society or personal disgruntlement to open fire on innocent persons. Most recent shootings involving the Asian-American segment of US society in the West also saw the stereotype of angry young men losing their mental balance defied in at least two perpetrators of mass shootings being elderly citizens.

California, despite its stricter gun laws, is a frequent enough location for death by guns. But when there are as many as 393 million privately-owned firearms in the US, as estimated in a Swiss survey, it is no surprise that the US gun homicide rate is said to be 26 times that of any other high-income country. There were 44,000 gun-related deaths last year, 49,000 in 2021 and 45,222 in 2020. The reasons behind such shocking statistics are not far to seek, the primary one being the ease of owning a firearm. Beyond the statistics, this is a civilisational challenge for modern man.

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