THE SANDY HOOK SCHOOL TRAGEDY
The tragic death of 28 fellow Americans including 20 elementary school children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut is an unspeakable tragedy. It is a traumatic experience and for some it is an unforgettable event for the rest of their lives. The children who survived may live for many years with post traumatic stress disorder. The after effect of such a tragedy may linger for many years to come.
We condemn this senseless killing and pray for those who are killed or injured and offer our deepest condolences for their families and loved ones.
There have been atleast 15 recorded mass shootings in U.S. so far this year. This is the worst shooting in school and exceeds the 13 deaths and 24 injured which occurred in Columbine High School.
Most probably the worst incident was in Virginia Tech University in Virginia where 32 people were killed and 17 were wounded in 2007.
President Obama declare “As a nation we have endured for too many of these tragedies in the last few years”. However many public officials are urging the president to take an immediate action. Mayor Bloomberg of New York said “Calling for meaningful action is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all this rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not for the white house and not from congress.”
The permission to bear arms was the part of civil liberties but it was overlooked these could become more deadly and destructive. It is often said that guns don’t kill people but people kill people. But if they do not have the gun then there is no way that a single person can kill 20 ,30 or 40 people by himself. It is usually said most of these individuals have emotional disturbance or disorder. However many states have laws that the psychiatrist or mental health professional cannot ask the patient who is potentially dangerous whether he has access to gun.
U.S is one of the most civilized countries in the world but unfortunately the murder rate by guns is the highest in the world and our law makers are unable to do anything about this. We have very strong lobby of NRA which oppose any laws restricting or controlling the purchase of guns. Of course they represent the gun sellers who make millions of dollars in profit. Unfortunately we have seen repeatedly that comprise has been made on our values when the question of profit comes. Many law makers believe that if they lose NRA’s support they will lose the election. The American constitution permits the citizen to bear arms. The time when this amendment was passed was centuries ago when people felt insecure and needed to defend themselves. Today we have no such fears. It is very rarely that we see the report that a man has shot an intruder to protect his own life. Today our police are doing an excellent job and people
are much less threatened and have less need to keep the guns in their houses. It is indeed a sad comment when somebody mentions that the school officials must be permitted to carry guns. This may lead to an incentive for an angry student to take the gun from the school and kill somebody. Most of the shooters are not buying the guns illegally but taking the guns from family and friends who legally purchase the gun. How many reports we heard that the children are killed in their own home while playing with the gun?
It is really said to see people believe that the only solution to gun violence is to make sure that everybody is armed with these weapons. They have a fantasy that when some crazy person goes on a killing spree, right –thinking people will kill the shooter without giving him the opportunity to cause the destruction and damage, and the peace and tranquility will prevail throughout the land.
I hope Mr. President and right minded people in the congress will pass the toughest gun control laws with courage and sincerity and without compromising the human values. This will certainly save many innocent people and school children from untimely death and suffering the loved ones for many years.
M. Basheer Ahmed, M.D.
CHAIRMAN EMERITUS, MCC for Human Services