The recent mass shooting that killed 50 people and injured 53 in an Orlando nightclub is the worst in US history – a history that we are well familiar with as these tragedies are occurring to frequently. What the public is also familiar with is that the news media (cable TV specifically) follows the same pattern of reporting these shootings – a pattern where they instantly label or speculate about terrorism.
In an age where cable TV competes and relies on social media in putting out information, it seems like cable TV is quick to put out information without waiting for the authorities doing the investigation to establish the facts. For example, CNN reported early Sunday morning that the FBI was looking into possible ties to “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Calling mass shooting terrorism is not incorrect because anyone who carries a weapon like an assault rifle will definitely cause people to feel terrorized. The problem with labeling and focusing on these mass shootings as terrorism – especially Islamic terrorism – is that it is a failure to address the real problem.
The real problem is the failure to implement effective gun control laws. That control should include banning assault rifles because they are the weapons of choice for people who commit these horrific acts and they are easily accessible. There can be no justification for any citizen to have a need for an assault rifle and absolutely there can be no justification for these weapons been easily available.
Second Amendment proponents firmly believe that every citizen has the right to own weapons even an assault rifle. These weapons did not exist when the Founding Fathers framed the Constitution. The issue though is not the Second Amendment; it is lack of common sense and wisdom – two qualities that have been eclipsed by the politicization of terrorism.
Gun control is a big political issue and any effort to ban or control guns is met with stiff resistance from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the powerful gun lobby. Both groups control politicians in such a manner that they are afraid to even talk about gun control. All of this adds a dimension other than terrorism that the media or politicians do not address. This dimension includes the immorality of gun violence; the hatred that triggers it; the hypocrisy involving politicians and the NRA; and the politicization of terrorism.
When society knows what is bad or evil and allows it to continue it is immoral. In other words, the public does not express their outrage when a mass shooter uses an assault rifle like in the Orlando shooting. The legislators are also culpable because they do nothing to stop these weapons from getting into the hands of people.
Anyone who commits an atrocity like mass shooting does so from some deep-seated hatred that has consumed their mind. Such individuals do not have love in their heart and like the hatred of racism has no respect for human life.
The hypocrisy component that is linked to the use of assault rifles being used in mass shootings is obvious. Here we have politicians who are strongly against abortion but remain silent. They talk about the immorality of killing the unborn fetus yet they have no problem with the use of high-powered rifles in mass shootings that kill innocent people including children like in the Sandy Hook massacre.
The politicization of terrorism manifests itself in politicians making unnecessary comments that serve only to foment more hatred, anger, and alienation. When Donald Trump says he is going to ban all Muslims from entering the US and when politicians raise their voices about not calling terrorism “radical Islamic terrorism” they help to diminish dealing with terrorism effectively. These kinds of politicization are like poking at the hornet’s nest with a stick.
Finally, anyone who defends arguments that citizens have a right to own assault rifle; who is in a position to implement measures to ban these weapons and do not; and who manufactures them for sale to the public is spiritually blind. This is because they are supporting an evil act. It is time for America to become spiritually conscious and morally responsible with respect to deterring or preventing mass shootings.
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