• Saturday, 22 June 2024
THE STATESMAN OPINION: GUN CONTROL: Every Time American Leaders Send 'Thoughts And Prayers', Another Mass Shooting Happens

THE STATESMAN OPINION: GUN CONTROL: Every Time American Leaders Send 'Thoughts And Prayers', Another Mass Shooting Happens

In a resurfaced 2015 tweet, Texas incumbent Governor Gregg Abbott said some chillingly terrifying words, “I’m embarrassed: Texas #2 in nation in new gun purchases, behind California. Lets pick up the pace Texans.”

The Republican Governor, who has not hidden his enthusiasm for gun-ownership and who also passed the 'open carry' law across Texas, a law that allowed gun owners to openly brandish their assault weapons in public, is now being blasted across America for his hypocrisy after the shocking - and utterly senseless - murder of over 14 kids and one teacher at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

This horrific tweet has resurfaced virtually every time a mass shooting has happened during Abbott’s terms - the Sutherland Springs church shooting in November 2017 (26 dead, 22 injured), the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School (10 dead, 13 wounded), the August 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart (23 dead, 23 injured) and the Midland-Odessa shooting spree.

This fresh shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, as former President Barack Obama has noted in fresh tweets, has happened "nearly ten years after Sandy Hook—and ten days after Buffalo, (New York)".

In the US, Mass shootings have become an embarassing national cancer that has refused to go away as politicians from the both sides fail to reach a decision on gun control - Republicans remain obsessed with the "First Amendment Rights" while the Democrats have, over the years, lobbied for gun ownership reform and called for less and less guns in the hands of Americans.

The stalemate has seen guns fall in the hands of mentally-unstable individuals - racists, white supremacists, loners, drug addicts, schizophrenics - who have taken to the streets, gun in hand and randomly opened fire at large crowds of people indiscriminately, instantly killing school children, the elderly, members from the LQBTQ community, and, at least a fortnight ago, specifically black people.

After every such tragedy, Americans, liberals to be precise, have roundly blasted their leaders for the same lame response to every gruesome carnage that happens every so often - Thoughts and Prayers.

In a series of tweets sent out after the fresh murder of little kids in Texas, former President Barack Obama, a democrat, regretted, "Our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.

"It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy—a quieter but no less tragic one—for families to wait another day."

Fiery New York politician, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also blasted Texas Senator Ted Cruz for tweeting about the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, after being ironically slated to speak at a National Rifle Association meeting in Houston this weekend.

"Aren't you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less? You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead." she angrily shot back.

Republican lawmakers, who have all but blocked all attempts to work on preventing such atrocious shootings every year, always issue the same statement on Twitter : Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the victims.

Thoughts and prayers, it has been proved over the years, have done absolutely nothing to curb the shooting menace that has ravaged the 'greatest nation on Earth' and continues to see parents bury their little kids after a lone gun-toting lunatic storms into their classroom with murder on his mind.

Even in banana republics, or in mafia-run, crime-infested nations across Latin America, this sort of nonsensical mass shootings would be absolutely repugnant. But in America, the so-called Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, mass shootings are just another random Tuesday.

A livid Lebron James, a towering American sporting legend, took to Twitter to lash out at the attacks, starting with the usual line 'Thoughts and Prayers' before launching into an angry tirade on the senselessness of these shootings and the apparent lack of action on ending the massacres.

"My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously "AT SCHOOL" where it's suppose to be the safest!" he tweeted

Thoughts and Prayers may work when you're talking about natural calamities like the hurricanes in Puerto Rico or the earthquakes in Japan but are completely useless when you're speaking about events caused by conscious individuals who were egged on by the NRA, the Conservatives, the Republican Party and demented fascist politicians with a sick obsession with gun ownership.

Americans need not die in such astonishingly huge numbers, every year, as their leaders pussyfoot on a matter as gravely important as passing critical gun laws that are meant to cushion them from diabolical bloodletting and keep their little kids safe in the place where it matters most - school.

While President Biden also spoke out on the killings and condoled with the bereaved, as has every past President, he needs to also demonstrate strong leadership that goes beyond lamenting on Twitter and actually goes into actually ensuring that gun laws are affected at the federal level and also leading both troops in Congress to pass the several bills that have stalled as a result of either filibustering or an absolute lack of interest in agreeing to take away guns from the hands of Americans.

'Thoughts and Prayers' is a cute phrase to throw around but it won't work when a deranged crackhead, clad in bulletproof gear and grinning from ear to ear, storms into your neighbourhood mall and has a loaded AK-47 loosely hanging over their shoulders.

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