There was a country, so wrote Chinua Achebe. He was writing about Nigeria but the same description can aptly be applied to the United States of America. It is a great nation, this is not in dispute but it amazes the casual observer that the US portends to always be different. In most cases, this difference makes the US uniquely what it is and, no doubt, has worked in its favour. However, in some other situations, it easily come off as an exercise in foolishness.
Take the case of the spate of death happening in modern America today. We all have gotten used to the violence in Chicago which makes the city notorious as the murder capital of the world. What we are getting used to is the fact that American life has become so cheap that more gets killed within America itself than outside it! Lets pause a little and give a thought to this. If the same level of violence and death from gun totting psychopaths that is happening in America today were to be happening in a backwater third world country, all the foreign ministries of the highly developed countries would be heads over their heels to issue statements to their nationals and the world that it is highly unsafe to travel to those countries. I guess different standards for different people! We will come to this another time.
Back to the gun capital of the world. The whole world, or majority of it I suppose, mourns with those who have been impacted by one shooting or another. It will be inhuman not to do so, being unfortunate recipient of unplanned sorrows and miseries. More so we are encouraged to mourn with those who are mourning and rejoice with those who are rejoicing, isn’t that so? However, where is the place of common sense in America today? Must there be another death before the nation and its leaders wear the common sense caps? I am no American but that country has been good to me. The more reason why I am outraged that what seems so simple to do, and have been done by others, has become the most difficult thing to be accomplished by a nation that had sent men to the moon. I am no prophet but I can stake a bet on this, a couple of weeks from now. The Texas massacre, for sure, won’t be the last of these deaths, I predict more to come with more casualties as well. Hey, don’t shout at me, shout at your leaders! Common sense and evidence from other nations suggest that mass killing will continue to be the norm in America until America comes to its senses about guns. Let it be shouted at the Capitol Hill, America, the second amendment is killing you! Do something SMART about it.
Just this weekend, I was at the gun range for target practice. Every time I handled the weapon, I got terrified. Terrified of the power, the speed and ease at which the bullets discharged…. and kills. A millisecond is all that separates “He is” from “He was”. Now, I wouldn’t want a psychopath to have access to this weapon, no not in a million years. However, this is exactly what the American forefathers have done through the second amendment. Well, we can’t blame them for being short sighted about the rise of a set of racists, bigoted, religious and ideological fanatic that will be committing mass murder, contrary to the intent of the amendment, can we? The reality, however, is that this is now the case. I am positive that were the writers of the second amendment to be in our midst right now, they would have quickly put pen on paper to make an amendment to the amendment. It sickens me that the nation does so much to make access to prescription medicines difficult for people who can abuse its usage but would not extend same process to gun possession. Having these guns in the hands of psychopaths, for which the US has an abundance, to me is a certain recipe for more deaths. Barack Obama wept, just as Jesus did at the tomb of Lazarus. While Jesus was able to raise Lazarus, the tears of Barack availed nothing…they didn’t stop the killings and neither have they woken up the dead. They will never accomplish any of these two., no, never. Our tears and our sympathies will not avail much either. The one and only thing that will sop this madness? Get the guns out of em’s hands.
Leadership is about boldness to take the right decisions, even if unpopular. Will our man Friday in the Whitehouse be bold enough to lead so that Americans weep no more?