Omar Mateen gun control ban Muslims: Why is it so much easier to call for a ban on Muslims than a ban on guns?
Sunday’s Pulse nightclub Orlando mass shooting which saw more than 50 revelers murdered and more than 50 injured (and rising) has once again reignited the call to ban Muslims in America as perhaps to the banning of guns?
With the identification of the shooter as Omar Mateen an American citizen of Afghan heritage and of Muslim faith it wasn’t too long before pundits were rallying to get to the root of America’s increasingly dizzy foray of mass shootings: obviously the Muslim contagion.
At least this is the view that presumptive Republican GOP contender, Donald Trump was loudly calling for, even going so far as to demand the immediate resignation of incumbent president Barack Obama because he (rightly) balked at singling out any one group for this weekend’s atrocity. Or specifically for failing to finger point out the Muslims, which according to Trump, America ought to ban from entering America, ‘until we figure out what is going on.’
Which is a backhand polite way of saying, ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you. Never.’
Bellowed Donald Trump who has mastered the campaign narrative of rallying the troops against the evil doers:
‘I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse.’
‘I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct any more.’
Glossed over is the fact that Omar Mateen was in fact born in America and to boot had even been on a FBI watch list for a time. Not that such surveillance necessarily helped avert the killing of 50 plus people and the serious injuring of 50 plus more.
The blind reality (cause that is what so many Americans are willing to be in times of mass disarray) is that over 40,000 Americans are dying each year partly because they live in a society in which it is more politically palatable to propose banning Muslims than regulate gun sales.
Why the disconnect? Why the reluctance by the mainstream press and the establishment to draw the obvious: America is a land of plenty and dangerous, where it is awash with easily obtained firearms, unyielding crime, heightened disparities between the very wealthy and the downtrodden and the nonchalant attitude that violence is the prevailing way to settle a score or to get ahead if need be. Plus it’s fun if our daily entertainment, culture is any guide.
To be blunt, irrespective who one believes does the killing, is to blame, is to be hated, to be valored, there is one common denominator when it comes to gun deaths; not the guns, but the easy proliferation and existence of guns.
The awkward truth is, guns are plentiful and awash in America. There’s big money in selling guns and there’s big business in the notion of the second amendment which holds the citizen has the right to bear arms (of course to protect himself). But if we are all so busy protecting ourselves, who’s doing all the shooting and killing?
Hint, most of the shooting has very little to do with mass shooting and more to do with other less mundane and banal reasons.
Notes one report: There are roughly 32,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. Of those, around 60% are suicides. About 3% are accidental deaths (between 700-800 deaths). About 34% of deaths (just over 11,000 in both 2010 and 2011) make up the remainder of gun deaths and are classified as homicides.
Of course one is wanton to forgive those of us who believe gun deaths are the result of mass shootings. It is after all the media’s spectacular ability just to make it appear that way, and for good reason, whether to fulfill political mandates or simply attain ad clicks.
A study conducted by the US Government Accountability Office, between 2004 and 2014, noted suspected terrorists attempting to purchase guns from American dealers no less than 2233 times. As Aljazeera reported last year, in 2043 of those cases – 91 per cent of the time – they succeeded. How could that be you wonder?
Notes a report via vox: There is a very strong correlation between gun ownership and gun violence — a relationship that researchers argue is at least partly causal. And American gun ownership is beyond anything else in the world. At the same time, these guns are concentrated among a passionate minority, who are typically the loudest critics against any form of gun control and who scare legislators into voting against such measures.
What does the above mean in short? The following: ‘More guns mean more gun deaths. Period.’
The inverse, More Muslims means more terrorism, unfortunately for Donald Trump does not hold for an iota of a second. Just have a look at who actually owns guns and who actually does the shooting and who actually gets killed. Muslims perpetrators in America are way at the bottom of the list, even if their perceived wrongs are way up there.
The awkward reality is that most terrorism in the United States is rarely conducted by Muslims but by in fact 94% plus percent of it is perpetrated by non Muslims, chiefly right wing groups and whites fighting against the government, blacks and the omnipresent lone wolf who was simply manically depressed. Which is to say in America we’re fine with terrorism as long as it’s never perpetrated by Muslims.
At the coming election, Americans will get to choose between one candidate who wants to defend guns and ban Muslims and another who has declared her support for gun control.
But even if Hillary Clinton wins the White House and her Democratic party takes the Senate, they stand barely any chance of winning control of the House of Representatives, where the NRA will have its servants block any gun control measures.
The last attempt to reform national gun laws in the US came in the wake of the murder of 20 primary school children in Sandy Hook, an atrocity committed by another young man armed with an AR-15.
The parents of the dead rallied and a movement formed. They proposed laws that would not have banned any weapons, but would have simply made background checks compulsory.
Such a measure has massive support in America – up to 97 per cent according to one CBS/NYTimes poll – but is opposed by the NRA. Time will tell if either Republican or Democrat will have the courage and the political cover to challenge the NRA and their paid for conduits. But for now, it’s just far simpler (and easier) to blame all those damn Muslims….
Chief reference source: sydneymorningherald