Pittsburgh attack exposes US governance woes

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/28 23:03:40

Eleven people have been killed in a gun attack on a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh. The US police defined it as a "hate crime." The public believes that this is a hate-fueled attack. It will not only ignite debates on gun control across US society, but also make people realize how terrible the deep-seated racial tensions in the US are.

In response to a question about whether the shooting should spark questions of increased gun control, US President Donald Trump said, "This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they may have been able to stop him immediately, maybe there would have been nobody killed, except for him maybe." He advised houses of worship to hire armed protection.

It is not a new idea to encourage more people to own guns to cope with potential shooting cases. Earlier this year after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Trump said teachers carrying concealed guns could stop attacks.

According to this logic, all people carrying guns would prevent shooting incidents. Such an odd suggestion by the US commander-in-chief exposed the fault of public security management in this developed country, and the frequent shooting cases are a shame on US governance.

To prevent terror attacks is a universally thorny issue, and it is no exception for the US. The latest shooting in Pittsburgh shows that there are quite a number of lone-wolf extremists on US soil who are the result of social woes including racial rifts, religious confrontation and the income gap.

With populism in US society prevailing, issues of racism and religious and gender discrimination are brewing. These problems have become more prominent as the US government deals with extreme cases with more extreme means.

The Pittsburgh shooting highlights the sharpness of racial problems. The US media revealed that the suspect used Gab social media. The website Gab.com is popular with members of the alt-right and white supremacists. After the incident, the website recorded the suspect's posts and suspended his account.

Hatred fills some websites and social media, eventually erupting through extreme means. "Hate crime" not only endangers social security and stability, but also generates more profound identity conflicts. No one is sure about how many websites like Gab will participate in producing hatred in the future.

It is not that Washington does not know how to handle such crimes. For instance, it can promote education on anti-hatred and anti-extremism which requires consensus at national level.

However, the current US leadership is not willing to make efforts on these domestic issues. Despite being ambitious to make America great again, they lack the ability to improve their governance.

Leaders of the two parties in the US and social elite all have said the social divide needs to be bridged. But whenever a shooting happens, they just point an accusing finger at each other without any effective actions and still, no one is responsible for these tragedies. Such a vicious circle makes the US more divided and reinforces our impression about this country.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

blog comments powered by Disqus