US mass shootings reveal vicious cycle

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/3 4:20:58

The deadliest mass shooting in modern US history happened in Las Vegas at an outdoor concert event on October 1. The 64-year-old gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the crowd of concert-goers below from his room on the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.  It was reported that at least 58 people had been killed while more than 500 were injured.  Police confirmed the attacker shot himself dead. Early on police had initiated search efforts to find Paddock's female companion, and later confirmed she was not a suspect, nor involved with the tragedy. 

Early reports surfaced that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack, but FBI said "no connection" had been established between the shooter and any international terrorist group.  Regardless or not of any connection to terrorism, the tragic event has shocked the US and the world over.  The death toll so far has surpassed the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, making it the largest mass shooting in US history.

The cycle of mass shootings continues to repeat itself in the US.  Every time a tragedy like this happens, it exposes a fundamental flaw that continues to plague the country's government.  Just like the previous mass shootings, public response in the wake of the aftermath will follow the same narrative.  US politicians will deliver emotional and heartfelt speeches condemning the tragedy, and public opinion will call for tighter gun control laws.  However, as time passes, US society will continue to stumble along doing anything it can to avoid addressing the issue of gun control, which continues to be one of its most serious problems ever.

It seems that the issue of gun control is a never ending source of debate in the US, thus preventing lawmakers from implementing gun control measures of any kind.

The US leads Europe in the frequency and fatalities of its mass shootings that occur within its borders. Meanwhile, the US has always maintained a "let it slide" attitude, a stance that continues to shock the world. The current situation is not a byproduct of indifference from US citizens regarding the loss of innocent lives that mass shootings claim, but rather the result of a system lacking firm or confident force required to reform its gun laws. With powerful forces against gun control, including lobbyist groups and deep-rooted tradition, improving America's gun laws would be just as impossible as prohibiting alcohol in Russia. 

It is difficult to comprehend the sharp contrasts displayed by US behavior as it bounces from horrifying reactions over acts of terror only to slip into its typical attitude of "let-it-go" numbness over mass shootings. It does not matter if a shooting incident is connected to terrorism because the end result involves the loss of innocent lives.  The fact that US society chooses to tolerate mass shootings is a manifestation of national and state political influence, along with prevailing public opinions. 

In the eyes of the world, the US has failed to set an example as it repeatedly ignores its gun control issues, failing to take any initiative whatsoever.  It seems as if a hierarchy of sort is in place, a multi-layered system that has its own standards when it comes to addressing gun issues.  The US system has a way of diverting public attention to issues like the threat of international terrorism, while at the same, downplaying domestic issues that involve gun control laws and a need for better social governance. 

Any observer can plainly see the cracks that have emerged within the government systems of the US. It tries to cope with the insurmountable task of implementing necessary reform, always in hesitation mode and unable to make a decision. It stares at the face of its mass shooting tragedies, entwining itself within the dilemma it cannot resolve, spiraling out of control in a cycle of shock and tolerance, over and over again. 

At least 50 lives were lost in Las Vegas as a result of the US government's failure and inability to handle its mass shooting epidemic.  Official US statistics indicate that the total number of people killed every year by guns stands at around 30,000. How many more lives will be lost before the US government will wake up and take the issue seriously? It is sincerely hoped that the US will have the fortitude to improve its gun laws sooner rather than later.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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