By Youssef Sourgo
By Youssef Sourgo
Morocco World News
Casablanca, December 17, 2012
Subsequent to the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a 20-year-old armed man, allegedly named Adam Lanza, callously murdered 27 people, a great majority of whom were children, U.S. president called for ‘meaningful action’ in his consequent speech. Following this, a spate of American citizens unthinkably flocked to social networks to embark on a heated debate about the entailments of president Obama’s call for immediate and serious action.
So far, the animated debate, which has followed Connecticut’s massacre and president Obama’s address, appears, as I have observed, double faceted. One foci of the debate comprises those who assume that it is about time to reconsider U.S. gun possession policies. This group of debaters, however, seems to be divided on this stand.
A portion of them believes gun possession for ordinary citizens is to be completely prohibited, voicing out that America cannot stand similar tragedies anymore, bearing in mind that this instance of mass shootings is not new of its kind. FBI recorded 19 mass shootings in the States since April 16, 2007. The United States has, therefore, become so notorious for this genre of heinous crimes that people around the world are getting less surprised when hearing of their reoccurrence there.
Another portion of the group believes that gun control criteria need only to be made more specific and stricter, rather than have the right to possess a gun entirely banned. The crux of their argument is that a complete prohibition of gun possession will add nothing but amplify the intensity and horridness of crimes in the U.S., and that forging such radical policy will result in the increment of murder rates in the States. This group is daunted by the idea that criminals and psychopaths will become more offensive and dangerous when being certain that their potential victims are unarmed.
On the other side of the bridge of this debate stands another group, which seems to interpret president Obama’s call for action much broadly. This group deems gun possession a false issue; that is to say, Americans’ attention is diverged from the real threat. Gun banning for this group does not really make a big difference. A law that interdicts an ordinary American citizen from purchasing a gun does not necessarily mean he or she cannot manage to get one clandestinely. Illicit arm dealers are almost ubiquitous, and of course, law enforcers cannot survey each citizen individually. This all boils down to the fact that gun banning will only add fuel to fire.
This second side of the debate puts an unfamiliar issue under the limelight, which is that of mentally ill individuals that wind up morphing into monstrous murderers. This special population was not irrelevantly brought up to the surface to debate against the other foci of the debate. 20-year-old Adam Lanza, “the bad guy” in Connecticut carnage, is, accordingly, identified as a member of the mentally ill population. This was retained from his brother’s testimony, as reported by ABC news. Moreover, Adam had allegedly killed his mother first before heading to the elementary school where he took away a cluster of innocent lives – this is sufficient to describe him as lunacy itself disguised in “human skin.”
A group of debaters on the net stresses the importance of closer inspection of the lives of those mentally ill individuals. They assert that mentally ill individuals have to receive an early psychiatric intervention in parallel with an incessant assessment of the progress of their illness. In other words, one should “keep an eye on them” wherever they go.
However, Mohamed Brahimi’s early article, entitled “Massacre of Connecticut: It’s Parenting, Stupid,” wipes the dust off another issue that deceivingly appears orthogonal to the debate, but is in fact central to it: good parenting. In his article, Brahimi emphasizes the necessity of new approaches to effective parenting. By refusing to yield to all of your children’s demands, especially those relevant to this issue, such as allowing them to play video games with violent content, you may be, as Brahimi puts it, criticized for “being obsessively on top of things in rearing your kids.” But accordingly, it pays off well!
It is noteworthy, however, that all approaches that are being introduced in this critical debate float on the surface of the same ocean: domestic security. Personally, it appears to me that the debate is more on what solvent is the best than how the reoccurrence of tragedies tantamount to that of Connecticut can be averted. The American government should not be selective on which solution to adopt and which one to leave, prorogue or apply partially. Rather, it should accord commensurate attention to all spotted issues encircling the tragedy. The question is not ‘which one to adopt’ but rather ‘how to adopt them all and guarantee considerable results’.
Banning guns, for example, won’t make a difference on its own. If I were a criminal, and my government happens to ban gun possession, I’ll just run into the kitchen and pick up from the catalogue of tools that can serve as crime weapon – a knife might not be as practical as a 9mm, yet, it produced the most dreadful crime scenes in the history of crime. But wait for a second! What if I were a child that was brought up in a family where parents did a remarkable job; and who successfully managed to maintain a mentally healthy existence till my adulthood; and who, eventually, happened to live in a nation where only those assigned the mission of protecting others can carry a gun, would I head to an elementary school on a fine day and start firing everything that moves?
A debate is defined as a “discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal” and not as a discussion in which issues of critical significance are being discussed in terms of priority when all of them happen to be central to the main issue. If all nations who face pressing issue quit debating solutions instead of implementing them or at least assessing their effectiveness as a whole, people would not receive calls notifying them of the loss of their beloved children.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy