Monday, June 13, 2016

What Signal to USA from Orlando Massacre?

by N.S.Venkataraman
( June 13, 2016, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The wanton killing by a gun man of more than fifty innocent persons and injuring even more number of people that happened in Orlando has shocked not only Americans but people around the world , creating huge concern and anxiety.
While many are wondering as to why such ghastly incident has happened in a country like USA which is widely acclaimed as the most technologically and economically advanced country in the world , many explanations are being advanced which may make it look that the problem is not so serious.
May be terrorism :
Some quarter suspect that the shooter Omar Mateen, an American citizen of African origin ,could be an ISI activist and might have terror links. He might have indulged in such obnoxious act due to his association with radicalized Islamic movement and leanings towards what is called as Islamic terrorism. If this were to be so , the exponents of such view would think that America has been only a victim of terrorism and there was nothing radically wrong in American society that could cause such violence.
May be gun culture :
Another school of thought could be that the ready availability of the gun among U S citizens and inability of President Obama to ban free sale of gun in USA could be the reason for such massacre ,as any person suffering from emotional upset at any time could use the gun in a moment of mental crisis. The non availability of gun to people in such frame of mind could prevent such mass shooting. If this explanation were to be right , then one can conclude that there is no basic flaw in the American way of life and behavior pattern of the people.
May be deeper malaise :
However, more discerning thinkers would refuse to believe that the reasons for the type of massacre that happened in Orlando could be as simple as this. There may be deeper malaise in the present culture and life style of Americans , that cause such incidents. Such explanation could be supported by the fact that similar deadliest mass shooting incidents in US have taken place not once but several times in the recent past.
In the year 2014, 280 persons were killed in mass shooting in USA. The figure increased to 330 in 2015. In 2016, even in the first six months so far, 171 innocent people have lost their lives in mass shooting. This includes mass shooting in schools, universities and technical campus.
Obviously, in such scenario , the reasons for mass shooting and violence cult has to be searched with much more care and introspection than attributing them to the act of terrorists and spreading level of gun availability in USA.
Economic progress is not the be all and end all :
Many people believe that high level of civilisation happens along with the technological and economic progress. It is even said that the economic growth and higher prosperity index are the pre condition for growth of human culture and civilization. The scenario in America today indicate that this cannot be so.
Americans should look more inward :
American Presidents including the present President Obama, U S senators and other law makers often criticize other societies for what they call as lack of freedom for people, racial discrimination, religious intolerance etc. During the last visit to India, President Obama made some adverse reference to India for what he called as lack of tolerance level. The present conditions in America should make the US President and senators to realise that they should look more inward rather than making critical remarks about other societies.
Need for introspection :
The Orlando shooting must make the Americans sit back and introspect as to whether Americans are developing a trait of intolerance.
The fact that shootings and killings have taken place even in school premises indicate that violence may be developing as a trait even amongst children in the formative age group.
While USA has made huge progress in getting material affluence, this by itself is not adequate to form a cohesive and progressive society with value system. The battle for the future for America has to be fought now in the mind and heart of the citizens and America needs a revolution in value systems.
Symptoms are disturbing and the political leadership of America must have the wisdom to recognize this and the need for ushering a moral revolution in the country.

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