FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Las Vegas shooting: For gun control, Trump must focus on socio-economic challenges of poor Whites
Posted:Oct 3, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
While the possibility the Las Vegas massacre had a terrorist link cannot be fully ruled out, the evidence points to the killer responsible for the worst mass shooting in United States history as being a person who acted on his own for no political motive. Fifty-nine people were shot dead by Stephen Paddock and over 500 injured.
 
But he does not fit into the profile of most mass shooters or even the “lone wolves” recruited online by Islamic State (ISIS). He was a millionaire, an accountant who had lived a life so within the bounds of the law that he had never had a traffic ticket. The ISIS has claimed him, but the reliability of statements by the self-proclaimed caliphate has fallen as rapidly as its fortunes on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria.
 
The mystery of the gunman may never be fully resolved. However, the Las Vegas massacre has re-ignited a long-standing and seemingly unresolvable debate in the US about the country’s gun control laws and regulations – or lack of the same. It is unlikely there will be any major change at the national level. The Republican Party, the party that treats unrestricted gun ownership as a constitutional right, controls the Congress and the president, Donald Trump, campaigned against gun control.
 
The US’ love affair with the gun mystifies other developed nations. Americans, roughly 5% of the world’s population, own an estimated 35-40% of the planet’s entire civilian weapons. One consequence is an astonishing number of shooter incidents – Las Vegas was the 273rd so far this year. While even Europe, with among the tightest gun control rules in the world, is no stranger to such violent incidents, the number and, most important, the lethality of such acts in Europe is a fraction of the US’.
 
The US’ problem goes much deeper and is related to the socio-economic group that propelled Mr Trump to power. The white working class has come to see gun ownership, along with the defeated Confederacy, bans on abortion and prayer in schools, as symbols of their identity.
 
The logic of gun control is irrelevant. This class opposes the idea because it is seen as an attempt to further disempower them in a country where they feel increasingly marginalised. Unless this is addressed, and reviving their economic fortunes is at the heart of this, the right to bear arms and presidents like Mr Trump will remain fixtures of the US’ political landscape. Guns are part of a cultural narrative in which Las Vegas is the latest but not the last chapter.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has confirmed his presence for the occasion. In an exclusive interview with INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS, Indonesia’s Ambassador to India, Sidharto R.Suryodipuro, reminded Nilova Roy Chaudhury that the first Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations, in 1950, w
 
read-more
The words of Ho Chi Minh  “Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty” rang true for the people of the erstwhile East Pakistan when, with increasing brutality, the West Pakistani oppression spread across the land, writes Anwar A Khan from Dhaka
 
read-more
In a significant boost to New Delhi's Act East Policy, India and Japan set up the Act East Forum on Tuesday as agreed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India this year for the annual bilateral meeting that would help to focus and catalyse development in India's Northeast.
 
read-more
  United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated on Friday Washington's warning that “all options are on the table” to meet North Korea's nuclear threat while offering to keep the lines of communication with Pyongyang open.
 
read-more
The 15th trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China concluded in New Delhi on Monday with many nuanced takeaways embedded in the joint statement of 46 paragraphs. Reiterating that the forum “is not directed against any other country”, the statement underlined the importance of the establishment o
 
read-more
The first thing that one sees when a flight approaches New Delhi is thick smog that envelopes the city and its lack of greenery.  In almost all other major cities of India lack of greenery is the most obvious sight that one sees when approaching it by air.
 
read-more

Pakistan has agreed to allow the rupee to depreciate after holding talks with the International Mone­tary Fund (IMF) on the country's economy.

 
read-more

Two major global changes in the past year; the ‘Brexit’ referendum and the advent of Donald Trump, writes Sandeep Kaur Bhatia

 
read-more

It is also imperative for India to explore other regions for markets. Its trade deficit with Latin America has been narrowing. Also, its trade with Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala has increased, ...

 
read-more
Column-image

Over the last 25 years, India's explosive economic growth has vaulted it into the ranks of the world's emerging major powers. Long plagued by endemic poverty, until the 1990s the Indian economy was also hamstrung by a burdensome regulat...

 
Column-image

Title: A Ticket to Syria; Author: Shirish Thorat; Publisher: Bloomsbury India: Pages: 254; Price: Rs 399

 
Column-image

Gorichen, a majestic peak in the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 22,500 feet, is the highest in Arunachal Pradesh. Beautiful to look at and providing a fantastic view from the top, it is extremely tough climb for mountaineers.

 
Column-image

It is often conjectured if the reason for long-standing conflicts and insurgencies, in the developing world, especially South Asia, is not only other powers fishing in troubled waters but also the keenness of arms industries, mostly Western, to...

 
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699