[Blog] President Obama’s call for “meaningful action”: the Connecticut shooting incident and the question of gun control in the US by Jose Mario De Vega

President Obama’s call for “meaningful action”: the Connecticut shooting incident and the question of gun control in the US

by Jose Mario De Vega

Mario De VegaI am writing in reference to the latest horrendous shooting incident in America. It seems to me that this cycle of violence is not only becoming rampant but a regular occurrence in their society.
I join the international community in condemning to the highest possible extent these undeniable utterly unreasonable and despicable acts of madness, massacre and senseless violence of a freak towards those young innocent children and their teachers.

On behalf of humanity, I also offer my prayers and solidarity to the love ones and families of the victims!
Matt Spetalnick and Mark Felsenthal of Reuters, Dec 15, aptly titled their report: “Tearful Obama calls for ‘meaningful action’ after school shooting”.

As the two correspondents lucidly narrated:

“Choking up and wiping away tears, President Barack Obama said on Friday “our hearts are broken” for the victims of a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school and called for “meaningful action” to prevent such violence.

“”We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,” Obama said during a televised appearance in the White House briefing room just hours after one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
“Pausing to collect himself as he expressed “overwhelming grief” as a parent, Obama deplored the “heinous” attack by a heavily armed gunman at a school in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 26 people, including 20 children. The shooter is also dead, police said.”

I commend once again the President for his beautiful words and emotional eloquence! Again and again, he keeps on sharing his heart and thoughts with the victims of these gruesome murders and senseless killings from the Tucson shooting, the Colorado shooting, the horrible shooting incident of Trayvon Martin, the Sikh bloody incident in Wisconsin and the racial shooting of a Korean! I can go on and on… Yet, the point is: when would all these senseless and incomprehensible acts of evil end?

The President, to his credit has consistently “responded to previous shooting massacres by citing the need for a national conversation about gun violence”; yet unfortunately again stopped short of calling for tougher gun-control laws.

The central substantive question is: why?

Of course, we all know that it is extremely precarious and politically dangerous for him to call for tougher gun-control laws. That is considered utterly risky to a country known for its flourishing gun culture, Wild West mindset and as the number one manufacturer, maker and distributor of all deadly weapons known to man.
I am wondering why he is afraid to confront and offend the war-lords, the rightists, the capitalists, the powerful pro-gun lobbyists and the rest of those military hawks?

Nonetheless, there seems to be hope in the horizon. As reported by Matt Spetalnick and Mark Felsenthal:
“But, little more than a month after his decisive re-election to a second term, he suggested that in the aftermath of Friday’s tragedy he might be ready to take a more assertive approach.”

As the President said:

“And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics…”

With regard to the victims of this latest tragedy, here’s what the President said in a voice cracking with emotion:

“Our hearts are broken today, for the parents, and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost…

“Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain…”

I agree with the President that America must do a thorough soul-searching with regard to this violence.

Now, more than ever, President Obama has no choice but to confront the problem of gun ownership and rifle possession — frontally!

As the President himself have stated in a categorical manner: “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end… we must change.”

It is not enough that he simply gives his emotional statements every time a barbarous shooting incident happened in any part of America!

His call for meaningful action must lead to bold action and radical transformation to change their society.

This is in conformity to the views of the renowned and noted radical film maker, Michael Moore:

“The long term solution to reducing gun deaths is to change our society from one of perpetual war and fear to one of peace and tolerance.”

I know that the struggle would not be easy; that it would be a hard and mean battle, yet that is precisely the reason why he is there at the White House, in the first place and why he is the Chief Executive. He must lead the nation by doing the right thing and that is: to invoke the enormous power of the Office of the President in calling for tougher gun-control laws.

This he can validly do so under the Police Power of the State for the benefit of the General Welfare and for promoting and defending the Public Interest.

He must prove to the American people that they did not err in retaining him!

His tears are not enough! The chronic cycle of violence must stop and he must struggle seriously and doggedly against their abnormal system!

Indeed, there should be no more lives that would be shattered and destroyed by gun violence and detestable acts of madness.

Justice for the children and may their youthful memories and childhood dreams live on!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

College of Arts
Department of Philosophy
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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