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Gun culture again

So when the US President speaks in terms of “immediate action”, he indirectly acknowledges that he has succeeded to a depleted inheritance.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The murderous assault on Asians in the United States of America has exacerbated with the killing of eight people, including a 36-yearold Indian origin Sikh, in a railway yard in California’s San Jose. Indeed, Taptejdeep Singh was the first victim to be publicly identified by his family. By all accounts, it was a horrific rail yard shooting perpetrated with calculated malevolence.

Samuel Cassidy, 57, a maintenance worker of the VTA in San Jose, gunned down eight of his co-workers and critically injured one in one of the deadliest shootings in the state of California this year. As police arrived at the scene, the killer died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Emotional scenes were seen at the Red Cross Center in the city where families of the victims gathered after the incident was reported. President Joe Biden has reacted to the latest shooting incident by urging Congress to “take immediate action” on gun legislation.

The possession of the gun is at the core of the tragedy yet again, indeed a canker that successive Presidents have been unable to address. “Enough,” the President said on Wednesday. “Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.”

The shooting, now almost a chronic menace, is the latest example of America’s gun violence scourge. It is the 232nd mass shooting this year in the country, according to a projection by the Gun Violence Archive. It is the gun culture, therefore, that direly needs to be tackled. Mr Biden will be expected to be riveted to this issue as he has been on several facets of Donald Trump’s legacy.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Americans ~ blacks and now Asians ~ are now increasingly becoming victims of hate. Minutes after the tragedy, a fire was noticed at the assassin, Cassidy’s home. The police have launched a separate investigation into the fire. The identified killer is said to have resented his work. He often spoke angrily about his colleagues and bosses and at times directed his anger at his family.

So when the US President speaks in terms of “immediate action”, he indirectly acknowledges that he has succeeded to a depleted inheritance. The enormity of such tragedies, whether embedded in the colour of the skin, one’s continetal origin or sheer frustration at the work place, can be no less heartrending ~ albeit to a far, far lesser degree ~ than the deaths due to the pandemic. President Biden has initiated an essay to set things right on the Covid front; he will be expected to address the gun culture no less.