News Desk |
National Rifle Association (NRA), in the United States, is cleverly trying to exploit the efficient action of the police officer, who shot the attacker at Maryland Great Mills High School on Tuesday.
NRA’s spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, is claiming that media are not focusing that a good gunman shot a bad gunman and saved lives. This dovetails with NRA’s old theory of “Goodman with a gun” is needed to overcome the bad man with a gun.
School Resource Officer, Deputy Blaine Gaskell, had quickly entered the school premises and shot, Austin What Rollins, 17 years old, who had entered school, at assembly time, early morning around 7.30pm to shoot his ex-girlfriend and her new friend. Austin managed to shoot the 16-year-old girl and her 14-year-old friend once. Both of them are in hospital; the girl is critical however the 14-year-old boy is considered stable by doctors.
It’s not clear if Austin would have extended his shooting spree to other students or was only motivated to kill his ex-girlfriend and her friend. Looking at the norm or pattern across the world, especially in South Asia, then the attacker should have shot only those he was specifically interested in but the United States has a very difficult history in these matters. Nation of 300 million plus citizens has already seen 17 or 18 school shootings since the beginning of 2018.
Hundreds of school shootings have taken place since 9/11 and several hundred students who died or were seriously injured had nothing to do with the attackers who were often upset for other reasons like family feuds or tensions. So killers and attackers in the United States – unlike rest of the world – attack for their emotional reasons and have no defined animosity with their targets. Given this background, Austin Wyatt Rollins would have easily shot many more students. Fortunately, he only carried a handgun and not an automatic weapon like M16 or AR15 – the kinds of weapons used in previous attacks.
Deputy Blaine Gaskell’s quick action in challenging and confronting the attacker, Austin, was in sharp contrast with the deputy, Scot Peterson, who on Feb 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, stayed outside the school and never engaged the shooter. Blaine has been widely praised by police authorities and the Governor and his actions may now set the model for police response in future.
However, NRA’s exploitation and its deep influence on US politics are a dangerous trend. NRA’s argument that a “good man with a gun is needed against a bad man with a gun” is ridiculous since it was a trained policeman who took the action and the internationally accepted political principle that state should have the monopoly on violence is still being resisted in the US. The irony is that the United States that lectures the world continuously on all matters including political violence is unable to reform its politics and institutions to deny citizens the right to possess automatic weapons.