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America’s brave gun dilemma

The tragedy in Orlando, which became America's worst shooting incident, sent shock waves around the world, setting off new concerns that the obsession over owning guns, permitted by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, has led to an out-of-control madness where the country finds itself in a new kind of war with itself over what to do in trying to reverse a deadly trend that threatens the core of the nation's culture.

So many innocent lives have been snuffed out by people with serious mental disorders, or an obsession with some hate group. Many Americans are deeply concerned that the Second Amendment is being misused to protect those in the business of selling weapons of all types, and those who feel they have a right to own weapons found on battlefields to protect themselves.

People are stunned globally that a nation with such great power and wealth could allow itself to become a place where some would rather have a gun than a loaf of bread. This will not be an easy problem to solve when you have some politicians, even one running for the highest office in the land condemning Muslims around the world over actions taken by a few, and also making suggestions that carry a tone that the present administration has ulterior motives in dealing with terrorism.

The two presidential candidates, Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, are deeply divided on the issue of guns, with Trump accusing Clinton of attempting to disarm Americans with her pleas for greater gun control. Clinton insisted that no one under observation by the FBI should have been allowed to purchase firearms, and more needed to be done to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally disturbed. That has been the cry from many Americans for years, but with the National Rifle Association wielding tremendous power, not much has happened.

As America and much of the world joined in mourning the deaths of so many innocent people, Trump renewed his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Ironically, the Islamic society in America was quick to condemn outright the massacre in Orlando and made it clear such a heinous act in no way is a part of their faith.

Trump even went on television to state to his followers that the man who carried out the shooting was born in Pakistan, when in fact, he was actually born in the US with parents from Afghanistan. In other words he was an American citizen. The press are not obligated to overlook such a blunder, which could give the wrong impression before there is time for correction.

It is also extremely dangerous for anyone or organisation to make suggestions that the president of the United States is hiding something connected to terrorism, without hard evidence to support such an allegation. Yet in the present political climate of gutter attacks, and counter-attacks, between Republicans and Democrats in the race for the White House, the nation is torn between what action should be taken to make the nation safer from gun violence.

Although people are dying every day from gunfire throughout that nation, the subject gets close attention only when there is an incident where many people are killed, similar to the Orlando slaughter, which left the country reeling with bewilderment and pure shock.

Gun lobbyists lie low when these things happen, as once again guns and who gets ownership is placed under the microscope. After a heated exchange over what should be done, the curtain usually falls and it is back to business as usual.

The press have a tough role to play in all of this, and when an elite publication such as The Washington Post has its permit to cover a candidate's campaign revoked because that candidate is not pleased with coverage, it sends a disturbing message to journalists worldwide.

America is certainly not North Korea, where an expression of disapproval of the Government is considered suicidal. America takes pride in having a free society, and that means allowing the free press to carry out its duties in a professional manner, without bias, and permitting their light in search of truth to shine without hindrance.

The full story behind someone who chose to target a popular nightclub where people were enjoying a weekend of fun may never be known. What is most important is that millions of Americans value freedom even to choose lifestyles, and most of all they want a country where they feel protected from those with intent to destroy that freedom.

However, unless something dramatic is done to stop powerful weapons from falling into the hands of twisted, deranged people, it will be only a matter of time before another 911 call is made, with yet more tears to shed. It really is America's gun dilemma.

Yet another wake-up call? crosses, one for each victim, line a walkway as a memorial to those killed in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting a few blocks from the club early on June 17 in Orlando, Florida (Photograph by David Goldman/AP)

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Published June 23, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 23, 2016 at 8:18 am)

America’s brave gun dilemma

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