The U.S., the world’s leader, has declared that it will not give in to terrorism. Indeed, it does not — by any means — put up with societies ruled by violence and fear. If this is so, then the U.S. should also increase its efforts to change its society, which allows terrorists to obtain weapons.
Unfortunately, anti-Muslim sentiments are on the rise after the terrorist attacks in Paris and the shooting spree in California.
During the 2016 presidential race, leading Republican candidate and real estate tycoon Donald Trump gave the shocking demand for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
It is telling that such inciting remarks are boosting his approval ratings. In contrast, the reasonable voices, which lament how increasing anti-Muslim sentiments divide the country, tend to be buried.
The driving force behind the U.S. is supposed to be its fusion of many different religions, races and nationalities. Hopefully, it will not fall into the trap set by the extremist Islamic State group and can avoid the path to self-destruction.
As President Obama stated, “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate.” There is no doubt that President Obama felt the immediacy of the nation’s crisis and hurriedly called for unity after the act of terrorism on a facility for people with developmental disabilities.
The immediate threat, of course, is neither Islam nor radical beliefs. It is the weapons that kill people.
Though many innocent lives continue to be sacrificed, the U.S. is peculiarly slow to tackle its problematic gun regulations and change them. Even Japanese citizens, like high school exchange student Yoshihiro Hattori, have lost their lives.
Also important is information warfare, which prevents violence by locating radicals who have been influenced by terrorist groups. However, this can occasionally result in the general population being inconvenienced and having their privacy violated.
The concept of strengthening regulations to prevent easy access to guns and ammunition is not only wise and effective, but something that anyone should be able to understand. Once again, President Obama’s ability to lead comes into question.
The New York Times ran an editorial titled “End the Gun Epidemic in America” in which it investigated politicians’ responsibilities.
The piece stated, “Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs.”
Fortunately, one reason Japan is comparatively safe is that guns and ammunition are strictly controlled. Japan has also learned from the sarin gas attack in Tokyo’s subway system.
As the leader in the fight against terrorism, the U.S. should face the reality of how weapons steal away freedom.