Do not mistake this USIS with United States Information Service or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). It actually stands for United States’ Individual Shooters.
They have no religion, though most of them are White and have Christian-sounding names. Stephen Paddock is the latest in the long list which includes Adam Lanza, Wade Michael Page, Seung-Hui Cho, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen and dozens of others. In a country with a population of 30 crores (300 millions) there are 31 crore guns.
Yet all these ‘gentlemen’ – very few ‘ladies’ – are not called terrorists. A good euphemism – Lone Wolf killer – has been coined for them.
After the shootouts the perpetrator is called as insane, mad, sick etc by successive US Presidents. Donald Trump did the same though like most Republicans he is the greatest opponent of any stricter law on gun-control.
Most of them are random killings but sometimes they target a particular group, for example, Sikhs in the case of Wisconsin gurudwara (Sikh temple) attack by White Supremacist and army veteran Wade Michael Page.
Adam Lanza’s case is somewhat different. He killed his school-teacher mother at home, before going to her school and gunning down five teachers and 20 kids––mostly between six and eight years.
The then Democrat President Barack Obama did give an indication of some sort of gun control, but was shouted down by the National Rifle Association, which enjoys the backing of the Republicans, including Donald Trump.
The United States is a unique country, where there is very effective police system in the urban and metropolitan pockets but people have to rely on their own security in the far-flung areas.
As farmers possess hundreds and thousands of acres of farmland called ranch and live in isolated places they need guns to protect themselves from criminals. Similar is the case with many others.
Actually the history of the two American continents is not like that of the rest of the world. The European colonizers gradually occupied the whole of North and South Americas after initially landing on the Caribbean Islands and subsequently on eastern coast of what is now called the US some five centuries back. Slowly they started pushing towards what is called the ‘wild west’ and south.
They eliminated the original population, who were later given the name of Red Indians. The remaining one retreated to the jungles in the west and in south.
As the United States is a huge country it has dense forests, big rivers, Grand Canyon, some very beautiful landscape, mountains, ravines, valleys, deserts etc in deep interior.
The European settlers – British in this case – brought lakhs of Black slaves from west Africa to clear the jungles, build huge infrastructure, work in dangerous mines etc. Many died in the process. These slaves were even used against the original population of the US. So it would not be wrong to suggest that Blacks played a very important role in making the US a super-power. As after mechanization and automation their services are not used much they are sometimes treated as a burden by White Supremacists.
Possession of guns in the hand of White masters played a significant role in ‘disciplining’ and fighting the ‘rebellious’ Red Indians and Blacks. Now the threat from the native population may have subsided but the emergence of various criminal gangs and drug lords have made life difficult in many parts of the country.
This is more prevalent in the Bible Belt of southern United States where the Republicans are more strong as well as in neighbouring Mexico.
One figure is enough to measure the magnitude of violence in Mexico. In war against the drug cartels more than 164,000 people were killed between 2007 and 2014––in fact 27,000 died at the peak of fighting in 2011.
According to the United Nations figure over the same seven-year period, slightly more than 103,000 died in Afghanistan and Iraq together.
In 21st century civilized world Evo Morales of Bolivia is the only aboriginal President in the two continents of North and South America. In 2006 he became the first from the indigenous community to become the country’s President.
In 2009 Obama became the first non-White President of the United States.
Blacks and aboriginal population were used as guinea pigs by American physicians and surgeons to experiment their discoveries. A large number of them died in the process.
Anyway in spite of repeated incidents of massacres of innocents by individual shooters there is a strong sentiment against gun control.
Those championing the cause of gun fear that the United States of America would not remain the same the day they give up this right.
There is no dearth of independent experts who allege that ISIS is actually a creation of the US and its allies to foment trouble against Assad’s Syria and Iraq. Whether this is true or not cannot be said with certainty. But what can be said with surety is that the USIS is the self-created problem of the United States.
Soroor Ahmed is a senior journalist based in Patna. He writes for different prominent dailies.