The US is gripped with fear once again as a violent shooting spree left 14 people dead and another 17 wounded at a social services centre hosting a Christmas party in Southern California. A man and a woman identified by the police as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, suspected of taking part in Wednesday’s attack in San Bernardino died in a shootout with police hours later, authorities confirmed. Before the names of the assailants are debated and this attack is termed as a ‘terrorist’ attack, it is worth mentioning that the assailant Farook was born and raised in America and worked in the local public health department for the last five years. He had attended this holiday banquet with his colleagues and later returned to open fire on the celebration.

This shootout is a string of many this year in the US as gun violence has reached an all time high. Wednesday’s attack marked the deadliest US gun violence since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, in which 27 people, including the shooter, were killed. President Obama has admitted that, “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.” Mass shootings are an American problem. While attention turns to the religious identities of the San Bernardino shooters, history reveals that this means very little to the likely political response. White men have committed the vast majority of mass attacks on US soil post September 11. But the political and legislative response has disproportionately focused on Muslim communities.

Just in 2015, 355 people in the US have succumbed to gun violence. America must address this internal problem by directing its anti-terror and counter-radicalisation programmes towards the proliferating, homegrown white terrorism and not the innocent Muslim-Americans suffering in silence. America must take responsibility for American problems, rather than holding the entire global Muslim population responsible.