The sad deaths from the two events that happened last week in the USA and differing responses shown by the officials, media and policymakers indicate how above all else Americans are not willing to accept that whatever may be the underlying motive for the killers, it is clear that the majority of deaths in their country occur from the easy access and availability to guns; over 30,000 people die each year from shooting related incidents. Data compiled by the crowd sourced website, shooting.com, revealed in the last 1,066 days in the USA, there were over 1,052 mass shootings, defined as four or more people shot in one incident.

It is significant that there is an inability of society to stand up to the NRA and in addition, question the campaign funding right wing machines. What was even more disappointing was the clear racial and Muslim phobic slant in the immediate response given to the San Bernardino shootings; especially from the officials making statements and the easy categorization of it as a terror attack by majority of the American media. It highlighted once again the paranoid approach reserved for Muslims living within the USA as well as those living externally outside its borders. It is fed by the neo-con fascist belief system layering societal attitudes pertaining towards Muslims since 9/11. In simple words, it is miles easier to explain the crime and police response to it if it was given a terrorist slant rather than having to explain to Americans why big government is not able to actually tackle the root cause of the majority of gun deaths in the USA. This is why President Obama’s speech to the nation on Sunday addressing these events was so derisory giving the usual standard line about good versus evil on terror and battlegrounds in the Middle East!

Over a week ago, in Colorado, a lone and apparently a ‘gentle’ man lost it and killed over 3 people at an anti-abortion clinic and injured nine people. Afterwards, it was pointed out that Robert Lewis Dear, Jr, had a systematic record of supporting a group of anti-abortion extremists the ‘army of God’ who have bombed and killed and injured people all over the country and who he hailed as ‘heroes’. Abortion groups and clinics spent several days clamoring for this act to be called an act of domestic terror but their cries were little heard in the Washington corridors of power. Yet a couple of days later, a Muslim couple went into a holiday party in San Bernardino and killed over 14 people and many more were injured. From the very beginning all racial and religious stereo typing of these criminals went overboard from police and FBI statements to newspapers and Presidential candidates crying over the Judas’ living in their society. Instead of decrying why this couple was able to collect 4500 bullets, 12 pipe bombs and several sub machine guns it became a simple matter of international terror, done against the freedom and liberty loving America.

Furthermore, to make the agenda setting of terror even easier, information was released that the girl was a Pakistani national, who had alleged support to ISIS on a facebook page created under an alias name. To corroborate the stereotype even further an old picture - taken during the time she lived in Saudi Arabia - was shown on TV and in newspapers; fully covered head and body. It was also irrelevant that the 29 year old girl had left Pakistan when she was a toddler and subsequently spent only a couple of years of her life later in Pakistan.

Reporters were sent to her village in Pakistan, which her father left over 25 years ago, to ask how they felt about the crime and to find any kind of evidence that would connect it to international terror, unfortunately not much was found. At every point of the investigation and news relayed has been beset with creating a perfect stereotype of the person they imagine to be evil incarnated, underlined with misogyny; such a person coming from Pakistan perfectly fitted into that picture as did her alleged ‘support’ for ISIS.

An interesting illustration circulating on the social media after the planned parenthood murders showed the bifurcation of responses after every mass shooting in the USA, if the person was a non-Muslim then the event was described as a massacre in which the shooter is mentally ill and required no change in government policy or any security measures or gun laws. However, as the San Bernardino event shows if they are Muslims then it is a terrorist event which is linked to a larger Islamist groups which leads to tighter security and invariably depending on the numbers who die may lead to bombings in Muslim countries.

However, as the saying goes ‘you may fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but not all the people all of the time’, the NYT has written some commendable editorials on this event including on the 5th December, the NYT for the first time since 1920, had a front page editorial which called for an ‘end to the gun epidemic in America’. Lamentably, on the same day the amendment that would have closed the loophole that allowed individuals on the US terror watch list to buy guns legally in the USA was voted out by Senate, including all four of the Republican Presidential nominees who sit in the Senate who especially came to vote for it. USA needs a Presidential Candidate who is able to stand up in his campaign and say, “It’s About the Guns, Stupid!”