Ideologies and visionaries are the two most essential ingredients in transforming blood-thirsty mobs into a nation of character. The former is a concept fueled by the sheer injustice while the later are the individuals who are vested with the abilities to foresee the future, formulate agendas, maneuver their lifestyle into such a direction which eventually leads them to a position from where they can carry out the notion of rational ideologies and implement it in its true spirit.

One such visionary was Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year old Pakistani, with aspirations to become a diplomat after the completion of her studies. Little did she and her loved ones know that her aspirations to join Foreign Services of Pakistan would never see the light of day. A brilliant youth exchange student along with 10 others, brutally gunned down in a mass shooting on 18th May, 2018 by a 17-year old student from the same institution. This breaking news unleashed the sorrows and emotions of thousands across the globe who came out enchanting slogans against the failed administration under Donald Trump.

Back home, preparations were underway, surprise parties were being planned because each and every family member was eager to receive Sabika on here arrival for Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations due in the upcoming month. Imagine what had gone through the hearts of those parents whose kid was among the brightest kids of the country representing their culture and upholding their values, gunned down in cold blood in a country far far away, a country which claims itself to be the safe haven for all its residents and the country which shams other countries for harboring terrorism and extremism.

Let’s take a step back and have a macro view of these mass shootings which dates back to 1999 when the Columbine High School Littleton became a high point is such instances. The Washington Post has managed to maintain a database of these shootings since then and the number of these attacks have reached a whopping 220 with the latest attack in Santa Fe. The year 2018, has been the most unfortunate of all because up till now, 16 shooting incidents have been recorded, 4 out which happened in the month of May. These numbers do not involve those shootings in which no casualties were recorded but it doesn’t mean that the students were not in fatal danger because the shooters in such cases were apprehended moments before causing any serious fatalities.

A brief overview of the casualties as recorded by CNN which resulted in the mass shootings during the year 2018, are gruesome and alarming. From Gloversville massacre to Palmdale incident and from Ocala shootout to May 18th, Santa Fe, it seems Trump’s administration has totally failed in maintaining law and order in their own country. No matter how much the local media may try to cover this up, the concept of public perception still prevails. And the way international media is dealing with this, the whole idea and charm of “American Dream” is about to get buried soon.

An article published by The Week quoted: “Americans are more likely to die from a gunshot than from skin cancer or stomach cancer”.

What does it imply? Doesn’t it call for some serious gun reforms in United States? If yes, why the U.S. government seems cringed in this regards? In all these attacks, media has tried to take the president’s point of view who never even once called such cowardly acts as acts of terrorism. If this is not terrorism, then what is? In 2017, a poll was conducted in order to curb the gun violence and interestingly, just a fraction of Republicans and congressmen voted it to be one of the most “grave problems” being faced by U.S. While a huge majority was of the view that strict gun policies will not abate these mass shootings. Even some lawmakers stated that carrying a gun symbolizes their societal status and they can’t even imagine a life without a gun. Ironic, isn’t it?

At one side, we see these lawmakers condemning these attacks and when the situation calls for taking strict actions, nothing happens at all. And the reason behind this is none other than the very fact, that U.S., is the biggest arms dealer in the whole world. According to an article published in Time Magazine, U.S. controls fifty percent of the arms market across the globe. The arms industry is the one which saved the U.S. stock exchange from collapsing during the times of economic recession across the globe. The industrialists who deals in arms, have their own vested interests in policy-making and therefore they only vouch for those candidates who are in their pockets. These lawmakers, after getting elected using the money from arms industrialists, always have and always will oppose every sort of gun reforms which aim to reduce the gun violence across U.S.

Amidst such a tumultuous situation, a recent article published in The Washington Post, using the untimely death of Sabika Sheikh, tried to cover-up the failure of Trump’s administration by diverting the reader’s attention towards Pakistan current conditions by stating demographics which are already known to the whole world keeping in view the fact that Pakistan itself, is one of those countries who have lost more lives in the line of duty and off-duty in a so-called war against terrorism initiated by United States. Aside from appreciating Pakistan’s efforts, media is trying to create a trust bubble which seems identical to covering up the eyes knowing the danger is up front. Very soon, this bubble is going to burst and every single voter of the United States will demand to curb the gun violence.

The question remains, when is the voter coming out? How many Sabikas need to die and how many Dimitrios Pagourtzis Juniors will be jailed before people of United States make a rational decision to speak against the prevailing firearms laws? It is their choice.


The writer reports for Fox News in Pakistan and is a freelance columnist.