Originally Published in Patheos on February 26th, 2018
The Florida shooting is yet another deadly attack on our nation. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I sympathize with the victims and their family members and offer them a sincere condolence.
The worsening disconnect between the needs of the nation and the left and right factions of our country has prevented any real solution from being implemented. Consequently, the fabric of our country is rapidly being torn apart.
What a sad contrast that our nation launched the largest rocket into space last week with an electric car onboard, but also had to mourn the senseless and preventable murder of 17 innocent souls. It is time to act smart and to make smart decisions.
I do not intend for this article to point out character flaws about our leaders but rather a piece that might encourage our educated citizenry to end bigotry, hate and unite on the issue of domestic terrorism. Lets stop fooling ourselves about building walls and stricter immigration laws – instead we need concrete actions that can be translated into results. We need to protect the people of America and then, and only then, we can truly believe in America First!
Our decisions today or perhaps the lack of decisions will have far-reaching consequences for our generations to come. It is time for change and the change must come now – not 10 years from now.
Are we going to let extremists define the culture of America with their gun violence and condone their actions with our silence? Or are we going to take the guns away from these maniacs and save our children from random violence? It is time for our leaders to step down from their high pedestals and experience the pain of the common man. The common man defines the fabric of our nation; he who fights everyday to put food on the table, who fights our wars overseas or who spends every day policing our streets so every American can sleep in peace! Is their protection too much to ask for?
Lets address the issue, extremists come in all shapes and forms; some are disguised as religious fanatics, while some choose a distorted political ideology and there are yet some that can only be defined as mentally unfit with no apparent affiliations. Unfortunately, it is our innate human psychology that we blame something like religion, politics or just human nature for mindless killings because its easy, not because it makes sense. However, we fail to look at tangential causes of violence that ultimately become the weapon of choice; guns!
Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) has been reported to have said, “The wise saying is the lost property of the believer, so wherever he finds it then he has a right to it.” Lets take an example of Australia, the country had 18 mass shootings between 1979 to 1996 – compare that to America which has had 18 mass shootings since New Years. But then something happend, the leaders got tired of it and passed anti-gun laws that would make gun ownership absolutely impossible for lunatics like Nicholas Cruz. Since then, Australia has never experienced a fatal mass shooting — one in which five or more people are killed — since the last one in 1996. How is this for a solution?
Sometimes its important to follow in order to lead. While America remains a superpower, it continues to lose its once boistrous luster on the world stage as more incidents of violence become the order of the day. It is up to us, the American people, to redefine our culture as a leader of the free world – a powerhouse of academic excellence, a pyramid of American dreams united by a culture of economic progress – lets make America Greater than ever!