Individual arming is a serious threat
I was last in Las Vegas around this time in 2015. For many years, I had wanted to visit Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, while some friends were eager to spend their money on the spinning monsters. Is Las Vegas really the entertainment capital of the United States?
Some say so, and with the incredible shows, cultural events, huge facilities and the all-time shining strip, perhaps there is validity in their conviction.
Our days in Las Vegas were great. Is it possible not to be stunned by the Fountains of Bellagio, the incredible performances of Cirque du Soleil and the Dream or a dinner at the Wynn?
I did not know. I learned all of it there. In the artificial world of the casino-hotels linked by a tunnel all along the strip, not only was there a second Eiffel, a smaller version of Venice and the gondolas, and replicas of the many other wonders of the world, but there was a stunning practice. Casino administrations were apparently pumping oxygen from the air conditioning systems and that was why people were feeling energetic all the time and willing to play. Only after learning that, it made sense why my better half and friends were so eager to lose money on the slot machines or to try their luck on the roulette black ball for so many hours, and lose so much.
Why did the attacker fire on people? Was he a lunatic? Was he a sympathizer of the Islamic State of Levant (ISIL) terrorists, as the notorious gang claimed? What might be the cause behind a man firing from a hotel room window on people attending an entertainment event? Nothing said is a sufficient explanation.
Of course, like millions all around the world, our prayers and feelings are with the families of the victims. Irrespective of whether it was an individual heinous act or sponsored by a terrorist gang, the carnage must be condemned without if’s and but’s. It should not be that easy, and our experience was that it was not at all easy, to move around in such a crowded city door equipped with security control devices and personnel, many of whom are in plain clothes. It cannot be within the bounds of individual freedoms to possess automatic and long-range weapons.
Opponents and proponents of fire arms will debate for some time why the possession of a fire arm should or should not be considered within the framework of individual freedoms. Huge weapons companies will spend incredible effort and money to propagate “the rights of the citizens” or “hunting groups” will come up with some nasty reasons why Americans should have fire arms. Even if it is accepted as an “individual right,” there must be a difference between offensive and defensive arms. If anyone who is willing can purchase an automatic long-range weapons system or heavy guns with very little formality, then it will open the door for heinous individual or organized terrorist acts in the future as well. The U.S. must reconsider its individual arming regulations.
Do we not have similar problems? It is so worrisome to hear people talking about the need to establish “neighborhood squads” in Turkey. There are claims that a special network of private “security guards” were established for the defense of the “constitutional government” of the country. These cannot be true…
Yet, it is no secret that in many cities, towns and villages of this country, possessing a fire arm has become some sort of an element of pride, something to boast about. In cars, in offices, at homes and worst, underneath jackets, people love having fire arms.
This country has been going through a separatist terrorist campaign since 1984. Since the early 1990s, Turks have been impacted by the gunfire in the homes of our neighbors. Plus, the notorious tradition of “honor killings” still remain a very important threat for social peace. Worse, there are claims thousands of arms distributed to civilians during the July 15 failed coup were not properly recollected.
Turkey must also seriously consider ways of curbing individual arming. This is a very serious threat.