Twenty children lost their lives today in the Newport killings but, in the same day, 18,000 died of starvation, and even more died of preventable diseases. With the recent shooting in Connecticut many Americans have called for stricter gun control as they did after the Aurora shootings. Is this really feasible though? Presidential hopefuls from both parties must succumb to the NRA for campaign money. In the year leading up to the presidential election in 2012, gun control was mentioned only three times by either candidate. Although both supported controlling guns ideologically, even liberal Obama cannot feasibly expect to go against the NRA.
At the moment, the Newport killings are at the top of everyone’s minds because whenever something of this nature happens in developed countries it makes a much bigger impact. Why is it that the death tolls to preventable diseases in children, usually over 1000 times as high as the death toll in the Newport Massacre daily, are forgotten? Why is it that the poor and vulnerable in third world countries are dehumanized to the point that, for most Americans and those living in most developed countries, they seemingly don’t exist?
Clearly, the Newport massacre was sad and touched those from all across the world, including me. Instead of focusing on gun control, though, why not focus on the issues plaguing the world today that can be controlled. The United States will likely never be able to amend the second amendment because of conservative nationalists who uphold the sanctity of the Constitution. It can, however, work to solve its war on poverty.
The United States offers hefty foreign aid to developing nations to combat poverty but too often the despots ruling these underdeveloped nations steal the aid their people so vitally need. The United States neither mandates that these nations work to solve corruption neither does it distribute the aid itself to ensure the aid is efficiently used. Obviously, there is no way that the United States will be able to solve global poverty: it is simply too large an issue. However, it is clearly much easier to save twenty lives per day from poverty than from gun violence in the United States. Efficient foreign aid distribution would enable the United States to save far more lives than that.
I would like to end by saying that I am not dehumanizing those who lost their lives in Connecticut today; I am simply saying that we should be equally concerned with those who die unjustly every day and tackle the issues that are possible to solve. My heart and prayers go out to all who lost their lives in Newport today as well as those who have lost their lives from preventable diseases which are just that- preventable.