Guns Are Also the Problem

The reason why Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez killed 5 members of the Armed Forces last week is still unknown. Still, regardless of a lack of evidence to qualify the incident as a terrorist act perpetrated by a religious extremist, some politicians have already affirmed that the crime was “inspired by ISIS” because the killer was Muslim. Even though it is speculated that he could have become radicalized during his last visit to his family in Jordan, this is still unclear.
What is known is that the man suffered from depression and faith-related internal conflicts caused by the clash between his religion and the advantages he found in the secular society of the U.S. Among the latter, he enjoyed guns and shooting. The murders were committed with an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle. He was also carrying one of the several pistols he owned, all purchased online.
Tennessee has some of the most liberal gun regulations in the nation. Considering this, the tragic events look like something more typical of U.S. society than of a Middle Eastern religion.
When the issue of gun control is brought up ‒ whether in this case or in that of Dylann Roof, who recently killed 8 African-Americans at a South Carolina church, ‒ it is quickly dismissed as irrelevant when it is not.
With Roof, a healthy conversation regarding racism and the Confederate flag arose. However, the events also deserved a discussion on why someone with a history of arrests was able to purchase a firearm thanks to the lack of communication between the FBI and local authorities. These problems should be debated, but Congress in Washington has done everything in its power to render inefficient all data bases and surveillance systems on guns.
In the case of Abdulazeez, it is shocking that an assault weapon designed for war can be bought online, but it is generally preferred to talk about Muslim extremism than about this incongruous fact.
Every day, an estimated 90 people die of gunshot wounds. Some of those incidents are massacres; some are perpetrated by frustrated lone assassins. But these murderers would not have had such killing power had they not had such easy access to firearms.