In less than a week, more than 30 people have died in three separate mass shootings in the US. What’s common is the use of private firearms, the kind that are available across the counter in that country. To any observer outside America, little further needs be said on curbing the menace beyond this: to contain wanton killings, restrict the sale of guns. That some people in the US appear to be in the grip of an anti-immigrant hysteria only lends the case for prompt gun-control extra urgency.

The old argument against gun-control is that it is people who kill, not guns, so the instrument should not be blamed. Even if this is technically accurate, it is crucial to note that a large number of shootouts are impulse killings. The trigger is often pulled in a fit of anger or some other demonic emotion. Guns in the hands of those who are unable to think rationally and keep themselves in check—even for a moment—can turn impetuosity lethal.

Hate crimes are on the rise across the world. Minds that turn murderous need to be dealt with. It just so happens that solutions for such problems are in the domain of social discourse and politics, and even if prejudices can be eliminated, it would take a long while. The unnaturally high frequency of indiscriminate shootouts in America, however, makes it clear that the country’s gun culture is a significant part of the problem. It’s for US citizens to exercise collective restraint. Strict gun laws should not be seen as an affront to the American way of life, but as common sense.

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