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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gun Violence the global Crisis: Where is the outrage, why a lack of empathy?

Sixteen years ago former USSR citizens Leonid and Tatyana Timoshenko , brought their nine year old son Russel Timoshenko to the United States , and like million others through the centuries , sought a better life for him and the rest of the family . They clearly thought that he was on the verge of achieving this goal when he decided to become a New York City police officer four credits short of a BA degree in economics from City University CUNY. These hopes were however dashed when his precious life was cut shot at the hands of gun toting criminals on July 9, 2007.
Officer Russel Timoshenko stood little chance as two bullets got him in the face , with one lodging in his spine as he desperately held on for five days before finally dying, leaving his distraught parents to bury him. So much did this tragedy dragged at the heart strings of neighborhood members, that on July 20, mourners stretched for 10 blocks on Flatbush Avenue, to give the young American a hero's funeral.
The irony about death is that it can sneak up when one least expects, with guns often at the forefront of the mayhem . This is more so the case for immigrants. Who can forget the several regular Joe computer annalist on the 20th floor of the World Trade Center in 2001 , or an innocent Brazilian trying to get to the subway in London when London police pounce with drawn guns because they claim to suspect that you are a terrorist.
How about 23 year old African Guinean native Amadou Bailo Diallo? He was shot 41 times on Feburary 4th 1999 by four lain clothes polices that insinuated that he fit the descriptions of a serial rapist. In February 25, 2000,they were all acquitted.
Then there is the famous former nurse Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy -the very staunch advocate of gun-control laws. She got her foray into politics when in 1993 her husband was killed and her son severely injured by Jamaican mass murderer Colin Ferguson as he opened random fire on unarmed passengers, killing six and wounding 19 others in the process.
From Virginia Tech College , to Columbine High unprovoked gun violence has wrecked havocked in schools and public institutions across America. Not to be forgotten are the thousands of rural and urban inner city young people that are daily caught in the cross fire of gang related gun violence .Not surprisingly ,law enforcement officers that must confront these situations, like New York finest Russel Timoshenko did , are forced to take a tough line approach that pit them against communities that they are expected to protect.
Gun control continues to be hotly debated in a country that find itself at a cross road with regards to the passage of stricter gun control laws , as opposed to freedom by citizens to benefit from the Second Amendment that allows gun ownership. Text
One of my main concern is to see how folks handle a crisis that has impacted negatively on their lives. Carolyn McCarthy is a stand out , and has been a strong champion for anti gun laws and curbing the efforts of the powerful NRA. Likewise Tatyana Timoshenko, is doing her part to put pressure on states such as Virginia and 38 others that have soft gun laws can allow residents even with proper ID to freely obtain weapons like the one that killed her son. She has joined New York‘s Mayor in his political crusade to put pressures on politicians in the south to tighten up on weapons laws that are creating havoc in his city and similar ones, and has even started three organizations and used some of his vast fortunes to place ads in the are to help spread his message.
It is unfortunate sometimes to see American that are callous to the point of not showing remorse or empathy for a family that lost a child through gun violence. Perhaps it’s because of the frequency of gun murders, that the population has become num and callus when it comes to reactions. Ever so often however, something tragic occurs to some one that fails to fit a particular profile and a bit more sympathy ad positive reaction comes into play . The Brady Handgun Law was such , due to a 1983 tragedy.
One would hope that it would not continually require personal catastrophes for political actions to happen. One would hope that the outrage that occasionally occur against sleeping politicians and US domestic Gun manufactures , as well as competing European, and Asian counterparts . Many have made billions from the sale of small arms weapons to developing countries and the falls out have been devastating. The effects of small arms on the lives of adults and children have been very huge , but no more so than in Africa. Latin America and the Mexican border states are also in the bulls eye when it comes to illicit gun sales, and the rhetoric has been extremely high on both sides of the divide of Gun- control advocates ,verses Gun- rights groups , with either side unwilling to budge.,0,3727945.story.
From Congo in the South to Liberia and Serra Leone in the West , across to Sudan , Ethiopia and Somalia in the East the AK 47 and other western manufactured weapons are continually taking their tolls with limited outraged and sympathy by citizens of the rich industrial countries. Where is the empathy , can justifiably enquire?
What is responsible for such one might enquire? Tune in to any media outlets , and with few exceptions you will be saturated with news about the dangers of possible Nuclear proliferation, where as illicit trade of small arms receive very little attention. Can one expect a serious shift in attitudes as the wins of change continues to be felt in Washington , and similar quarters across the globe?
Give me your oil ,diamonds , Uranium and other precious resources seem to be the dominant new globalization mantra . What’s your stand, and how can the focus and debate change based on the results ?

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.