I was travelling to the US from India around the time of the Wisconsin shooting, and because that journey takes up 24 hours, I heard about the incident only after I arrived here. What can I say?
(1) As a country, we seem to have decided that occasional bouts of senseless slaughter are the price we pay in order to keep guns readily available. Unlike the Colorado shooting, it was clear that the shooter this time was a ticking time bomb, but he still had no problems getting a gun. Yet, neither Romney nor Obama, Republicans nor Democrats, in their boilerplate statements would mention the problem of guns. That issue, it appears, is settled.
(2) It is ironic that Sikhs, of all people, should bear the brunt of terrorism in the United States. They are a monotheistic religion, and the closest that one can come in the Indian subcontinent to a Christian faith. The religion was founded, in part, to resist Islam and the first few gurus of the new faith were martyred by Moslem monarchs.
(3) The police officer, Brian Murphy, who was first on the
scene, was ambushed by the killer and who waved off help in favor of
the other victims shows what is great about America. Worldwide, such
quick reaction by authorities to protect a minority community is rare.
Instead, an attack on minorities is usually occasion
for police to foment even more
violence: take recent incidents in India or Pakistan for example.
(4) The forgiveness, and the lack of anger, espoused by the Sikh community after this slaughter is remarkable. It reminds me of the reaction of the Amish after a gunman massacred their community.
They may not be outraged, but we should be. How many more such "incidents" before we reconsider the ready availability of guns? Australia revisited its gun laws after a massacre in Tasmania, and the results have been predictable -- no large-scale killings have happened after that.
The attempted shooting of a Congresswoman didn't prompt any examination of our gun laws; neither did the shooting at a theatre, nor did this shooting at a gurudhwara. What will it take?