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Above: Police respond to the 2012 attack on the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin by a white supremacist.

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It's Time To Fight Terrorism At Home





It’s time to fight terror at home

“Okay, America, it’s time to completely level the points of interest, bomb the fuck out of them!” touts one of my Facebook friends in response to the recent San Bernardino shootings.

It is vitriolic speech, certainly misguided, but embodies an empathizable rage and a justifiable call to action. Americans often feel this way after a Muslim-extremist inspired attack happens, but are ironically complacent to mass shootings which happen on average more than once a day.

Americans should rally to fight terrorism, but let’s not discriminate against a threat that knows no boundaries. Because terrorism is both a domestic and international problem.

While murders caused by extremist radicalization mobilize our war machine, everyday mass-murders in our homes, schools and cities are somehow uninspiring of action. Why are we so quick to rally against a foreign enemy, yet seem paralyzed in changing a system which enables the murder of thousands of Americans every year?

Is it moral to lead the War on Terror abroad by reciprocating the same mass violence, without even thinking of how to actively engage the terror of gun violence at home?

The American credo is “Liberty and Justice for All,” but in the frenzy to dish justice abroad, we fail to act on a bigger threat to our own liberty and life -- domestic terrorism. Many more Americans are killed by domestic terrorism in the form of gun violence, including mass murders, than by foreign threats.

The problem is that we don’t term the daily gun violence here at home as terrorism, unless it is perpetrated by someone perceived as “foreign.”

It’s time to stop sugar-coating the state of our gun violence epidemic. Let’s call it as it is --  a terrorist is one who kills mass numbers of innocent Americans to further his own agenda, regardless of the specifics of an ideology, race, nationality or political affiliation.

It’s time to expand the scope of our War on Terror to include gun violence at home.

Hand in hand with justice, we as Americans deserve liberty. Our government should not only seek to bring terrorism abroad to justice, but preserve American liberty and the right to life by taking measures to prevent terrorism from happening in our backyards.

This means we need a gun control policy.

Americans are forced to deal with 11 times more deaths due to gun violence than citizens of other countries of our economic calibre. Hasn’t it become obvious that we are doing something wrong, when in 2015 more than one mass shooting a day occurred, on average?

While politicians, strategists, and military leaders debate our best course of action abroad, we the people need to make our stand against domestic terrorism  -- it’s time to get guns out of the hands of people who kill Americans.

When the fear that the next mass shooting could be in your town is more real than it has been ever before, it becomes obvious that gun control has to be just as an important part of the War on Terror as are our foreign policy objectives.


If we wish to continue to lead the world and if we want to combat terrorism abroad, we have a moral imperative to lead by example and disarm our own terrorists on our soil.

Where do we start?

In my opinion, we can start by making more rigorous background checks, and have a federal standard to close loopholes caused by disparities in gun laws between states. Effective gun control doesn’t prevent Americans from bearing arms for legitimate purposes, it prevents terrorists and criminals from ease of access to guns which they enjoy today.

Let’s begin to treat the epidemic of gun violence as domestic terrorism and combat it as a part of our War on Terror. We’ve been zealous to root-out terrorism abroad since 9/11, but 2016 is the year to stop enabling it at home.

The author is a 22-year-old aspiring broadcast journalist, award-winning filmmaker, activist, and undergraduate student-athlete at Columbia University, studying Political Science (Class of 2016). Originally from Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, as a freshman in high school, he identified the need for, and developed a diversity education program centered on his film "Roots and Wings" across various schools and school districts in the U.S.A. []

Edited for
December 6, 2015


Conversation about this article

1: Harinder Singh (Punjab), December 06, 2015, 11:39 AM.

The American economy is driven by its military industrial complex. Hence it has to be perpetually at war.

2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 06, 2015, 6:31 PM.

Angad, we have had no news about you for a while and therefore made a health check with your dear mum. She updated me that you were busy working up your career, meaning you have little time at home to compose a heartfelt poem to come anywhere near your little sister Liv's masterpiece. However, it looks all is well in state of Denmark.

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