I left the turmoil of Afghanistan in 2012 because I wanted to live in peace and study in a secure country. But I do not feel safe anymore. I find myself thinking I could be the next victim of a mass shooting. After my arrival in the United States in 2012, I worried about my parents who I left behind in Kabul, a city where people are killed daily by suicide bombers. Now my parents worry about me. It’s strange to get a call from my family in Afghanistan asking whether I am safe.
Afghanistan is infamous for war and terrorism. It is the United States, however, that has the world’s record for mass shootings. The Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland Florida left 17 innocent, young people dead. It breaks our hearts. Every year the number of victims and attacks increases and people wonder why. Gun control is on every citizen’s mind.The question that needs to be answered is how do we help people learn, make their voices heard, vote, and challenge the law?
The policies that carelessly leave guns floating around America’s streets must end. When I told Afghan villagers during my trip home in 2015 that any American older than 18 can carry a gun they were shocked. They were dumbstruck when I told them how easy it is to purchase a gun. Guns are not toys that children play with, they are instruments designed to kill – wake up, my American friends!
It is unfair for the U.S. government to blame gun violence on the mentally ill. If the U.S. has thousands of mentally ill citizens, Afghanistan has millions. Trauma and consequent P.T.S.D. are rampant, brought on by nearly half a century of civil war. Why are school shootings in Afghanistan non-existent? I believe it is because guns in Afghanistan are difficult to obtain while here, they are easy to acquire.
Please, listen to an immigrant who fled his home country to escape guns and violence. If anyone thinks it’s acceptable to own guns for protection, go to Afghanistan. See firsthand what it’s like to live in a country rife with violence. Guns are nothing but evil.
My American friends, you are taking far too much for granted. I implore you to wake up before it’s too late. You would appreciate your life and freedom more if you spent even a few months in a war-torn country. Guns will not help you. They will only multiply troubles for you and your family.
A retired army officer’s sign encourages others to stand up to NRA. Photo by Ahmad Mohibi, Feb 21, 2018
This is not about constitutional rights, this is about public safety and the lives of innocent people. This is about our children’s future and our civic duty. Guns are made to kill people. It has been argued that humans are selfish, jealous and violent. There should be order to prevent them from harming others. Congress must pass a law to restrict guns in the United States in order to protect its citizens. These school shootings shock and anger me. They make me ask why we intentionally kill our own people. We need to protect people, not the guns that kill them. We the people must come together and work to keep our children safe.