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 – thinking that I could be the next victim of a mass shooting. After my arrival in the United States in 2012, I was worried about my parents living in Kabul, where people are killed every day by suicide bombers. Now they are worried about me. It’s a strange feeling when I get a call from my family in Afghanistan asking me, “Are you safe?”
Afghanistan is known for war and terrorism; however, the United States has the world record for mass shootings. The Florida school shooting killed 17 innocent people and breaks our hearts. The number of attacks and victims is increasing annually, and people are wondering why?
Gun control is on every citizen’s mind but the problem resides in how to help people learn, speak up, vote, and challenge the law.
There must be an end to the carelessness of guns floating around the streets of America. When I told Afghan villagers on my trip to back home to Afghanistan in 2015 that any American over the age of 18 can carry a gun, they were shocked. They were even more shocked when I told them how easy it is to purchase a gun. Guns are not simple toys that children play with, they are instruments designed to kill – wake up, my American people.
It is not fair for the government to simply blame gun violence on the “mentally ill.” If the U.S. has thousands of “mentally ill” citizens, then Afghanistan has millions of people suffering from horrific trauma and PTSD, caused by four decades of civil war. Why are there low crime rates and no school shootings in Afghanistan? I believe it is because guns are difficult to obtain in Afghanistan and too easy to possess here.
Please listen to an immigrant who fled his own hometown to escape from guns and violence. If you think it is acceptable to own guns for protection, then go to Afghanistan and see firsthand what it is like to live in a country of violence. Guns are simply nothing but evil.
My American friends, you are taking everything for granted. You would appreciate your life of freedom more if you spent a couple of months in a war-torn country and saw what it is like to live in a warzone. Having a gun will not help you, but only create more trouble for you and your family.
This is not about constitutional rights, this is about public safety and the lives of innocent people. This is about our children’s future. This is about our civic duty. Guns are made to kill people. As a philosopher once said, “humans are selfish, jealous and violent and there should be order to stop people from harming others.” I believe that Congress must pass a law to restrict guns in the United States in order to heed this warning and protect all citizens.
These school shootings shock me, anger me and makes me ask why we kill our own people intentionally. We need to protect the people, not the guns that kill them. We the people must come together and work to keep our children safe.