Stories about gun control

I lost my cousin Sabika Sheikh to a mass shooting – gun violence is the new ‘terrorism’ and it’s very real

On March 14, 2019 I gathered with hundreds of students in front of the United States Capitol in Washington DC. These students had walked out of their classes to join the National School Walkout demanding decisive action against the epidemic of gun violence in the US. A few hours later, a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and shot dead at least 50 worshippers and injured 47 more while live-streaming the massacre. Pakistani exchange student and my cousin, Sabika Sheikh, was killed when a gunman entered her classroom and killed her and nine others at the Santa Fe School in ...

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When blood becomes cheap and police are the monsters our children need protection from

Another day, another victim – a child no less! A short while after the death of Amal Umer – 10-year-old girl who lost her life after a crossfire between the police and robbers – the police in Karachi have claimed yet another young life. Seven-year-old Aqsa recently became the victim of a stray bullet, out of all places, while she was at her school! Perhaps what makes this situation direr is the fact that the school she was attending was next  to a police training centre, full of police personnel, which is where the bullet came from. Now that we have ...

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8 ways ‘13 Reasons Why’ throws you into pits of darkness and leaves you there

What would you do if you found out that your loved one was suffering? “I just wish I die.” These simple words, said in a moment of frustration perhaps, are taken merely as words. Sometimes, that’s what they are, but sometimes, they mean more. Nobody reads too much into it, but perhaps we should. I was really young when I found out someone close to me was self-harming. At that time, I didn’t know what to do because I was still a child. The person told me about the cuts, the bruises and the sleeping pills. I did what you would expect a ...

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Why nobody wants to admit to the real reasons behind American mass shootings

There was a “mass casualty event” at an American high school a couple of days ago that took the lives of 17 people, including students, teachers and staff, and I’m unfortunately not surprised at this point. Mass shootings have become commonplace in America as of late, and after every incident, the political blame game spins round and round, even before we send out our redundant “thoughts and prayers”. “We have to ban guns. No, we need more guns. We need to put more police in public places – and even in schools to deter shooters. We need to ban gun-free zones. We ...

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How many Zafirs, Zains and Shahzebs will it take for Pakistan to stop bowing down before the Khawars, the Kanjus and the Jatois?

I can very well imagine his pain, his helplessness, as he was being ruthlessly deprived of his right to live and follow his dreams. How he must have begged and pleaded for his life, only to be left alone to offer apologies for something he didn’t even do. I mean, wouldn’t anyone do just that to save their life? But the monsters did not just lack sympathy – they were inherently void of even a shred of humanity. They trapped him from all sides, with nowhere to go, and then their guns started blazing. Entire caches of bullets were emptied on ...

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If Pakistan can take action after the APS attack, what is stopping the US from stricter gun control laws after another school shooting?

On November 14th, the US faced another mass shooting at an elementary school in California. The shooter, identified as Kevin Jason Neal, killed his wife, shot his neighbours, attacked the school and drove by the area while shooting at motorists. He was responsible for five deaths and injuring 10, which included children. Eventually, he was killed by the police. This tragedy is one of the countless mass shooting incidents in the US that have escalated to a point where the country now leads the world in such mindless tragedies. Surprisingly as it is, the statistics surpass even that of countries like Pakistan that are rife with ...

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24 hours in crime filled Karachi

In 2015, when it started, the Rangers’ operation was eagerly welcomed by the citizens of Karachi. Even though this decision undermined the authority of existing law enforcement agencies including the police, it brought with it a promise of safety and security for Karachiites; and we were starved for protection. A few months into the operation, and our faith in this beautiful, resilient city of ours was renewed. Karachi had had enough, and the operation was going to finally cleanse the city of all the filth that continued to eat at its heart and soul. Many started dreaming of walking to ...

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Did we make Omar Mateen a self-hating gay man?

What happened in Orlando is a terrible tragedy. Innocent people were massacred and now the blame game begins, with accusations and counter accusations, but some serious soul searching needs to be done by several groups. While the gun lobby is relieved that the shooter wasn’t a white right wing, gay hating, fringe extremist, it is relevant that he had licensed weapons, despite being on the FBI radar. America must question the ease with which it allows people to access such lethal weapons. Is the right to bear arms still relevant in this day and age of dialling 911 and proactive ...

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US presidential elections: What is the role of the media?

Given the current disposition of the 2016 US elections, shows like Scandal have rightfully depicted and drawn inspiration from the onscreen presence of many real political leaders and their quest for winning the presidential seat in the months to come. The media continues to play a significant role in shaping public opinion based on the rhetoric many television networks oppose or support, thereof.  The recent episode of the political-thriller show Scandal titled ‘The Miseducation of Susan Ross’ portrayed a rather realistic presidential debate among the nominees with characters emulating the real contenders for the US presidential election. One contender is Mellie Grant, the former First Lady, and ...

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America must decide between its people and guns

US politics has taken a nose dive. In the run up to the November 2016 presidential election, public opinion is going crazy. At a time when Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and are hell bent on safeguarding the dreadfully outdated Second Amendment to the US Constitution, we, as a society, are seemingly settled and resigned to our fate. Beyond the 400 or so mass-shootings and over 2000 deaths and injuries just in 2015, the guns are still blazing and there’s no stopping the lunacy. Proponents of the dastardly arms trade say that guns only kill innocent people when ...

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