- Posted February 27, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shooting at Coastal Carolina
No, I’m not out there. I’m sitting at my desk here in a quiet provincial town in North Eastern Italy where the only sound I can hear is not the one of ambulances or bullets but the soothing rustle of trees and flowing of water. Every morning when I wake up I read the news. Why CNN? Because I’ m the mother of an Italian young Italian who is attending college in the USA, in South Carolina. I’ve been to South Carolina, I often travel around those stunning and fabulous places and I’m a strong advocate of the American University system that allows athletes to get a quality higher education without giving up their passion: sports, in our case Track and Field. Therefore I’m grateful to you Americans and I often dream, particularly now after our latest political disaster and crazy post-electoral situation of moving to the land of opportunities, if only I had the chance.
Nevertheless, this morning when I browsed the news of the latest shooting on that campus, somehow so close to my son and so vivid in my memories, my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t help thinking about that mum who’ll be notified the death of her child, shot dead without a cause. Therefore I couldn’t help writing this comment. Why? Because you must stop this slaughter as soon as possible, by passing new laws of gun control. Because having a gun as a defense weapon will never prevent these murders from occurring.
As a citizen of a foreign country where gun culture is inexistent, we are not afraid of being shot by an armed loony. We may have hundreds of fears - who hasn’t? - still at least when our children go to school, the last person they expect to meet on their way is someone holding a gun. In order to have a gun license you need to supply documentation giving evidence that you need it and that you are mentally sane. Few people hold guns and certainly nobody I know here in Italy, while I know quite a few people who do in the States. Furthermore, I’ve never in my life seen shops in Europe where you can buy guns as easily as if they were toys. I was shocked when I saw them in Gatlinburg and even took some pictures. When my friends saw them they couldn’t believe their eyes. The photo above was taken in the elevator of a 4-star hotel in Charlotte: it terrified me because in that moment I suddenly realized something that had never crossed my mind before – facing a potential killer – was somehow humdrum routine and familiar reality for the American tourists.
I highlighted on purpose gun control as I’m not suggesting police officers or people who attend to our security be prevented from holding a gun. They’re trained to handle weapons in a safe way and they are subjects to regular inspections and psychological check ups. What I’m saying is that buying a gun shouldn’t be so easy and nobody can deny the fact that in countries where guns are not available so easily, shootings like this one or the ones at Columbine, Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook to mention just a very few, do not take place. Citizens who enjoy hunting may be allowed to buy hunting rifles, it’s legal here too, but why permit the sale of automatic guns? Please do not reply by putting forward the need and right to self-defense ratified by your Constitution since we now live in 2013 and I truly hope that the cow-boy movies era of eye for an eye, measure for measure has come to an end. I wish I could think of your fabulous country and fantastic topnotch university campuses not as potential crime scenes but as peaceful communities where conflicts are solved with the use of reason, tolerance and respect for diversity.