President Obama: Declare Gun Violence an Act of Terrorism
Honorable Barack Obama
President, United States of America
The White House
December 16, 2012
We, the following undersigned, respectfully demand that upon the backdrop of the gruesome gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut where among others, twenty little children were killed on Friday, December 14, 2012, you work with the Congress and various government organizations and departments, legislative bodies, individuals and citizens of this country, and declare that gun violence is an act of terrorism.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School gun massacre is a tragedy that put the entire country and its peace-loving citizens, parents, teachers and students under an ominous environment of hurt, sorrow, fear, anxiety and trauma. Our prayers are for the victims and their families. Not just the little community of Newtown and its people, but the entire country is frozen in sadness, thinking about how the lives of these twenty little children and six other adults were unnecessarily taken away by a killer armed with weapons of mass destruction -- an obvious terrorist act that is no different from any other acts of terror -- anywhere in the U.S. or the world. This one tragedy has undermined the image and prestige of our nation, and embarrassed the U.S. in front of the global community.
We draw your attention to the fact that in his latest, strong crusade against gun violence, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York has said the following (reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/us/politics/bloomberg-urges-obama-to-take-action-on-gun-control.html?hp&_r=0):
"“It’s time for the president to stand up and lead...This should be his No. 1 agenda. He’s president of the United States. And if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns” in the next year."
Mr. President, you must not let that scary prediction Mr. Bloomberg made come true. Already, we have lost too many precious lives to gun violence over the years. According to Handgun Control, Inc., 10,728 deaths in the U.S. were directly attributed to gun violence -- only last year.
In this petition, we are purposefully avoiding the contentious discussion on the rights and wrongs of gun ownership, and this petition is not about asking you to do anything about the Second Amendment. We are not even getting into the discussion of what kind of guns or weapon needs to be controlled or curbed: we leave that up to others to deal with. We are only asking that you declare gun violence an act of terrorism, and pass legislation so that any gun assault -- in particular, with an intent to hurt or kill a group of people in public places such as schools, shopping malls, post offices, transportation systems, religious institutions and so on -- be considered a terrorist act.
We believe we have plenty of evidence to prove that the pattern of gun violence and killing in the U.S. clearly demonstrates patterns we find in other, horrific acts of terrorism – here in our country and all over the world. We are ready to cite the evidence if and when you need them. For now, we would just want you to look at the terrible results of these acts: mass murder of American people including innocent children.
We also believe that once gun violence is declared an act of terrorism, governments and law enforcement agencies would be able to use their powers to prevent and pre-empt future tragedies, and protect the vulnerable in a more meaningful way. Such a declaration from your office or Congress would also help our country's legal systems to try perpetrators as terrorists, and at the same time, relieve us millions of American people of more fear and anxiety knowing our president and government are truly taking this menace seriously, with a strong effort to curb the violence and save innocent lives.
We would be more than happy to be a part of any conversation to make this demand a reality. We hope you get into a sincere conversation soon with the American people. Americans are looking forward to your leadership to stop gun violence and death, once and for all. We are here to support you.
Sandy Hook Elementary School has been one too many. These little kids did not have to die this way. Nobody has to die this way.
Stop this terrorism in America.
Mr. Partha Banerjee, Ph.D.
Brooklyn, New York
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