Shobbit Shabhara’s case is not an isolated scenario. In fact, in most terror activities performed by individuals in the U.S., a similar pattern has been observed not only in the U.S. but in other parts of Europe where diverse cultures are common. The story of the Boston bombing where a pair of Chechen brothers from Dagestan developed a passion for terrorism after living in America for more than 10 years is just one example of how some individuals can be hateful even though the country has accepted them without hesitation. The United States was traditionally considered by social scientists as the melting pot of the world where cultures, nationalities and races diverge to share a common American attitudes, values, and lifestyles. On the contrary, considering the increasing cultural conflicts among immigrants, modern America is more of a ‘salad bowl’ where cultural groups “exist separately and maintain their practices and institutions”. Shabhara’s case is, in fact, a failure to assimilate two diverse cultures, which resulted to violent and aggressive behavior. The nature of Shabhara’s act of terrorism does not fit in to the commonly accepted definition of being an intentional act that aims to seriously intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to act upon any political, constitutional, economic or social concerns. Apparently, Shabhara’s terrorism is more of a random individualistic act, which makes it more difficult for authorities to detect, and therefore, difficult to address. Although these individuals act on their own accord, they are also at risk of being recruited into bigger and more sophisticated terror organizations. Technological advancements have also made it easier for terror groups to recruit new members and provide training materials and propaganda.
One of the most basic strategies that can be employed to counter acts of terrorism perpetrated by individuals is to strengthen the U.S. immigration policies. Most people believe that the U.S. is a land of milk and honey where dreams of prosperity come true. Although this connotation might serve the country in terms of tourism, most migrants find themselves disappointed because they are ill-suited to live in the country. Reasons such as work, education or family must be thoroughly examined before anyone is allowed entry in the U.S. Aside from the strengthening of immigration policies, the gun control legislation of the United States should be reformed. It should be noted that potential terrorist, such as Shabhara and the likes are mostly civilians. The United States’ constitution of being pro-gun is also one the biggest problem that contributes to how potential terrorist can easily arm themselves. One look at statistics of incidents of mass shooting in the U.S., one could not argue that there is indeed a problem with the country’s gun control policies. For example, in 2012, James Holmes armed himself with an M16 semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun, and .40 caliber handguns and perpetrated an indiscriminate shooting spree in a theater in Aurora killing 12 people and injuring 58 individuals (Krouse, 2012, p. 1). In December 14 of the same year, 20 children under the age of 7 was killed including several others which totaled to a casualty of 28 people when a 20 year old gunman opened fire in one of America’s worst school shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School. In fact, these are just few examples of how ordinary civilians such as Holmes and the Sandy Hook gunman obtained such high-caliber pistols that enabled them to shoot indiscriminately in an act of utter destruction. Come to think of it, if only the U.S. have been stricter about gun possession, these incidents could have been avoided. Terror acts such as the one in this case study might randomly occur but with enough precaution and conscious effort, the country could stand a chance and at the least, significantly reduce the frequency and the magnitude of the damage.
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