Dear Mothers,

As the father of a student, I am struck by the shooting at Centennial, Colorado. It strikes a raw nerve because it happened only a few miles from the sites of two other horrendous shootings. All shootings and killings are bad, but in schools?! In this age of the instant news, the pain is felt acutely even as far away as India. The tendency of Indian social behavior to take after life in the US makes me ask a few questions of American mothers.

The American Dilemma:

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Right. So the pro-gun people are against bans or licensing. Understandable. The government should see that people behave, they say

But the concerns on the other side are more pressing. The massive use of legal drugs (Charles Krauthamer writes that medicines and the health industry make one sixth of the US economy), illegal drugs and alcohol has affected the psychological wellbeing of people. The competitive pressure of the race for survival affects their ability to cope. Single-parent families and foster-foster parents worsen the situation. Civilization, ie: civil-ization, suffers. The orderly process of a married-for-life heterosexual father-and-mother duo nurturing their children with love and care, developing their characters, and bringing them up as well-rounded personalities who can face life confidently – the family, in short – has nearly disappeared. The business scenario is such that it does not inspire much confidence. Parenting and growing up have become very difficult acts to accomplish.  

This is further complicated by the violence on TV and the horror books and movies…and you have a perfect recipe for disaster in the form of mental breakdowns as the Hard Disk of an overloaded computer crashes now and then. Breakdowns? It is like those computers were not even put together well to begin with.

Now, can gun control be avoided in a country where a large percentage of people belong to the psychologically challenged class?

A Middle Course:

The obvious answer is that, in consideration of US history and the current social scenario (high crime rates, psychos abroad, a big population of guns in the wrong hands), a ban on gun ownership should not be imposed now. But there should be a process of licensing under which strict background checks should be mandatory for gun shop owners and gun buyers. It means actually only those with criminal records or medication history will be denied ownership of guns. So the sellers and makers of guns will not lose much business. Nor will the fraternity of gun users lose any worthy member.

Many civilized countries have such laws. Why not in the US? Why do not mothers lobby for it?

A Bigger Dilemma:

Civilization progresses with the female push. Possibly a mother trying to prevent her sons from killing each other over mating rights started the institution of marriage. Possibly a young wife wanting her children brought up smarter than other children started the institution of lifelong monogamy and family. It is the gentler female who would think these up first than the aggressive male who could not afford to blink and back off in life’s man-to-man confrontations. 

I am asking you now, American women. What are you going to do about your present social culture which has left the family in tatters, jeopardized the safety of your children, and  threatens even the birth of your grandchildren?

I know many in India are watching and waiting for your cues.

Best wishes,


Jacob J. Mappilacherry