Writer: Nethra Jayaprakash is an opinionated advocate for change who wishes to make her mark on the world through her writing.
How Americans Reluctance to Welcome Syrian Refugees is a Result of Their Own Laws
Fifty three percent of the American public believes that Syrian refugees should not be offered shelter within the United States; feeling the same as the majority of Republican politicians and leaders rather than the White House (pro-refugee). One of their most substantial reasons for believing so is the notion that people coming from ISIS-controlled Syria will include terrorists that will assimilate into American society and then commit violent acts, as with what caused the attacks on Paris in November 2015. But if Syrian refugees are screened as they are coming into the country, how will they gain access to weapons to enact their “violent” plans? The answer to this lies in the United States’ own lax gun laws, which enable many who should not have access to guns to be able to buy and use them.
Texas Congressman Tony Dale put this concern into words when writing to Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and in a television interview with Fox 7 News. “While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades,” Dale wrote, “it is clear that firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims. Can you imagine a scenario were [sic] a refugees [sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided with federal cash payments and other assistance, obtains a driver’s license and purchases a weapon and executes an attack?” He asked lawmakers to “do whatever you can to stop the [Syrian refugee] program.” Despite Dale’s fear that foreigners will obtain firearms and use them against the American people, he himself is a supporter of these relaxed gun laws, once saying “Perhaps no right is more fundamental than the right to keep and bear arms.”
The fact that the American people are deciding to keep out expatriates in desperate need of asylum based on their own flawed laws is ridiculous. America is the country with the highest number of mass shooting, the majority of which, contrary to what the NRA claims are carried with a firearm that has been obtained legally. Of these shooters, from 1982 to 2015, only 6 out of the 75 major mass killings have been Asian, with the majority of the leftover killers being citizens of the United States rather than immigrants. That begs the question; Is this reason for turning away Syrian immigrants being driven by racist views? Tony Dale certainly seemed to be of this direction of though when he said “I’m not saying all of these people are bad, but there are certainly people from countries of concern,” in March, clarifying the need for legislation to create special driver’s licenses for “foreigners.”
Because of these laws, leaders and those against giving those Syrian refugees in desperate need of shelter a home have yet another reason to turn them away. Perhaps instead of trying to shove the burden of the public’s mistakes on to the backs of suffering people, the United States should take a long, hard look at what has been occurring in their own country, and determine to fix it.