‘Weapons in US as easy to buy as vegetables’

The remains of a SUV involved in the Wednesdays attack is shown along with weapons (L and Top) in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015. © Mario Anzuoni
There are already 300 million guns in the hands of ordinary Americans, experts say. And there won’t be any stricter gun control in the US in this generation, because the Republican Party, which has the stranglehold of the Congress, is opposed to it.

READ MORE: What we know about the 14 deceased San Bernardino victims

President Barack Obama said the motive behind the San Bernardino gun attack, which left 14 people dead, may have been terrorism.

In an interview with CBS he also condemned the current US gun laws saying that there is a “pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer believes that Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino was a terrorist attack, as he really cannot see any other motivation to carry out a mass killing like this.

“If it were a case of workplace violence or something personal, you would think the killing would be more personal or more focused. This clearly is all hallmarks of a terrorist incident,” he told RT. “Who ordered it? Who possibly directed it? From the Middle East, if that was the case?” expert questioned.
Giraldi said that the US is being so reluctant to say that this was a terrorist act because “that admission would contradict what President Obama has been saying for some time."

“So it has a political consequence to admit that there was a terrorist incident that the intelligence services and security services did not anticipate,” and they are hoping “it would turn out to be a workplace situation,” he continued.  

It's estimated there have been more than 351 mass shootings so far this year in the US.

Commenting on the possible reasons behind such a large number, the former CIA officer said “that is complicated” and that mass shootings have different motives.

“There is perhaps a general frustration in the US concerning where the country is going; what kind of policies it is pursuing,” Giraldi told RT.
According to the expert, “it is not just Muslims by any means” and most of the attacks “are carried out by white Christians.”

“But nobody calls them Christian extremists. It is not really connected with religion; it is connected with a whole a lot of other issues that influence how people behave,” he added.    

Discussing the problem of gun control in the US, Giraldi said that there are already 300 million guns in the US in the hands of ordinary people and introducing gun control now “would be kind of like closing the door after the horse has escaped.”

“I would like to see much more strict controls over peoples’ ability to buy guns, when you really have to increase by quite a bit the difficulty in buying guns to really have an effect,” he told RT.

Author and historian, Gerald Horne thinks that US authorities are reluctant to immediately acknowledge this as an act of terror for a number of reasons.  “There is a disturbing level of Islamophobia in the US - number one, and hopefully the authorities were reluctant to fan those flames,” he said.

“But at the same time Washington would like to continue its double game of, on the one hand, supposedly being opposed to ‘terrorism’, on the other hand, carrying the favor of so-called terrorists,” Horne added.

According to Horne, two of Washington’s allies – Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are “the major funders and promoters” of terrorism. “Just as we know that Washington’s favorite ally in NATO is Turkey which...  is cultivating so-called terrorists in Syria,” he said.

The expert also said that “it is easy to buy weapons in the US as it is to buy vegetables.” At the same time, he argues, stricter gun controls in the US will not be imposed “in this lifetime” because “the Republic Party, which has the stranglehold of the Congress, is adamantly opposed to gun control.”

Speaking about a significant number of shootings in the country, Horne said that historically “there is a cult of violence and guns in the USA.”

“If you look at the polls, particularly the polls that suggest that the Republican Party may be retaking the White House next year,” the historian told RT. “You will not be surprised to find that there will probably not be gun control in the US anytime soon. I am afraid to say that we’re going to have to live with this kind of crisis on a daily basis,” Horne concluded.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.