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A Call for Action

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I can't decide if what happened in Wisconsin was a product of intolerance, ignorance or just a gun control problem. What was clear to me was these are all problems in a recurring theme of senseless violence and hate in America.

My dad probably told me this story when I was eight years old, and it stuck for a reason. Right after 9/11, a Sikh family friend had to drive all the way from Florida to North Carolina because he was not allowed on plane.

This is the first thing that I remembered when I read the news yesterday morning. It must be because of my Indian background, but I, at the tender age of eight, knew that the turban that my family friend was wearing was not a threat. I knew that your country of origin, religion or skin color did not mean you were allowed to be considered "dangerous."

The same thoughts ran though my head yesterday, along with one question: Why?

In my mind, I couldn't decide if what happened in Wisconsin was a product of intolerance, ignorance or just a gun control problem. What was clear to me was these are all problems in a recurring theme of senseless violence and hate in America.

What is disheartening to me, a (future) young voter, is the lack of REAL reaction from any side of the aisle to this. Condolences from political figures help to heal, but they do nothing to solve the problem. Guns, tolerance and acceptance are all issues that need to be addressed on the national level.

As Nicholas Kristof noted on his Facebook page, it took one person who hid explosives in his shoes for us all to remove our shoes at the airport. Yet 30,000-plus deaths a year from guns have resulted in no real change in laws.

I can't decide what will be harder for us to do: having a serious discussion on gun control laws or teaching tolerance. Both are daunting tasks in themselves, but both need to happen to move forward as a country.

Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." The tight lips from politicians across the aisle on guns will just result in more Oak Creeks and Auroras for years to come. A national discussion on guns, and tolerance, needs to happen now.