What defines an act of terrorism in U.S.

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 4:55 PM

On Oct. 31, Manhattan suffered a horrible terror attack from a 29-year-old Muslim male named Sayfullo Saipov, who was originally from Uzbekistan. According to CNN, he’s been living in Tampa, Florida since 2010. 

Saipov rented out a truck from Home Depot and drove the opposite way down the Westside bike path, a few blocks from the World Trade Center. He was only stopped after he drove into a school bus. During this attack, eight people were killed and 11 were injured.

Saipov was quoted saying “Allahu Akbar,” a common phrase shouted by terrorists of Muslim faith; it translates to “God is great.” Saipov was carrying a paintball gun and a pellet gun; the reasons for this are not yet known, but officers took the shot. He is now in the hospital where he is recovering and will be questioned further on these events.

United States President Donald Trump plans to take actions to assure that foreign terrorist attacks don’t plague our country again. According to Circa News, Trump stated: “Diversity lottery, it sounds nice, but it’s not nice. We want a merit-based system where people come into our county based on merit.” This is hard to do because people who have come in years ago may seem to have a good history, but can get radicalized here in America. Even if this method is implemented now, there is no way of telling if in 15 years they won’t shoot someone in the name of ISIS or some other radical group.

During the mass shooting at the very beginning of the month in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock killed over 50 people and this was not called an act of terrorism. Yet, a man drives over eight people and he is called a terrorist. The Las Vegas shooting was the deadliest shooting in American history, yet is not considered an act of terrorism. Perhaps this is because the shooter was a white man, and we tend to associate terrorism with Muslims after the 9/11 attacks. There is no certain answer as to why that is, though I think most would agree they’re both horrible acts that should be under the same classification. 

Trump plans to take action for a terrorist attack that killed eight people, but will not be talking about gun control after over 50 people died in the Las Vegas shooting. It is disheartening to compare the two attacks and see the way our government reacts to them. It appears that it may be due to the religious affiliation of Saipov that our government is taking action now. 

With so much violence, how can the American people know who is safe to let into the country? What actions do we take to regulate guns, if any? These are hard questions that may not be answered in our lifetime.

Although we can’t stop everyone from renting trucks just because of this tragedy; there should still be some kind of background check to lower the chances of something like this happening again.

Steven Tagliente can be reached at voices.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: voices, opinion

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