America’s epidemic of mass shootings reclaims an Indian life as parents weigh alternatives to the United States

WASHINGTON: In a weekend ritual in tens of thousands of homes across India, parents and family members wait or initiate calls to their children and siblings in America to reclaim each other’s welfare. And so it was on Saturday when Aishwarya Thatikonda phoned home from Texas, to speak to his father T Narsi Reddy, a session judge in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana.
A few hours later, when the news of yet another mass shooting, the scourge of America, flashed across the television screens, Reddy called her back, concerned that the incident had occurred in an outlet mall, she had told her mother that she would went to visit her with her friend Shreyas. just a few hours before. No reply. She had died at the young age of 27, buried in a pile of eight victims, including a five-year-old boy outside the premium outlet mall in Allen, Texas, where she had been shopping with a friend, who survived with stab wounds. weapon.
The shooter, later identified as Mauricio Garcia, a neo-Nazi extremist, lay nearby in a pool of blood, shot down by a policeman who was in the mall on another call. According to local media, Garcia was working as a security guard following his dismissal from the military for mental health issues.
The epidemic of mass shootings in America, now universally seen as a bad blight on the country, had hurt a home in India, which sends thousands of students and white collar workers to the United States every year. There is now genuine apprehension among many Indian parents about sending their children to study in the United States, a colleague who recently visited India told this correspondent; they are looking at alternative options such as Canada and Australia, which are considered much safer.
Like many young Indian students, Aishwarya came to the US after a BA (Civil Engineering from Osmania University) in Hyderabad, where she received her Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 2018, earning a Masters in Construction Management from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. She found work soon after graduating as a project engineer at Perfect General Contractors LLC, a firm in Frisco, Texas, 20 minutes from McKinney, where she lived, and equal distance from Allen, all three outlying suburbs in the area of Greater Dallas.
According to friends posting on social media, Aishwarya visited India in 2022 for her brother’s wedding and her parents were hoping to get married by the end of the year. A local news agency said she had gone shopping at the mall for her 28th birthday later this month, one she will never see.
Invisible even among gun lovers, including a Republican majority, is the chorus for gun control legislation in a country that seems to have become accustomed to mass shootings, of which there are now more than one a day (198 in 2023 alone). respond with “thoughts and prayers” and blame the mental health of the perpetrators rather than the easy availability of weapons, without which such carnage would occur.
Among other pro-gun moves in recent months, Texas imposed legislation in 2011 that allows the “open carry” of handguns without a permit, license or training. In a 2015 post, state governor Greg Abbott tweeted, “I’m embarrassed: Texas #2 in the nation in new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let’s pick up the pace for Texans.”
On Sunday, Abbott blamed anger from the mental health crisis for Allen’s carnage. “One thing that we can observe very easily is that there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that is happening in America. And what Texas is doing, in a big way, we are working to address that anger and violence by going to his root cause, which is addressing the mental health crisis behind it,” he told Fox News, which largely and faithfully broadcasts pro-gun messages from Republicans. In 2022, Texas ranked last in the country in overall access to mental health care, according to data analyzed by Mental Health America, cited by the Los Angeles Times.
The only message Abbott posted about the latest massacre read: The hearts of all Texans are with Allen, Texas. Tonight, I joined my fellow Texans in Allen for a community vigil for the innocent lives lost last night and those recovering from their injuries. As this community heals, Texas will be with you every step of the way.”
It was a meaningless sentiment for a Telangana family who had lost their daughter.
Clock Indian woman killed, friend injured in mass shooting at US Texas mall, relatives want to bring back body


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