Recently the Communist Party in China has criticized the United States human rights records due to its lax gun laws in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Florida. They argued that the US needs to work to protect its citizens through legislation just as the communist nation has.
Most Americans will scoff at this. And in some ways this is justified. China is a habitual human rights abuser. They also have nothing in any way mirroring a democracy or public rule. The Communist party is a facade so that rich oligarchs can run the country under the guise of equality. (See our article on Chinese President Xi Jinpin changing the rules so that he can rule forever like some two bit dictator.) So while many Americans will want to say “shut up Xi, stay in your lane”, and honestly I say this frequently, we need to examine these claims for a serial human rights abuser and see if they have any merit.
The unfortunate truth is that in some ways they are right. The US clearly needs to do something in order to curtail gun deaths. This issue has gotten out of hand and is putting everyone who lives or even visits the US in danger. The US is leaps and bounds ahead of other countries in gun ownership and, because of this, gun deaths. The US, according to even conservative estimates, has around 300 million guns, this is more than the adult population.
This smorgasbord of guns obviously translates to many gun deaths in America every year. Even if they are not mass shootings, which of course the US also always records record numbers year after year. Many of the deaths are also suicides or accidental death. Some of which could be prevented by of course things like better mental health coverage, but also with out a doubt, stricter gun control.
Even though people like to argue about gun control, it seems that there are a few things the most progressive dove and “gun nut” can agree on. In recent polls over 90% of the American people support a federal background check when purchasing a firearm. In addition, both democrats and republicans are in favor of banning the mentally ill from obtaining a gun. Many are in favor of various other bans from assault weapons to bump-stocks.
So why hasn’t there been any change? Part of the reason is that often people get so mired in the details of the debate that they end up fighting over what they disagree on and forgetting to push for what they both agree is reasonable. Another, and I would argue larger, problem is money in politics.
Money has corrupted the US system to an astounding degree. Almost of all of your elected officials, at least on the federal level, take money from lobbyists, PACs, rich donors, and the list goes on. This corrupts them. When someone, or some group, gives a politician thousands or millions of dollars, they want something in return. unfortunately they usually get it. This is why you see the politicians, including Trump, who took massive amounts of money from the NRA, now doing little or nothing to curtail the issues we have with guns in the US.
Americans must get active in combating this. Call a congressperson, tell them they need to represent you and not corporations. If they don’t listen then they need to be primaried. Don’t settle for less than full representation from your representatives. America deserves better.