Mass shootings worsen US human rights

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/6 22:58:40

Just days after the truck terror attack in Manhattan, a church in a small South Texas community has become a killing field - although the mass shooting in Texas appears to be unconnected to terrorism. A 26-year-old white man opened fire in the church on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding about 20 others. This immediately reminds people of the mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on October 1, which left 59 dead and more than 500 injured.

The whole world is astounded at the frequency of mass shootings in the US and its government's inaction to address them. Some "sick and deranged" people compete with each other for the sensationalism the attacks bring.

The US public's equanimity in the face of these deadly attacks is surprising. The governments of other countries would have been strongly denounced if such severe attacks against society happened so often. Except for media reports and verbal responses from officials and lawmakers, the US is slow in taking any targeted action against mass shootings.

Although US media outlets publish instant reports and pictures, they fail to lead US society to focus on the shootings, instead putting more attention on Russiagate. The difficulties of gun control in the US are universally known. While US politicians and the media have cold feet on the issue, ordinary citizens are left with no other option but to accept the status quo.

The US public can only place their hope on sheer luck to avoid being attacked in a mass shooting. The majority's acquiescence to the government's failure to act has spawned a spreading outbreak of this violence. US society always pays condolences to the innocent victims, but never feels guilty that it makes no efforts to prevent these tragedies from happening.

The US is rigid on gun control. How many people will have to die before US society is prompted to reform the current system? US politicians are slick players and are unwilling to launch a political duel against those who oppose gun control under uncertain circumstances. 

The US system determines that politicians will only take politically correct actions to attract votes. The US is lucky that it started early in modern governance and accumulated some advantages, otherwise, the country, with the current mechanisms, would probably lose out to India. Yet US institutional governance has remained resistant to any change.

If the mass shootings in the US cannot be addressed in the long term, and the government takes no effective action, the UN Human Rights Council needs to denounce Washington's inaction at some point, exerting external pressure on the country.

Washington must acknowledge that mass shootings are a serious human rights issue that has directly threatened the life of Americans. We hope that US media and elites refresh their understanding of human rights.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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