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US controlled by gun lobby: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-26 10:54

People gather during a rally decrying rising gun violence while urging politicians to take action in Washington, DC, June 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

In the widest expansion of gun rights in a decade, the US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York gun law that placed restrictions on carrying a concealed gun outside the home.

The court's 6-3 vote in favor of broadening prior interpretations of the Second Amendment right "to keep and bear arms" is at odds with the prevailing public mood and in conflict with predecessor judgments.

According to the 108-year-old law, anyone seeking a license to carry a firearm in a concealed way must demonstrate a special need for self-defense. A lower court upheld that the requirement, but now the US Supreme Court has declared that requirement to be "unconstitutional".

With the Supreme Court overturning a traditional law that had existed for more than a century, those seeking stricter gun control have lost ground.

The decision striking down the New York licensing restriction is certain to open the door to more challenges to gun regulations even as the US introduced new firearms restrictions.

On Saturday, two days after the Senate with a 64-34 vote to approve a motion to proceed with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, US President Joe Biden signed it into law, which clarifies criteria for prohibiting juveniles purchasing firearms if they have been convicted of certain crimes and establishes the first federal criminal offenses and penalties for "straw purchasers", people who purchase guns on behalf of other. But with the Supreme Court’s ruling, its efforts might be counter-balanced.

According to US website Gun Violence Archive, the US has already seen nearly 21,000 deaths caused by gun violence so far this year, among which there were 792 children and 1,982 teenagers. The number of mass shootings has reached 279 and is still rising, and if the trend continues the victims might exceed 40,000 by the end of the year.

Everybody in the US knows gun violence is a problem in the country, there is much ado after every mass shooting. Yet any attempts to tighten the controls on gun ownership are always stymied with claims they are unconstitutional.

Everybody knows who is behind this: those who benefit from the proliferation of lethal weapons in the country.

On June 11, protests against gun violence broke out in at least 45 cities nationwide in the US. People marched on the street, holding posters asking "Am I next?"

The answer is: "You might be."

The failure of the US to protect its citizens from gun violence is a shameful indictment of its political system, which allows powerful interest groups to determine policy.

It also means any claims it make to be a champion of human rights ring hollow.

Meanwhile, the US deploys its military around the world in the name of protecting its citizens from threats. But they are much more likely to experience gun violence at home than they are overseas.

Perhaps the US should rebalance its military to its own streets and schools if it wants to protect US citizens.

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