Gun proliferation persistent, deep-seated problem in US: FM

(People's Daily App) 16:58, May 20, 2022

Gun proliferation has been a persistent and deep-seated problem in the US for which the American people have paid the ultimate price, China said on Thursday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a US Department of Justice report on commerce and traffcking of firearms released on Tuesday.

US manufacturers produced 11.3 million firearms in 2020, roughly triple the 3.9 million of 2000. More than 139 million guns have been manufactured for the commercial market in the last two decades, according to the report.

“The data disclosed is more than alarming,” Zhao said. “It reminds me of the malicious gun violence frequently occurring in the US.”

“What a heavy price the US is paying for gun violence.”

Nearly every American will know at least one victim of gun violence in their lifetime and will be directly or indirectly exposed to gun violence, Zhao said, citing a report by the San Francisco-based Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

“Malicious gun violence has become part of the everyday life and collective memory of Americans of all social strata and age groups,” the ministry spokesperson said.

Gun violence is not only a “deep-seated illness of the American society” but an “epidemic” which spreads to its neighboring countries.

“It even causes greater harm in Latin America and the Caribbean than in the US,” he said.

Ninety-eight percent of the illicit guns in Haiti and the Bahamas come from the US and the figure for Central America was 50 percent, Zhao said. In 2020, 70 percent of firearms recovered in crimes in Mexico originated in the US.

“Gun violence is entangled and interwoven with various issues in American society including inequality, racism and the wealth gap,” Zhao said. “Gun proliferation has been a persistent and deep-seated problem in the US for which the American people have paid the ultimate price.”

Gun groups promoted the preposterous argument “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” he noted.

“Pro-gun interest groups provide generous political contributions for elections and manipulate policies by lobbying politicians,” Zhao said.

That was why gun control bills were nipped in the bud, he asserted.

“The right to life is the biggest human right,” Zhao said. “One gunshot after another has shattered the illusion that all men are endowed with the inalienable right to liberty and lead people to reflect soberly on the US-style democracy and freedom.”

(Compiled by Meng Gaohan)

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Hongyu)


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