World Insights: Gun lobby, interest-oriented market behind U.S. gun violence-Xinhua

World Insights: Gun lobby, interest-oriented market behind U.S. gun violence

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-06-24 09:30:30

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Once again, the recent fatal shootings across the United States, including mass ones, have pit advocates for a tightened gun market against those who lobby for and gain from gun sales.

International media and observers have repeatedly warned of the danger of a loose gun market, but see the issue a standstill, as it has deeply entrenched social cause besides bipartisan tensions.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the loopholes and scrappy data of the National Instant Background Check System, which is meant to guarantee gun buyers have clean slates, may partially fail such an aim.

The system "operates with serious built-in limitations inserted by the gun lobby, which pushed to speed up gun sales -- inserting a provision that allows gun dealers to give purchasers their weapons if an investigation is not completed within three business days," said the report.

The gun lobby in the United States is too strong, and politicians are too weak, observed the British Medical Journal in an opinion piece earlier this month, noting that prices for major gun-related stocks rose the day after the Uvalde shooting at an elementary school killing 19 children and two teachers on May 25.

U.S. lawmakers serve as mouthpieces for powerful interest groups, which have earned considerable profits from gun sales, Ezzat Saad, director of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, told Xinhua, blaming U.S. legislative bodies for aggravating mass shootings.

For instance, Saad said there are lawmakers who, instead of calling for stricter laws to curb the arms trade inside the country, suggest more investment in psychological therapy, touting it as a way to decrease mass shootings.

Deepanshu Mohan, associate professor of economics at O.P. Jindal Global University in India, said the U.S. gun industry is guided by "the compulsions of less-regulated market forces."

That can be traced back to the late 20th century, when the U.S. economy "was built around an industrialised, mass-scaling model of weaponizing itself and other nations while designing tools of finance to profit from war," he said.

For a long time, the U.S. market has been "based more on maximising self-interest while less on the consequences, ethics or morals of resulting actions," and Mohan argued that the value of human life and ethical considerations in economic and social policy-making are needed for change.

"More guns lead to more violence," Amanda Marcotte, a senior politics writer said in an article published on the website of U.S. news portal Salon, adding that research showed that was especially true of the gun buying surge during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, as the percentage of newly purchased guns being used in crime climbed.

The surge was due to decades of propaganda leading people to think they needed guns to be "safe," Marcotte said.

"So this vicious cycle is perpetuated. People buy guns, which leads to more gun violence, which leads to more gun sales, and so on and so forth," said Marcotte.

"It's another reminder that as long as our country is awash in guns, shootings can happen anywhere, anytime," California Senator Scott Wiener said following a shooting on Wednesday, which killed one and injured another inside a train in San Francisco.

The United States accounts for less than 5 percent of the global population, but owns 46 percent of the world's existing firearms, the Spanish daily El Pais has reported, saying the problem "fuels divisions and political polarization."

As of Monday, June has seen 45 mass shootings across the country, bringing 2022's total to 277, according to the latest data from the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive.