ISTANBUL, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States, with the highest civilian-owned firearms rate in the world, has been posing a significant threat at both the national and international levels, a Turkish security expert has said.
"The issue of personal armament in the United States is acute," as over 393 million guns, including rifles and pistols, are in civilian hands, Cihat Yayci, a retired Turkish admiral, told Xinhua in an interview.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks shootings in the country, in the first month of this year alone, the United States has reported more than 3,700 deaths from gun violence, with 52 mass shootings.
"This disease can spread anywhere. We must be cautious," Yayci warned of the enormity of the threat.
At this point, Yayci underlined the activities of the American gun lobbies in the United States and other countries, specifically highlighting the role of the National Rifle Association (NRA), an influential gun rights advocacy group in America.
"The NRA funds both Republicans and Democrats. And the association has been conducting intense propaganda among ordinary people," he said.
The NRA poured nearly 5 million U.S. dollars into lobbying in 2021. In other words, they spend millions of dollars on "promoting themselves, endearing themselves, and gaining sympathy," Yayci said.
The expert noted that the NRA should not be seen only as a "national" organization, as its activities have gone beyond the nation's borders, threatening global peace and security.
Yayci also blamed the growing racist sentiments in the country against black people and Hispanics behind the increasing gun attacks, noting that the hate feeling became so widespread that it provoked a series of attacks.
"Racism is still prevalent in the United States and is an active fact. So we have to accept this very clearly once and for all. Racism has not been erased from American society, neither conceptually nor emotionally," he said.
In Yayci's view, the country would not get rid of the growing gun violence soon and smoothly.
"As a soldier, we have an expression," he said. "They make people live in a tension-controlled environment where no one feels safe," so politicians and gun lobbies could add to their earnings. ■