Nashville School Shooting Illustrates Dire Gun Violence In The USA – OpEd


For many American families, March 27 is a day of great sadness. This morning there was a shooting at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Three children as young as 9 and three elderly people lost their lives in the attack. It is the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the May 2022 shooting at an elementary school in the state of Texas. US President Joe Biden said in this regard, such an accident is the worst nightmare for any family.

Why do such incidents happen again and again, why do our children lose their lives. A woman asked this question at a press conference held in Nashville. Such nightmares have happened again and again, surely there is a problem somewhere. The ‘2022 US Human Rights Violation Report’ published by the Chinese government on Tuesday revealed the reality behind such incidents to the world.

This 18,000-character report, through various examples and concrete indicators, highlights the reality of the deprivation of basic rights and liberties of American citizens over the past year. It is said that US schools have the highest number of shootings in the world. 302 such incidents occurred in 2022. Which is the highest since 1970. Gunshot wounds are now the leading cause of death in children in the United States.

Currently there is no security for the citizens of the country. In this situation, the US election has become a rich man’s game, racism is increasing. The gap between rich and poor is widening. People’s confidence in US-style human rights is crumbling.

According to the results of a public survey published by NBC on November 9, 2022, 72 percent of Democratic Party voters, 68 percent of Republican Party voters, and 70 percent of neutral voters believe that the country’s democratic system is under threat.

Why are people depressed about US democracy and human rights? It has two important issues: one is money, the other is political party conflict. Money is hijacking politics in America. There is a relationship between ‘money and revenge’. According to a Reuters report, from January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022, political contributions by billionaires in the United States accounted for 15 percent of total contributions to federal political projects. Fortune magazine notes that a small number of ultra-rich people, given their economic status, can use government policies to serve them. Due to these reasons, the lack of people’s power is seen in US elections. In this situation, the question has been raised about who cares about the people.

Again, look at the conflict between political parties. Political polarization has already become a feature of American politics. Especially in the last few years, the conflict and antagonism between the two political parties has deteriorated a lot. As a result, the society is getting separated, the politics of the country is not working well. The number of lawmakers in the US Congress has dropped from 4,247 to just 2,081, according to statistics from the website Govtrack. When political interests and group interests prevail, the public interest will surely not take precedence.

The human rights situation in the country is slowly getting worse. But the government is ignoring it and using human rights as a weapon to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. March 20 is the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War. The US political circles have not criticized themselves on this issue, but continue to create chaos and war in the name of democracy and human rights, imposing unilateral sanctions. Which is destroying world peace and development.

Reality has proven time and time again that, no matter how beautiful the excuse, the US government is protecting special interests at home and exercising hegemony abroad. This reality cannot be hidden. US-style human rights have become the worst nightmare of US citizens and the nightmare of the world.

The United States of America is at the very top of the list of countries that lead the world. Although the country has a headache about everything including the human rights of different countries of the world, it seems that the United States is completely indifferent to its own affairs. Gun violence continues to terrorize the nation. This time, gun violence in the United States was again brought to the fore by the shooting death of 7 people at the school in Tennessee.

There are more guns than people in this country. And this gun is constantly taking people’s lives. Students and children are not left out. Personal disputes, love, quarrels, arguments are the reasons behind the shooting of an entire human being. And this ‘killing’ has been made easier by the availability of guns.

After the gun attack in the city of Nashville, Tennessee on Monday (March 27), CNN highlighted the US firearms industry in a report. That said, the United States has the highest gun violence statistics among developed nations.

According to the Switzerland-based organization Small Arms Survey (SAS), there are 120 firearms for every 100 citizens in the United States. The United States is the only country in the world with more firearms than its population.

The next largest area in the statistics is the Falkland Islands, with 62.10 firearms per 100 people. That is about half of the United States. The third ranked country is Yemen. According to the SAS, there are 53 firearms for every 100 people in the war-torn country. It is clear from these statistics why the United States has the most ‘gun violence’, reports CNN.

Due to the lack of accounting for illegal weapons, smuggling and unregistered weapons and the impossibility of calculating the number of firearms or guns in war-torn areas, it is not possible to get precise statistics on how many firearms or guns are owned by ordinary citizens, but according to SAS researchers, there are 857 million civilian firearms or guns around the world. Of this, 39.3 million or 44 percent are owned by US citizens.

According to a 2020 Gallup survey, CNN reports that 44 percent of adults living with families in the United States keep at least one gun in the home, and one-third of them own a gun or firearm.

Only three countries in the world have constitutionally legalized firearms – the United States, Mexico and Guatemala. In the other two countries, individual firearm ownership is one-tenth that of the United States. The issue of carrying firearms in those two countries is much less of a political discussion than in the United States. In those countries, the constitution provides for gun control, which has facilitated the political leadership.

Mexico as an example, where only one store in the entire country can sell firearms, which is controlled by the military. Gun violence is rampant in America. It is said that there are more guns than people in the country. While the problem is widespread, the issue is quite political. Because the people of the country are very vocal about keeping guns.

According to a BBC report, there have been a lot of shootings in the United States recently. There have been more than 130 shootings in the United States so far this year, including an attack on a school in Nashville. 6 people died in the latest school attack.

According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, the number of shootings has increased significantly in recent years In the last three years, more than 1800 shootings have taken place in the country, which means an average of 2 shootings every day. These statistics are based only on incidents of shootings in public places or homes.

More than 50 people were killed and 500 injured in a similar attack in Las Vegas in 2017. However, statistics show that most shootings kill less than 10 people. According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48,830 people died from gun-related incidents in the United States in 2021, an increase of nearly 8 percent from 2020. According to CDC data, more than 19,000 of these deaths were by shootings and more than 24,000 were suicides. Data shows that approximately 53 people are killed by firearms in the United States every day. The number is much higher than Canada, Australia, England, Wales and many other countries.

After so many incidents in the country, the number of private gun use is high. According to a study, there were 390 million guns in circulation in the United States in 2018. 120.5 firearms for every 100 inhabitants, which is more than any other country in the world.

According to a recent study in the United States. Gun ownership has increased significantly in the last few years. A study published in February by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 7.5 million US adults became new gun owners between January 2019 and April 2021. Half of whom were women.

There are also differences of opinion on the strictness of gun laws in the country. In one survey, 57 percent of Americans said they wanted stricter gun laws. 32 percent said the laws should stay the same. Only 10 percent said the law should be relaxed. Democrats are almost unanimous in favor of stricter gun laws. About 91 percent favor stricter gun laws. On the other hand, only 24 percent of Republicans favor stricter gun laws.

There are also various questions about the role of states. In June 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law allowing state residents to carry handguns without a license or training. Similarly, in April of last year, Georgia allowed the concealed or open carry of firearms in the state. It is said that any citizen of the state has the right to carry firearms without a license or permit. However, several states are taking some steps towards tightening the law.

Everyone’s only concern right now is why the US speaks about other nations’ violations of human rights when its own violations of human rights are so tragic.  Shouldn’t US policymakers address their own issues before speaking out about others’? The wisest response is that they should first address their own human rights issue.

John Rozario

John Rozario is based in Karnataka, India, and has completed a master’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University in International Relations. He is a researcher, strategic and international affairs analyst He can be reached at [email protected]

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