Americans have a ‘gun’ problem - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Americans have a ‘gun’ problem

Restricting individual armament is one of the main agenda items of the U.S. elections in 2020. In several columns I have written, I have stated that this issue is one of the most important rifts between Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans see individual armament as a sacred right and block restrictions. Gun lobbies, especially the National Rifle Union (NRI) in the U.S., mostly support Republicans. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which has a big sway on the U.S. Congress, plays an important role in blocking any serious restrictions on individual armament. The Democrats elected from states with conservative voters do not want to face that lobby. That's why the issue cannot be resolved at the federal level.

The U.S. tops global rankings in gun-related deaths. Democrats vying to become presidential candidates in the 2020 elections are in agreement when it comes to restricting individual armament. Mass reactions to the National Rifle Union in the country are increasing with every passing day. On the other hand, attacks on immigrants in the United States deepen the cultural, political and ideological polarization in the country. The demographic structure of the U.S. is changing in favor of non-white Americans. This change frightens the Republicans who rely on White American voters.

The day before, four people were slaughtered as they were watching a football game in the backyard of a house in the fifth largest city of the state of California, Fresno. It was noteworthy that the casualties were Asian Americans aged 25 to 35. Let us recall that among non-white Americans, the ethnic group that recorded the highest population growth is Asian-Americans who, like Blacks and Hispanics, largely vote for Democrats.

Fresno is a city with large African American, Hispanic and Asian American communities. At 14 percent, Asian-Americans are the most populous ethnic group. The proportion of Blacks is 8 percent. The percentage of Spanish speakers in the city is 30 percent. The proportion of white Americans is around 55 percent. Over the last 5 years in Fresno, more than 12,000 people were killed using firearms.

It is suspected that the attack in Fresno may be linked to white supremacist terror. Back in November 2018, a former marine who fought in Afghanistan slaughtered 12 people at a music hall in the California town of Thousand Oaks. It was argued that the killer suffered from a mental illness. In the United States, this defense has become almost cliché. There is an institutional soft spot in the United States that belittles White supremacy, thus inspiring attacks against immigrants. Democrats argue that Trump's immigration policies and rhetoric promote white supremacy.

In some right-wing media outlets supporting Republicans, comments that migrants have been replaced by Americans or that the U.S. has been occupied by immigrants have been promoted to distract from white supremacist terror. There has been talk of links between terrorist attacks on immigrants in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and the European Union. It is already known that the perpetrators are inspired by each other. The ideological connections and unity of discourse in the so-called manifestos published by the perpetrators in many attacks are clearly documented. The ideological affinity observed in social media networks reinforces doubts that white supremacist terror has become a global organization.

The American gun culture, or cult if you may, also influences and shapes U.S. foreign policy. The National Rifle Union lobby in the U.S. and the American Military-Industrial Complex overseas encourage armament and earn the big bucks. Others foot the bill. From now on, this problem has ceased to be a U.S. domestic problem and has become a global humanitarian crisis.


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