Gun violence and human rights in the USA

Should the US concentrate on fixing the situation in its own country first rather than offering counsel or advise to others?
By Sufian Siddique
Commentary People protest gun violence outside the White House on Feb. 19 following the latest mass school shooting, this one in Florida. Like the teens and children who showed up at the White House and elsewhere to protest, Americans must rediscover themselves as a revolutionary people who are not afraid to start over. Shutterstock
DEC 8, 2022 LISTEN
People protest gun violence outside the White House on Feb. 19 following the latest mass school shooting, this one in Florida. Like the teens and children who showed up at the White House and elsewhere to protest, Americans must rediscover themselves as a revolutionary people who are not afraid to start over. (Shutterstock)

The United States is regarded as the largest democracy or fully democratic nation in the world. The question of whether the United States believes it is its "right" to warn other nations of the world about kidnappings, killings, or violations of human rights may follow from this introduction. However, a number of publications claim that the state of human rights in the US is deteriorating daily. Gun violence, murder, and police brutality are all on the rise. The US public is concerned that the justice system in the "vocal" nation is failing to uphold international human rights.

A study on the state of American human rights in 2021 was released in the middle of this year by China's State Council Information Office. In comparison to other years, the report claims that the US human rights situation has gotten worse. Due to political unrest, the government was unable to contain the corona pandemic, which resulted in millions of deaths throughout the nation. Deaths from gun violence have increased concurrently. The political rights of the American people are violated by "false democracy," and aggressive behavior by law enforcement authorities makes life tough for immigrants and refugees in the country.

Concerning is also the nation's escalating prejudice against ethnic minorities, particularly those of Asian heritage. Numerous observers claim that the US government's unilateral activities have brought up fresh humanitarian problems all around the world.

Deaths from gun violence statistics
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revealed statistics showing that 2020 had the most gun-related fatalities of any other year. This includes a record number of gun suicides and shooting deaths.

The whole statistics relating to gun attacks in the United States will be available in 2020, according to Pew Research Center's analysis of data gathered from a variety of sources, including the CDC, FBI, and US-based public opinion polling and research organization.

In those instances, there were 45 000 fatalities in the nation that year.

According to the CDC, there have been more gun suicides than gun deaths in the United States for years. 44 percent of gun-related fatalities in the nation in 2020 were homicides, while 24 292 were suicides (19,384). In addition, there were 611 deaths involving police enforcement that year, 535 "unintentional" gun deaths, and more than 400 deaths due to "unspecified causes".

A total of 45,222 persons lost their lives in gun-related incidents in 2020, up 14.2% from the previous year, 25.2% from five years prior, and 43.2% from ten years prior.

In recent years, there has been an increase in gun violence in the United States. The number of fatalities was 19,384 in 2020, the most since 1968. In that year, gun deaths increased by 34% from 2019; by 49% from five years prior; and by 75% from ten years prior.

Analysis of Gun Violence Comparative
The United States has a far greater rate of gun violence than other nations, particularly wealthy nations. Several countries in Latin America experience this violence, despite the fact that the United States ranks higher than the United States in terms of it, according to a 2018 study by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation of 195 countries and territories.

How many people die in mass shootings each year in the US?

Giving a definitive response to this question is challenging. due to the fact that "mass shooting" or "mass gun attack" have no universal definition. Its definition can change depending on a number of factors, such as the attack's circumstances and the number of casualties.

A mass shooting, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, takes place when one or more people deliberately participate in the killing or attempted killing of people in a populous area. This definition states that 38 individuals (excluding the assailants) died in such occurrences in 2020.

A mass shooting is defined as an occurrence in which four or more individuals are shot, even if no one is fatally wounded, according to the US Gun Violence Archive, an online database of gun violence incidents (except the gunman). 513 individuals were killed by gun violence in 2020, according to this definition. However, they are characterized, mass shootings in the US result in more fatalities annually than all other forms of gun violence put together.

Police are "hiding."
The first five months of this year saw more than 200 fatalities in the United States, according to various monitoring organizations. New concerns have been raised regarding the role of US police as the public is alarmed by a string of shootings.

A Washington Post analysis claims that since 2015, there have been an average of 1,000 police fatalities per year in the US. The Washington Post began compiling information on each shooting involving police officers performing their duties in the United States in 2015.

An inquiry conducted earlier in 2014 when an unarmed black man named Michael Brown was slain by the police in Ferguson, USA, revealed that half of the shootings and acts of police torture were not documented.

The number and circumstances of fatal shootings, as well as overall victimization rates, were found to have stayed largely similar over the course of that time, according to a Washington Post examination of more than five years' worth of media coverage, social media posts, and police records.

Additionally, 1,049 persons were murdered by police shootings last year, or in 2021.

The Washington Post estimates that 1,000 individuals lose their lives on average each year in gun attacks or other comparable situations throughout the country. In police shootings, the same number of persons were killed. Black people make up the majority of victims as a percentage of the population, despite the fact that white people make up half of the victims in police shootings. The percentage of black people in the US population is around 13%. Also, men between the ages of 20 and 40 make up more than 95% of those slain by police.

On May 14 of this year, 2:30 PM local time is present. The sound of gunfire suddenly shook a supermarket in Buffalo, New York's second-largest and most-black city. An assault gun that can fire semi-automatically was being used indiscriminately by an 18-year-old. Body armored military personnel in uniform carried out the assault. Additionally, the young man was live-streaming his heinous spree online using a camera. On that day, a local police officer described the attack's aftermath as resembling strolling through the set of a "horror movie." But everything was actual. It was a war zone.

In that shooting in Buffalo, 13 individuals were shot. Ten of them perished. 11 of the 13 victims shot, according to the police, were black. The FBI labeled the incident as one of "violent extremism." Stephen Belangia, the FBI agent in charge of the Buffalo office, told the BBC that the incident was being looked into as a "hate crime" and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.

Immediately following this assault, Peyton S. Gendron, a suspected gunman, was taken into custody by the neighborhood police. He was accused of murder in the "first degree." The investigation then turned up more newsworthy facts. The young man, according to information obtained, published a 180-page "manifesto" online in support of white nationalist views. In his venomous writings, he also called immigrants and black people "substitutes" for white people.

And as a result, a fresh debate over racism in the United States is sparked.

Recently, the far-right political philosophy in the US that whites are being "replaced" by blacks has migrated into the mainstream Republican Party politics. Additionally, a large number of US media figures are promoting this philosophy, which is then subtly affected by Republican Party talking points.

The young man who attacked Buffalo tried to use the idea that immigration is weakening white people in the United States to defend his diabolical attack. And he used a lot of racist language against black Americans in his manifesto.

The Buffalo assailant claimed to have been motivated by the 2019 attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which resulted in the deaths of 51 worshipers. His assertion is consistent with the event. Brenton Tarrant, the assailant from Christchurch, was using the camera to stream the assault live online. Before the attack, he also released a manifesto of his own.

But the Christchurch slaughter had less of an impact on the Buffalo attackers than did domestic unrest.

The U.S. Gun Violence Archive reports that from January through May, there were about 200 shootings or other gun attacks nationwide. Additionally, a newly released study found that between 2019 and 2020, the overall death rate from gun attacks in the US climbed by roughly 35%.

The Buffalo Massacre, however, stands notable due to the political aspect of the attack as well as the sheer number of casualties. According to analysts, the episode must be viewed in light of the rising acceptance of racism and political violence in the US.

The independent news source Education Week in the US reports that 17 US states have lately passed legislation restricting or outlawing the teaching of "critical race theory" or of racism and sexuality, and another 12 states are considering doing the same. In addition, conversations about deleting some texts that can foster racist sentiments are ongoing.

But these group efforts have also rendered the racist and xenophobic past of the United States laughable. The country's current poverty, unemployment, and social illiteracy have come under the spotlight as a result of discussions of America's racial history.

A significant fraction of black Americans in the United States is violent, according to several social scientists, as a result of generations of neglect, neglect, and lack of opportunity. Many white people in the nation feel unsafe as a result. And from that uncertainty comes hatred.

In America, there is an increase in gun violence. More than 200 individuals have died in gun attacks throughout the nation up until May of this year, according to various local media. Legislators and experts demand modification of the private arms control law in this circumstance.

They claim that in the United States, gun violence has become a significant social issue that cannot be resolved.

For this, strict legislation and enforcement are required. The US administration should concentrate on fixing the situation in its own country first rather than offering counsel or advise to others.

Sufian Siddique