Is Gun Lobby worse than Islamic Terrorism?

In San Francisco and Washington another shootout led to several deaths and injuries. The odds of you being shot dead in USA are far greater than of you being killed in a terrorist attack in Europe. More Americans were killed by firearms roughly every five hours than were killed by terrorists in an entire year.

Every day seven children and teens are shot dead in the US. Firearms are the biggest killer of young black people and the second biggest killer of all children, after traffic accidents. To make things worse in the united States there is a justice two-track. In this week thousands of protesters gathered after Jeronimo Yanez the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year, was found not guilty.

But, unbelievably, Trump’s “Muslim ban“, the order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, is the only goal about US safety. Even more unbelievably, President Trump pledged his allegiance to the powerful National Rifle Association, he told in NRA convention in Atlanta: “As your president, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms”.

The NRA is now among the most powerful interest lobby groups in the US, with a substantial budget to influence members of Congress on gun policy. It relies on, and staunchly defends, a interpretation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which it argues gives US citizens the rights to bear arms. The individual rights view promoted by the NRA became embedded within the modern conservative movement, and therefore the Republican party. The NRA officially spends about $3m per year to influence gun policy. The NRA doesn’t determine the outcome of an election but in an year the gun issue can shift five per cent of the voters.

Gun legislation in the United States is augmented by judicial interpretations of the Constitution. In 1868 the United States adopted the Fourteenth Amendment and in 1791 adopted the Second Amendment. The effect of those two amendments was the subject of landmark US Supreme Court decisions in 2008 and 2010, that upheld the right of individuals to possess guns for self-defense.

Current NRA members include former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and actors Tom Selleck and Whoopi Goldberg and  the late Charlton Heston. But Hollywood does not support Gun Lobby. The movie “Miss Sloane” is the story of a ruthless Washington lobbyist against a powerful National Rifle Association-like organization. The great performance of main actress, Jessica Chastain, allowed the nomination for a Golden Globe, although the film itself scored a mediocre audience rating. The film has been ripped by gun-rights advocates for its one-sided take on the firearms lobby.

What do the US people think about this? In 2015 one survey showed that 55% of people said the law on sales of firearms should be more strict, 33% kept as they are, 11% less strict. This was sharply polarised by party, with 77% of Democrat supporters wanting stricter laws, against 27% of Republicans.

But today the controlling factor in the gun chain is called the islamic terrorism. In 2016 an Islamic terrorist went on a murderous rampage at a gay club in Orlando. He had perpetrated the worst mass shooting in American history, and the worst terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11.

Aided by the gun lobby and its conservative supporters, anti-terrorism and Islamophobia have emerged as major new US industries in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 911. Anti-terror industry is worth trillions of dollars. Islamophobia industry, estimated at $200 million, reinforces and promotes the fear of Islam and Muslims for its own gains.

But we have to consider how many Americans have been killed through islamic terrorist attacks and how many Americans have died in US gun violence. A third of the world’s 15 deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 316,545 people deaths by firearms on US soil from 2004 to 2013. This figure is 1000 times higher than the total deaths of 313 Americans by terrorism at home and abroad in the same period.

It has been estimated that US civilians own 270 million to 310 million firearms, and that 35% to 42% of the households in the country have at least one gun. “Easily obtainable firearms,” one spokesman for Al Qaeda said in a 2011 recruitment video . “So what are you waiting for?”. Yes what are we waiting for?!  We have to stop NRA and gun lobby! If this trend continues, the whole peace future is threatened.

Massimiliano Fanni Canelles

Viceprimario al reparto di Accettazione ed Emergenza dell'Ospedale ¨Franz Tappeiner¨di Merano nella Südtiroler Sanitätsbetrieb – Azienda sanitaria dell'Alto Adige – da giugno 2019. Attualmente in prima linea nella gestione clinica e nell'organizzazione per l'emergenza Coronavirus. In particolare responsabile del reparto di infettivi e semi – intensiva del Pronto Soccorso dell'ospedale di Merano. 


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