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Growing gun violence in US tied to racism, mental issues: Analyst

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The growing gun violence epidemic in the United States has coincided with a rise in racism and mental health problems in the country, an African American journalist in Detroit says.

“All these weapons circulating inside the United States are falling to hands of people who are very violent, who have mental health issues, who have racial and other forms of biases and its proved to be quite lethal,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.

There’s been an over-production of weapons in the United State because gun enthusiasts have stockpiled weapons and ammunition out of fear that the government former President Barack Obama would tighten gun laws, Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.

Domestic gun sales have fallen significantly since the election of US President Donald Trump. The Republican president and his fellow GOP lawmakers, who are majorities in both chambers of Congress, all favor gun ownership rights.

So the Trump administration is preparing to publish new rules that would increase the export of American firearms abroad, which has prompted protests from gun-control activists and human rights groups.

A US State Department official said on Tuesday that the long-delayed rule changes would move the oversight of commercial gun exports from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce.

“It’s a false premise to try to rebuild the arms manufacturing industry in the United States by exporting these weapons abroad; the United States is already a major exporter of police, security, as well as military weaponry around the world,” Azikiwe said.

Even US lawmakers immersed in the gun issue see a danger in promoting exports of American firearms.

“The Trump administration is once again caving to the gun lobby,” said Senator Chris Murphy, a leader in the Senate on guns. “Making it easier for gun manufacturers to sell more weapons of war to civilians is the absolute wrong thing to do. All this does is incite more violence around world, further damaging our nation’s standing and credibility.”

Remington, America's oldest gun maker, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, weeks after a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people and triggered intensified campaigns for gun control by activists.

After the high school massacre, hundreds of thousands of Americans took part in rallies to demand tighter gun laws. Opponents of stricter gun laws, including the US gun lobby, which supported Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, have dismissed the mounting demands for gun control as being politically motivated.


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