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US gun violence rooted in violent culture, mental disorders, gun laws: Analyst

Abayomi Azikiwe

US gun violence is a “major health crisis” that is perpetuated by the government’s permissive gun laws, as well as America’s historically violent culture and widespread mental health disorders, an African American journalist in Detroit says.

“I believe that these mass shootings inside the United States are a manifestation of the failed policy of the US government through successive administrations, which have failed to develop adequate gun control laws,” Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.

“The United States historically is a violent country; it was born in violence” against Native and African Americans, Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Friday.

“There also needs to be discussions about the overall psychological makeup; the mental health status of tens of millions of people inside the United States who through their own personal turmoil, rationalize the infliction of violence against innocent people,” Azikiwe said.

“So this is a major health crisis; this is a major public policy crisis that must be addressed by the United States government, as well as the United States Congress,” he added.

In the latest mass shooting in the US, a high school student killed two classmates before killing himself near Los Angeles, California.

Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, pulled a handgun out of his backpack on Thursday at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, and shot five of his fellow students before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.

The shooter died from his injuries on Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. 

Mass shootings have been occurring in California and across the US with increasing frequency.

Last year, Amnesty International warned that the gun violence situation in the US has grown into a full blown "human rights crisis" and the administration of President Donald Trump was doing little to solve it.

In a scathing report the UK-based group warned that “all aspects of American life have been compromised in some way by the unfettered access to guns, with no attempts at meaningful national regulation.”

According to the organization, an average of 106 individuals died a day from firearm-related incidents in 2016, totaling 38,658. Of that figure, nearly 23,000 were suicides and more than 14,400 were homicides, Amnesty said.

The issue of gun violence has become all the more polarizing under US President Donald Trump, a Republican whose presidential campaign was funded partially by the National Rifle Association (NRA), an influential gun lobby in the US.

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