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US mass shootings caused by govt. liability shield for gun industry: Activist

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A crime scene is cordoned off by tape near a white van in a parking lot that is being investigated for a possible connection to the earlier Monterey Park mass shooting on January 22, 2023 in Torrance, California. (Photo by AFP)

Arms manufacturers in the United States enjoy government-sanctioned legal immunity from criminal prosecution that ultimately results in incidents of mass shootings across the country, says an activist.

Richard Becker, an anti-war activist with Answer Coalition, told Press TV in an interview on Sunday that the mass shootings result from arms makers’ “carved-out protection from criminal liability,” blaming the US government for offering such exemptions to the gun industry.

Becker cited the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a law passed in 2005, which "prohibits civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages", the law states.

Arms makers, the activist said, “are protected by the federal government from having any responsibility for what their products are used for.”

He pointed to a huge number of weapons produced and sold inside the US that result in incidents of mass shootings and mindless killings. 

On Saturday, a shooting in Monterey Park, California, left at least 10 dead and another 10 wounded. The suspect, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

It was the fifth mass killing in the US this month alone, and the deadliest since May 24, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Becker slammed the US government for protecting the “rich and the big corporate interests.”

“The gun lobby is quite powerful,” he said, adding that "many politicians have received millions of dollar donations over the years … from the gun lobby.”

“…Guns are being distributed in such vast quantities throughout the United States and this is going to mean more mass shootings and more mass killings, but [arm makers] are protected,” he asserted. 

Margaret Kimberley co-founder of the Black Agenda Report, speaking on the same program blamed corporate interests that are in control of the country, calling the US a “failed state.”  

“As living conditions deteriorate, as people become more insecure economically, I believe those who are psychologically frail, are inspired to act on their worst impulses,” Kimberley remarked.

She said that such mentally-weak people keep “inspiring” one another and that is why another mass shooting follows fairly quickly, adding that the mentality that says “it is ok to be violent” gives people the right to kill.

"You cannot be surprised when individuals feel like they have the right to kill whenever they want to,” she said, referring to the huge military budget.

Kimberley described the US as an “atomized society” where people are left on their own, combined with worsening economic conditions and a political system that does not address the needs of the people, but only addresses the needs of the oligarchy.

“I hate to say this, but it is inevitable that we are going to have these mass shootings until something changes, but we live in a society where the system does not help the people, so we should not be surprised about this either,” she hastened to add.

She also criticized the “popular divide” that exists among people in the country.

There are people across the country who do not want gun regulations, people who believe in their right to have as many arms as they want, and their decisions impact those who want gun regulations, Kimberley said.

Having been in politics for decades, US president Joe Biden knows it would be tough to pass legislation in this regard and that is why he and others evade responsibility, she noted further.


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