WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States suffers an unhealthy obsession with guns, senior bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Reverend John Richard Bryant told Sputnik on Wednesday.
“Even with the gun, it is an affection… People say it is not guns that are bad, it’s people. But when the bad people can get guns as easy as they get a pack of cigarettes or gum, that is a problem,” Reverend Bryant said.
Bryant has been an outspoken advocate of eradicating gun violence, following the deadly mass shooting in June at the Emmanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Charleston church massacre was carried out by 21 year old Dylann Roof and killed eight African-American worshipers and the church’s pastor. Roof opened fire in the church after being welcomed into a bible study group.
Despite claims by gun advocates that the weapons guarantee safety, Bryant said the increase in gun-related violence disprove the arguments.
In the United States “we sell more, we own more guns than any nation in the world, and we are the most violent nation in the world,” he said.
In the first eight months of 2015, there have already been nearly 31,000 deaths from gun violence in the United States, according to the independent research group Trace.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of the people in the United States to keep and bear arms.