07:35 GMT27 May 2020
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    Orlando Gay Nightclub Massacre (77)

    The shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in Orlando marked the deadliest mass shooting ever in US history. Professor at Georgia State University College of Law, Timothy Lytton, spoke to Sputnik to share his views on the recent incident and the future of guns in the United States.

    “The US Congress has generally been unwilling to pass stricter gun laws. They in fact tend to exacerbate tension between pro-gun advocates and gun control advocates. In some sense the shootings that we have seen recently tend  to just entrench the two sides and the result is that there is very little movement in changes in terms of gun policy,” Lytton said.

    He further said that such shooting incidents tend to make the pro-gun advocates say that if the masses had more guns then such incidents could have been prevented.

    On the other hand the gun control advocate would say that if there was a law against keeping a gun, the murderer would not have been able to get it in the first place.

    Hence, when a mass shooting occurs, “Each side draws their own lesson from the event and as a result it further entrenches deadlock in Congress,” Lytton said.

    According to recent reports, following the Orlando shooting, Americans have started buying up guns.

    The increased demand also affected the market cap of the country’s  major gun makers. According to Reuters, shares of Smith & Wesson as well as Ruger jumped over 11 percent in Monday’s trading.

    The analyst said that ironically the demand for guns and some particular gun brands go up after a disaster happens in the US.

    “If you have a car and some terrible disaster happens in it, or with a plane, the brand of that product usually goes down and nobody buys it anymore and that becomes really bad for the company but in the case of mass shootings the sales of guns tend to go up and it’s really the only product for which that’s true,” Lytton said.

    Omar Mateen, the lone gunman in the Orlando nightclub shooting, used legally purchased weapons, including an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, which cost around $700 and can be easily purchased online.

    There are approx. 5 million to 10 million AR-15 rifles in the United Sates. Following the mass shootings involving AR-15 rifles, Americans began to question whether such a military-style weapon is necessary for home use.

    Gun control has long been a hotly debated and sensitive issue in American politics. The society is widely divided on the issue, between gun control advocates and gun rights supporters and lobby forces.

    Academic expert in national security and human rights at Seton Hall University Law School, Jonathan Hafetz, told Sputnik in an interview that the Obama administration is likely to put forward new measures to tackle gun violence in the US, but those measures simply won’t be enough.

    “There are simply too many guns in the United States and the notion that the availability of weapons is actually intended for war times. Semi-automatic weapons have the capability of shooting many people at once and they shouldn’t be on the street and I think there really needs to be a revolutionary approach and the US needs to get rid of its guns,” Hafetz said.

    He further spoke about how the US approach to guns is really out of step with other countries.

    Following the Orlando massacre, USA Today asked: “Does the debate on gun control ever actually change anything?”

    As Xinhua News agency wrote in its article, the recent massacre has opened up three US wounds. The first being gun control and the other two being social inequality and failed US anti-terrorism policy.

    America has long been called “a melting pot” as it is a country built by immigrants. However, Caucasians have been dominating the country's politics, economy and the society from the very beginning, Xinhua reported.

    A survey by the Pew Research Center found that the wealth of white households is 13 times that of black households and more than 10 times that of Hispanic households in 2013, compared with eight and nine times respectively in 2010.

    The widening wealth gap between the whites and minorities has also led to unequal opportunities, mainly in education and work, which made immigrants more isolated and harder to find their place in American society.

    To make matters worse, Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday called for an immigration ban after the Orlando shooting, since the gunman was born into an Afghan immigrant family.

    The other wound which is terrorism has been around in the US for the past 15 years. President Barrack Obama called the Orlando shooting an “act of terror”.

    The counter-terrorism scheme that the US has applied for the past 15 years has led to more terror. Americans now are facing homegrown and “lone wolf” attacks, which are harder to prevent.

    The US intervention in the Middle East has not brought peace and stability, but has made matters worse and has caused turbulence in the region giving rise to extremist and terrorist groups. Maybe it is time for the American government to readjust its foreign policy and stop imposing its ideology on others, Xinhua wrote.

    Orlando Gay Nightclub Massacre (77)


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    weapons supplies, mass shooting, Gun Control, interview, AR-15, Orlando Shooting, Pew Research Center, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States
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