The growing ease to access firearms in the United States as well as the racist rhetoric by President Donald Trump have contributed to the rise in gun violence in recent months, a political analyst and radio host in Washington says.
“Instead of it being more difficult to buy dangerous weapons and firearms, organizations such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) are always pushing to make it easier,” Wilmer Leon told Press TV on Monday.
“The politics and the racist rhetoric is highlighting and exacerbating long-existing racial tensions n the country,” Leon said.
Trump is increasing the social and ethnic divisions within the country, Leon said. “As economic and social pressures rise in the country, people in the country turn to guns, turn to religion and turn to xenophobia.”
Each year, more than 32,000 people die as a consequence of gun-related violence in the United States, which is by far the highest among industrialized countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
US police said at least 44 people were shot, including five who were killed, in Chicago on Sunday, marking yet another deadly weekend in the city’s long record of gun violence.
Officials said the shootings took place in the space of 14 hours – between midnight and 2 p.m.– and were expected to increase in number as the day went by.
Police records showed that 30 people were shot and two killed as a result of 10 separate incidents in three hours beginning at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to CNN.
Chicago has been struggling with high rates of shooting and murder among other crimes over the past years. Waller, however, said shootings were down 30 percent and murders were down 25 percent compared to 2017.
Experts say crime tends to pick up during the hot summer months.
Hundreds of protesters rallied on Saturday outside the headquarters of the NRA, calling for stricter gun-control measures and a change to the powerful gun lobby’s tax-exempt status.
The protesters met for the “National March on NRA” in Fairfax, Virginia, carrying signs and chanting slogans against the NRA and gun violence across the US.