The recent mass shooting at a school in Florida is the latest reminder that the United States is a “very violent country” with persistent gun violence that is a far greater threat than terrorism, an African American journalist in Detroit says.
“It illustrates that the United States is not a peaceful country; it’s a very violent country; it’s a country that was born in violence against Native Americans and Africans,” said Abayomi Azikiwe.
“The whole issue of gun control and the effort to combat gun violence is often neglected,” Azikiwe said.
“There needs to be areal discussion inside the United States about curbing gun violence, about getting some controls over the proliferation of arms inside the United States and if this is not done, the US will deteriorate even further as a society,” he added.
Authorities said Nikolas Cruz, an ex-student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Miami opened fire on Wednesday with an AR-15-style assault rifle, killing 17 people in his former school.
Cruz, 19, surrendered to police after the massacre. He was expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing.
It was the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in US history. The shooting was the 18th in a US school this year, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.
US President Donald Trump addressed the shooting in a White House speech that emphasized school safety and mental health while avoiding any mention of gun policy.
Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie called for action on gun laws.
“Now is the time for this country to have a real conversation on sensible gun control laws in this country,” Runcie told a news conference.
The Republican-controlled Congress last year revoked Obama-era regulations meant to make it harder for those with severe mental illness to pass FBI background checks for guns, saying the rule deprived the mentally ill of their gun rights.