Gun vi­o­lence di­min­ishes US im­age in China

Global Times US Edition - - EDITORIAL - By Liu Lulu

If gun vi­o­lence is a con­sid­er­a­tion in as­sess­ing Don­ald Trump’s “Make Amer­ica Great Again,” it is by no means good news for the US. Al­though it has not re­ceived much at­ten­tion, a re­cent shoot­ing in South Nashville, Tennessee is surely a case study for Chi­nese want­ing to bet­ter un­der­stand the US.

A 74-year-old Chi­nese man was gunned down while pick­ing up trash out­side his South Nashville home last week. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing. Only a few US main­stream me­dia out­lets cov­ered the in­ci­dent. Shoot­ings are an all too fre­quent oc­cur­rence in the US, and in this case the vic­tim was an el­derly Chi­nese man. From the per­spec­tive of “news value,” the South Nashville shoot­ing doesn’t meet the stan­dard of “nov­elty” and “im­pact,” and there­fore, the US me­dia have ap­par­ently di­verted their at­ten­tion from the tragedy to more eye­catch­ing events such as “Rus­si­a­gate” and Trump’s Asia tour.

From Oc­to­ber’s mass shoot­ing at a mu­sic fes­ti­val on the Las Ve­gas Strip and this month’s Texas church mas­sacre, to last week’s sense­less mur­der in Tennessee, the fre­quency of gun mur­ders in the US has as­tounded the world. Statis­tics from the Gun Vi­o­lence Archive shows the num­ber of gun-re­lated in­ci­dents has reached 53,446 in 2017, re­sult­ing in more than 13,000 deaths and cov­er­ing al­most all US states. As­ton­ish­ing, isn’t it? Cit­i­zens of few other coun­tries would ac­cept such at­tacks.

In the past, most Chi­nese associated the US with sound so­cial wel­fare, an en­vi­able health­care sys­tem, high­qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and a friendly en­vi­ron­ment. Nowa­days Amer­ica’s im­age in the minds of many Chi­nese is far dif­fer­ent. A glance at US-re­lated news mainly fea­tures the coun­try’s chaotic pol­i­tics, the fight be­tween Trump and the me­dia, and the unimag­in­able gun vi­o­lence. The US is no longer a se­cure coun­try in the eyes of many Chi­nese. Worse still, the gov­ern­ment has yet to take ef­fec­tive ac­tions to curb gun vi­o­lence, and Amer­i­can cit­i­zens can only hope they are lucky enough to avoid be­ing at­tacked. Chi­nese have long been bored by the ex­cuses given by US politi­cians for their in­abil­ity to pass ef­fec­tive gun con­trol leg­is­la­tion. Chi­nese have no right to in­ter­fere with US do­mes­tic af­fairs, but we are shocked at the coun­try’s in­dif­fer­ence to the loss of life.

While Trump con­tin­ues to mouth the slo­gan “Make Amer­ica Great Again,” he is fail­ing to en­sure the per­sonal se­cu­rity of or­di­nary US cit­i­zens. In­stead of de­ploy­ing in­cred­i­bly costly mil­i­tary ex­cur­sions over­seas, he should re­think his pri­or­i­ties.

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