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UN Rights Chief Urges Tighter US Gun Controls

  • VOA News

FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein answers a question after he delivered a speech on Korea in the human rights world during a lecture at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea on June 24, 2015.

FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein answers a question after he delivered a speech on Korea in the human rights world during a lecture at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea on June 24, 2015.

U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein is urging the United States to adopt stricter gun control measures, saying easy access to weapons "leaves little space between murderous impulses and actions that result in death."

In a statement Tuesday, Zeid criticized what he called "irresponsible pro-gun propaganda" and questioned how many more mass shootings the country must experience before lawmakers take action.

"Society — in particular its most vulnerable communities and minorities who are already facing widespread prejudice — pay a high price for the failure to stand up to the lobbyists and take the necessary measures to protect citizens from gun violence," Zeid said.

FILE - David Foley holds a handgun while shopping at the Spring Guns and Ammo store on Jan. 4, 2016, in Spring, Texas.

FILE - David Foley holds a handgun while shopping at the Spring Guns and Ammo store on Jan. 4, 2016, in Spring, Texas.

The United States has by far the highest gun ownership per capita in the world along with the highest rate of shooting deaths.The right to own guns is part of the country's Constitution, but there are some limits such as background checks people must pass before buying a gun.

Zeid said the families of those killed in mass shootings deserve stronger controls.

"Why should any civilian anywhere be able to acquire an assault rifle or other high-powered weapons designed to kill lots of people?" Zeid said.

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