“In 2016, the U.S. government exercised no effective control over guns, law enforcement departments abused their power, and crimes were not effectively contained,” said the most recent report on human rights in the United States from China’s State Council Information Office. “As a result, civil rights, especially the right to life, were seriously threatened and people’s personal rights were continuously infringed upon.”
The Global Times regularly covers gun violence in the United States, publishing a commentary after the deadly shootings at a church in Texas in November and a lengthy analysis after the Orlando, Fla., nightclub killings in 2016.
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“Gun ownership in China is strictly regulated, which helps reduce gun-related crimes and deaths,” the latest commentary said. “The U.S. should learn from China and genuinely protect human rights.”
While China has tight controls on firearms and gun crimes are rare, shootings with illegal firearms do sometimes happen. Knives are the most common weapon used in attacks, leaving unarmed people better able to defend themselves. On Feb. 11 a man with a knife attacked shoppers at a Beijing mall, killing one person and injuring 12 others. Some shoppers and one security guard were seen fending of the assailant with stools and chairs.
Terrorist attacks on civilians have sometimes been carried out in China by groups armed with knives, including an attack on a train station in Kunming that killed 31 people in 2014.
The killings at Stoneman Douglas High School occurred just as China prepared to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and as a result weren’t widely covered or discussed by the Chinese news media. Some Chinese outlets, including the overseas edition of The People’s Daily, did make note of the death of Peter Wang, a Chinese-American student who was credited with holding open a door to help students flee as the attacker fired.
Mr. Wang, 15, was born in Brooklyn and spent some of his childhood in China, friends and family told The Miami Herald. He was a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet who dreamed of one day attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. The academy issued him a ceremonial letter of acceptance, saying his actions showed commitment to “duty, honor and country.”