Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, released a statement on Wednesday calling for the United Nations to “seriously” pursue seven areas of alleged human rights violations by the United States, including its lack of more stringent gun control laws.
Top figures in the Democratic Party — including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Nancy Pelosi — have been pushing for the passage of new gun control measures, particularly since February’s Parkland school shooting.
“Another case which the U.N. should definitely pursue is the freedom of selling guns in the U.S. with which so many crimes are being committed,” Khamenei’s statement read.
“You hear and witness that every day in schools, in universities, in markets, and on the street that a teenager, a man, or a woman fires a volley of bullets at some people because of some problem they have — they are extremely angry, or they are mad and have some personal problems,” the Islamic leader continued.
“They kill eight, ten, twenty — more or less — people, and families mourn the loss of their dear ones.”
Khamenei contended that the violence could be stopped with government action, but gun manufacturers are thwarting changes in the law.
“Why do they not stop this? The reason is that gun companies prevent this, and the U.S. administrations are under the influence of these companies,” Khamenei said. “This is a very important issue which should be addressed and pursued by the U.N.”
Following Parkland, Democrat leaders — like Schumer, Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California — called for further gun control measures, including the reimposition of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004.
They have also sought a universal background check. Currently, anyone who purchases a firearm from a gun dealer must undergo a background check, which is designed to restrict anyone with a disqualifying criminal record from buying a gun. The background check system does not include private individuals selling or gifting their guns to others.
Last week, Feinstein tweeted, “Gun violence is a uniquely American epidemic & the number of students affected continues to grow.”
Gun violence is a uniquely American epidemic & the number of students affected continues to grow. We can’t sit idly by as our children are being killed by gun violence. The time for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks,“red-flag” laws & a ban on bump stocks is NOW!
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) May 21, 2018
“The time for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, “red-flag” laws & a ban on bump stocks is NOW!,” she added.
Regarding the prevalence of privately owned weapons in the U.S. — which was so lamented by the Ayatollah — Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro tweeted a chart last fall showing that the murder rate has been trending down for decades in the U.S., despite gun ownership increasing significantly.
Notably, the rate remained low and then decreased further after the assault weapons ban, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, expired in 2004.
Here is a chart of American gun ownership and American murder rate. Please explain how more guns inevitably means more murder. pic.twitter.com/TVOJZe2BTi
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 3, 2017
“Please explain how more guns inevitably means more murder,” Shapiro wrote.
In March, President Donald Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law. It is aimed at strengthening school security through grant money for training and the acquisition of other resources such as metal detectors and fencing.
Parkland school shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv supported the legislation.
Trump’s administration also submitted a new regulation banning bump stocks, which effectively turn semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic.
Among the other alleged U.S. human rights abuses Khamenei identified are the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib during the administration of former President George W. Bush, the ill-treatment of African-Americans by police, and the U.S.’s support of Saudi Arabia’s military action in Yemen.
Last summer, the State Department kept Iran at the top of its list of state sponsors of terrorism, citing its support of Hezbollah and efforts to destabilize Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Military Times reported in 2015 that the deaths of at least 500 U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan can be directly linked to Iran. Many of the fatalities were caused by highly lethal bombs called explosively formed penetrators that Iran manufactured and provided to militants.
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