Gun violence is a daily fixture in American life. The country is witnessing a surge in gun violence as the gun purchase rate has reached its highest level. As a result, gun deaths have been rising horribly in recent years, and along with Americans, expatriates are becoming victims of these killings who once hoped for a better life in the USA. Throughout the last year, shootings have continuously made headlines in the media. In 2023, numerous expatriates, including four Bangladeshi individuals, lost their lives due to gunfights in the United States, indicating the country as a death destination for expatriates.
The death toll is rising for expatriates
There have been more than 632 mass shootings across the US till December 2023, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are injured or killed. Their figures include shootings that happen in homes and public places. For each of the last three years, there have been more than 600 mass shootings – almost two a day on average. Not only American lives are threatened, but also expatriates all over the world are now falling target of this heinous act, including Bangladeshis.
Recently, a Bangladeshi student was shot to death at a coffee shop in Beaumont city in the US state of Texas on 30th December. The deceased, Sheikh Abir-Hossain went to the United States in January 2023 to pursue advanced education and study at Lamar University. Abir was a former student of Dhaka University in Bangladesh. Reports suggest that he was shot by two suspects while attempting to flee the store with cigarettes.
Earlier in 2023, Syed Faisal Arif, a Bangladeshi student at the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the United States, was shot dead by the police last January. Ever since Faisal, a computer science student from Chittagong, was killed, his family has been demanding an investigation demanding the police be accused. But even after almost a year, the family has not seen anything about the trial.
Another Bangladeshi, Ramim Uddin Ahmed, lost his life this year in the firing of terrorists. Ramim’s house is also in Chittagong—protests in Bangladesh’s Chittagong demand strict action. The US Embassy in Dhaka has condoled the recent killing, but the death show did not end there.
While the protests were still going on in Chittagong, again, a Bangladeshi individual lost his life in the United States, marking the second fatal shooting in five days. The victim, identified as Mohammad Abul Hashim, originally from Cumilla, was shot during a robbery at his grocery store in the Casa Grande area near Phoenix, Arizona. These deaths are not only having lasting impacts on victims and their families but also deteriorating the overall human rights situation in the USA.
Human Rights Violations in the USA
When it comes to promoting or patronizing democracy and human rights across the globe, the United States of America shows up faster than anyone. But the same country displays utter negligence towards its multicultural society. Unfortunately, the government is facing a lot of human rights violations domestically at the hands of law enforcement agencies. The rising trend of extrajudicial killing in several states also creates an unsafe situation in the USA.
Additionally, the government is failing to start or enact efficient policies. A culture of impunity is equally prevalent in the case of extrajudicial executions. Among wealthier and more developed countries, the USA is an outlier when it comes to firearm violence. It seems the US government has allowed gun violence to become a human rights crisis.
Due to the gun culture, the USA has topped the list of civilian guns. It now has 120 guns per 100 people, a number even higher than Yemen, a country currently in one of the worst civil wars of recent times. Faced with growing gun proliferation, they have done nothing more than empty talks and prolonged debates while pointing fingers at the human rights conditions of other countries.
Tomorrow might not be safe for expatriates
Each year, approximately 43,375 Americans are killed by gunshot wounds, roughly equivalent to the annual rate of traffic deaths on American roads and highways. With the murders caused by guns, the accidental deaths caused by firearms, and the law-enforcement killings caused by guns, the average comes out to more than 120 Americans killed by bullets every day. The exact number of deaths will happen tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that, and every day until lawmakers come to their senses and do something about banning guns in the USA.
However, US President Joe Biden said that gun violence must be tackled, but repeated shootings indicate that the problem is only worsening. Effectively implemented gun regulation and violence prevention projects can stop the carnage. As a first step, states should recognize firearm violence as a threat to people’s human rights, particularly their rights to life, physical integrity and security, and health. For this, strict legislation and enforcement are required.
Following this, the USA must maximize the protection of human rights, creating the safest possible environment for most people, especially those at the most significant risk. It has yet to make a very progressive decision regarding stricter laws for guarding expatriates. The time has come for the United States to stop caring about other countries’ protection of democracy and human rights and instead concentrate on enhancing its domestic law and order. The US should focus on its domestic situation, as tomorrow might not be safe for expatriates to live on American soil.