During a press conference on Thursday, Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr compared the human rights violations in communist China to owning an AR-15 and committing a mass shooting.
Kerr is under fire for not commenting on the pro-democracy Hong-Kong protests, which has been a hot-button issue for the NBA in the past week. Chinese companies suspended their ties with the Houston Rockets and other NBA affiliates after the Rocket’s general manager released a pro-Hong-Kong tweet. Critics believe the NBA is caving to monetary interests over the interests of freedom and democracy.
At the beginning of the press conference, Kerr claimed Americans have no right to dispute China’s human rights record because China does not weigh in on social or political issues in the United States.
“But people in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall,” Kerr said.
In which Steve Kerr compares communist China to AR-15s in America. pic.twitter.com/llMruq0Gjf
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) October 11, 2019
Kerr insinuated that owning an AR-15 inevitably leads people to commit mass shootings. Owning a firearm, such as an AR-15, is a indisputable right laid out in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Secondly, to insinuate that owning an AR-15 leads to mass shootings is flat out wrong. According to CNBC, in 2016, 5 million Americans owned an AR-15. That number is exclusive to the AR-15 style rifle, therefore excluding any similar style rifle to this number. Yet, according to Pew Research, only 4 percent of gun-related deaths are committed by someone with an “assault-style” rifle. That means 1,591 of the 39,773 people who were killed by gun violence in the U.S. in 2019 were harmed by a weapon similar to an AR-15.
In just the last 100 years, 100 million people were murdered by communism alone. To compare the death of 1,591 people to 1 million people every year for the last 100 years is not a feasible argument to make.
We must work hard every day as Americans to pursue meaningful gun reform, whether or not it comes in the form of legislation, to help stop gun violence.
But, to compare gun violence in the U.S. to the slaughter of millions for the benefit of one person’s power, is like comparing apples to oranges. It’s impossible to compare the two.