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UN Official Calls for Stronger US Gun Laws


FILE - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein addresses a session of the Human Rights Council at the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 29, 2016.

FILE - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein addresses a session of the Human Rights Council at the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 29, 2016.


The United Nations’ human rights chief has urged the United States to establish stronger gun control measures.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein is the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. He says the current gun laws are too easy and, in his words, leave “little space between murderous impulses and actions that result in death.”

His comments were made in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement came two days after the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Forty-nine people were killed in the attack early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Investigators work the scene following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, U.S., June 12, 2016. The mass shooting has again raised the gun control debate in America.

Investigators work the scene following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, U.S., June 12, 2016. The mass shooting has again raised the gun control debate in America.

The U.N. human rights chief knows the United States well. From 2007 to 2010, Zeid served as Jordan’s ambassador to the U.S. and Mexico.

In the statement, Zeid was critical of what he called “irresponsible pro-gun propaganda.” He asked how many more shootings the U.S. must experience before Congress takes 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.

He added that the families of those killed in mass shootings have the right to stronger gun controls.

I’m Caty Weaver.

This story was published on VOANews.com. Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think about shootings and the use of guns in America? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or visit our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

impulsesn. sudden strong desires to do something

prejudicen. an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex or religion

vulnerableadj. easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally or emotionally

lobbyists – n. an organized group of people who work together to influence government decisions that relate to a particular industry or issue

gay adj. sexually attracted to someone who is the same sex

nightclub – n. a place that is open at night, has music, dancing or a show and usually serves alcoholic drinks and food

irresponsibleadj. not having or showing maturity or good judgment

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