Outrage over US congressman Genocide facebook comment

A FACEBOOK post by South Carolina Republican Congressman, Jeff Duncan, on Thursday, likening a national gun registry in the USA to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, has drawn angry reactions, with commentators accusing him of trivialisation  of the Genocide.
Duncan’s facebook post has angered many people.   Net Photo.
Duncan’s facebook post has angered many people. Net Photo.

A FACEBOOK post by South Carolina Republican Congressman, Jeff Duncan, on Thursday, likening a national gun registry in the USA to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, has drawn angry reactions, with commentators accusing him of trivialisation  of the Genocide.

Jeff Duncan wrote, “Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.”

“Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu.”

But the remark, sent out perhaps to express reservations about gun registration, has drawn a barrage of criticism online.

Apologies needed

The head of Rwandan community in Canada, Egide Karuranga, in an email to The New Times yesterday, said Duncan’s comments likening potential consequences of a national gun registry in USA to the Genocide against the Tutsi was inappropriate and stemmed from ignorance.

Legislation calling for the fingerprinting and registering of all gun owners in the United States was introduced in January. Duncan’s comments came as the Senate voted on Thursday to move forward with a debate over gun legislation.

Duncan’s comments, according to Karuranga, would perhaps be understandable if he was comparing the uncontrolled Interahamwe militia with their unregistered guns in Rwanda to “what would result from a US continuous laxist policy of un-checking criminal records while selling dangerous weapons to Americans.”

“Only killers are comparable to potential killers. Any likening of victims to potential killers is pure denial by ignorance, at its best and trivialisation at its worst,” added Karuranga.

Writing on Twitter, David Toovey, called on the US congressman to apologise to Genocide survivors for his “awful & disgusting attempt to defend US gun laws using the Genocide.”

“What does that [gun registration] have to do with picking examples from Rwanda at this time [of the 19th commemoration] apart from supporting the Negativism,” wrote Betty Kabera.

However, in another post, Duncan stated, “I use this example to warn that national databases can be used with evil consequences.”

Duncan instead called for a tough approach to crime and greater discussion of mental health issues, as well as of “Liberty.”

Allen Klump, Duncan’s spokesman, pushed back when asked whether it was appropriate to invokeGenocide in a political debate.

“I think the congressman wrote rather extensively on this topic,” he told POLITICO. “I believe if anyone reads what he wrote in its entirety, it’s absolutely clear he was addressing concerns with a national gun registry. He also makes clear why he used that example.”

Alice Kabagire Cyusa wrote on Twitter, Jeff Duncan: don’t exploit a tragedy you know NOTHING about, for your political gain.

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