Often the target of U.S. human rights accusations, China wasted little time returning such charges following the shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina that left nine people dead. Elsewhere, the attack renewed perceptions that Americans have too many guns and have yet to overcome racial tensions.
Some said the attack reinforced their reservations about personal security in the U.S.
Especially in Australia and northeast Asia, where firearms are strictly controlled and gun violence almost unheard of, many were baffled by the determination among many Americans to own guns despite repeated mass shootings, such as the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
"We don't understand America's need for guns," said Philip Alpers, director of the University of Sydney's GunPolicy.org project that compares gun laws across the world. "It is very puzzling for non-Americans."
A frontier nation like the U.S., Australia had a similar attitude toward firearms prior to a 1996 mass shooting that killed 35. Soon after, tight restrictions on gun ownership were imposed and no such incidents have been reported since.
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