US gun culture, high suicide rate among China's elderly, remembering WWI, a new era in Indian-US relations, the shifting balance of power

This week's round-up of commentary covers America's gun culture, the high rate of suicides among China's senior citizens, learning from WWI, the new era in US-Indian relations, and the shifting balance of global power.

Michael Ciaglo/The Gazette/AP/File
Casey Nordyke, 19, walks past the Club America sign in Westcliffe, Colo. before joining about 250 gun rights advocates in an open carry demonstration during the Independence Day parade in Westcliffe, Colo. on Friday, July 4.

National Post / Toronto
America’s Yosemite Sam gun culture

“[In late July] the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a 2011 Florida law that makes it illegal for doctors to ask parents if they keep a gun in their house.... Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation ... [that] allows Georgia residents to carry guns into bars, most government buildings and gun-friendly churches. On the same day, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill that would ban any local government from enforcing ordinances that restrict the open carrying of firearms.... There is a fine line between responsible gun-rights advocacy and America’s GOP-enabled Yosemite Sam gun-cult carnival...,” writes Jonathan Kay. “To a Canadian shooter, a gun is something used to kill gophers. To his American equivalent ... it’s a sort of giant wand for killing Voldemort.”

China Daily / Beijing
China must address high suicide rate among China’s senior citizens

“[Eighty] percent of all reported suicides in rural areas [are] being committed by senior citizens...,” states Liu Yanwu in an op-ed. “This makes addressing the elderly people’s problems a major task in the country’s long-term battle to curb the rising suicide rate in the country.... [T]he uncertainty over sustenance ... [such as food and daily care], and critical illnesses are together the cause of more than 60 percent of the suicides committed by elderly people in rural areas.... Besides, family discords, loneliness, unfilial children and even the thought of having become a burden on their offspring could force many senior citizens to commit suicide.”

The Age / Melbourne, Australia
Understanding the motives of war by reflecting on WWI

“A reader asked ... why it is fit to commemorate the outbreak of World War I, suggesting it was ‘more worthy’ to commemorate its end. We believe it is appropriate to mark both. For while peace is certainly to be celebrated, and the brokering of peace is something to be honoured, the anniversary of the outbreak of war should challenge us to consider deeply the motivation and rationale behind it. It is an opportunity to ask why war begins and how it might be avoided...,” states an editorial. “Could we do better today? Do we understand our own motives, and those of potential adversaries, to find a way to keep the sword sheathed? That is at the heart of [reflecting on WWI].”

Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany
A new page in US-Indian relations

“[US Secretary of State John Kerry] visited India [in late July], despite India’s decision not to ratify the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).... This was the first high-level interaction between Washington and the new Indian government, and it was intended to pave the way for [Indian President Narendra] Modi’s visit to the US in September. Analysts say Kerry’s visit came at an opportune time to revive economic and trade ties...,” writes Murali Krishnan from New Delhi. “How bilateral ties will pan out in this ‘potentially transformative moment’ and whether India will be ‘an indispensable partner for the 21st century’ as John Kerry described the relationship will be keenly watched.”

Ria Novosti / Moscow
The shifting global balance of power

“The confrontation between Moscow and Washington over the Ukrainian internal strife will doubtlessly shift the global balance of power...,” states a column paraphrasing Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “In contrast with the beginning of the first Cold War, when the USSR was contemplated as an ardent opponent of the West, Europeans consider Moscow neither an ideological rival nor a potential threat today.... European countries are inclined to see Russia as a partner, not as an antagonist.... Washington is deeply concerned about the strengthening of [a Chinese-Russian] alliance. Western experts warn that [a] Sino-Russian bloc ... will ultimately change the global balance of power.... Meanwhile Russia is getting ready for reindustrialization in order to reduce its dependence on the West....”

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