Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Rising Count

On September 11, 2001, forever to be remembered as 9-11, just under three thousand people were killed in the terror attacks by Al Qaeda on American soil. Since 9-11, 26 people have been killed by acts of terror by foreign agents. In that same span, 48 people have been killed by acts of domestic terror. Since 9-11, however, over 400,000 people have been killed in the United States with guns, 215,000 of them by murder. 4,491 US Service personnel died in combat in Iraq, and another 2,259 in Afghanistan, meaning that thirty times as many Americans died on their home soil than in both long wars since the Twin Towers went down. It comes to about 32,000 violent deaths by gun per year. That comes out to 89 every single day. A citizen of this country is 2000 times more likely to be killed with a gun than by a lightening strike. Yet who and what do we fear? We run around panic-stricken that ISIS will launch an attack at any given moment, and we seem convinced that the way to stop gun violence is to arm everyone. It has been suggested that the tragedy in Charleston could have been prevented if the people in the prayer group had been armed, bringing their own firearms into their house of worship…Are we insane? I know the saying: it’s not guns that kill people, it’s people with guns that kill people. I also remember what a Black Belt expert in Karate once told me, “You can’t block a bullet.” I keep thinking about this in particular: why does a hunter need a handgun? 90 percent of our country sees a problem that has gotten out of control, yet no one with the ability to effect change has done anything as we encounter tragedy after tragedy. It looks like a civil war out there, but I was taught we already have been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt, a handgun encircled by the International No. Two years ago, Henry Porter of the Guardian wondered how long the world could stand by watching us kill each other because the nation is at a loss.

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