Terrorism VS Gun Violence – Have You Considered The Numbers?

We all by now, likley know about the recent news out about the NSA. They have their eye on you. Well, maybe not YOU per-say (me? defiantly lol). My last 2 entry’s were on this subject, as is this one, only im going in a new direction.

Why

I found this meme whilst surfing facebook, which I shared. If you read my 2 previous entry’s here on the subject, you will know why. But it also gave me another thought process.

As the meme illustrates, back in October 2001 (just after the attacks of September 11th), no one batted an eyelash when the Bush administration signed the Patriot Act. An act that almost eliminated the possibility of “private” communication between 2 parties. All in the name of fighting terrorism. With the attacks of the 11th still fresh in peoples minds, the trade off didn’t seem unreasonable.

Now I am going to switch directions.

Many instances of mass gun violence have occurred all over the US in the last while. Despite being rare in the grand scheme of things (the numbers of dead are tiny compared to the TOTAL amount of gun deaths that are unspoken), they have been happening more and more often. The most recent of these instances being Sandy Hook Elementary. At 27 dead, it was not the deadliest  of them all by numbers. But it struck a chord with many people, just because of the age of the majority of the victims (20 were children).

This, like all the other acts of violence in the past, provoked a call for gun control legislation. This time though, the age of the victims drove the issue to a feverish pitch, right up to the president.

One of the common responses to this was, you can not legislate with emotions. Basically, its a bad idea to enact a law banning an item (in this case, assault riffles and other such weapons in the catagory) just because of emotions. Basically, just because your pissed and upset that this guy did this, it is not a good reason to outlaw the gun.

But in October 20o1, people everywhere didn’t hesitate to drop there right to privacy, in the name of fighting terrorism. This HUGE change came in a time that was very much emotionally charged and uncertain. And this change affected all Americans.

Back in December 2012/January 2013, the call for gun control was feverish, warranted, with the events of Sandy Hook on the minds of all (me included). But again, the common thread of the debate from the opposition, is that NOW is not the time.

Both terrorism and gun violence affect the public, often random targets. The only difference is that the death counts are very different for the 2.

For terrorism, the most recent incident was the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed 3 and injured 264. Next in line is September 11th, with 2,977 fatalities in total, followed by the Oklahoma City bombing back in 1995 (165 dead).

For famous instances of mass gun violence, we have Virginia Tech with 32 dead, followed by Sandy Hook’s 27.

At first glance, the numbers seem to say a lot. Terrorism would seem to be the bigger threat, in terms of the number of victims. But is this the whole picture?

Lets play with the numbers a little.

Terrorism

Using http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001454.html as a reference, starting with Oklahoma City, I find that  3149 have perished by terrorism in the US since 1995.

OKC Bombing = 168

9/11 = 2977

Little Rock = 1

Boston Marathon = 3

Now lets look at gun violence.

Keep in mind, im not counting attacks OUTSIDE of the continental US (embassies etc).

Gun violence

Though this chart is a bit out of our timeline (it begins back in 1980 and ends in 2006), it still tells us A LOT.

Data

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourcebook/Final%20Resource%20Book%20Updated%202009%20Section%201.pdf

If we start in 1995, the start of my timeline, we see that in that year ALONE, almost 40,000 people died due to gun violence.

Like any other post alike this that I write, I encourage all to it look up for yourselves, never take what you read on a blog at face value.

But consider that just a little over 3000 deaths attributed to terrorism have occurred, and the reaction was to pretty much eliminate what privacy the majority of Americans did have.

Now Gun violence in 1995 ALONE caused almost 40,00 deaths. Gun control would affect only a small percentage of all americans. But the ramifications of NOT having it, is affecting ALL americans.

Eliminating a constitutional right for just over 3000 deaths, is fine. But inconveniencing a small percentage of people, because of 40,000 + deaths, is far to much.

Who is over reacting?

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