The word, “tragedy,” is one of those words, like “awesome” that overuse has drained of meaning. It parallels the way overload has numbed us to the realities behind the headlines, so that our horror, just three years ago, over Sandy Hook has become a shake of the head and a, “Shit, not again,” as we grab our busy morning coffee. And maybe look over our shoulder at the sound of a backfire. And even listen to morons who say, “This is a hunting state,” as if that has anything to do with anything.
Yes, when I lived in Oregon, not far from Roseburg, you would sometimes see cows in the outlying fields, with COW written in big red letters during hunting season, by farmers who had no great trust in the wisdom of “hunters.” But that is another story.
To once more quote the great Walt Kelly, and Pogo, his voice, “We has met the enemy and he is us.”
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14th, 2012 over 80,000 people in the US have been shot dead. There have been more than 140 school shootings over that span of time, and more mass shootings this year (298) than there have been days on the calendar (293).
There have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths since 1968, compared to 1,396,733 cumulative war deaths since the American Revolution. That’s 120,130 more U.S. gun deaths than U.S. war deaths. And that’s including the use of the most generous estimate of Civil War deaths, the largest contributor to American war deaths.
And even though homicides represent a minority of all gun related deaths, with suicides comprising the biggest share, that’s still a lot of people shot and killed with guns. According to CDC data, 63 percent of gun-related deaths were from suicides, 33 percent were from homicides, and roughly 1 percent each…
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