Over the past decade, any number of commentators have noted the striking differences between our national discussions of and our national responses to terrorist attacks and domestic gun violence. In fact, that contrast has now been referenced so frequently that it has become something of a truism.
But, in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine, has highlighted a statistic that should breathe new life into that truism and give it fresh dimension.
It is a statistic that should profoundly disturb every American, whether they are gun owners or not. Moreover, it should make us much more determined to move beyond the current impasse—beyond the well-rehearsed talking points–and to treat this issue with the great seriousness that it not only deserves but demands.
Here is that statistic:
Since 1970, nearly 1.35 million Americans have been killed by firearms.
As a point of comparison, in all of America’s military conflicts, from the American Revolutionary War to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, 1.39 million Americans have been killed.