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Are Dead Children The Price of Freedom?

February 18, 2018 in Blogs

By Christian Christensen, AlterNet

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These are troubling days in the United States.


There is a sickness eating at the body and soul of my home country, and it is on full view for the world to see.

When the news broke on Valentine’s Day that 17 people—mostly young students—had lost their lives in Parkland, Florida, one could be forgiven for being numb. Of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in US history, six have come after 2012. Of those six, three have occurred in the last 5 months, including the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed 58 lives, the deadliest in US history.

While these events attract the headlines and outrage, the vast majority of gun deaths in the United States are not as a result of mass shootings. Over the past five years, there have been, on average, 12,500 firearm-related homicides per year. This number does not include accidental deaths or suicides.

Let’s put that number into perspective. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 took 3,000 lives. At an average of 12,500 deaths a year, 200,000 people in the United States have been murdered with the use of a firearm since those attacks 16 years ago. That’s equal to 67 September 11 attacks. That’s equal to filling New York’s Madison Square Garden to capacity, killing everyone inside, and then repeating that process 9 more times. That’s equal to killing every single person in Salt Lake City.

200,000 people.

The most common question asked on this side of the Atlantic is: “Why can’t they see what these weapons are doing to their country?”

To answer this question, one needs to understand two things about the United States: the economics of fear, and the depths of paranoia many have about government intrusion into everyday life.

Since 1989, gun rights groups in the US have …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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