A recent study has revealed that Americans are 100,000 times more likely to die from gun violence than from a terrorist attack.
We live in a country where people are more afraid of existential threats than the dangers that await them right outside their front doors. According to a report from the Examiner, CNN recently compared the number of Americans who were killed by terrorists and the number of Americans who lost their lives to gun violence.
While gun violence at home may be easy to ignore, it undoubtedly takes more American lives than terrorists. Over a 12-year period that included 2001, the year when the United States suffered the most devastating terrorist attack in its history, they found that the number of people killed from domestic gun violence exceeded the number of people killed by terrorists by a factor of more than 100,000.
According to the State department, from 2001 to 2013, there were 3,380 Americans killed by terrorist actions, including 350 deaths overseas. Over the same 12-year window, 406,496 people were killed by gun violence, defined by the CDC as homicide, accident, and suicide. This is roughly the same amount of people that live in the city of Raleigh, NC and its surrounding suburbs. It is also only 10,000 lives short of the number of Americans who were killed throughout all of World War II.
As the president addressed the nation for the 15th time regarding a mass shooting following the tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, he wondered why people are so unafraid of gun violence. With changes to current gun laws unlikely in the face of massive criticism from the NRA and other right-wing supporters, we have to wonder when policymakers and law enforcement agencies will begin looking at the available data and figure out a way to focus on reducing death caused by gun violence.