by Craig Klugman, Ph.D
In the first 274 days of 2015, there were 294 mass shootings (yes, that is more than 1 per day). As a nation, there were over 39,000 gun incidents leading to 10,104 deaths and 20,544 injuries so far in 2015.
For points of comparison
- From 2004-2014, there were 303 American deaths worldwide due to terrorism and 320,523 firearm related deaths.
- In 2013, 145,700 died of measles worldwide.
- In the US in 2013, over 11,000 people died of stomach cancer.
- In the US in 2013, over 9,500 newborns died from malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities. The US has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world.
- In 2014, 2 people died in the U.S. of Ebola
- In 2015 so far, 11,297 people have died of Ebola worldwide
When we hear that 11,000 people have died in one year of Ebola, infant mortality, stomach cancer, and terrorism, there is a huge public health and national security effort to combat each and every situation through research, screenings, and efforts that often limit individual liberty. But when 10,000 people per year die of gunshots, the response is silence, prayer, or calls for more guns.
What can we do to change this state of armed affairs?
- Recognize and state clearly that gun violence is a public health issue.
- Petition Congress to reverse the ban on CDC research on gun violence that was passed (again) in July 2015.
- Petition Congress to pass the proposal (rejected in 2013) that would prohibit anyone on the National Instant Background Check System from buying a gun.