For the last few nights I’ve been sleepless. I have debated over and over again inside my head whether or not I should write about an extremely controversial subject on my blog. About a topic that divides and tears America apart and makes the rest of the world just shake their heads at us: Gun Control.
After much thought, I decided that as a mother and as an American citizen, I could no longer be silent and just share my beliefs over Facebook with my friends. Instead, I would put together an emotional piece on why I believe we should have gun control and why we must put more pressure on institutions such as the media, our mental health care system and society as a whole to change the deep-rooted, dark culture of violence in America.
It is an overwhelming topic. In fact, often I don’t even know where to start. So I am going to try to lay out my feelings and beliefs now and see if we can have a real conversation about guns and our love/hate relationship with violence in this nation. Whether you agree or disagree on my beliefs, it is up to you. But until we start having a real, honest dialogue about what is happening in our country nothing will change.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, firearms (excluding BB and pellet guns) were used in 84,258 nonfatal injuries (26.65 per 100,000 U.S. citizens) 
- 11,208 deaths by homicide (3.5 per 100,000)
- 21,175 by suicide with a firearm,
- 505 deaths due to accidental discharge of a firearm,
- 281 deaths due to firearms-use with “undetermined intent” for a total of 33,169 deaths related to firearms (excluding firearm deaths due to legal intervention).
- 1.3% of all deaths in the country were related to firearms.
- In 2010, gun violence cost U.S. taxpayers approximately $516 million in direct hospital costs.
- Despite widespread concern about the impacts of gun violence on public health, Congress has banned the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from conducting research on gun violence.
*Above content from Wikepedia. I cross-checked every statistic and source for accuracy.
Is this the world we want for our children?
Perception versus Reality:
So why is it that people are more fearful of being killed in a terrorist attack or traveling to a “dangerous” country when there are more deaths by gun violence right outside our backdoor? Obama recently urged media to compare the number of deaths by gunfire each year to the total number of deaths from terrorism. The results were surprising. From 2004 to 2013 316,545 people died by firearms in the US. During that same period, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas by terrorists was 277, while another 36 were killed in domestic acts of terrorism (Star Tribune Editorial “Placing the Blame on Another Mass Shooting”). My question is: Who is our government spending all our money on to fight? Yes, terrorism. What are we doing to fight our own mass killings in the US. Not much.