Gun Violence and a UU Response. On Thursday, Aug. 27th this year New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote “More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history.” That is a huge statement and researchers, led by Louis Jacobson with politifact.com examined the evidence to support such a statement. After a thorough examination of the evidence and using the broadest figures possible, they find Kristof’s statement true. From the Revolutionary War and all the others, the total of deaths came to 1,396,733. The total of firearm related deaths from 1968-present total 1,516,863. “That’s a difference of 120,130 more gun deaths than war deaths - about 9 percent more.” This gun death total includes the following, “In 2013, according to the CDC data, 63% of gun-related deaths were from suicides, 33 % were from homicides, and roughly 1% each were from accidents, legal interventions and undetermined causes.” This is sobering to understand - and begs the question for me, why can’t we have a real dialogue about the easy access to guns in this country? Why can’t our elected officials have a sound debate about reasonable regulations around guns? Have we come to value life so little that we cannot demand and enforce background checks to those wanting to buy guns? When most of the deaths related to guns aid in suicide - what does that say about our mental health programs and the value of life itself?
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