Friday, September 06, 2013

How Many Died Today?

Twenty years ago, the Congress of the United States sentenced thousands of its citizens to death. They attacked research on firearm deaths and injuries.  They attacked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for funding firearm research.  And to drive the nail home, the CDC saw $2.6 million stripped from its budget. Coincidentally, that is the same amount they had spent on firearms research the previous year.  Because there has been so little scientific research on firearms done, it has been impossible to enact measures to reduce the incidence of death and injury.  How many lives might have been saved had this action not been taken?  We will never know.

Joe Nocera, writing in an Op Ed piece for The New York Times, states that Slate's gun-death tally, which is included at the end of each of his blog posts, has recorded 7,897 deaths since the Newtown massacre last December-almost three times the total killed on Sept. 11, and nearly double the number of U.S. soldiers killed over the course of the nine-year-long Iraq War.

As astonishing as that number is, there is a glaring disparity between the C.D.C figures (they are still allowed to report death records) and Slate's running total.  The reason, Slate has explained, is that its tally is culled from news reports, and the C.D.C figures are taken from death records. "Using the most recent CDC estimates. . .it is likely that as of today, 9/5/2013, roughly 23,381 people have died from guns in the United States since the Newtown shootings.  Compare that number of deaths reported in the news and you can see how under-told the story of gun violence in America really is. "

Here is the gun report for September 6, 2013:
A 2 month old in Minneapolis, a 6 month old shot by her 3 year old brother in Charlston, S.C., a 12 year old boy shot by his 15 year old cousin in New Mexico, a 14 year old boy in Newark, N.J., a 16 year old and another man in one shooting in Philadelphia, 4 people in Charlotte, N.C., a 72 year old woman in Longmont, Colorado, a 26 year old woman in Tennessee, a passenger on a bus shot by another passenger in Houston, Texas, a 29 year old man in Austin, Texas, a man in his 20s in Chicago, a 33 year old and a 44 year old in a murder-suicide in Minnesota, a 38 year old man in Yakima, Washington, a man in Boston, Massachusetts, a 36 year old man in Rochester, NY, a man in Tallahassee, Fl, a 19 year old in Toledo, Ohio, a man in North Kansas City, MO, a man in Houston, Texas, a 55 year old man and a 20 year old man in Elkhart, Indiana, a 21 year old in Portage, Wisconsin.

These were real people, folks.
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