Fareed Zakaria on his news analysis program GPS this morning juxtaposed two statistics:
- Global terrorist related deaths over the past year totaled just over 36,000.
- U.S. gun deaths over the same period totaled around 33,000.
I offer some observations about these grim statistics: The public seems to be more traumatized about the overseas terrorist-related deaths, yet the U.S. gun deaths of almost the same scope are so much closer to home, in every sense.
Our current and prospective U.S. political leaders seem more inclined to take global action (air strikes, ground troops, even open war) over the offshore terrorist threats than to take domestic legislative and other actions to curtail gun deaths right here inside U.S. borders.
While both issues turn around violence, and represent threats to living peaceful lives, the odd weighting of attitudes begs the question: Are Americans reacting more to the sensationalist scare of terrorism abroad or the very real threat of violent death in our own backyards?
What the hell is wrong with our people, from the highest in leadership to our friends down the street? While terrorist threats from abroad are real, the proximate terrorist threat is from fellow Americans, and our society and leadership seem incapable of dealing with it, though other countries around the world have long since done so.
We have so much to learn…