This One Terrifying Statistic Puts Gun Violence In The U.S. In Perspective

In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, people everywhere are urging America’s lawmakers to reconsider gun control laws.  Here’s one terrifying statistic that puts gun violence in perspective that they need to consider: not including the Orlando shooting victims, 93 people have died from gun violence in the last 72 hours. That’s more than one person per hour, just in the last three days.

As shown in the Gun Violence Archive’s public records, these deaths are individual or small-group incidents, like the shooting of three men in West Virginia in a dispute over firewood. What kind of firewood is worth committing triple murder? Then, there’s the case of MMA fighter Ivan Cole, who accidentally ended his life in a game of Russian Roulette.

Over the last several decades, the U.S. has become the home of one-third of the world’s mass shootings. If you don’t see the connection between that many deaths in a single country and the incredibly easy access to guns that people have in America, then you might love guns more than you love people. Nonpartisan advocacy group Parents Against Gun Violence have listed some of the most heartless justifications given by shooters — among them are, “A family of four tried to pass me on the interstate, so I shot the mom,” and “My brother wanted my cheeseburger, so I shot him dead.”

Blue Ridge Arsenal Gun Store
CREDIT: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

I’m not even including the person who shot their three-year-old stepson for jumping on the bed. I desperately wish I were making that up. These shooters may have problems beyond access to guns, but that access makes it a lot easier for them to kill innocent victims.

In the above photo from a gun store (got to have the Stars and Stripes, because there’s nothing more American than the capacity to murder a lot of people in a short amount of time), you’ll see a rack of assault rifles for sale. Assault rifles, by the way, were developed in World War II for global military combat, which is a situation where the enemy may be throwing grenades at you or dive-bombing you from above. The chances of encountering a surprise grenade or having to shoot at a fast-moving fighter pilot in modern everyday American life are about zero, but hey, if it becomes a crime to own a gun, then only criminals will have guns, right?

49 Dead In Mass Shooting At Gay Nightclub In Orlando
CREDIT: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Well, not all of them. The Sandy Hook and Aurora gunmen, to name just two, bought their guns at Wal-Mart. Buying a gun from the same place you buy soda and toilet paper is hardly a black-market deal. I’m not even going to entertain the “what about hunting” argument, except to say that you don’t need to be able to purchase an assault rifle over the counter unless the deer is in the store pointing a gun at you.

Here’s the bottom line: people died. Children died. More than one death every hour just in the last three days, as a matter of course in American life is outrageous. What else really needs to be said?