If you want the definition of a nanosecond, look at the time stamp on Hillary Clinton’s first gun control tweet and compare it to the time stamp the first round was fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel told us all, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before”. What things you ask? Why, introduce more government-control legislation while people are emotional and vulnerable and have questions about their safety and security, of course. You have to jump on it early before the emotions die down and logic kicks back in. If you wait too long, rational discourse and actual facts will derail your lust for more control of the people.
So, while people are still grieving, the left is doubling down and doing their best to not let this crisis go to waste. Unfortunately for us, rather than sitting back and allowing people to process this horrific event as they should be able to, we now feel compelled to force some logic and perspective back into the minds of those who see this tragedy and immediately start talking about “assault weapon” and high capacity magazine bans. As I continue, I want to clarify I don’t believe your everyday, average Jane and John Doe have ill intent with their cries for reform. I think their hearts are pure. But there is no question; their calls are derived 100% from their emotions rather than rational, logical, factual thought processes.
As such, perspective is in order. As I lay out some of that precious perspective and discuss preventable deaths in our country, please know I am in no way minimizing or invalidating the tragedy that is the mass shooting in Las Vegas. There were 58 human lives lost (Some will tell you 59. But they are including the monster that committed the atrocity in that number and it was not in any way, shape or form human. It will not have its life included with those whose lives truly mattered).
Those on the left will tell you their motivation is saving lives. I’m talking about the citizenry of our country here, not politicians. We know the motivation of the politicians is control. There’s no debate there. But what about the people we go to church with? What about our neighbors who are truly good people with huge hearts? What about those who teach our children in elementary school and honestly have the best interests of our kids, and every kid, in mind? What about the law enforcement officers who have lived through horrific events in their careers and literally can’t stand it when they see another life lost at the hands of a savage with a gun? What about these genuinely good people whose hearts really are in the right place?
To them I ask one question. Why the selective outrage?
But before you stop reading, please hear me out as I lay down some truly staggering numbers. Let’s have a true discussion on preventable death in the United States and what can/should be done about it.
An estimated 88,0008 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. (1) There have been an average of 33,367 gun-related deaths per year in the United States over the last 16 years. That number includes homicides, suicides and accidental deaths. So on average, 62% more people die from alcohol every year than from guns.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. (2) There have been an average of 33,367 gun-related deaths per year in the United States over the last 16 years. That number includes homicides, suicides and accidental deaths. So, 99.3% more people die from tobacco related causes every year than from guns.
Unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S., due to nutrition- and obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. In the last 30 years, obesity rates have doubled in adults, tripled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents. (3) There have been an average of 33,367 gun-related deaths per year in the United States over the last 16 years. That number includes homicides, suicides and accidental deaths. So, 99.5% more people die from eating choices every year than from guns.
Since 1970, there have been an average of 1,265,568 abortions committed each year for a total of 55,888,303. (4) There have been an average of 33,367 gun-related deaths per year in the United States over the last 16 years. That number includes homicides, suicides and accidental deaths. So, 99.7% more innocent human lives are taken by abortion every year than from guns.
An average of 33,367 people die every year as a result of gun violence (Those who die from mass shootings are a fraction of a percent of this total). An average of 2,511,576 people die every year from alcohol, tobacco, unhealthy diets, and abortion. Even if one were to dehumanize unborn children, we’re still looking at 1,246,008 deaths compared to 33,367.
But we don’t hear the left lamenting the loss of over 88,000 people a year from alcohol related causes. We never hear the left screaming about “tobacco control”. We don’t see social media posts from our liberal friends calling for bans on Twinkies and McDonalds (although in a huge stroke of irony, many will criticize my choice to hunt and procure healthy protein for my family).
Why is that? Because those deaths don’t transpire in a fish bowl, on the same day, within minutes of each other. Those deaths (other than abortion and DUI related deaths) typically take years of repeated abuse to manifest. When referring to his support of “assault weapons” and high capacity magazine bans, a friend of mine recently told me, “It’s about efficiency”. In other words, it’s not the number of lives lost that matters as much as it is the expeditious manner in which they are lost. Lives mean more when they are taken on the same day at the same time in the same location. Spread those lives out across years or even months, or simply allow those lives to expire behind closed doors and without media fanfare, and they’re seemingly unimportant.
Assuming a potential mass murderer would have his intended violence thwarted by an “assault weapons” and high capacity magazine ban (which we all know is a fantasy given the attacks in Oklahoma City, Boston, New York, Paris, and elsewhere where the tools used to commit mass murder were fertilizer, pressure cookers, airplanes, and vehicles, proving mass murdering monsters will find a way), the result of banning those two items would amount to an approximate 0.03% reduction in the annual preventable death toll in the United States.
So again, I say “selective outrage”. Violent death, while horrific and disgusting and difficult to deal with emotionally and psychologically, is no more tragic than preventable non-violent death unless you can look at yourself in the mirror and tell the person looking back one life is more important than another and the importance of that life is dependent upon the way it is lost.
Let me reiterate. I hear you. I know your hearts are pure. I know you see the violence on TV from these mass shootings and you are heart broken. I know you see the first responders carrying out heroic acts and you anguish for them and what they have to go through. I know you are angry, sad, frustrated, protective, and confused. I know you are only calling for “common sense” laws that “won’t affect the average gun owner”. But please know the reform you are calling for would do virtually nothing to curb the preventable death rate in the United States.
If you want to affect lives, please speak out against alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy diet choices. If you truly care about innocent lives being lost, call for a ban on abortion. Were you able to create change in those 4 areas alone, you could potentially save over 2.5 million American lives PER YEAR. I know the 0.003% lost in mass shootings take up all the media attention. Again, I’m not minimizing them at all. But I am trying to maximize the other millions of lives lost in our country each year. They are no less important and far more preventable. Don’t they deserve a voice too?
- October 5, 2017
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