Sobering factoids ‘o the day

Sobering factoids 'o the day

by digby

Even in the midst of panic, Chris Hayes did a marvelous job contextualizing the Boston bombings last week by comparing it to our reaction to the epidemic of gun violence. The statistics were a shocker.

Michael Cohen takes the same approach in this column today and offers up these numbers which sent a chill down my spine:

The same day of the marathon bombing in Boston, 11 Americans were murdered by guns. The pregnant Breshauna Jackson was killed in Dallas, allegedly by her boyfriend. In Richmond, California, James Tucker III was shot and killed while riding his bicycle – assailants unknown. Nigel Hardy, a 13-year-old boy in Palmdale, California, who was being bullied in school, took his own life. He used the gun that his father kept at home. And in Brooklyn, New York, an off-duty police officer used her department-issued Glock 9mm handgun to kill herself, her boyfriend and her one-year old child.

At the same time that investigators were in the midst of a high-profile manhunt for the marathon bombers that ended on Friday evening, 38 more Americans – with little fanfare – died from gun violence. One was a 22-year old resident of Boston. They are a tiny percentage of the 3,531 Americans killed by guns in the past four months – a total that surpasses the number of Americans who died on 9/11 and is one fewer than the number of US soldiers who lost their lives in combat operations in Iraq.

We are obviously stimulated by the fear that terrorism presents. It brings us all together in a way we crave. Look at the cheers heard all over Boston --- and I'd guess all over the country --- when they finally caught the suspect. (I too felt the euphoria, but for another reason --- he was alive, which seemed to me to show an admirable restraint on the part of our law enforcement and made me feel as if despite the obvious emotion the event had caused, our authorities hadn't completely abandoned our principles. And I'm afraid very few people would have asked any questions if they had killed the suspect.)

Clearly, this fear has to do with "the other" not with the violence. It must. The level of violence we are living with every day ---  and which a large number of Americans defend as the cost of liberty --- proves it.