This past Saturday, the United Nations reported that at least 733 Iraqis had been killed and at least 1,229 wounded in January as the result of violence. Worse, the UN said that the numbers did not include Anbar province due to problems verifying the numbers killed. Those numbers are startling and they justifiably made headlines in newspapers throughout the US.
But there was one nation that experienced even more violence last month – the United States of America.
As I noted in a recent post, there are more than 11,000 gun homicides in the US each year. That means that, on average, there are more than 916 gun homicides in the US each month…nearly 200 more than the deaths that occurred last month in Iraq! And, if you include those killed by other means, the US likely experienced more than 1,330 homicides last month…nearly double the number killed by violence in Iraq!
Looking at it another way, the US experiences nearly one-third the number of violent deaths each month as Syria, which is immersed in a cruel civil war. Yet I don’t recall seeing any headlines decrying the violence in the US. I don’t see humanitarian groups running to the aid of those in our most violent neighborhoods. I don’t hear conservative politicians calling for military intervention to help curb our violence.
Are conservative politicians so afraid of the National Rifle Association, that they have become willing to ignore our own violence? Have ordinary citizens become so accustomed to mass murders, gang violence, revenge killings, road rage and domestic violence that we no longer notice it? Or worse, yet, no longer care?