Friday, 16 February 2018


Depressingly—and without even the need to compare itself to the rest of the world—daily three hundred and fifteen people are shot with a firearm, on balance, and of those two hundred and twenty-two individuals survive. These average figures are staggering already even without invoking those unspeakable tragedies that come about with all too regular recurrence and with a problem as endemic and pervasive, no one needs to be personally affected to appreciate the stakes.
Of those shootings that don’t result in a fatality (though to say nothing of physical and emotional scarring) most, one hundred sixty-four were caught in a gun attack, and of the rest, they are survivors of a suicide attempt (ten), they were shot by accident (forty-five) and three were shoot as part of a sanctioned intervention (out of zealous self-defence, over trespassing). Of the remaining ninety-three incidents daily that do result in death, a third are murdered and nearly two-thirds die from suicide with the remainder being accidental (one) or a legal intercession (also one). On a typical day, seven of the fatalities are children and teenagers. These sobering statistics come across with pointed accuracy despite the fact that Congress (at the behest of the weapons lobby that owns them) has imposed a moratorium on investigative studies by government entities into the causes and possible solutions for gun violence (something blindingly obvious, I should think) and also for the fact that those competent authorities that have oversight and responsibility for gleaning what traceable data there is are in danger of being defunded and will be smothered like so many other nuisances.