How did I miss this? Here’s PBS’s Mark Shields back in December with a terrible and eye-opening stat:
“[T]he reality is — and it’s a terrible reality — since Robert Kennedy died in the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history, from the Revolutionary through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, in those 43 years. … I mean, guns are a problem. And I think they still have to be confronted.”
Politifact confirmed the math. I’d also like to add that the inherently American linkage between patriotism and bellicosity has absolutely contributed to our gun culture — in other words, if our leaders continue to tell us that supporting warfare is tantamount to love-of-country, then the use of firearm violence to solve problems becomes embedded in who we are as a people. I would go so far as to suggest that this linkage is the primary catalyst for America’s gun obsession and, subsequently, the terror it unleashes.