Sometimes a Single Statistic Is a Terrible Revelation


Over the past decade, any number of commentators have noted the striking differences between our national discussions of and our national responses to terrorist attacks and domestic gun violence. In fact, that contrast has now been referenced so frequently that it has become something of a truism.

But, in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine, has highlighted a statistic that should breathe new life into that truism and give it fresh dimension.

It is a statistic that should profoundly disturb every American, whether they are gun owners or not. Moreover, it should make us much more determined to move beyond the current impasse—beyond the well-rehearsed talking points–and to treat this issue with the great seriousness that it not only deserves but demands.

Here is that statistic:

Since 1970, nearly 1.35 million Americans have been killed by firearms.

As a point of…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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