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Almost A Million

by Abby Zimet

On the same day Connecticut legislators reached a deal on a package of gun control laws touted as the nation's toughest - albeit with worrisome loopholes - Cleveland State University released a study showing that over a ten-year span, 989,023 Americans were killed or wounded by gunfire - five times the total U.S. casualties during the Vietnam War, 92% of U.S. casualties during World War II, impacting one in every 314 Americans. Connecticut is a good, small step, but oh the wreckage that came before.

"To say that people who know the consequences and still do everything they can to ensure that gun laws don’t change are complicit in the murder of children is to state, as unemotionally as possible, an inarguable fact. They have made a moral choice that the deaths of those children, and the deaths of those who will certainly die next, is justified by some other larger good: in this case, apparently, the sense of personal power that possessing guns provides. That’s a moral choice, clearly made. But we shouldn’t pretend for a minute that they—or we—are making any other....To believe that gun control can’t work here is to believe that the psyches of Americans are different from those of everyone else on earth. That’s a form of American exceptionalism—the belief that Americans are uniquely evil and incorrigibly violent, and that nothing to be done about it."

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