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  • Richard Farr

Guns, violence, and terrorism

Following the Orlando massacre, here are a couple of numbers, and two new acronyms, that may help to make sense of these important topics:

According to the State Department, the most violent terrorist organization in the world is not ISIS, but Nigeria’s Boko Haram, which murdered 6,664 people in 2014.

In that same year, according to the New York Times, 8,124 people were murdered in the US by gun-wielding fellow citizens.

(Vanishingly few of these murderers were either Muslim or affiliated with any terrorist organization, Donald. But I digress.)

If the American gun-murder rate in 2014 had been the same as the average in the OCC (Other Civilized Countries — including Japan, Britain, Germany, Portugal, Iceland, and Australia) there would have been approximately seven thousand three hundred fewer US victims of US murderers.

So even the “excess” American gun-murder rate—above and beyond the amount that other democracies can’t get rid of—makes armed Americans substantially more lethal than the “worst terrorist organization in the world.”

One big difference between the US and the OCC is that in the OCC they have strong gun regulations. They have those regulations partly because their politicians are actual democratic representatives, rather than wholly owned subsidiaries of that other acronym I wanted to mention.

NRA — as in “NRA supports unlimited gun rights.” It’s time for us to tell the world a secret: that stands for NO REASONABLE AMERICAN.

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