In his speech last night, after the gun rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, President Obama made an unusual request:
"I would ask news organizations [to] tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports."
The figures from 2004-2013 below – compiled from the CDC and the State Department – are conscience-shocking, and also shocking from a public policy perspective.
As President Obama noted:
"We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?"