Gun violence has been a huge problem in this country for a long time. There are some critics of the recent push to decrease gun violence who say that gun violence is not the number one priority of the government. As a matter fact, they look at the statistics and say that gun violence is not a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and therefore it should not be receiving the kind of attention that it’s receiving. While I agree that more Americans die of heart disease, lung disease and cancer in the United States every year than die of gun violence, I disagree that gun violence should not be a huge priority of our government.
For the most part, heart disease and lung disease affect the elderly and the middle-aged in the United States. Gun violence, on the other hand, is mostly a disease of teenagers and young adults. The number of productive years lost is huge. When you think of a 15-year-old or a 20-year-old being gunned down, you are losing 40-50 years in which that person could of been a productive member of society. (more…)