compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn
Politicians are increasingly willing to prostitute our national tragedies to serve their personal ambitions.
In the aftermath of the inexplicably tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, our national focus should remain on comforting the grieving families who are enduring a pain that no one else comprehends—except for them. Since grief affects everyone involved at 100%, it should never be compared or minimized and it most certainly should be experienced free from shameless political distractions.
However, allowing our emotions to dictate national policy, no matter how deeply felt those emotions are, would be a critical mistake. Furthermore, if we are going to base those policies upon what poses the greatest threat to the average American, perhaps our national attention should be directed elsewhere.
In 2009, a total of 2,437,163 resident deaths (and 784,507 abortions) were registered in the United States. Of that number, firearms were used to commit 6,165 homicides and 22,072 suicides, or 1.2% of the total resident deaths recorded.
The 21 leading causes of death in 2009 (unchanged from 2008) were the following:
1. Diseases of heart (heart disease) = 599,413 or 24.6% of the total deaths recorded.
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) = 567,628 or 23.3% of the total deaths recorded.
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases = 137,353 or 5.6% of the total deaths recorded.
4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) = 128,842 or 5.3% of the total deaths recorded.
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) = 118,021 or 4.8% of the total deaths recorded.
6. Alzheimer’s disease = 79,003 or 3.2% of the total deaths recorded.
7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) = 68,705 or 2.8% of the total deaths recorded.
8. Influenza & pneumonia = 53,692 or 2.2% of the total deaths recorded.
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis (kidney disease) = 48,935 or 2.0% of the total deaths recorded.
10. Poisoning = 41,592 or 1.7% of the total deaths recorded.
11. Drug-induced causes = 39,147 or 1.6% of the total deaths recorded.
12. Intentional self-harm (suicide) = 36,909 or 1.5% of the total deaths recorded.
13. Septicemia (infection) = 35,639 or 1.46% of the total deaths recorded.
14. Motor-vehicle related injuries = 34,485 or 1.41% of the total deaths recorded.
15. Firearms = 31,347 or 1.3% of the total deaths recorded.
16. Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis = 30,558 or 1.2% of the total deaths recorded.
17. Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease (hypertension) = 25,734 or 1.1% of the total deaths recorded.
18. Fall(s) = 25,562 or 1.1% of the total deaths recorded.
19. Alcohol-induced causes = 24,518 or 1.0% of the total deaths recorded.
20. Parkinson’s disease = 20,565 or 0.8% of the total deaths recorded.
21. Assault (homicide) = 16,799 or 0.7% of the total deaths recorded.
Considering the above numbers, why aren’t politicians piously pontificating against the “statistical epidemics” of heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, kidney disease, poisoning, drug-induced causes, suicide, infection, or motor-vehicle related injuries, each of which annually claims more lives than firearms does and collectively killed 2,405,816 more people than firearms did in 2009?
Was gun control even on their legislative radar before 27 innocent people were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut? [crickets] There are Democrats and Republicans alike who have obscenely abandoned their principles and become so drunk on the “never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste-Kool-Aid” that they have willingly sacrificed the victims of Sandy Hook on the altar of politically-correct “messaging”. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to watch our elected representatives focus their energies on reasoned and sober discussions instead of sanctimonious posturing? Apparently, there are absolutely no lines of decency that politicians are unwilling to cross.
Agree or disagree with them, at least gun control advocacy groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence/Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence or pro-Second Amendment organizations like the National Rifle Association are consistent and authentic proponents of their respective principles–unlike the political whores of Washington, DC, whose only guiding principle seems to be winning reelection at any cost.
 Kenneth D. Kochanek, M.A., Jiaquan Xu, M.D., Sherry L. Murphy, B.S., Arialdi M. Mininão, M.P.H., & Hsiang-Ching Kung, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Deaths: Final Data for 2009”, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 60, No. 3 (29 December 2011). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf.
 This category includes: (1) deaths from poisoning and medical conditions caused by dependent and nondependent use of legal or illegal drugs, (2) poisoning from medically prescribed and other drugs—but excludes: (1) unintentional injuries, homicides, (2) other causes indirectly related to drug use, and (3) newborn deaths due to the mother’s drug use.
 NOTE: 22,072 or 59.8% of these deaths were firearm-related.
 This category includes: (1) deaths from dependent and nondependent use of alcohol and (2) accidental poisoning by alcohol—but excludes: (1) unintentional injuries, (2) homicides, (3) other causes indirectly related to alcohol use, and (4) deaths due to fetal alcohol syndrome.
 NOTE: 6,165 or 36.7% of these deaths were firearm-related.