Every day we hear statistics about those killed in war, terrorist attacks, countries at war with each other, armed groups fighting to seize power. However, there is one country whose citizens are dying by the thousands, even more than in countries that are at war or under terrorist attack — and this is a country that is supposedly at peace. It is the United States, a place where the population is dying absurdly in a war against itself and without fighting for any concrete objective. Let’s look at the numbers.
Last year in the U.S., about 49,500 people took their own lives, the highest number ever recorded, according to new government data published this past August. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among adults from 25 to 44 years old.
Let’s continue. The number of people killed by gun violence between 2014 and 2022 in the U.S. increased to more than 150,000, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. Already this year 24,467 have died from gun violence, more than 100 a day.
Gun violence is the third leading cause of death among young people from 15 to 24 years old in the U.S., and the fourth leading cause of death among children from 10 to 14 years old.
Already in the past decade, incidents related to firearms have left 40 times more people dead than attacks officially classified as terrorist.
Between January and mid-April, there were 146 mass shootings, defined as incidents in which the shooter kills or wounds at least four people. An estimated seven such massacres at least occur every week, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive published by Amnesty International. From 2014 to 2023, the number has done nothing but increase every year, going from around 300 in 2014 to nearly 700 in 2022.
Here’s another front in the war Americans are fighting against themselves: More than 109,000 U.S. residents died from drug overdoses in the 12 months between January 2022 and January 2023. This number continues to rise every year; in 2021 it was greater than 100,000 for the first time. An estimated one of every three such deaths is caused by fentanyl, and 15% are caused by prescription medications for fentanyl, which are legal in the U.S.
According to the Global Terrorism Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace, there were 6,701 deaths around the world caused by terrorism in 2022. If we check the statistics, that is the number of deaths caused by gun violence in the U.S. in two months. And this is more or less the same number as those who commit suicide. The most deadly terrorist group in 2022 was the Islamic State, which killed 1,045 people, equivalent to 1% of overdose deaths in the U.S. And it goes without saying that the victims of terrorism are concentrated in only a small number of countries, so the chances of dying by terrorism in the U.S. are even more remote.
As Michael Moore said once, if you are in the U.S., you don’t have to worry that much about terrorism. The main threat is you, yourself, because it is statistically more likely that you will kill yourself than that a terrorist will kill you.