Justice

Pres. Obama Asked Us to Compare Gun Deaths to Deaths From Terrorism. Here It Is.

October 1st 2015

By:
Alex Mierjeski

In a speech Thursday addressing a mass shooting at an Oregon community college, President Barack Obama called on news organizations to publish statistics comparing deaths in the U.S. from terrorist attacks to deaths resulting from gun violence.

Straightforward statistics, he said, could help push Americans to reconcile skyrocketing gun death numbers with our current regime of gun safety laws. 

News media, Obama said, should "tally up the number of Americans killed through terrorist attacks and the number of Americans that have been killed by gun violence" and then publish the statistics next to one another. 

"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said of mass shootings in America. "The reporting has become routine. My response here, from this podium, has become routine."

Here is a chart the Washington Post published in August illustrating the discrepancy Obama referred to:

Gun deaths and terrorism deaths compared

It is well known that the U.S. far outpaces other developed nations when it comes to gun deaths: 

The U.S. far exceeds other countries for gun deaths

For more information, check out statistics compiled by the Gun Violence Archive and the Global Terrorism Database.