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In 2011, the total number of gun-related deaths in the U.S. was 8,583.
Taken by itself, out of context, that number seems overwhelming. But taken in the context of overall deaths in America - including from natural causes - that number represents only 0.34 percent of all deaths for that year. Many of us understand (and perhaps condone) that the vast majority of these gun-related deaths are gang or drug-deal related shootings.
However, the tragedy that occurred at the Newtown Sandy Hook took the lives of 26 innocent people including 20 children, is another story.
And for sure we need to takes steps to avoid such senseless tragedies, but infringing on one's right to protect themselves is not the answer. We need adequate background checks to ensure that the wrong people cannot acquire a firearm, and the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.
When an innocent child is murdered we all naturally share in the horror and emotion, yet sadly when we abort an average of more than 13,000 in Connecticut per year (and 54.6 million in the U.S. since 1973) few seem to care.