Fixation on Terrorism Blinds U.S. to Domestic Threats to National Security

Fixation on Terrorism Blinds U.S. to Domestic Threats to National Security
A member of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters stands guard, Burns, Ore., Jan. 5, 2016 (AP photo by Rick Bowmer).

Paul Ryan, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is none too impressed with President Barack Obama’s plan to curtail gun violence in America by tightening purchasing requirements through executive order.

In an interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo News, Ryan complained that “a week [when] we . . . talk about gun control is a week we’re not talking about our failure to confront [the self-described Islamic State] fully, the failure to take care of the threat that’s on our doorstep.”

To call the Islamic State, rather than guns, “the threat that’s on our doorstep” is rather extraordinary, since gun violence takes more American lives each day—roughly 80—than the Islamic State has in its history. And as if the loss of 30,000 American lives each year weren’t grim enough, gun violence also costs the United States approximately $229 billion annually, according to research done by Mother Jones.

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