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Cole writes: "Number of Americans killed in domestic terrorist attacks, 2002-2011: 30. Number of Americans murdered by firearms, 2000-2011: 115,997."

Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)
Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)

Gun Murders vs. Terrorism by the Numbers

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

17 January 13


umber of Americans killed in domestic terrorist attacks, 2002-2011: 30

Number of Americans murdered by firearms, 2000-2011: 115,997

Cost of the War on Terror since 9/11: $5 trillion

Gun Murders vs Terrorism

Cost of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms since 9/11: $12.32 billion

In the combined [pdf] US and European Union statistics for 2010, percentage of terrorist attacks that occurred in the US: .008

Among 23 developed OECD countries, percent of all firearm deaths that occurred in the U.S.
in 2003: 80

Number of [pdf] 249 terrorist attacks in 2010 in European Union carried out by
Muslim extremists: 3

Number of whites killed by other whites, primarily by firearms, in US, 2000-2009: 46,171

Requirement to board an airplane: Being viewed naked by the TSA.

Requirement to buy a gun from a private seller at a gun show: None. your social media marketing partner


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+19 # amos365 2013-01-17 19:02
badda bing
+31 # MidwestTom 2013-01-17 23:00
Other statistics from the FBI;Of the homicides involving guns in this country 96.5% involve pistols, 3.5% involve rifles.Why are we trying to l;mit rifles when cheap handguns are the major problem?
+32 # brux 2013-01-17 23:27
Because this movement to do something about guns is based not on the huge number of people shot in drive bys or gang violence, but solely on these mass murders, which are very small and do not affect many peolpe.

We have to stop running politics like a movie of the week.

I don't say gun violence is not important, but there is just not a good solution that attacks it without putting the 2nd Amendment in question in a basic way.

Politics and discussion is broken in this country, it is because of the consolidated media that controls what you hear. that is what needs to change so we can get some voices and ideas out that are not canned and spun just to support wars and resource grabs.
+9 # Selwick 2013-01-18 07:58
quote brux: Because this movement to do something about guns is based not on the huge number of people shot in drive bys or gang violence, but solely on these mass murders, which are very small and do not affect many peolpe.

You think the number is small? Tell that the paretns. One kid killed by frantic uncntrollable gunholders is one kid too much. Mass shooting in a school or a public place by some loony person affects not lonly the relatives and friends. It affects all of us, since we let it happen again and again. Loosing children because of some misunderstood ad misinterpreted amendment is the confession of total societal failure.

People like you with no heart and compassion or even empathy are the proof of that.
+1 # brux 2013-01-24 20:22
> Tell that the paretns.

I would expect the parents, or those who experience any tragedy to have an understandable and justifiable feelings, and the ultimate right to talk and express their grief and feelings ....

BUT, I would not expect them to be the most objective about it. Are the parents of men killed in war objective about the war? No, probably not, and probably tragedy pushes people where they would normally have a tendency to go anyway.

One kid killed by anything is not one kid too much, that is a nice emotional sentiment, but a world cannot yet, if it can ever be, run like that.

And, as tragic as it all is .... background checks and clip size limits are not going to do much about it.

And don't think you know anything about people like me, you are not even listening to me for all the pompous talk you spout thinking you know it all because you can get the sympathetic ears of the emotional.
+23 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-18 00:35
We are also trying to limit the access of people likely to shoot other people or who have a history of violence from buying ANY gun, pistol or military style weapon. The right wing seems to be opposed to this for some reason. They seem to have no problem with criminals and wife beaters getting access to all the firearms they want.

In the words of one of them about the multiple shooting deaths, "This is the price we pay for freedom." Translated that means that your kid's death is what their freedom to buy any gun is worth.
+5 # keepinitreal 2013-01-18 02:15
Good reasearch, however research fbi statitics, Drop in Gun Violence 49% drop in the last 5yrs. and check where the gun violence is happening. GUN fREE ZONES LIKE CHICAGO AND NEW YORK.
+10 # ABen 2013-01-18 09:23
While gun violence is a huge problem in Chicago which has started to address the problem relatively recently, gun-related violence in NY has been steadily dropping over the past two decades. Guns laws work and the data trends support this notion.
+61 # DaveM 2013-01-17 23:02
So....could we shut down the Department of Homeland Security and all of the useless "anti-terrorism " crap that has done nothing inconvenience law-abiding Americans? We have done more to ourselves than the largest, best-funded terrorist gang could ever hope to.

You've made an excellent case for a large number of hastily-enacted laws to be repealed. Why not call for actually doing so?
+31 # X Dane 2013-01-18 00:04
Actually that was Osama Bin Laden's aim,. BANKRUPT US.......And we obliged. We fell into a trap...more easily..because Bush/Cheney wanted to grab as much power as possible. To create: the Empiriel presidency. They sure did.
It cost us all a lot.. in money and diminished quality of our lives.
-4 # edge 2013-01-18 10:23
Quoting X Dane:

...more easily..because Bush/Cheney wanted to grab as much power as possible. To create: the Empiriel presidency.


+27 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-18 00:41
Just like the NRA is its own worst enemy, so the US is its own worst enemy. Cheney and Bush were played by Osama like a violin. Every time he said jump, they leapt. All bin Laden wanted to do is destroy our society, and we have been doing it faster than his fondest dreams what with all the restrictions on our freedom of expression, of association and all the rest that used to be guaranteed by the first and fourth amendments. He must be ROFLHAO somewhere in the afterworld.
-11 # X Dane 2013-01-18 13:40
Texas Aggie.
You LOST me completely.

"Cheney and Bush were played by Obama like a violin. Every time he said jump, they leapt"????

What in the world are you talking about?? He did not come into the SENATE in... was it 06?... He was a freshman senator and sure did no have any influence. Please let us know HOW he made them jump????
+8 # nancyw 2013-01-18 18:59
Texas Aggie said 'Osama' not 'Obama'....
+4 # X Dane 2013-01-18 21:52
OOOOOOOOOOOOOPS . Now it makes sense.
Give me a few minutes to wash the egg of my face. The two names are to darn close and I was reading too fast.
Thanks for setting me straight nasyw
+7 # Cruzer 2013-01-19 12:36
We spent our future and wreaked the world economy. We killed tens of thousands for nothing just for starters. We jumped big time. And we are paying for this stupidity.
+1 # Michael Lee Bugg 2013-01-23 08:49
Amen! Bin Laden succeeded beyond his own sickest dreams. He got us to give up ourfreedoms (except gun ownership) in the name of security; and he got us into protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so that they could kill Americans on their home turf and get us to display our own brutality! He also got us to bleed ourselves financially, which the Neo-cons were glad to do!
+24 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-18 00:42
Even if you counted 9/11 in the total, the number of gun deaths far outnumber the number of terrorist caused deaths.
+6 # Cruzer 2013-01-19 12:39
Unless you include the deaths caused by the
US and our allies. War is terrorism. The US has killed far more than Saddam, Osama, combined.
-20 # keepinitreal 2013-01-18 02:19
That's what this artical is getting you ready for TSA will be npw going after the gun owners (my prediction) See if it happens. TSA DHS, was always set up to go after gun owners. See if I am right, then question the info. you are being feed here. wAKE uP.
+3 # keepinitreal 2013-01-18 02:20
Keep doing more research, some are on the right path.
+9 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-01-18 06:15
Absolutely correct, DaveM. And, call I have been doing, some time now, for the repeal of a number of such "...hastily-ena cted laws...". The anything but patriotic Patriot Act, created the Dept. of Homeland Security, following the "all we need is another Pearl Harbour" 9/11 sham, which, along with lies, got us into the oh so profitable war, war, war for $$$ into the pockets of the evil oil villainaires, absolutely needs repealing.

Please note well, Pres. Oh Bomb Ah.
+19 # Holmes 2013-01-18 06:37
Dave; the terrorists have won. We have shot ourselves in both feet and claim it a victory! Oh the cost of it.
+14 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-18 08:38

One big problem with the hastily enacted laws theory. The Patriot Act was hastily passed, but had been proposed previously under the Clinton Administration.

While many look at Obama as continuing the Bush II administration, he has acted more like Bill Clinton; which is why I laugh at those folks that think that things would have just peachy keen if Hillary had been the Democratic candidate in 2008, or that anything would change if she runs and wins in 2016.

Whoever I support in 2016 will have a Repeal of the Patriot Act as a key policy goal.
-7 # brux 2013-01-17 23:23
So ... the point is what ... that one problem or the other can be forgotten about because one is so big and the other is smaller?

Why do people constantly jump and run after these BS articles, yes there are lots of problems. so any activists that is for real would be talking clearly and concisely about prioritizing problems and brainstorming solutions, not just running around posting meaningless articles to get people arguing.
+5 # Selwick 2013-01-18 08:02
brux, start it yourself!
+6 # Rationalist 2013-01-18 00:11
I agree with the general thrust of the article, but it's way too obvious that the terrorism deaths of 9/11/2001 are excluded. Maybe exactly parallel data isn't available; and maybe one would even want to exclude 9/11 as an anamoly. I'm sure it would be possible to narrow the gun-deaths period to match that of the terrorism period, e.i. 2002-2010. Or if we began with the year 2000 for both death counts, the terrorism deaths probably would not rise beyond 3500, which still pales in comparison to the deaths by gun violence. Apples and oranges please, and then I fully agree.
+33 # DurangoKid 2013-01-18 00:28
Qui bono? Violence is a profit center whether it's organized by the state or just random shooting. We live in a country that puts profit before all other concerns. It's the message that flows out of the political elite controlled media 24/7. Human values come second, or third, or are ignored entirely. If the political class and their media were really serious about violence, we'd have universal healthcare, free college tuition, public works jobs for the unemployed, and an end to the bottomless money pit called the Department of Defense. But the message is that we can't have these things. It would be socialism or big government. Or maybe Ayn Rand would rise from the grave and torture us with another one of her obtuse novels. Face it, the political class puts a premium on violence. Violence works. It's profitable. It motivates people. They're not going to give it up until everyone takes it from them by refusing to go along with their madness. Meanwhile, the rest of us are free to go it alone and dodge the bullets.
+3 # Cruzer 2013-01-19 12:45
Well said. They stopped the vote on your post so I replied. There is a huge disconnect between what we hear, see and the reality of what this country actually is and does. Sorry to say..
+18 # Kev C 2013-01-18 01:20
One other thing to consider. A lot of the so called acts of terrorism have been false flag attacks against peaceful groups of nations to deliberately perpetuate the myth of global terror campaigns. There are however plenty of accounts of the US government department of dark deeds and dodgy dealings (CIA) actually supplying the weapons, training, finance and even the precise details of the targets locations so it should also be taken with a pinch of salt the claimed numbers of terrorist attacks foiled. Most of the actual terrorist attacks are just disgruntled old fools dreaming of democratic days or religious nuts who have flipped one page too many of their manuscripts and seen some omen. Or worse, had a row with the missus.
+13 # brenda 2013-01-18 02:28
And the beat goes on,
La, de, da, di, di,
The beat goes on,
La, di, da, di, da.
Chil-dren being shot right in the school,
Gang-land shootings right there in the street,
Stray bullets killing people in their homes,
Ac-ci-dental shootings on the rise,
Gun shows selling guns to any creep,
Manufacturer's profits on the rise,
And the beat goes on,
La, de, da, di, di,
The beat goes on,
La, di, da, di, da.
+15 # Mrcead 2013-01-18 03:47
Bullying Americans is VERY lucrative. This is nothing new. That's why career bullies have moved from the schoolyard to the courtroom and finally to the boardroom - there is no opposition to speak of since they exploit our fear conditioning.

Take back your schoolyard. As was then and is now, the bullies are sorely outnumbered.
-28 # cordleycoit 2013-01-18 04:10
Since Obama would never pass a background check is there an end to liberal Hypocrisy? This is an example of number crunching that is people number fudging and agenda filling in the blanks. The Second Amendment defends the First. The founders were not talking hunting rifles. They had just fought a nasty war and time to start to think. Liberal trash thinking will in then be a coffin to bury the Republic. Sorry but they are trading on the dead.
+12 # Selwick 2013-01-18 11:17
Quote cordleycoit:

(Since Obama would never pass a background check is there an end to liberal Hypocrisy? This is an example of number crunching that is people number fudging and agenda filling in the blanks. The Second Amendment defends the First. The founders were not talking hunting rifles. They had just fought a nasty war and time to start to think. Liberal trash thinking will in then be a coffin to bury the Republic. Sorry but they are trading on the dead.)

If a nation lets his population go uneducated this is what we get.
-8 # jimsteeves 2013-01-18 04:36
Domestic terrorism? Did you forget the World Trade Center and the 3,000 odd folks who died in that event? You don't think that was domestic? Oh well. What about the flat earth theory: you do or don't believe that?
+16 # Selwick 2013-01-18 08:20
Now let's make it real simple for this is some math and some reading:
The number for the domestic terrorist attacks are quoted for the years 2002 until 2011. OK? 2002.
9/11 was in 2001. OK

But now to the math: we include the 9/11 attack and the number of victims to the number above.
2977 dead
30 Americans dead due to domestic terrorist attacks (number cited in article)Bless all their souls.
Now we add these two numbers up:
2977 plus 30 = 3007.
Now we compare this number to the number of people murdered by firearms in the years from 2000 to 2011: (Bless their souls too)
Here is the number: 115,997
What do we see just by looking at the numbers? The last number is bigger. Six digits compared to 4 digits. One indicator. Here is also the difference in numbers:
112,990 more Americans got murdered by firearms than by domestic terrorist attacks in the years mentioned.
Hope this helps.
+5 # FDRva 2013-01-18 09:26
Might want to factor in the number of violent video games sold.

Most kid killers learned how to shoot from them.

Arguably, video game promoters in Silicon Valley and Hollywood--have far more American deaths to answer for than any branch of Al-Qaeda ever will.
+15 # Rich Austin 2013-01-18 12:01
101,000 “amenable mortalities” (deaths from certain causes that should not occur in the presence of timely and effective health care) occur each year in the U.S.

Amenable mortalities took 1,110,000 since 2001. That’s 370 times the number killed in the 9/11 attacks. Going further, using Selwick’s numbers we find that amenable mortalities are responsible for 9.5 times the number killed by terrorist attacks and firearms during the same period.

Every year 33.6 times the number killed on 9/11 succumb to the terrorism of health care denial.

And just like the NRA, the medical-profits industry showers Washington, D.C. with millions and millions of dollars in order to purchase legislation guaranteeing continued ungodly profits for their shareholders and bloated salaries for CEOs.

The latter’s solution is HR 676, “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All”. We had a chance to enact it in 2010. It got derailed after too many people swallowed the lie about “a government takeover of health care”. Evidence to the contrary abounds, but too many folks were and are willing to accept the cacophony of hyperbole from the right instead of doing some independent research.

Guns, health care, toxic crap imported from China...all will continue to threaten our health to one degree or another unless we make Congress act responsibly and ethically.

Uh....let’s put it this way: The buck ultimately stops with us.
+2 # Cruzer 2013-01-19 12:52
Well said. Thanks.
+6 # MylesJ 2013-01-18 12:19

Do this analysis in terms of deaths in vehicle accidents. Mexican drug violence looks minor compared to the everyday risk of getting in a car in the US.
+4 # SundownLF 2013-01-18 13:51
Approximately 3,000 motor vehicle related deaths PER MONTH!
+3 # 4yourinformation 2013-01-19 20:01
What's with all these tortured comparisons used to make points against owning guns? I like Juan Cole, but I'd wish he would apply the same fact based argumentation in this as he does US Foreign Policy.

I am actually getting very insulted at the inference that because I might own a firearm or even a TYPE of firearm, then I am a social deviant. I attended an 800+ person pro-gun rally toady in Idaho, at the capitol building...the same place where I have carried a lot of water for many progressive causes. Just because I believe in single-payer HC, a state bank, ending wars of choice, stopping Wall Street, read Noam Chomsky etc, etc, DOES NOT mean that I am going to be a lock-step gun hater. I really hate being told to pick a side and accept EVERY position of that side. That's why I hate political parties and party apparatchiks.

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