Today, Paul Allen announced that he’s donating at least one hundred million dollars to Ebola research. President Obama has appointed an Ebola Czar and today he hugged the brave and heroic nurse who contracted Ebola but is now cured. The world over people are remarking that we are treating Ebola the way we should have treated AIDS in the 1980s. Despite the media’s absolute paranoia about Ebola, it is somewhat inspiring to watch as various governments, individuals, and organizations come together to stop a global problem from becoming worse.
Since 1976 there have been 7,842 known cases of people getting an Ebola related virus. Of those, 4,494 people have died from it. Over half of those deaths have been since March of this year. The Ebola virus while not nearly the pandemic that some reports would have you believe is most definitely an increasing danger that we need to put our various resources towards stopping in its tracks. And let me be clear that I’m glad we are making these efforts to contain and eradicate the Ebola virus.
Today in Marysville, Washington a young man walked into his high school and shot five people, killing at least one and critically injuring others before turning the gun on himself. Unfortunately, such an event is nothing new. We average four of five school shootings a month these days. And school shootings account for an incredibly small percentage of gun violence overall. We hear more about school shootings because they are considered more tragic and more frightening as they strike at the youngest among us and those we care for the most. Our children are precious and the idea that they are becoming used to the schools we drop them off at going into lockdown is a tragedy in and of itself.
Every year 30,000 people in America alone are killed by people using guns. Guns are so easy to get in America that even Mexican drug cartels come north to get their weapons. Two out of three of these gun deaths involve only one person. The amount of suicides committed using a firearm is staggering.
Almost three times as many people shoot themselves every single year as have ever been infected with the Ebola virus in the last 38 years. Even our yearly gun deaths from homicides outnumber the number of people worldwide infected by the Ebola virus. More people were shot and killed today in Marysville than have been killed by the Ebola virus in America.
And yet absolutely no one expect President Obama to appoint a Gun Control or Mental Health Czar. No billionaire is going to spend one hundred million dollars to help curb the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Paul Allen, who is an amazing philanthropist has put $500,000 towards local gun background check Initiative 594. Or to put it another way, he’s given .05% as much towards gun control as he’s giving to stop Ebola.
Whether you want to blame lack of gun control or lack of mental health care (and I really don’t understand those who aren’t capable of blaming both), practically nothing whatsoever is being done by politicians, billionaires, or organizations to stop your child’s school from being the next place a disturbed person chooses to start firing his gun. But don’t worry, they probably won’t get Ebola.
– Jack Cameron