, Muskogee, OK

January 14, 2013

US must cut violent deaths

— People in the United States are far more likely to die in a violent death than any other wealthy nation.

The U.S. has about six violent deaths per 100,000 residents, according to a report by two of the nation’s leading health research institutions.

That’s three times as bad as the next country — Finland — ranked in the report released last week from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.

The U.S. also suffers higher rates of drug-related deaths, infant mortality and AIDS, according to the report.

The report states gun violence is one of the risk factors. It is unclear whether the report includes suicides or accidents among the gun-related deaths.

The report states the practice of storing firearms at home in a place that is often unlocked is a contributing factor.

Firearms, like any other potentially deadly instrument, should be stored in secure areas.

What may be most disturbing in the report’s findings is that there is little evidence that violent acts occur more frequently in the United States than elsewhere.

It’s the number of deadly  attacks that stand out.

That is not necessarily an issue with the availability of deadly instruments.

It does say something about our culture and attitude toward one another.

It sounds as if we are far more prone to escalate violence into a deadly confrontation than any other wealthy country.

That’s something that has to change one person at a time.

We have to become more tolerant of each other.