America is a violent country - 85 people die by bullet every day.
for example - Last night Two people and a dog were shot in Denver's Civic Center during Saturday's 4/20 pot rally, which drew about 20,000 people to downtown Denver.
Rapper Lil' Flip was performing when the shootings occurred and aerial footage showed the massive crowd frantically running from the park.
A man and a woman, both in their 20s, were both shot in the leg, said Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson. Their injuries are not life-threatening and they were taken to Denver Health Medical Center.
Police are looking for one or two suspects involved in the shooting. Investigators do not know what started the argument.
The Associated Press reported that a dog was also shot.
Having established last week that Two bombs went off and a nation is in trauma, yet 85 die by bullet every day
Another explosion rocked America. “It was like an atom bomb going off,” said a local to The New York Times. The blast was so devastating that there is still no final definitive count of casualties, but by Friday night, the mayor expected 35 to 40 fatalities. More than 200 people were injured. Fifty houses had been destroyed. Windows were shattered up to a mile away. The images look like a massive bomb had gone off — and in a way, it hadthe modest town of West, Texas — not Boston. A fertiliser plant exploded late on Wednesday night, after a fire broke out in one of the buildings.
But it was not the main story of the week — the Boston marathon bombings were. In Boston, the explosions were far less devastating than in West and the week’s death toll five.
The bombs contained a minuscule fraction of the force of the Texas explosion. The main weapons were assault guns that only last week the Senate decided not to ban anyway. But this was an act of terrorism — and the first successful one since a jihadist US soldier killed 13 people in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
Suddenly, an entire nation was fixated and the press corps turned into an almost comical “Don’t panic! Publish anything!” mode. CNN, Associated Press and Fox News all reported either one or two arrests last Wednesday, when there was none.
A Saudi student taken to hospital for injuries was described as a suspect and reportedly “deported” — in fact he was a victim and no deportation was even considered.
Right-wing bloggers reported that the suspect was “a dark-skinned male”; some liberals speculated that it was the work of a right-wing extremist. Neither side had a smidgen of real evidence. It was as if some kind of psychological freak-out button had been pressed — obliterating any sense of restraint or logic.
And that’s because, I think, a psychological trigger had actually been touched: the 9/11 trigger. What else explains the media round-the-clock obsession or a day-long curfew and lockdown of an entire city? Yes, there were good reasons for caution. The suspects had been equipped with bombs and guns; they had murdered a college policeman sitting in his car; they had hijacked a car; and, when trapped, had engaged in a pitched gunfight in the streets.
But a veritable army of policemen and FBI, armed with serious assault weapons and tanks descended. Robots were deployed along with helicopters and heat-seeking infrared technology. In the final showdown, a massive, mechanised army came face to face with a bleeding 19-year-old hiding in a shrink-wrapped boat. That almost Freudian disparity is worth keeping in mind because the comparison between West, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts, reveals the power of the terrorist threat to the human psyche.
Last week shows how terrorism works. It terrorises and the trauma of that terror lies often buried in the psyche for years. Untreated and unaddressed, it can suddenly return, without perspective or rationality. In some ways, this is understandable. Before 9/11, Americans had felt relatively invulnerable to the terrorism that I grew up with in Britain in the 1970s or that occurs routinely as a consequence of the US invasion of Iraq (on the day of the Boston marathon, 65 Iraqis were murdered by terrorist bombs). The twin towers attack was so traumatic that it led the US to adopt the torture techniques of totalitarian regimes and to invade and occupy two countries. Americans lost it. And I cannot say I was immune.
It changed Americans because we allowed it to traumatise us. Before 9/11, terrorism didn’t have this kind of power. The first bombing of the World Trade Center in 2003 did not “change everything”. Last week, the historian Rick Perlstein noted that at Christmas 1975, an explosion at LaGuardia airport killed 11 civilians. No one was found responsible — and the city of New York was not put under lockdown.
Any violence that can be plausibly ascribed at least in part to jihadist terrorism gets the 9/11 bounce. Forty dead from an explosion in a fertiliser plant last inspected in 1985, devastating an entire community, is not as big a story as five dead and two relatively small internet-formula explosive devices. The jihadist terrorism freak-out is particularly striking when you examine the level of random violence Americans take in their stride. On an average day, 85 people are killed by a bullet. The US has three times more assault deaths than any other OECD country. On current trends, gun deaths will exceed those from car crashes by 2015. Last December, a crazy person gunned down 20 six-year-olds at Sandy Hook elementary school in a quiet suburban town.
This is a violent country and the violence, because of widespread gun ownership, is much more likely to be fatal. Last week saw the death in the Senate of any legislation to improve background checks for gun buyers. The power of the gun lobby is far greater than Americans’ fear of random violence, even greater than telling the parents of murdered toddlers that Congress had no intention of doing anything to prevent such a thing happening again. And yet two nasty but crude pressure-cooker bombs had the entire country going bonkers. What can account for this?
One answer is simple human nature. One murder can be accounted for. Once a death toll exceeds three, you notice. When mass murder occurs in a usually safe place without warning and with a potential for catastrophe, our primal natures kick in. That’s how terrorism manages to turn us into irrational vengeance-seekers and scapegoaters, if we do not counter the feeling aggressively. In Sandy Hook, the murderer was white, local and used a gun, making him a familiar and domestic figure. But bombs planted by terrorists — especially suspected foreigners — carry far greater cultural weight in the US since 9/11. Every bomb points to jihadists and a return to trauma.
source Andrew Sullivan
None of this fear has anything to do with rationality. The libertarian writer Ronald Bailey recently calculated the chances of an American being killed in a terrorist attack over the past five years is one in 20m. The risk of being struck by lightning is one in 5m. The risk of dying in a car accident is one in 19,000. More strikingly, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found that the number of terror attacks in the US in the decade before 9/11 was 41 a year. Since 9/11, it has been 19 a year. And yet our terror panic endures — and even grows.
The mind is a fascinating thing. One moment of utter trauma and your entire sense of future risk is altered — and you make leaps of assumption that simply repeat the previous trauma. Perhaps the most tragic fact about contemporary America and the war on terror is that more US soldiers are now killing themselves than are being killed in Afghanistan: veterans commit suicide at a rate of 22 a day.
Many are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by long and repeated tours of duty in profoundly violent areas. The irrational parts of their brains have taken over the rational parts. But PTSD need not be merely an individual disease. It can be a collective one, too. For a while, especially after a truly traumatising event such as 9/11, it can even define a country. And distort its perspective. And corrode its resilience.