47 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 555 (2013-2014)
What Will It Take: Terrorism, Mass Murder, Gang Violence, and Suicides: The American War, or Do We Strive for a Better Way

handle is hein.journals/umijlr47 and id is 581 raw text is: WHAT WILL IT TAKE? TERRORISM, MASS MURDER, GANG
Katherine L. Record*
Lawrence 0. Gostin**
The assertion that access to firearms makes us safe, rather than increases the likeli-
hood that oneself or a family member will die, is contradicted by a large body of
evidence. Gunshots kill more than 30,000 Americans each year. Homicide ac-
counts for approximately one-third of these deaths, with the remainder involving
suicides and accidental gun discharges. In fact, firearms put us at greater risk of
death than participating in war; in four months, as many Americans were shot
dead in the United States as have died fighting in Iraq for an entire decade.
Given these grim statistics, it would be reasonable to expect swift legislative action.
Living in a nation plagued by the highest gun death rate in the world should
trigger public and political outrage. Yet, the country is in a state of political im-
passe. Despite public demand for reform, federal legislators have been unable to
enact laws that would protect, at least in part, the public from gun violence.
Partly to blame for this political standoff may be the public's misperception that
there are rigorous gun control laws at the federal and state levels, all of which in
actuality are riddled with loopholes. State and federal legislators could significantly
tighten gun control laws without infringing on the Second Amendment right to
bear arms but repeatedly fail to do so. When proposed reforms are viewed cumula-
tively, it is clear that they would almost certainly prevent many firearm injuries
and deaths, even if no reform can eliminate gun violence altogether.
Not long after the first bomb went off at 2:50 PM on Patriots' Day
in Boston, Massachusetts (aka Marathon Monday), runners stopped
running, fans stopped cheering, cell phone networks were over-
whelmed, hospitals filled, and Boylston Street became deserted for
the first time in history.' The city came together in a way that only a
*    JD, MPH, MA; Senior Fellow, Harvard Law School Center for Health Law & Policy
**   JD, LLD (Hon.); University Professor, Founding Linda D. & Timothy O'Neill
Professor of Global Health Law, & Faculty Director of the O'Neill Institute for National &
Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center.
1.   Patriots' Day commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War, representing
the first two battles (in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts) that occurred on April 19,
1775. In Boston, the day is also set aside for the oldest annual marathon in history, dating


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