As the American public panics over fear that the Ebola virus will spread, the real threat to the United States has been blindly ignored. With only one Ebola-related fatality in our country, a larger issue, one that claims the lives of over 30,000 American citizens annually, persists with little public concern. Firearm-related violence, an issue that affects nearly every community nationwide, is a matter that should be more alarming.
Gun violence is a serious public health epidemic that continues to take the lives of our loved ones. Every day, over 80 innocent men, women, and children are ruthlessly slaughtered by gunfire, and small communities, like Columbine, Aurora and Newtown, become notorious for firearm-related bloodshed. Yet, even with statistics like these, the issue of gun violence appears to be of little concern. Instead Americans irrationally fear the Ebola virus, a pathogen authorities say poses little danger to the public.
To be clear, by no means am I suggesting that Ebola is harmless; it is, in fact, an incredibly dangerous virus that has killed nearly 50 percent of the 10,000-plus people infected. Still, with the majority of victims residing in poverty-stricken countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Ebola is not a serious danger here in the U.S.
The healthcare system in West Africa, unlike that of America, barely exists. This leaves much of the population without access to life-saving treatment and allows the virus to spread exponentially. Poor infrastructure, ethnic burial rituals, numerous rumors and staffing shortages are among the reasons why the virus has run rampant.
In America, gun violence is much more dangerous than Ebola. By the time conservatives finish reading this article, rolling their eyes at yet another liberal advocating for gun control, a gun will wound nearly three individuals and one will succumb to the injuries.
With this in mind, why are Americans not concerned? One can only hope that, sooner rather than later, the number of individuals worried about Ebola will equal the number of those worried about gun violence. Perhaps if this happens, our citizens and our government will feel more compelled to take action against an issue that terrorizes our nation daily.