September 11, 2016

#NeverForget ... all those preventable deaths besides 9/11, hyperpatriots

I actually did a newspaper op-ed column about this two years after Sept. 11, 2001. But, I know the basics of it still, and with flags being waved in plenty, let's roll. (sic)

First, I can call out American exceptionalism without saying anybody on 9/11 deserved it.

Second, I can call out our government for whitewashing the degree of Saudi involvement, like Jill Stein, without being a 9/11 truther.

OK, I've cleared the decks.

Let's roll.

The United States has millions of cases of preventable deaths every year. Some are of diminishing returns, as far as regulatory efforts, or self-control, or both.

Three are not, and two of them directly involve government regulation that's blocked by right-wingers.

Let's roll.

Tobacco, with 450,000 or more killings a year, kills more people every three days, than died in 9/11. Big Tobacco knew it was producing a killer even before the 1964 Surgeon General report. Rather than cooperate in any way, it spread its denialism to Big Oil, on climate change and other issues. We continue to pay the price.

Alcohol problems, from cirrhosis and cancer to DWIs and work accidents, kills as many people every 10 days as died in 9/11. This one is equal opportunity. Alcoholism, like illicit drugs, kills across all races, all socioeconomic statuses, and presumably all political stances.

But, let's go back to that first link.

Violent deaths in America kill as many people every three weeks as died in 9/11. And, in the U.S., unlike most developed nations, most the violent homicides and a high percentage of the suicides are from guns.

The guns that right-wing hyperpatriots don't want regulated.

So, guns kill as many people in America every six weeks as 9/11.

And, 9/11 happened just once.

EVERY three days, tobacco kills another 3,000.

EVERY 10 days, alcohol kills another 3,000.

EVERY six weeks, guns kill another 3,000.

Never forget?

Let's start by remembering that.

As for 9/11, the long history of U.S. coups in the Middle East and elsewhere has also killed more than 3,000 people. Again, this doesn't mean that "America deserved it."

But, just like hypocritically unhealthy living, it does mean America should look in the mirror.

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