Tuesday, June 5, 2018

For National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Consider this.  About half as many people as are murdered by guns still die of HIV/AIDS in America every year.  Bet you didn't know that.   Certainly if you depend on the media you didn't know it.

On average, around eleven thousand to thirteen thousand are murdered by guns each year, give or take.  The most of the rest that fill out that oft repeated 'Guns kill 30,000 a year!' stat that gets thrown around come from suicide.  A relatively small number comes from accidental killings.  For as many as own guns, accidental shooting deaths are almost non-existent compared to, say, death from automobile accidents.

Nonetheless, HIV/AIDS continues to kill around six thousand a year, thereabouts.  That's those who die as a direct result of HIV/AIDS.  About that same amount who have HIV/AIDS die every year, but we don't know the exact relation to their disease and what, if any part, their HIV/AIDS had to do with their deaths.

One thing I admire about the Orthodox is that they say it like it is, not like it ain't.  When asked about HIV/AIDS and the whole sex and drugs culture, an Orthodox bishop responded with a polite version of 'Well duh.  Of course there is a direct connection.'  HIV/AIDS is overwhelmingly spread by sexual promiscuity, recreational drug use and, of course, disproportionately by male homosexual sexuality.  And if you got HIV/AIDS some other way, there is an almost overwhelming likelihood that it came from someone who contracted it by way of sex or drugs.

I have no doubt that, in ages to come, our refusal to re-calibrate our hedonistic approach to sexuality and drugs, despite the clear and obvious connection to HIV/AIDS (as well as other catastrophic effects it has on people and society), will be one of many things for which we are brutally, and justly, condemned.  Though our guilt could be mitigated by the fact that our press, that makes gun violence into the next holocaust, and less than a dozen unarmed black men shot by police officers in a year into the next genocide, has gone out of its way to cover up, ignore, and suppress the fact that thousands continue to die from a disease that has no business existing.


  1. I doubt I could find it now but that was something JBP pointed out before too. That historically periods of sexual repression followed ones of sexual liberation - the repression usually followed because of the outbreak of a really bad sexually transmitted disease. He points out HIV follows this pattern and it seems (for the moment) our current level of tech and medicine allows us to avoid the cycle of a bounce back to sexual standards that we're due.

    For now...

    1. Medicine, and plus we've just developed a certain 'do unto others as long as you don't do unto me.' AIDS is the chance I'm willing to take as long as it's someone else who makes up the stats. Same with terrorism as the new normal (which must mean some version of 'it's the normal I'm willing to accept as long as terrorists kill someone else). Same with the growing willingness to accept things like condemning without due process, or punishment by the State for beliefs. I can't help but assume people support those insofar as they do such things to other people. There's a certain blah in modernity, that doesn't really care as long as the stats are made up of others. I think the continue pushing for sex and drugs in light of the ongoing suffering is probably at least as much that as it is any medical breakthroughs.


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