From Vox: Watch: President Obama’s furious reaction to another mass shooting in America

This piece was posted on Vox last night. You can clearly see President Obama’s anger at having to mourn an utterly avoidable tragedy once again, and at our collective inability – or refusal – to do anything about it.

“As I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Obama said. “It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America next week or a couple of months from now.”

One of the things the president points to – and he doesn’t put the data out there, but rather, asks the press to look it up themselves, so it’s coming from them and not him – is the imbalance between our approaches to preventing terrorism and preventing gun deaths.

You can see a chart showing the disparity in the numbers of deaths at this other Vox piece. Even in the catastrophic year of 2001, with almost 3000 Americans killed on 9/11, the number of deaths due to terrorism (2689) is dwarfed by the number killed by gun violence (11,348). Most years the difference is much greater – 2 or even 3 orders of magnitude (100 or even 1000 times as many gun deaths). In no year shown on the chart (2001-2011) does the number of gun deaths fall below 11,000; the other number never rises above 75 except that first year.

If even one death to terrorism is too many – and it is – then what are the 11,000 death every year to guns?

“We spent over a trillion dollars, and passed countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so,” Obama said. “And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?”

James Fallows offers a characteristically strong supporting response here: The Certainty of More Shootings?