Perspective on Death Tolls

The news out of Blacksburg, VA is shocking.  It has, rightly, dominated the national media coverage today.

30 dead is a lot in any context.  I guess I think it’s worth mentioning to people that Iraq has an event that kills 30 innocent people nearly every day.  And given Iraq has a population around 27 million, and the U.S. a population of nearly 300 million, that’s in some ways like an incident that kills 300 people nearly every day in Iraq.  An incident that kills 30 there hits them 10 times harder.

I mention that not as a critique of Iraq policy, how we got there, etc.  That’s ground covered elsewhere.  I mention that because it seems like too much of this country is functionally blind to the magnitude of civilian death in Iraq.  I include myself in that category.

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2 Responses to Perspective on Death Tolls

  1. Becky O says:

    I like to think I have one of the safest jobs in America, but days like today remind me that random acts of violence can hurt us all.

  2. Jim says:

    America: The Book has a typically incisive section where they offer the news media’s formula for covering death. This isn’t exactly right, but it’s something like 50,000 Rwandans = 1000 Iraqis = 20 Brits = 10 normal Americans = 1 celebrity.

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