The issue of gun violence is pervasive in American society. Mass shootings are reported regularly; our phones buzz with news notifications of mass shootings so regularly that it’s not surprising to most people anymore. Gun violence claims 30,000 lives per year – enough that if it were a disease, it would be considered a huge threat to public health. Yet the Central for Disease Control no longer researches gun violence as they do other public health issues, and hasn’t for nearly two decades.
As the Ebola outbreak has progressed, public discourse of the matter has reached a fever pitch. From announcements that airports will screen for the disease to coverage of the growing number of cases in Dallas, we are inundated with coverage of the outbreak. And as some call for the closure of borders and bans on flights from West Africa, it is clear that our perception of the issue is at its most fearful, and indeed its most vulnerable, since the epidemic began.