The GOP and the Democrats alike have politicized the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, with many governors vowing to refuse refugees entry to their states.
Even though they're technically not allowed to do so.
However, in light of the xenophobic tendencies of American politicians following the attacks, it's worth noting that in the US in 2015, toddlers have been responsible for more shootings, and shooting deaths, than terrorists.
Since the beginning of 2015 there have been 52 toddler involved shooting incidents in the US. According to the Washington Post:
"In 2015 so far, at least 13 toddlers have inadvertently killed themselves with firearms, 18 more injured themselves, 10 injured other people, and two killed other people."
When that article was published on Oct 14th, there had only been 43 toddler shooting incidents. Since then, there have been 9 more, with an average of one toddler involved shooting a week.
Yet, in this year's only shooting involving Islamic terrorists in Chattanooga, Tennessee, five people died, with two additional people being injured.
As the New York Times reports, toddler shooting incidents "are among the most gut-wrenching of gun deaths. Children shot accidentally -- usually by other children -- are collateral casualties of the accessibility of guns in America, their deaths all the more devastating for being eminently preventable."
These stats are just for toddlers though and could very well be inaccurate, as incidents involving children and guns often don't get reported.
Twenty Democratic senators believe there needs to be drastic improvement in this area. Democratic Senator Patty Murray wrote a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office demanding action on toddler shootings with the same intensity and level of resources we devote to "fighting terrorism."
Not only does she emphasize incidents of toddler shootings, but she also draws attention to the fact that "each day on average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm and 46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun."
This all leads to an interesting question. As a nation, have we made a decision to accept collateral deaths when it comes to choosing between access to firearms and enacting more stringent gun legislation? It would seem so.
Mass shootings in the US are not a rare occurrence and yet, we have done little to nothing to stop them.
In addition, because we have made access to guns so easy, we have negated the ability of the Obama administration fully minimize the risk of a terrorist attack similar to Paris. So before we refuse to accept refugees who are fleeing violence that has killed more individuals each day for the past 3 years than those that were killed in Paris, we should first think about how to minimize our own citizen on citizen violence.