Real Time with Bill Maher: 30,000 Gun Deaths vs. 3 Terrorism Deaths

Real Time with Bill Maher
Episode 279
April 19, 2013


BILL MAHER — For those people who just hear that ninety percent of Americans wanted something, they wanted this background check bill passed, and it couldn’t get through the Senate — I want to answer that question for them. How can something that ninety percent of people wanted…how can democracy work this badly?

NICHOLAS KRISTOF — This week was this incredible stark contrast between the system going absolutely all out to crush people who had killed, who had murdered three people, in a way that completely worked, and completely backing off and doing nothing about weapons that kill 30,000 people each year. And the contrast between the forcefulness with which we address terrorism and the completely anemic response to 30,000 gun deaths a year I think explains some of that failure.


SALMAN RUSHDIE — Yes, we can talk about, we should talk about the cowardice of the people in the Senate. We can talk about, and should talk about how much money various Senators receive from the NRA — and all that’s true. But, I think there’s just a simple problem here, it’s a real constitutional problem in America, which is the filibuster. If you have a vote which wins, is won by a simple majority, by quite a wide margin, and that fails, there’s something wrong with American democracy.

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Real Time with Bill Maher Highlights

#background checks#Bill Maher#Boston Marathon#filibuster#guns#HBO#Nicholas Kristof#Real Time#Salman Rushdie#Senate#terrorism

  • James Best

    30 000 Gun deaths is nonsense. On average there are 10 000 gun related deaths per year. Which is still ridiculous. This is a pretty well know fact and I can’t believe that no one on the show picked it up. Seriously, how can people having a debate on national TV not even have a grasp of the basic numbers. The general point still stands regarding the death ratios but when the numbers are that easy to get a hold of you shouldn’t be getting them wrong. particularly given that the right wing will say “they got that number wrong so their whole argument is wrong”.

    You should change the title of this post because it will mislead people into thinking it is a false fact. You don’t want the left repeating false facts, make that the sole preserve of the right.

    • The stat is NOT wrong. I repeat: NOT wrong. Look it up. About 10,000 murders by gun and 20,000 suicides by gun. I will readily admit when I’m wrong, but I try not to get numbers wrong.

      “Gun deaths by homicide, suicide or accident peaked at 37,666 in 1993 before declining to a low of 28,393 in 2000, the data show. Since then the total has risen to 31,328 in 2010, an increase of 2,935, or eight more victims a day.”

      • James Best

        You are right, I only considered homicides. I stand corrected.