WHAT DO 167 DEATHS JUSTIFY?

Of all the grim facts surrounding Oklahoma City, perhaps the grimmest is the one nobody talks about: against the backdrop of everyday American tragedy, 167 deaths is not many. Even if the darker fears now circulating were realized and this new form of murder began striking once or twice a year, the overall picture of violent death in America would barely change. In a typical year, guns kill 38,000 Americans and about that many die on our roads. These numbers routinely go up or down 2% or 3%-half a dozen Oklahoma bombings -- without making the front page.

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