(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Thursday that “If 30,000 people in the United States of America fell sick of flu or Ebola or polio, this nation would be up in arms,” adding that the U.S. is dealing with “an epidemic of gun death and gun disease that is taking lives.”
“If 30,000 people in the United States of America fell sick of flu or ebola or polio this nation would be up in arms, there would be drastic, effective action, 30,000 people falling sick as a result of a public epidemic, dying as a result is a public health crisis,” he said. “We have in this nation truly an epidemic of gun death and gun disease that is taking lives, 90 of them every day and should be treated as a public health crisis.”
The phrase “up in arms” meaning to become angry and protest over something was initially a phrase literally meaning to equip oneself with weaponry and appeared first in print in Shakespeare’s plays in the 1590s, including “Richard III” (“March on, march on, since we are up in arms”) and “Henry VI, Part II” (“Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain, as hating thee, are rising up in arms”).
Blumenthal spoke during an event on Capitol Hill with the Newtown Action Alliance and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to "demand congressional action to expand background checks and curb gun violence in the United States."
Blumenthal was likely referencing the most recent firearm fatality data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which lists 33,636 firearm-related deaths for 2013 with 21,175 of those deaths listed as suicides and 11,208 listed as homicides. Also, 281 of those deaths were listed as due to an undetermined cause, and 467 as due to legal intervention/war.
“Congress is complicit by its inaction,” Blumenthal claimed in his speech. “Congress is complicit by failing to enact a universal background check so we keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”