Instead of arguing about guns on Twitter, Neil deGrasse Tyson just laid out the numbers.

This article originally appeared on 11.10.15


As a world-famous scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson is known for his dispassionate embrace of cold, hard facts...

And the occasional beach ball game with a late-night comedian. Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images.


...which makes him the right person to address a controversial topic: the abnormally high number of Americans who die from gun violence.

Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the site of a mass shooting earlier this year. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

In November 2015, he composed three tweets where he laid out the numbers.

And they're sobering.


According to PolitiFact, this actually slightly understates the case (American war deaths were closer to 1.2 million as of 2013).


This, sadly, is also true.


Estimates vary — and Tyson's is on the high end — but 2015 is expected to see approximately 33,000 total gun deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is nearly 3,200 every five weeks (comparable to the nearly 3,400 Americans who have died in terrorist attacks since 2001).

Tyson's tweets are a stark reminder that we have a problem. And it isn't going to go away on its own.

The father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim holds his son's picture. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The uncomfortable statistics don't end there. For every time a household gun is used legally in self-defense, there are four unintentional shootings, seven assaults or murders, and 11 attempted or completed suicides-by-firearm.

Yes, people do occasionally use other weapons to kill people (though firearms are far and away the most popular). Yes, people do attempt suicide by other means (though when they do, they're far less likely to succeed). Yes, car deaths are comparable (not nearly enough attention is paid to figuring out how to reduce automobile deaths, and, as with firearm deaths, it's ridiculous that we accept the amount we do).

But none of that is a reason to sit back and do nothing.

A gun safe. Photo by BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons.

On a personal level, that means making sure that, if you do own guns, they stay locked up and unloaded when they're in storage to help prevent accidents.

On a political level, that means supporting laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and opposing laws that make it easier for them to access guns and carry them around wherever they please.

It's true: We have a problem.

But it's only by admitting it that we can hope to find a solution.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

Keep Reading Show less