White supremacy and the American exception

Like Islamic extremism, white nationalism is a dangerous internal political threat to democracy. Like Islamic extremism, white nationalism extends across borders, targeting isolated and angry young people for online radicalization. Like Islamic extremism, white nationalism can turn murderous even in countries—Norway, New Zealand—where guns are rationally regulated.

Like the threat of Islamic extremism, the specter of white nationalism summons Americans to defend their institutions and values against a repugnant, violent ideology. But it is not because the U.S. is uniquely afflicted with either Islamic extremism or white nationalism that it suffers vastly more gun deaths than the rest of the developed world. America’s uniquely bloodstained record of violence is a consequence of America’s uniquely reckless attitudes toward weapons of mass death.

More guns, more killing. Fewer guns, less killing. Everybody else has figured that out. Americans—and only Americans—refuse to do so.