It seems almost impossible to turn on any sort of newscast, whether it is television or radio, and not hear someone talk about how fearful Americans are. Who are they talking about? I’m American. My friends and neighbors are American. None of us are afraid of anything, especially terrorists.
In the fourteen years since September 11th, we’ve really only had one significant terrorist attack in this country. That was carried out by a husband and wife. A husband who was already willing to commit murder and had the weapons before his radical Pakistani wife arrived with a visa that she shouldn’t have been given had she been properly vetted.
And yet, everywhere you turn you can’t escape the heaping, helping spoonfuls of fear you’re fed by newscasters and politicians. They even have polls that try to prove how frightened Americans are. Our buddies over at CNN/ORC just released a poll stating that 45% of Americans are very or somewhat worried that someone in their family will be the victim of terrorism.
Okay, let’s set the record straight here a bit. Since 9/11, there have been 45 people in this country killed by Muslim extremists. That’s it, guys and gals. We’ve had more than that killed by right-wing extremists since 9/11, which by the way is 48 if we only count those who are actually considered right-wing extremists, not lone wolf mental cases. That leaves out Sandy Hook, the Aurora theatre shooters, and others like them.
But let’s then look at the number of shooting deaths in this country in just this year alone. Like most rural Americans, I have nothing against guns or rifles. I have them and I use them, but you have to be safe with the things. You have to respect the damage they can do to you and anyone else you are near.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 329 mass shooting incidents this year alone, which is a shooting with at least four deaths or more. They have also calculated the number of gun related deaths at more than 13,000. Not all of those are from someone pulling the trigger on someone else, but that is still a lot of people dying at the hands of these weapons.
But let’s look at one other statistic. We are coming to the end of the year now and The Guardian has been keeping a count of how many people have been killed by the police this year. Would you believe that number is over 1100? Sure some of those killings are justified, but how many of them weren’t? Why are the police killing so many of the citizens of this country? Certainly, they are trained better than this, and if they aren’t why the hell aren’t they!
I’m not even going to bring up the top killers of people in this country like heart attack, car accidents and other things. So really, why are politicians and news sources trying to scare us with the virtual non-existent specter of terrorist attacks in America by Muslim extremists? Forty-five people killed over fourteen years, your odds of being killed by one are astronomically low, but much higher facing homegrown active shooters or even the police. It just makes me think that the newscasters and politicians should stop ramping up the fear of terrorism and start telling the public about what they should really be concerned about instead.
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