CHART: Fear Of Terrorism Makes People Irrational – Terrorism Fatalities vs. Firearm Homicides

Due to Homeland Security - photo by Thomas HawkAmerica is a country that prides itself on bravery and strength, but we have an irrational fear of terrorism in the post-9/11 years. You are more likely to die in a car accident, a fall, or even drown, than die in a terrorist incident. In some cases, many thousands of times more likely. But while we made no rash or illogical decisions regarding automobile deaths, we have done exactly that in response to terrorism. In addition to car accidents, falls and drownings, you are also more likely to be murdered by firearm than murdered by terrorist attack. And while car accidents, falls and drownings are accidents, murder by gun is no accident, and that makes it a good statistic to compare to terrorism.

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Boston Marathon Bombing: Terror And Fear In America

Fear - photo by dryheadWith some reflection on the tragedy a week ago at the Boston Marathon, it’s clear America is still deeply scarred by the events of 9/11 over a decade ago. Why is it so clearly obvious to so many Americans that we should label last week’s bombing as a terrorist act, but not the Newtown school shooting? What is our definition of terrorism? Was Newtown not sufficiently terrifying? On the contrary, while many more people were wounded from last week’s bombing, last December’s school shooting saw many more fatalities. On that measure, we should consider the Newtown shooting to be at least on the same level as the Boston Marathon bombing, yet we do not, at least not from a perspective of public safety.

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Poll: When It Comes To Drones, Most Americans Say ‘Fight Them Over There’

A new Gallup poll shows a strong majority of Americans (65%) support drone “airstrikes in other countries against suspected terrorists.” President George W. Bush was wrong about a lot of things, but he tapped into a sentiment that many Americans feel (right or wrong), that they would rather take out perceived enemies on foreign soil. Bush famously said we would fight the terrorist “over there” so we don’t have to fight them “over here.” And who wouldn’t want their enemies vanquished in some far away land, out of sight, out of mind? As for collateral damage — well, we are at war, right? A one-state war against a tactic, not a nation or an army, but that’s just semantics, right?

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The 9/11 Double Standard

There is one 9/11 where Al Qaeda terrorists led a coordinated strike using passenger jets that ended with nearly 3000 Americans dead. This 9/11 led us into two wars with the deaths of over 8000 coalition troops, and potentially tens of thousands (likely over one hundred thousand) Iraqi and Afghani deaths. This 9/11 led to a unified United States singing Kumbaya and near unanimous agreement (at least in the mainstream media and congress) in launching a war (Iraq) that had nothing to do with 9/11. This 9/11 resulted in at least a year or two of strong support for then president George W. Bush.

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