Purveyor of Truth
Worldwide terror perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalist extremists must be confronted by the nations of the world. This truth is unquestioned by governments whose people have been affected Islamic terror and most have responded to quell Islamic terrorism. This includes the USA and Obama administration who has put the risk in the proper perspective and responded with a measured and rational response. Unfortunately many in the USA apparently prefer to hit the panic button and rush headlong into fear mode advocating a response hugely disproportionate with the actual threat we are exposed to.
Exactly how much more dangerous has terrorism made our lives? To answer this question, it helps to run the numbers. There are about two and a quarter million people in Paris. This means that, if you were living in Paris on the day of the recent attacks, there was roughly a one-in-twenty-thousand chance of being a victim. While that may seem high, the annual likelihood of getting killed by a car in France is almost exactly the same. (Last year, there were three thousand two hundred and fifty traffic fatalities in a population of sixty-four million.)
... In Paris, the annual murder rate in previous years has been has high as 2.6 per hundred thousand people; by that measure, the terrorist attacks this year were a significant perturbation, more than doubling the average murder rate. Even so, it’s worth noting that this makes Paris about as dangerous as New York City, where the murder rate has been as high as seven per hundred thousand in recent years. New York is generally considered a very safe city. So, while terrorism has made life in France more dangerous, the new level of danger is one we tolerate—even celebrate—in the United States.
As far as the U.S. is concerned, it has been pointed out already—by the President, in fact—that about thirty-three thousand people die each year from gunshot wounds. That’s about four hundred thousand people since 2001. By contrast, setting aside 9/11, and even including the San Bernardino shootings, only fifty-four deaths have occurred because of domestic acts of terrorism during that time. Even if you include 9/11, the total death toll from terrorism amounts to less than one per cent of the death toll from gun violence...
There are differences, of course, between death by terrorism and death by other causes. Driving a car carries with it a set of inevitable risks. Going to a concert or eating at a restaurant should not. Still, the risks of falling prey to terrorism are nevertheless very small for most Americans. Terrorists have forced us to accept that any activity associated with living in a free society now carries with it a finite, and microscopically small, chance of tragic horror. Still, it’s up to us to choose how to react to this minuscule possibility.
If we were more rational in the degree to which we’re alarmed about terrorism, we might become more rational in our responses to it. It’s hard to alter the mindset of a would-be terrorist, but it’s comparatively easy to introduce measures that could reduce gun-related fatalities in general. To date, Congress has shown no interest in discussing such a possibility. Instead, it has focussed on the doubtful question of whether denying refuge to Syrian families might increase public safety.
A cynical individual might wonder who benefits more from the terror induced by terrorism: the terrorists themselves or the politicians and governments who use the public reaction to acts of terror for political gain? Hermann Göring, interviewed during the Nuremberg Trials, said, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” We need to be vigilant against those who seek to manipulate us—whoever they are.
The GOP and the many candidates vying for their parties presidential nomination need to step back a pace or two, tone down the trumpets of fear, and rationally analyze the Islamic terrorist threat in perspective. In other words view it in the broader context of actual reality rather than simply hyping fear of Islam and Muslims in general. This is not to say the threat is not real or that it should be ignored hoping that it will eventually go away; it will not without steadfast resistance and force. But overreacting as Trump and others have done plays into the hands of the enemy and produces no tangible benefits for our nation.
Read the full article at the SOURCE