A perspective on terror

Posted 2/21/17

About Donald Trump we might well say, “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Or as earlier described by James Boswell in Life of Samuel …

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A perspective on terror

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About Donald Trump we might well say, “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Or as earlier described by James Boswell in Life of Samuel Johnson: “If the fellow does not think as he speaks, he is lying; and I see not what honour he can propose to himself from having the character of a liar. But if he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.”

When Barack Obama was in office, we had a president smart enough to know the difference between “Islamic terrorists” and “Muslim refugees.” The very, very lesser mind of Donald Trump adheres to the GOP tradition of creating fear  and paranoia among the populace for political purpose—and he has taken that propaganda ploy to new heights. Xenophobia and racism . . . isolationism and white supremacy are glaringly obvious in the present administration’s agenda—especially with chief advisor Steve Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions having the president’s ear. 

I’ve found a lot of spins on just what the chances are of an average American being killed by an Islamic terrorist. While no one at all has been killed by a Muslim refugee in recent years, I will accept here to avoid tedious argument the contention that since 9/11/2001, some 45 people have been killed by Islamic terrorists (which would include, I guess, ethnic Arabians legally residing in the U. S., anything that would be considered  “terrorism” by Muslims rather than by Baptists, Methodists, atheists, Jews, etc.). 

That would leave us with an average of about 3 Americans dying at the hands of terrorists each year over the past 15-plus years. Here are some other causes of death in this country to put that figure into perspective. The possibility of another 9/11-style attack remains in the background of one’s mind these 15 years later, so I do not want to make light of that disaster, but I feel it’s time to quit using it for scaring votes out of U. S. citizens on election day—or for justifying a political agenda.

Statistics for the past 15 years show that one is twice as likely to die from a spider bite than at the hands of a religious terrorist. And if you read further here, you might begin to feel that increased oversight of hospitals would do way, way more good than trembling before the spectre of Islamic terrorists. 

Let’s face it, over the years since 9/11, some 1,500,000 or more people have died from improper medical care (see below). That’s compared to 45 deaths via terrorists. I’m thinking the country should take a few giant steps forward from Obamacare rather than defunding it. I truly feel average Americans would be catching up to the  21st century if we financially jacked up, say, the nursing profession (along with the teaching profession).

Television sets kill 176 people a year by falling on them—55 times more deaths than from terrorists. Fireworks kill an average of 7.1 people each year.  Cows slay 20 Americans every year, dogs 28, spiders 7, venomous lizards and snakes 6. All of these take more lives than terrorists.

Elevators kill 27 people a year, according to the U. S. Bureau of Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

At least 2,500 people die each year from choking on food or other objects. That’s 39,500 over 15 years. Each year, 49 people die when struck by lightning. Some 42,200 people died last year in automobile accidents (including 567 in Washington State). Police killed an average of 998 people a year from 2113 to 2115.  

Bad medical care is responsible for at least 100,000 deaths (including hospital mistakes, etc.) a year. Ten people die each year from Christmas tree fires.

Each DAY, 44 people die from overdosing on prescription painkillers. That’s 5,019 times more deadly than at the hands of a religious extremist. But that is a lifestyle choice which I haven’t included here as a true comparison—along with causes as heart attacks, hypothermia, etc. Police killings and auto-accident deaths also must fall in part into the lifestyle-choice category. Traffic deaths include 9,967 a year in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

Source for much of the foregoing was: http://theantimedia.org/10-things-more-likely-to-kill-you-than-islamic-terror/  which includes links to documented sources of the material.

AND THEN THERE ARE GUNS—Data from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that on an average DAY, 93 Americans are killed with guns. For every person killed, two more are injured. Suicides account for 62% of gun deaths. There are, on average, nearly 12,000 gun homicides a year here in the U. S. Seven children and teens are killed with guns on an average DAY. In an average month, 50 women are shot to death by intimate partners—600 a year. America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other high-income countries. 

But Heaven forbid we upset the NRA (that large conservative voter base) in any way. Here’s the latest (Feb. 16) from Trump’s world: “Congress on Wednesday sent Trump legislation blocking an Obama era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people. On a vote of 57-43, the Senate backed the resolution. The Obama administration rule would have prevented an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm. The House passed the measure earlier. Trump is expected to sign the legislation.”

Meanwhile:Terrorism Is a Real Threat. . . But the Threat to the U.S. from Muslim Terrorists Has Been Exaggerated--An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of terrorist attacks carried out on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetrated by Muslims. “The vast majority of mass shootings generally have nothing to do with radical Islam and don’t even involve Muslim suspects.”--https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/12/islamic-terrorism-accounts-for-few-recent-mass-shootings-but-also-some-of-the-deadliest/?utm_term=.2fe1c228630a There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker.

Since 2013, there have been over 200 school shootings in America--an average of nearly one a week. It’s incongruous to say the least in considering the remark of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, who said guns might have a place in schools due to the threat from grizzly bears.

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