Let’s put terrorism, domestic and otherwise, into perspective

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Perspective can be a hard thing to come by in today’s cacophonous world, with so many competing demands on our time and attention. So let me take a moment and run three numbers by you:

  • Number of persons killed on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001 by jihadist-oriented groups or individuals: 26
  • Number of persons killed on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001 by domestic anti-government or racist extremist groups or individuals: 48
  • Number of persons killed on Georgia highways so far in 2015:  597

deaths

The first two numbers come courtesy of a running tab by New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank (h/t New York Times). The third comes from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

You can take a variety of lessons from those numbers. For example, the annual death rate from jihadist attacks — fewer than two a year since 2001 — suggests that the U.S. government has been far more effective than generally believed in reducing that threat. More people die in lightning strikes each year than have been killed by Islamic extremists since 2001. And as predicted by that infamous 2009 Homeland Security briefing to law enforcement, domestic terrorism has been almost twice as deadly as that committed in the name of jihad or Islamic extremism.

And then there’s the highway death toll, which we blithely accept as the price of doing business. Seeing those numbers, I can’t help but recall a billboard posted outside the front gate of a military base many years ago where my father was stationed. It read: “You are about to enter the most dangerous place on the planet: A public highway.”

If some 600 Georgians had been killed so far in 2015 by terrorism, domestic or otherwise, I’m pretty sure that we’d be seeing a massive law-enforcement crackdown with considerable infringement on the right to travel freely, to communicate freely and to live our lives free of government surveillance. The fear and panic would be palpable, dominating every public debate or discussion.

But since those deaths are occurring on the highways, we won’t consider even relatively minor steps such as reducing the speed limit to 55 mph or banning cell-phone use while driving. Logical? No. But very, very human. We are genetically programmed to fear being targeted for attack by others far more than we fear becoming the victim of an accident, which we can shrug off as more or less an act of God. And our public policy reflects that irrationality.

Likewise, we are much more likely to fear being attacked by those whom we consider to be outsiders than we are by those inside our group, even when the actual risk is reversed. For example, child sexual abuse is three times more likely to be committed by a family member or family friend than by an outsider, and a white person in America is six times more likely to be killed by another white person than by a black person. But human beings being what we are, you’d have a hard time convincing some people of that. The “lizard brains” buried deep inside each of us are far more powerful than we would like to admit.

 

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406 comments
JoelEdge
JoelEdge

So we're going to ignore two planes into the towers and one into the pentagon, Bookman? Not to mention one in a field in Pennsylvania. All-righty then. 

Caius
Caius

Love the "lizard brains" line.

lvg
lvg

Register all guns and require insurance . Allow lawsuits against sellers who do not register and   Ten years minimum for selling without registration. No infringement under Heller decison.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Jays points are all extremely valid


Ask the cops who they look at first after a murder. Its the family or spouse.


There is a reason for that. 


Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

"I assume it's not politically correct for liberals to speak about black on black crime, on pain of being pilloried by the liberal fascist thought police."


Citing any uncomfortable truths will not evoke honest dialoge, but rather charges of racism. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doom Classical liberal "I assume it's not politically correct for liberals to speak about black on black crime, on pain of being pilloried by the liberal fascist thought police."


Its mentioned all the time as being a horrible problem. In truth poverty can be a bigger indicator of violence than race. 

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

To paraphrase a famous quote:

We have met the enemy and they are the most lethal, most cruel (because they won't stop), and seemingly the most determined to destroy America that there are – us

You know, Jay, we should put something like this on a flag and run it up all the poles that used to have Confederate flags before it's too late. Just saying.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

What a dang joke. Numerous problems with this farce of a comparison. Where to start. 


Politifact, run by a prog newspaper, rated this ridiculous claim as only half true. 


Furthermore, this report leaves out John Muahammad, the DC sniper who killed 9 and who expressed great interest in Al Qaeda and OBL. It also leaves out Muslim honor killings. 


Also, several of the "right wing" killers the reasoning behind why they are right wing is specious at best. One was a guy who killed his wife, got into a shoot out with cops, and was killed. Later on it was found out that he was disturbed about the election of Obama, which had nothing to do with him killing his wife and then shooting it out with the cops. 


Another was a a guy who flew a small plane into the IRS. The guy had also complained about Wall Street and organized religion in his manifesto. Yet he got classified as "right wing". What a joke. 


Last, even if we used Jay's bogus numbers the proportion of terrorism committed by Muslims, who constitute about 1% of the U.S. population, relative to Christians- 80-90%, makes his numbers look even more ridiculous. 


Kinda fun that Jay's data point starts AFTER 9/11. Too funny. 

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

I'm glad someone brought up Nazis. Here is my comparison of Nazis and GOP.

-Both find a scapegoat minority or minorities to blame countries' problems.

-Hitler had himself relieved from paying taxes on his income.

-Both relish cheap and free labor.

-Both encourage guns.

-Both indoctrinate children through schools

I'll be working on more.

bu2
bu2

@GaGirl53171875 

Nazis and Democrats

Both find a scapegoat minority (evangelicals-of course they are a 30% minority)

Democratic politicans relieve themselves from paying taxes (that hardly needs any references there are so many)

Both relish cheap and free labor (Dems its illegal aliens who they encourage to come over

Both support extermination of those they find worthless (unborn children)

Both encourage sex, although the Nazis wanted to increase the population

Both indoctrinate children through publically funded schools


What's scary is that some of you aren't just trying to score points.  You actually believe all of your nonsense. 


GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

THanks to 53%er, I came up with -Both are bullies hiding behind guns!

Dusty2
Dusty2

@GaGirl53171875 


Don't bother about  "working on more".  We played TRIVIA when we were children. That was long enough.

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

Hang in there. I have lots more and you boys should pay attention cause you need it!

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

Yeah, you know it's true so all you can do is try to insult my intelligence.

Oh yeah, Both Nazis and GOP are bullies hiding behind guns. Thanks!

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

Honey, just keep sitting there and masturbating over your great intelligence. We'll make sure the world doesn't go to crap for your grandchildren.

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

Both killed millions of people. The GOPers who support their Confederate "heritage" at least.

LeninTime
LeninTime

Soooooo Headley, was I right about Fast Track or was I right about Fast Track? lol

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@LeninTime No you were wrong.


Its very close with alot of opposition


Far from the picture you have painted. 


Congressional passage of the Trade Promotion Authority, so-called fast track authority, will pave the way for the final stage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. With fast track legislation in hand, Ambassador Mike Froman can assure foreign trade ministers that U.S. concessions at the bargaining table will not be diluted by Congressional amendments. But neither Ambassador Froman nor President Obama can guarantee their foreign partners that Congress will ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@HeadleyLamar @LeninTime 

Ambassador Mike Froman can assure foreign trade ministers that U.S. concessions at the bargaining table will not be diluted by Congressional amendments.

***

Read: will not be diluted by pesky details like democracy. 


But neither Ambassador Froman nor President Obama can guarantee their foreign 

**
Wrong. TPA will give the president a virtual lock on passage.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@LeninTime @HeadleyLamar Wrong. TPA will give the president a virtual lock on passage.


Not in any way true.


It still must be reviewed and voted on. No one knows how this will turn out. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

How many guns are there in the United States?  While no one knows exactly, our most reliable estimates have put the numbers of firearms in the hands of United States civilians at 300 – 310 million, but I am convinced that number is no longer anywhere close to accurate.  I suspect the true numbers are a lot higher.

Me too!

How do our liberals plan on taking control of THOSE guns? 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@FIGMO2 No


It isn't possible even if one wanted to The number of households with guns is dropping.


But the ones that do have them are really ramping up. 

Bruno2
Bruno2

I don't see Logical Dude around, but I'm still trying to figure out why he believes Civil Rights are a "liberal issue".  The historical voting record speaks otherwise.

Seems like a lot of Libs around here are truth-challenged lately as soon as race is mentioned.

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

@Bruno2 You are correct that, in certain important respects, the D part of today is different than the D party of 50 years ago. So, too, the R party. What's your point?

Penses
Penses

@Bruno2 

They promote false narratives about such things in order to promote their worldview. Simple as that. I feel quite sure Lincoln, for instance, would NEVER have supported abortion or gay rights. But that doesn't stop unthinking progressives from conflating legitimate moral civil rights causes with immoral ones, or from evoking his name in their defense. Most progressives just don't think straight.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Penses @Bruno2 

I'm glad to see people not using Lincoln to support their claims about current issues


#irony

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Bruno2 Conservatives in the past were against civil rights, and liberals were for it. 


See: conservatives who don't want gay marriage. 


it's silly to say things like "Democrats of 150 years ago were the ones who supported slavery" as a way to say Democrats of today suck.  When, as just about everyone but a few Republicans know - a shift happened between the 60's and today where a bunch of conservative Democrats moved to the Republican Party. 

Just about all high level Republicans in Georgia today used to be Democrats. 


Bruno2
Bruno2

@LogicalDude @Bruno2 The actual vote is above.  By what statistical measure are you claiming that "Conservatives in the past were against it"??  Exactly who are these "Conservatives", since virtually every Northern R and D voted for the Act, while virtually every Southern R and D voted against it??  The only "logical" conclusion would be that Southern = Con, and Northern = Lib, which wasn't true in 1964, and isn't true today.



"Just about all high level Republicans in Georgia today used to be Democrats."

And virtually none of them were in office in 1964.  What is your point??  That they switched parties due to opposition to Civil Rights??  That's not true, and you know it.  I'm kind of surprised to see such a weak argument advanced by you. LD.


GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

And thus began the Southern strategy. Bring all those working class Dixiecrats over to the GOP because they hate black folks and civil rights!

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Bruno2 @Wena Mow Masipa How "You can try to claim that the parties of yore are different from today, but that still doesn't address the total lack of correlation of the vote to the two parties of the day."


Exactly.   It was conservatives who were against civil rights. No matter which Party, more liberal folks were the ones more accepting of change.  Conservatives resist change. 



Bruno2
Bruno2

@Wena Mow Masipa How @Bruno2 Voting for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was split strictly along North/South lines, with absolutely no correlation to political party.  You can try to claim that the parties of yore are different from today, but that still doesn't address the total lack of correlation of the vote to the two parties of the day.

Dunwoody Granny "explained" this by claiming that the Northern Congressman were "acting liberally" while the Southern Congressman were "acting conservatively", but that's an obvious pile of crap.  DDR tried to falsely claim that the Southern Dems who voted against the act all switched to the Republican Party later, but that's also been proven to be false many times.

The bottom line is that Civil Rights have been equally supported by Libs and Cons through they years, but some of you dishonest Libs can't bring yourselves to admit the truth in an effort to demonize Cons.  Kind of sad that you have to lie to feel better about yourselves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

The original House version:

  • Southern Democrats: 7–87   (7–93%)
  • Southern Republicans: 0–10   (0–100%)
  • Northern Democrats: 145–9   (94–6%)
  • Northern Republicans: 138–24   (85–15%)

The Senate version:

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

Oh my gosh that is so funny, Dusty! When you got nothing, resort to name calling. You never have anything!