Terrorism: More people die of aspirin and you have the same odds of being killed in a terrorist attack as dying in an avalanche

There is no question that a government that stresses the risk of terrorism to rationalize everything from suspending Constitutional rights to justifying a record national debt clouds the eyes of most every caring citizen and creates just what the terrorist want; terror. But what really is the danger of terrorism?

 

First, no rationale human supports terrorism. Secondly, death from such acts creates more hatred than fear among many of those who have lost friends and loved one. Thirdly, Terrorism is a form of war and must be treated as such. Finally, terrorism can never be stopped by violence. Killing the leader or leaders of a terrorist group does not stop the group from committing more atrocities. It may make some who believe an eye of an eye feel better, but it won’t stop the movement over the long haul. The keys to stopping terrorism are negotiations, cultural awareness, and education.

 

However, the point of this article is not on the pros and cons of terrorism and how it works, but on the cold, sometimes cruel, statistics that it has produced

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Realistically, the number of people who are killed by terrorism is beyond small when considering the risk of dying by other causes. There were about 3500 Americans killed by terrorists over the past decade. Add to this the number of American service men and women killed in combat against terrorist and you have a figure of less than 7000 from a population of 300 plus million. In other words, should America’s financial priority be in fighting terrorism or finding solutions to problems that harm far more people?

Now remember that this does not have to be an all or nothing solution. The important consideration is whether or not preventing terrorism is financially worth the current investment, not to mention the manpower implications. And, when does terrorism become a significant enough problem to warrant additional funding?

This table is of deaths from 2003. Compare these figures to the losses due to terrorism and than note that the government spends far more on the war against terrorism than all other areas below.

Motor vehicles and transportation related deaths 48,000

Gun related deaths 29,000

Falls 17,200

Drowning 3300

Fire/smoke 3400

Poisoning 3700

Heart disease: 652,486

Cancer: 553,888

Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,074

Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 121,987

Accidents (unintentional injuries): 112,012

Diabetes: 73,138

Alzheimer’s disease: 65,965

Influenza/Pneumonia: 59,664

Septicemia: 33,373

Tobacco 435,000

Poor diet and physical inactivity 365,000

Alcohol 85,000

Microbial Agents 75,000

Toxic Agents 55,000

Suicide 30,600

Adverse reaction to drugs 32,000

Murders 20,000

Illicit drug use 17,000

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 7600

Would the money spent to fight terrorism be better spent reducing one of the above categories? With the election coming soon this might be a good time to provide elected officials with some realistic input. 

 

 

Does it make anyone feel better to know that the odds of you being killed by a terrorist is 0.0001%?

http://students.washington.edu/brandond/terror.html

http://www.anotherperspective.org/advoc530.html

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/07/13/the_six_most_feared_but_least_likely_causes_of_death.htm

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