I ask you seriously: Are we cowardly Americans or are we who we have long said we are? We now have a large number of political candidates trying to convince us to be afraid. I guess they are afraid. Or, maybe, they are just trying to frighten us into voting for them. You be the judge.
But before you decide, let me tell you what you and our politicians would fear. In 2010 (sorry, but that’s the year for which I can find the most statistics), in the United States, 598,000 people died from heart disease. Skipping down the CDC list to the 5th most prevalent cause of death in the U.S., accidents (unintentional injuries) claimed 121,000 of us. In 10th place comes intentional self-harm (suicide), 38,000. Many of these suicides were from firearms, so we have to split out firearm caused deaths because the CDC does not treat that category separately. CNN reported that 31,672 people died in 2010 as the result of gunshots. In that same year, 2010, terrorists killed only 18 non-military Americans, worldwide. It’s true that in 2001, on 9-11, terrorists killed 2990 people in the World Trade Center attack. But it’s also true that in that year between 29,000 and 30,000 people in the U.S. died as a result of gunshot wounds, 10 times as many as killed by the terrorists. Since then an average of 33 non-military Americans have been killed by terrorists each year.
I don’t know how you look at it, but I don’t quake in my boots thinking, every day when I get up, I’d better be careful or I might be one of this year’s 121,000 accidental deaths. Why on earth would I fear being a terrorist victim? Why the hell would I fear that some poor devil having abandoned his or her home in Syria, taken only what could be carried by family members, boarded an overcrowded inflatable boat and sailed to a Greek island, and finally, after whatever vetting we could perform, might come to the U.S. and set off a bomb. Holy shit, I might be one of this year’s 18 fatalities. In 2010, dogs killed 33 of us. I ask you: Who are these cowardly Americans?