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The Terror of Terrorism


The mood in the country today is anxious, tending toward frightened. We are bombarded by news of terrorist threats and acts around the world. We are confronted with travel bans, registries, protests, and panic. All of this has created a national terror of terrorism and a fear of anyone or anything we think is associated with terrorism. But maybe being confronted with some facts—not alternative facts, either—would be a good idea.


While terrorism claims victims internationally, domestically it has claimed very few since 9/11. The number of people killed in acts of domestic terrorism from 2001-2014 is 3,412, and the majority of those were killed around the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Conversely, the number of people killed by firearms from 2001-2014 is 33,599. Unfortunately, the number of deaths from firearms has increased over the past 50 years, partly from the increase in deaths from suicide, and partly from the lack of meaningful regulation. While the gun mortality rate has increased, the motor vehicle mortality rate over the past 50 years has decreased, to a point where both rates have converged to a mortality rate of 10.3 per 100,000 people.

But to put this all in perspective, 37,000 people die per year in motor vehicle crashes. Let that number sink in: the same number of people are killed on an annual basis in car crashes in one year as the number of people killed in 13 years by gun violence and domestic terrorism combined.

Noting this statistic is not to minimize gun violence; as noted, deaths from gun violence have increased over the past 50 years. What this statistic shows is the comparatively high number of deaths from motor vehicle accidents every year, despite the advances in technology and regulation over the past 50 years which have caused a decrease in the mortality rate. Motor vehicle accidents are still a big killer in our country, much more so than domestic terrorism.


The numbers above pale in comparison to the real killers, however. Heart attacks kill 610,000 people a year, and cancer causes 589,430 deaths per year. Diabetes is the main cause of 69,071 deaths per year. These three medical-related causes are the real killers domestically, and are what people—and our government—should focus on. Objectively, more government support for research, more support for healthier lifestyles, and yes, affordable health care for preventative and acute treatment should be prioritized over money and effort spent on fighting a threat that has claimed so few lives in comparison.

Another big killer? Prescription pain killers. Forty-four people a day overdose on prescription pain killers according to the Centers for Disease Control, which translates to 16,060 people a year dying from this horrible epidemic.


Anxious? Fearful? There is probably good cause to feel that way sometimes. But not about domestic terrorism. There is always a threat of an attack, just as there is a chance you will die on an elevator (27 people a year die on elevators according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Consumer Product Safety Commission). But focusing on staying safe on the roads and staying healthy will keep you alive (and happy) longer.


If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm, for a free evaluation of your legal rights.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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