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Yearly U.S. deaths from firearms has held steady for the last 30+ years at 30,000 gun-deaths per year. Total yearly suicides in the U.S. comes in around 38,000, 19,000 of those from firearms. Yearly traffic fatalities in the U.S., as of 2010, totaled approximately 32,000.
Total deaths in the U.S. from terrorist related activities? 3400 total since 1970. Let me repeat that. Terrorist related deaths in the United States......combined every year since 1970....add up to 3400 total deaths from terrorist related activity. 3400 total deaths inside the U.S. attributed to "terrorism" in the last 40+ years.
Which "death by" category is more of a threat to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" of the American people? Which is more lethal to more Americans each year? "Terrorist" activities.....or death by firearm? "Terrorist" activity....or suicides? "Terrorist" activity.....or traffic deaths?
As our nation ran 30,000 yearly death tolls from firearms activity over the last 30 years, did Congress ever construct a massive Homeland Security-Against-Gun-Deaths Department to counter the threat from gun deaths? Did Congress and the executive branch, faced with horrendous yearly gun death numbers, ever rush to pass massive legislation similar to the Patriot Act to pro-actively combat the 30,000-yearly-gun-deaths disaster?
Has any government or media official ever stated that, as a nation, we need to jettison our 'pre-30,000 yearly gun deaths mindset' in favor of a new 'post-30,000 yearly gun death mindset'? Did "everything change" after our leaders recognized that 30,000 Americans were being killed every year by guns, more by traffic related accidents and more yet from suicides?
In response to the threats to Americans from suicides, gun deaths and traffic deaths, has the federal government allocated tens of billions yearly to prevention?
The U.S. intelligence budget is vast, publicly announced last year as $75 billion, 2 1/2 times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn't include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs.
That's $75 billion per year...every year.....to prevent, on average, less than 100 deaths per year from "terrorist" activity in the U.S.
Meanwhile, in 2012, $22 million was earmarked by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for.....suicide prevention.
Those numbers and statistics speak for themselves. It's obvious that when it comes to actual threats to the American people.....fears in a post-9-11, everything-has-changed, environment have stripped us and our elected officials of any sense of proportionality.
After almost 12 years of the same old.....is it any wonder that 62% of Americans polled last week by the Washington Post....
....said it was more important for the government to investigate possible terror threats even if there is a tradeoff with personal privacy.....
Almost 2 out of 3 Americans polled last week by the WAPO are more than willing to trade off constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights to the government in return for government protection from the "terrorists"....terrorists, both domestic and foreign, who have been responsible for less than 100 U.S. deaths per year over the last 40 years.
To borrow a recently quoted phrase.....doesn't all this seem, like, "out of whack?"
And would you categorize 62% of Americans willingly sacrificing their constitutional rights to privacy to a government security "daddy".....as being courageous? "Home of the brave" kind of stuff?
Yes, I admit that the events of 9-11 were traumatizing to the psyche of the American people. However, proportionately, overall-bigger-picture-wise, less than 3000 people died on 9-11 out of a population of over 300 million.
It's what happened in the weeks, months and years following 9-11 which has led Americans in 2013 to now favor sacrificing constitutional rights in exchange for some perception of safety from the "terrorists."
Color coded terror threat charts. Anthrax mailings. Patriot Act. Authorization to Use Military Force. Warrantless wiretapping. Guantanamo. Indefinite detention.Torture. Historic government secrecy. Presidential assassination authority......and a corporate media who served/serves it all up daily with a heavy slathering of fear, fear, fear.
That's how media and government officials scared Americans into, 11 years later, accepting the Surveillance State's vacuuming up of all U.S. electronic communications without judicial warrants by a 2-1 margin. Surrendering guaranteed rights in return for a perception of safety.
What this means is.....and despite the "America, f**k yeah", "we'll put a boot in their ass", "U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A." chest thumping.....that Osama Bin Laden succeeded in forever changing the United States....and not for the better.
"Home of the brave?" We've become a nation of scared pants-wetters. Scared little children looking for their secret government intelligence daddies, so they can hand those daddies their constitutional rights in exchange for a good night's sleep.
And all over an average of less than 100 U.S. deaths per year over the last 40 years.