May 27, 2024

America: Where Everyone is a Statistical Anomaly

English: Number of terrorist incidents for 200...
English: Number of terrorist incidents for 2009 (January – June). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The odds of you dying from a heart attack are much higher than dying by a terrorist attack.  Yet which do you think Americans fear more?

This past weekend, an act of aggression was taken out upon innocent civilians by a person who was mentally unstable.  The act killed some, wounded others, and has left the many rushing around asking “what can we do to prevent this from ever happening again?!”


The answer, unfortunately, is “not much.”



The Post 9/11 America


Government believes that it can, and should do everything.  It also believes that there’s no problem that it cannot solve—even when it is proven, time and again that the supposition is false.


On September 11, 2001, a tragedy hit not just the buildings in Washington, D.C., and New York City and a field in PA, a tragedy hit our nation in that this act of violence allowed the government to justify increased encroachment into our lives under the banner of security.


While the government should, rightly, secure the borders and sensitive areas of the nation, it also instituted plans where freedom was traded for suspicion.  Instead of the average American being a free person, presumed innocent, every American is a possible terrorist.


The problem with this is that it’s both anti-American (as to who our identity is), but that it also fails to take into account the fact that people changed after 9/11.


Every terrorist attack on our soil that we’ve noticed has been foiled, not by government, but by individuals.  Like any person on a plane is every going to be allowed in the cockpit, or will be allowed to make an aggressive move!?  And the statistics on death while on an airplane are ridiculously small.  And yet we’ll allow ourselves to have ourselves treated worse than criminals in order to take a mode of transportation.


Gun Control Isn’t the Solution Either


And then there’s this recent case, where there are calls for less access to guns.  Or maybe it’s toward locking up the mentally unstable.  Or maybe it’s more security for Congressmen.


None of these things will stop the person dedicated to find a weakness.


Ask any good software engineer and they will tell you that it’s virtually impossible (well, perhaps with infinite time) to create a complex system that’s entirely free of bugs.  And yet the government is making claims that its system will be perfect.  It’s simply not true.


The best systems require everyone to be constantly using them, because then bugs get reported and ironed out faster.  When any one group considers themselves perfect, that’s when they fail.


Having more people with weapons at the Congresswoman’s event might have stopped the shooter from taking his shot there.  We already see that many jumped on the shooter while his gun was still loaded and that saved many lives.


The point is not to take away freedom, but to allow more of it, so that through the strength of the people we can stand up to terrorism—whether Islamic or homegrown.


Having all these regulations and checkpoints and laws only show the terrorists that we’re afraid of them, and taunting them to try again.


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