Research and polling data reveal that a majority of Americans consider terrorism one of their greatest fears.
Political newsletter Counterpunch , self described as having “all the right enemies”, has an article by John Goekler revealing a vast list of things that we should fear even more.
For example, the US Department of Health and Human Services says that between 380,000 and 580,000 Americans will die this year as a result of smoking cigarettes. Another 260,000 to 470,000 will die due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. 85,000 more will die from alcohol abuse.
That makes the person in the mirror the most dangerous individual that you’re likely to meet.
After your own bad self, the next most dangerous person you meet might just be your doctor. The article claims that 200,000 of us will die due to medical errors like botched procedures and prescription drug errors and even “nonsocomial infections” which are the really bad bugs floating around hospitals and health care centers.
75,000 people will die from “microbial agents like flu and pneumonia. 55,000 people will fall victim to toxic agents like asbestos, lead and lawn fertilizer.
42,000 Americans will die on highways this year (over half of them could be saved if they were just wearing seat belts). 31,000 will commit suicide.
30,000 will die from sexually transmitted AIDS or Hepatitis C. 20,000 more will die from die from illicit drug use.
16,000 Americans will be murdered, 5,500 will die due to occupational trauma at work. 5,200 will die from lunch. Or rather the food-borne agents contaminating our lunch.
4,000 more of us will drown.
Terrorist activities however, according to the US State Department, have killed less than 15 per year since 2002 and all of those took place overseas.
The data shows that the things most likely to kill us are things that we choose to ignore or are risks that we choose to accept. You are much more likely to die from a lightning strike than an Al Qaeda attack.
In fact, we’re spending billions to fight the “war on terror” but terrorists are MUCH less likely to harm us than a bag of peanuts. (Peanut allergies kill between 50 and 100 Americans per year.)
Goekler concludes that “terrorism is an act of the weak. But so is walking through the airport in our socks."