In my last post I pointed out how alcohol and motor vehicle accidents induced by its abuse were dwarfing the death rate in USA from terrorism, even though I had, even prior to that, written about the American Dream.
In that last post on Alcohol, I indicated that, as a rough estimate, there were about 18,000 such deaths per year due to alcohol on the roads. I argued that the USA was being weak-kneed and silly to decline refugees from the Middle East, because their own people were killing their own people at a much faster rate with something they were doing relatively little about: alcohol.
How did I keep the blinkers on for that post? Americans are doing even far better job killing themselves with their guns! Sometimes the statistics mislead you (at least, that’s my excuse).
Deaths due to firearms in the USA are estimated to be about to be about 3.7 per 100,000 (re-referenced blog post from EveryTown for Gun Safety, itself quoting the Journal of Trauma from 2011), which, at a population for 300M is about 10,000 people.
Oops. That is just for murders!
Gun deaths in USA are actually closer to 10 per 100,000, because so many people down there shoot other people or themselves unintentionally, something criminals and terrorists rarely do, I guess. So it’s really closer to 30,000 deaths each year.
And that doesn’t even include the Dick Cheney accidents, where he just shoots his friend in the face.
Of course, you could put the two together, guns and DUI deaths, and Americans lose about 50,000 people each year due to their own behaviors.
It got me to thinking: What is the similarity in all this stuff I complain about in this blog, when I deviate from my original intent of discussing science fiction as applied to Medicine?
What do guns, alcohol, and cigarettes all have in common?
Well. They all kill people. They are all pushed by large companies that make a lot of money at it. They all are promoted by people who tell you that they don’t kill you. Guns, cigarettes and alcohol don’t kill people. People kill people.
Rather like heroin.
So, what got me started on this?
There are silly, irrational people in the USA who hold sway over significant portions of public opinion, largely on the right wing fringe of their political malaise. People like Ann Coulter, who wrote this piece of divisive vituperative nonsense on December 2:
“After 20 years of nearly non-stop mass murder by non-white immigrants in a country that is still majority white, our media have the audacity to claim that tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims are less dangerous than the most pacific human beings in world history: 21st-century white American men.”
There is a lot of stuff on Coulter’s blog to dislike and renounce. A lot of divisiveness hiding behind “protection of Americans” that is feeding the frenzy amongst the radicals down there.
But Syrian refugees are a whole lot less dangerous than nice white Americans who have been drinking or have a gun in their hands.
The whole point is that terrorism has far, far, far less mortal impact on the USA than the do the activities of their largely white, American male population.
The 21st-century white American men got to their exalted position in the world by standing on the shoulders of their ancestors, who themselves carved a nation out of an economy that stood on the shoulders of 18th and 19th century non-white slaves. Millions of them. Literally. Millions who would have far rather been refugees, and stayed where they were.
If you truly believe that ‘All men (sic) are created equal,’ Ms. Coulter, why discriminate against Syrian Muslims. You have so many other more important issues to take care of. Like guns, and drunk driving, and income gap, and lack of health insurance, and bigotry, and immigration and racial discrimination and religious freedom for all, including those free of religion … and some demonstration of common humanity and guts, as demonstrated by other courageous countries, like France, even after they have actually been hit several times, who are taking in many thousands of refugees from these war torn countries.
Dangers of immigrant refugee terror? For heaven sake, man up.