Posted by theintelgirl on August 15, 2006
From Reason Online, Don’t Be Terrorized
Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered.
So do these numbers comfort you? If not, that’s a problem. Already, security measures—pervasive ID checkpoints, metal detectors, and phalanxes of security guards—increasingly clot the pathways of our public lives. It’s easy to overreact when an atrocity takes place—to heed those who promise safety if only we will give the authorities the “tools” they want by surrendering to them some of our liberty. As President Franklin Roosevelt in his first inaugural speech said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself— nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” However, with risks this low there is no reason for us not to continue to live our lives as though terrorism doesn’t matter—because it doesn’t really matter. We ultimately vanquish terrorism when we refuse to be terrorized.
There must be a point when Americans must choose for themselves. Either a) We can be tremendously inconvenienced by new airline security measures and minimize the risk of a terrorist attack, or b) We can accept the risk of flying, knowing that there is a chance that terrorists may assemble explosives on board if liquids are once again allowed on board.
I’m not advocating one or another. Do I hate the fact that every time I fly now that I must check luggage? Definitely. Will I feel secure because I, along with any potential terrorist, had to do the same? More secure, yes. Completely secure, never.
Reiterating this post, I would like TSA and other government officials to move beyond the liquid issue and explore the new and next way a terrorist will plot to destroy aircraft.
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Posted by theintelgirl on August 10, 2006
A lot has gone on today, so I’m going to make some general comments
- The general reactive nature of airline security makes me nervous.
- No one ever thought that fanatics would use airplanes as missiles. they did. and now we reinforce airline doors and tackle unruly passengers
- No one ever thought that someone could hide a bomb in their shoe. They did. and now we have to take off our shoes at airport security
- No one ever thought that someone would bring the components on board to build the bomb from scratch, rather than bringing the explosive mixture onboard, premade. They were about to. and now we can’t bring liquids on board.
- Why are the terrorists always the proactive ones while we good guys are the reactive ones? Lack of creativity? I don’t know. lack of something, definitely.
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Especially the will of a jihadist willing to kill himself. It makes me nervous to think about, and I tend to believe in U.S. intelligence and homeland security when it comes to the safety of her citizens. I generally feel secure. but i will never ever feel 100% secure when it comes to terrorism.
- The “homegrown terrorist” phenomenon may not be that far off in America. I just read an article the other day (which now i cannot find) which stated the differences between Muslims in Europe and Muslims in America. The article stated (i’m just paraphrasing here since I can’t find the damn thing), that American Muslims acclimate better than European Muslims, and therefore homegrown terrorists aren’t nearly as likely “grow themselves” in America. I agree and disagree. Homegrown American Muslims willing to carry out an attack would likely not have the resources available to them to execute something large scale. However, you don’t need a large scale attack and well-coordinated plans to still scare the shit out of people. Just a few fanatics here and there. That would certainly be enough to scare me even more.
Alright folks, stay safe and sane. In closing Pew Poll
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