Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, November 03, 2017

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian: There was no mention of "extreme vetting" of gun owners, despite their posing a threat a thousand times greater to Americans than any terrorist. There was no hint that any change in the criminal law, or in the wider regulation of this particular pastime, was due. Las Vegas has passed into history as just one of those things that happen. Guns are a very American form of terror. Yet amid this toughness lurks a pathological wimpishness towards the outside world. The most powerful and secure nation on Earth, its territory last threatened with invasion by the British in 1815, quivers with fear before an imagined army of hostile forces massing across every border and beyond every sea. Its budget groans under the burden of "homeland defense." Its politics is dominated by "tough on terror." The reality is that by no stretch of geography is America's security, let alone its existence, under threat.

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These dangers pale against those our grandparents and their forebears had to manage. We are incomparably safer than humanity has ever been before. A community that can devote so much attention to suppressing contentious gatherings, offensive remarks and "invalidations of my identity" is not a society under existential threat. As for how best to help the traumatized people of New York, the answer is to do the opposite of what Americans did to European cities hit by such killings, which was to boycott them. The answer is to book a New York holiday, now.

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Jenkins writes:

The reality is that a modern city-dweller is far more at risk from traffic accidents, gangland knives, air pollution and hospital infection than from terrorism. No reasonably open society can work without a degree of vulnerability. This has long included politically motivated violence. But of all the risks to life and limb that a modern citizen runs, such violence is almost trivial in its incidence.

Terrorism is a means to an end: that of coercive publicity. It will happen. It will happen especially where we polarise confrontations of race and religion round the world. It will happen when weak people cannot resort to armies or bombs or drones, to gain leverage in enforcing their ideas of how society should be run. There is no such thing as a terrorist state. There are just people who use terror as a means to an end.

The only power that can be deployed against this curse is the power of perspective. It is to treat terror as a criminal means of making a point. This has not changed since Joseph Conrad described the terrorist as "terrible in the simplicity of calling madness and despair to the regeneration of the world ... like a pest in the street full of men". What cannot be prevented is best accommodated. It is the psychological price we pay to live in an open and liberal society.

#1 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-11-02 09:39 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

The only power that can be deployed against this curse is the power of perspective.

Perspective is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. Is being killed by a terrorist far less likely than dying in an automobile accident, from medical malpractice, or from bludgeoning with a hammer? Yes. Then again, lots of fatal events are far less likely than those, but it doesn't stop large numbers of people from trying to remove those smaller risks, regardless how small they might be. They lack perspective.

#2 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-02 10:09 AM | Reply

From your, uh, perspective.

#3 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-11-02 11:31 AM | Reply

From the perspective of pure, no-spin tallied numbers. If someone asserts that we need not be concerned about a particular cause of death because there are only a limited number of those deaths per year (an assertion with which I agree), then they need to be consistent and be equally unconcerned about every cause of death with equally low risk.

#4 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-02 12:02 PM | Reply

More Americans are killed by toddlers with handguns than terrorists 2 to 1.

#5 | Posted by 726 at 2017-11-02 12:23 PM | Reply

There's a reason why so few are killed by terrorists in this country.

I'll leave it to the rest of you to figure out why.

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-02 12:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Top 15 specified causes of injury death (2014):

Poisoning, accidental - 42,032
Accident, vehicle, occupant - 33,736
Fall, accidental- 31,959
Suicide, firearm - 21,386
Unspecified, vehicle - 15,744
Suicide, suffocation - 11,407
Homicide, firearm - 11,008
Suffocation, accidental - 6,580
Accident, burning - 5,473
Accident, vehicle, pedestrian - 5,226
Accident, vehicle, motorcyclist - 4,036
Accident, drowning - 3,406
Homicide, cutting object - 1,740
Accident, nature - 1,625
Accident, other land transport - 1,342

www.cdc.gov

#7 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-02 12:34 PM | Reply

@6 terrorism isn't the problem it is made out to be?

#8 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-11-02 12:39 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Homicide weapons, 2013:

Handguns - 5,782
Firearms not stated - 1,956
Cutting instruments - 1,490
Fists and feet - 687
Blunt object - 482
Shotguns - 308
Rifles - 285
Other guns - 123

#9 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-02 12:41 PM | Reply

It's either that or because I can't file my nails on a plane

#10 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-11-02 12:41 PM | Reply

"There's a reason why so few are killed by terrorists in this country."

Compared to where???

#11 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-02 12:44 PM | Reply

Shotguns - 308
Rifles - 285
Other guns - 123

#9 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

You forgot:
Nazi Cars - 1

#12 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-11-02 02:44 PM | Reply

#13 2017 number aren't available yet, but I suspect that will be lumped in with the other 50+ vehicle homicides.

#13 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-02 02:59 PM | Reply

You forgot:
Nazi Cars - 1

#12 | Posted by SheepleSchism

That was a terrorist attack.

And YOU forgot:

ISIS vehicles - 9

(And in in Nice, France, 86 people were killed by a vehicle)

We need stronger vetting on who gets to drive vehicles!

#14 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-11-02 06:30 PM | Reply

From the perspective of pure, no-spin tallied numbers. If someone asserts that we need not be concerned about a particular cause of death because there are only a limited number of those deaths per year (an assertion with which I agree), then they need to be consistent and be equally unconcerned about every cause of death with equally low risk.

#4 | Posted by MUSTANG

And by that logic, republicans should be more worried about mail-in ballot fraud than less frequent in-person voter fraud, but they're not. Know why? Because mail-in ballots favor republicans.

#15 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-11-03 07:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

easy: MS13; opioids (aka DRUGS); Muslims; Socialism. BOO!

#16 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-11-03 09:29 PM | Reply

"More Americans are killed by toddlers with handguns than terrorists 2 to 1."

Ban toddlers!
Since banning guns is completely out of the question.
But I don't think there's anything in the Constitution which stops us from banning toddlers.

#17 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-03 10:07 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"What cannot be prevented is best accommodated." Right out of the Neville Chamberlain appeasement playbook. You take the slight possibility of a terror attack as part of your day to day calculus just as you account for old people driving large cars taking left turns. A NYer shrugs.

#18 | Posted by Nuke_Gently at 2017-11-04 08:03 AM | Reply

#16 | Posted by ichiro

Uh Drug overdoses killed 64,000 people last year. Opiods being about 50,000 of them. New York Times- The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540% in Three Years

That article actually deserves it's own thread I think.

Mustang's list seems to be missing many key things because most drug users don't aim to kill themselves yet suicide types are on the list...

#19 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-11-04 12:30 PM | Reply

#19 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-11-04 12:30 PM
Pretty sure that's the accidental poisoning that is listed. The numbers are sharply on the rise since t2014, the date that list was compiled for.

#20 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-11-04 01:12 PM | Reply

I'm thinking suicide should be ranked higher. Coroners often report suicides as accidents in order to spare the families the pain and stigma.

#21 | Posted by AbeNormal at 2017-11-05 09:30 AM | Reply

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