get a grip, people.
October 15, 2002 05:07 PM

Okay. I know we've gotten used to the idea of terror and terrorism. And by "used to", I mean "likely to completely freak out and go on a media rampage at the mere mention of".

But let's step back for a second on the Beltway shooting thing, can we?

It is scary, and it is seemingly unpredictable, but it is not the next huge crisis. It is not domestic terrorism, though we've done a pretty good job of making it so. What it is: a series of idiotic and relatively pointless serial killings by someone who would probably be closer to jail if we would just calm down and let the nice policefolk do their jobs.

Some morbid statistics for the sake of perspective. Last week:

Roughly 50 women in the US were killed by their significant other.

Roughly 100,000 people around the world died of hunger-related causes.

Roughly 20 children in the US died as a result of abuse.

Roughly 90 people in Virginia were sexually assaulted.

Roughly 700 people in the US died in traffic accidents.

I'm not saying disregard it. What I'm saying is - this series of killings has provided a neatly packaged opportunity to avoid a number of other much more chronic problems. Do not buy everything that is sold to you.

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your wicked thoughts

I do agree. Although, you know, it isn't new, this kind of sudden, obsessive media focus. It went on before Sept 11th, it will go on long after.

Over here in England it's been child kidnappings. Again, it's horrible horrible horrible. But the media has been absolutely fixated on the kidnappings of these three children. As if terrible, unthinkable things didn't happen to children every day -- as if this was some new, unheard-of phenomeon. They talk about it like no one's ever seen such things before.

But the worst thing, worse even than these terrible events, is that it isn't new. It happens all the time, in various ways. It's just that the media got hold of it this time.

So I think they're using the terrorism comparison just because it's there in the forefront of our minds. They would have used something else two years ago, and maybe they'll use something else again two years from now. All so depressing and horrid.

these are the thoughts of gloamling on October 16, 2002 05:55 AM

the who-what? domestic terror? no no, nevermind.

really excellent point and good statistics. though, you could probably increase that death count dramatically by including self-induced deaths (tobacco) and inevitable deaths (cancer).

stupid guy with a gun running around and shooting is nothing new, but then again I live in texas....

these are the thoughts of eris on October 16, 2002 09:21 AM

i was trying to stick with things i personally am worried about (hence, no suicide statistics - though, did you know 50-60 Canadian men kill themselves each week?), and then the traffic accidents thing is just because that offers a comparison that most people can relate to.

on a lighter note - ugh, this form needs a smaller font or something. why didn't you guys mention it?

these are the thoughts of april on October 16, 2002 09:21 AM

I'm curious. Does the figure of 'Canadian men' have any more of a breakdown?

Because the suicide rates on reserves is just hellish, for some fairly obvious and nasty reasons.

these are the thoughts of Fuzzdaddy on October 19, 2002 06:13 PM

you know, it didn't say. just gave me a breakdown of the death rates for canadian men. i was surprised to see suicide up so far on the list.

these are the thoughts of april on October 21, 2002 09:08 AM

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