Terrorism or Guns?
So, you support our xenophobic President’s Muslim Ban. Your argument is that:
“We gotta keep ‘em out, cause they wanna kill us!”
Well you and our prejudiced President are completely and utterly wrong. This argument does not jibe with the facts. This proposition is so misaligned with reality that supporters of it are obviously using it to cover up their xenophobia and prejudice.
The real facts, not Trump’s alternative facts
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control the leading cause of American deaths in 2014 were:
‣ Heart disease: 614,348
‣ Cancer: 591,699
‣ Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 147,101
‣ Accidents (unintentional injuries): 136,053
‣ Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 133,103
‣ Alzheimer’s disease: 93,541
‣ Diabetes: 76,488
‣ Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,227
‣ Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 48,146
‣ Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773
Note that terrorism is nowhere to be found on this list.
How many Americans have died from domestic terrorism? The answer to this question is:
From 2010 until 2016, 118 Americans have died from domestic terrorism and 518 were injured. In 2014 no (zero) Americans died due to domestic terrorism. Obviously, heart disease was, in 2014, a much greater problem than domestic terrorism.
From 2001 until 2011 17 Americans died due to foreign terrorism. However, 11,101 Americans died due to gun homicides.
How many guns are there in America?
No official figure exists but there are thought to be about 300 million firearms in the US, held by about a third of the population. That is nearly enough guns for every man, woman and child in the country.
The right to own guns is regarded by many as enshrined in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, and fiercely defended by lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association, which boasted that its membership surged to around five million in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
The US spends more than a trillion dollars per year defending itself against terrorism, which kills a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by ordinary domestic gun crime.
According to figures from the US Department of Justice and the Council on Foreign Affairs, 11,385 people died on average annually in firearm incidents in the US between 2001 and 2011.
In the same period, an average of 517 people were killed annually in terror-related incidents. Removing 2001, when 9/11 occurred, from the calculation produces an annual average of just 31 Americans killed by terrorism.
Our xenophobic President has pushed forward the perception that immigration adversely affects crime rates.
However, like so many of our prejudiced President’s alternative facts this perception is not supported by the facts. It turns out that immigrants have much lower incarceration rates than native-born Americans. This is on the order of one-fifth the rate of natives. More recently arrived immigrants have the lowest relative incarceration rates. The study cited below examines whether an improvement in immigrants’ relative incarceration rates over the last three decades is linked to increased deportation, immigrant self-selection, or deterrence. Their evidence suggests that deportation does not drive the results. Rather, the process of migration selects individuals who either have lower criminal propensities or are more responsive to deterrent effects than the average native. Immigrants who were already in the country reduced their relative incarceration probability over the decades; and the newly arrived immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s seem to be particularly unlikely to be involved in criminal activity.
It is clear heart disease kills far more Americans than all domestic or foreign terrorism added together. In fact, around 12,000 Americans die each year from a direct consequence of U.S. gun laws, far more than all domestic or foreign terrorism. The outrageous claim by our xenophobic President that there is a high rate of American deaths from illegal immigrants is false too. In fact, immigrants have much lower incarceration rates than native-born Americans.
Why do the President and his supporters put these false claims forward? The only possible answer to this question is that they wish to disguise their xenophobia and prejudice. It makes them feel better about their racism if they can convince themselves of the lies and obfuscations they constantly espouse.
If you support Trump, you are by association a racist. If you do not consider yourself a racist, then stop supporting Trump.