Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Columbine, Terrorism, and risk management

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School, about 30 miles south of here. On that day, I was headed to the Rockies game with the kid that I mentored, and another "partnership" from the same organization. We had heard of the incident on the news, but were surprised when we got to Coors Field and no one was there. We hadn't heard that they canceled the game because of the massacre.

After 9/11, America was panicked and willing to take drastic, even unconstitutional and immoral steps to make sure that it would never happen again. Yet, even if there had been no changes, your odds of getting killed by a terrorist are tiny compared to your odds of getting killed by another American with a gun. Yet, after Columbine hardly any changes have been enacted to insure that a similar incident does not occur. And similar incidents have occurred, just about every year.

Had we reacted to Columbine, or the Virginia Tech killings, or any of the other similar mass shootings, like we did 9/11, we would have banned guns, or at least seriously clamped down on the rights of individuals to buy guns. After all, the Constitution was just a document for pussies when it came to getting tough on terrorism, so why should the Second Amendment of it stop us from making sure our kids don't get killed at school. Instead, since Columbine, few things have been done to even close the ridiculous "gun show loophole", that allowed the Columbine killers to buy guns without a background check. (It has been closed here in CO, and there is a bill in Congress to do it nationally that you can be sure the scumbags at the NRA will not allow to pass).

I am not, by the way, advocating that we ban gun ownership. I am, though, attempting to point out how irrational our actions are when compared with each other. We react extremely to the small chance of death from terrorism, yet casually to the much higher threat of death from a fellow citizen with a gun. Our fears overtake out logic, and it happens again and again, on issue after issue. Parents don't let their kids play outside, for fear of the almost non-existent odds that they will be abducted. So, the kids stay inside where they get addicted to video games, get fat from lack of exercise, and fail to build immunities to the things nature. Your child goes through life fat, dumb and sneezing, but at least you didn't expose him to the 1 in 10 million chance of abduction!

Yes, it is a highly irrational world we live in, and you can be sure your politician will play on your irrational fears to get your vote. One can only hope brains are still evolving!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The NRA is senselessly pushing against this legislation that doesn't threaten any of their rights. We still have gun shows and no loop hole! (preaching to the choir, I know)
Another problem with political terrorism scare campaigns is domestic terrorism is running ramped at the moment and yet states like Az are still supporting racial profiling as a means of keeping people "safe."
There's that man who flew his plane into the IRS, the KKK, WBC, etc etc and we're worried about 9/11 and people of color!? When as you pointed out, terrorism is a lot more likely to occur from within our walls.
People keep saying racial profiling works! All it does it make it so domestic terrorists go unnoticed and have greater deviation abilities.
Very passionate post! Kudos.
Although I don't condone the use of the word "pussy" as a slur.

Anonymous said...

Illegal immigration explained in 3 words

Terrorism is rampant in DC. Ever heard the phrase "it takes one to know one"? Well, I wonder if they'd be as good at identifying all the terrorists around the world if they weren't so good at being terrorists themselves.

something libs should love

There's one war manufactured by the military industrial complex that it is considered lost by the US. Want to take a guess at the 1 right every citizen there had and most exercised?