Hackers, leaker put terrorism into perspective

Friday, December 11, 2015

It's chilling to see videos of ISIS fighters promising to take over the world, but before we allow our government to take away more of our civil rights in exchange for "safety," let's put terrorism in perspective.

Yes, you have a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than winning the Powerball grand prize, but the Anonymous "hactivist" group points out that there's a 1 in 20 million chance a terror attack will take your life.

Winning Powerball is a 1 in 175 million chance.

Pretty slim odds, but how many of us still pitch in our two bucks on an extremely, extremely long shot?

What should we be worried about?

Heart disease, for one; you have a 1 in 6 chance of dying from a bad heart, but the mortality rate for heart disease is decreasing.

Cancer has a 1 in 7 chance of killing you, and that's four times more likely than the No. 3 cause, stroke, with a 1 in 28 chance.

You have a 1 in 85 chance of being killed in a vehicle accident, and a 1 in 115 chance of suicide -- one U.S. resident every 15 minutes.

The next five most likely causes of death, are accidental poisoning and drug overdose, falls, car accidents, narcotics, hallucinogens and, in the No. 10 spot, assault by firearm.

In fact the list of things more likely to kill you than terrorism is too long for any print publication. Electrocution, vomiting from drinking too much, lightning, having furniture fall on you, accidents caused by toddlers, brain parasite infection, obesity, heat, drowning ... and the list goes on an on.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden put it this way: "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it," he said.

We definitely need to take common-sense steps to limit our exposure to those who would do us harm, but restricting our own freedoms only plays into the terrorists' hands.

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