Saturday, January 9, 2010

preventable deaths: terrorism doesn't rank

All of us want to live a good and long life. So when the conservatives talk about a "War against Terrorism" it is very enticing to the general population. Basically no one wants to talk about the billions of dollars spent to protect us against the "terrorists". We think of a death from terrorism as a preventable death. In addition the fear and forced lifestyle changes place a heavy toll on our psyche.

But as Democrats and a member of the majority party it is our duty to be responsible.
We should not accept the framework of fighting terrorism left over from the Bush administration which basically puts that above other threats. Especially when those other threats are numerous times more dangerous.

Looking at the annual list of preventable deaths:

alcohol use/abuse
car collisions
gun misuse
drug abuse

all lead to tens of thousands of deaths each year.
Why no crisis?
It's because the media and the American people accept these risks as commonplace and ultimately acceptable.

If a terrorists blows up a plane and we lose 300 Americans that is horrific of course.
If we allow the sale of alcohol that ultimately leads to the death of 85,000 Americans yearly that is well beyond that scale.

The 3,500+ Americans killed by terrorists since 9/11 is terrible, the 40,000+ killed in automobile crashes every year is beyond that.

How is it that we think it is not a news story to cover the 40,000 in the crashes but it is breaking news for the 300?

I know it is sensational to see a burning plane or building and to think about what might be next, but
I think we need to protect ourselves in a common sense way:

1. Use the proper technology
2. communicate within government about suspects
3. profile people that are likely to attack
4. attack those we think will attack before they have a chance
5. punish anyone even remotely connected to attempted attacks

But after that, we should use some of these resources to better regulate alcohol use.

Develop a healthcare system where it pays or saves people money to be healthy.

And do what it takes to make things safe than can be done so within our American values.

I appreciate our American values and wouldn't change much. I would always promote freedom and responsibility as much as possible. It's a balancing act.

I wouldn't ban alcohol, in fact I'd legalize many other drugs. We should work to keep people safe but to maintain our fundamental freedom.

President Obama is much better at fighting terrorism than President Bush because he isn't over-reacting as much.

1 comment:

Libertyforall said...

Well written, right on the money, for the most part. Now, try to liberalize your views on "gun control" and "gay marriage" and you will be almost "home."