Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Fear itself is the greatest danger

December 11, 2015

Suppose you are an ISIS terrorist determined to wreak havoc on the United States.   So you infiltrate a Syrian refugee camp hoping to be admitted to the United States.

refugeecamps1371059561224.cachedWhat would be your chances of succeeding?  Let’s do some arithmetic.  There are about 4 million refugees in camps surrounding Syria.  President Barack Obama has announced he will admit 15,000 refugees (up from his original 10,000).  So the odds of any particular person being selected for the program are about one in 27,000.

Of course you would have to come up with a convincing story about how you came to be a refugee and find a U.S. sponsor.  What are the chances of that?   Yet there are governors of American states who fear to admit even one refugee.

Then there’s Donald Trump, who wants to keep out all foreign Muslims.   How would these Muslims be identified?  Simple, Trump explained.  Airline representatives, customs officials and border guards would simply ask, “Are you Muslim?”   Evidently he doesn’t consider the possibility that a terrorist would lie.   Maybe it would be simpler just to ask incoming visitors if they’re agents of ISIS.

gallup.poll.terrorismWhy do people think so irrationally?  It is because we’re scaredFrightened people don’t think.  They only react.

The fact is that so long as the U.S. government wages war in the Greater Middle East, there is going to be blowback against Americans, and there is little we can do to prevent it.

We can choose to end these wars, which is what I advocate.  We can accept a certain amount of danger as the price of waging war for important national objectives.  Or we can do things out of fear that make us feel safer, even though they don’t.

‘I was scared’ is never an excuse for homicide

December 5, 2014

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“I was afraid” is no more a justification for the taking of a human life than “I was drunk” would be.

The right of self-defense should only apply to those whose lives are in actual danger, not those reacting to an imaginary danger.

People who kill by reason of irrational panic, like people who kill in the heat of anger, should be charged with a lesser degree of homicide than those who kill in cold blood.   That’s mitigation, not an excuse.

If you are driving an automobile, there can be circumstances—say, a pedestrian jumping out right in front of you—when there there is nothing you can do to avoid a fatal accident.  But pulling the trigger of a firearm is always a choice.

No one who takes an innocent life with a firearm, whether deliberately, by accident or by mistake, should be allowed to own or handle a firearm ever again.

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