What’s really killing us?


Dear Donald –

 I noticed your list of unreported and/or underreported terror stats from September 2014 through December 2016. On its face, it’s pretty ridiculous. Predictably, the media outlets went headlong into their archives to prove that they actually covered the events in question. BBC has already confirmed that it covered every incident on the list and ThinkProgress has already tallied more than 17,000 total stories about them. 

There were 78 incidents on the list, identifying month, location, victims (if any), and the attacker. I’ll also note that several families of victims onyour list have already come out to say that any connection to terrorism was ruled out at the start of the police investigations. Nonetheless, here’s a few stats about the list:

  • Does not identify a single act perpetrated by a right-wing extremist (even though Americans are 7 times more likely to be killed by a right wing extremist than Islamist terrorism)
  • 27 misspellings of the work “attacker” (Also misspelled – Denmark aka Denamkr and San Bernardino aka San Bernadino)
  • 23 of the attacks were with a knife (a close range weapon with limited potential for mass casualties)
  • 224 of the 753 deaths outlined were from a single incident (plane crash)
  • 39 of the incidents (fully half) did not have any deaths. 
  • Only 18 of the incidents involved more than 2 deaths. 

This clearly seems like a hastily pulled together list, and I’ll cut you some slack for that. It’s clear Sean agreed to send out a list before anyone contemplated actually making one. After all, it’s hard to understand why else you would argue the American news media should have walk to walk coverage of an Italian man getting shot, but not killed, by an unidentified person in Bangladesh in November 2015. 

The thing that concerns me more is that, while you were making this list to back up some fake story you told to try to discredit the media because you think they’ve been to hard on you and to sow anti-Islamic sentiments in the general public, there are some important stats you missed. During that same time period:

  • 3.3 million American students dropped out of school
  • Approximately 10,000 starved to death in the U.S. 
  • Approximately 3,000 died of hypothermia

From September 2014 through December 2015, a full year short of the list you provided, there were 60 shootings in the U.S. that killed more than 2 people. There have been 6 such shootings already in 2017. You only found 18 “terror” incidents globally that killed more than 2 people over a 28 month period. 

What about the estimated 45,000 people that died annually because of an inadequate access to health insurance before the Affordable Care Act? You’re willing to move heaven and earth to fight “radical Islamic terror” but you can find only 753 deaths to attach to it over More than 2 years (and calling many of those “terror” incidents is a stretch). Why aren’t you putting your support behind a policy that can literally save 60 times as many people in a single year. 

Why not focus on hunger in their county and save more than 13 times as many lives here at home?

How about addressing homelessness and saving 4 times as many lives?

Or, for the love of God, limit access to guns and save the 34,000 Americans who die from guns every year? That’s 45 times what you’re saying terrorists did. 

Let’s focus on the real things killing Americans, not this foolishness. 

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