President Obama told Jay Leno on Tuesday night that "the odds of people dying in a terrorist attack, obviously, are still a lot lower than in a car accident..."
Americans are actually 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack.
Jack Coleman of Newsbusters has the quote from the president:
"You know, terrorists depend on the idea that we're going to be terrorized and we're going to live our lives and the odds of people dying in a terrorist attack, obviously, are still a lot lower than in a car accident, unfortunately (shrugging arm for emphasis). But, but there are things that we can do to make sure that we are keeping the pressure on these networks that would try to injure Americans and, you know, the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to bed is making sure that I'm doing everything I can to keep Americans safe."
Was Obama trying to say that generally, Americans are safe from Terrorism? Or is he saying the fear is overblown? Because if that is the case, one would think that he would very loudly denounce domestic spying programs as he did before he flip flopped completely, as pointed out by PolitiFact.
According to an article posted on Washingtonsblog in June, terrorism is actually quite a rare threat for Americans on (and off) American soil. Yet, terrorism is used to justify the unconstitutional collection of millions of Americans' personal information without a warrant as required by the fourth amendment.
To put it in perspective, here are a few statistics:
- "You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack."
- "You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack."
- "You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that Americans (on or off of American soil) are as likely "to be crushed to death by televisions or furniture as they are to be killed by a terrorist." Additionally, it seems as though you are more likely to be killed by a toddler than a terrorist.
Watch this clever video of President Obama debating Senator Obama on government surveillance:
This is not to say that terrorists do not pose a threat; but the threat of terrorism certainly does not justify giving up liberty and abandoning the Constitution.
Image Source: NBC / Paul Drinkwater via LA Times