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As Terrorism Tops Fear Chart, Record Low Trusts Gov't To Protect Them

A perfect storm of hysteria and anti-government sentiments will lead to...what, exactly?

In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Gallup finds that terrorism is the number-one concern of Americans.

To put that 16 percent figure in perspective, right after the 9/11 attacks, 46 percent of us thought terrorism was the biggest problem. And after the Charlie Hebdo masscre, 8 percent of us did.

Then there's this finding: At the exact moment that people are flipping out about terrorism, confidence in the government's ability to protect us from terrorism is at a new all-time low of just 55 percent:

Both findings are simultaneously understandable and hysterical. Of course we have heightened concerns about terrorism given recent attacks (the killing and wounding of several people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic can be thrown into that mix, too). Beyond the very fact of the San Bernardino shooting, revelations that one of the killers, Tashfeen Malik, had been cleared to enter the country despite posting pro-jihadist ramblings on social media make the government look bad.

So why are the reactions hysterical? Because "you're more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than by a terrorist." Regardless of whether that's because of or in spite of government's efforts, it means it's far harder to pull off attacks than people generally think. Either way, the last decade-plus has been pretty safe regarding terrorism.

Few politicians have been less effective than Barack Obama in showing empathy and concern for national anxieties, but it's not exactly clear what more he or other leaders could be doing. There's simply no way in an open society to zero out all bombings, shootings, and the like. Most of the proposed remedies to San Bernardino—ban guns! ban fiancees! ban refugees! ban immigrants, or at least immigrants from countries with visa waivers and/or Muslim-majority nations!—are more security theater than anything else, especially given that ISIS is more likely to inspire attacks rather than direct them. There's no information connecting ISIS to San Bernardino but even if there were, the group would route around new obstacles. The government should look at tightening its procedures, which it is doing.

Beyond that, creating new layers of bureaucratic oversight over various existing procedures is unlikely to be of any more value to our safety than creating the TSA or doing bulk collection of phone records has been. Which is to say, essentially zero in both cases. (The immediate fix of fortifying cockpit doors shortly after 9/11 effectively meant that commercial planes could never again be used as missiles.) 

But of course inspiring hysteria is part and parcel of the terrorism playbook. Inspiring fear and overreaction is the goal. And congrats, America, you're following the script perfectly.

For some calming insights on that, watch John Mueller and Mark Stewart discuss with Reason why you should fear bathtubs more than terrorists:

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  • Swiss Servator||

    A perfect storm of hysteria and anti-government sentiments will lead to...what, exactly?

    Reason meeting its Webathon goals?

    Libertarian Moment?

    Epi being made Supreme Leader?

    SugarFreeFic being made compulsory reading?

    STEVE SMITH raping more hikers?

  • bacon-magic||

    *widens gaze

  • sarcasmic||

    President Trump.

    *shudders*

  • GregMax||

    President Hillary *shits pants*
    Anyone who is supportive of the 2nd amendment is alright by me.

  • Citizen X||

    STEVE SMITH NOT POSSIBLE RAPE MORE HIKERS, 100% IS ENOUGH.

  • Swiss Servator||

    MUST GIVE 110% EFFORT

    /STEVE SMITH'S coach

  • Loki||

    /STEVE SMITH'S coach

    STEVE SMITH has a rape coach? I would have thought it was natural talent. Who is his rape coach? Warty? It's Warty isn't it.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Hey, even Tiger had a swing coach when he was winning all those Majors!

    Warty is STEVE SMITH'S strength and conditioning coach.

    Rape coach is, to date, unknown

  • ||

    #2 for the win

  • ||

    Heh.. hehh..

    #2 means poopy.

  • Galactic Chipper Cdr Lytton||

    You know who else stepped up when the existing government wasn't handling the hysteria?

  • Swiss Servator||

    Did they offer the world ORDER?

  • EMD||

    Alexander Haig?

  • mtrueman||

    "A perfect storm of hysteria and anti-government sentiments will lead to...what, exactly?"

    An increase of conversions to Islam in the USA. Religions thrive when their relationship to the state is antagonistic.

  • Tionico||

    but the present administration is decidely pro moslem. Hw ya gonna splain that one, Lucy?

  • mtrueman||

    "but the present administration is decidely pro moslem"

    Pro Saudi is not the same thing as pro moslem.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    There is no security- Wulfgar

  • Swiss Servator||

    Ha! Shows what that guy knows, gettin' whacked by a guy wearing his wife's housecoat.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Stallone's best work.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Stallone's best work is Cliffhanger.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Was "Over the Top" not over the top enough for you?

  • bacon-magic||

    Reason's fear mongering on Ted Cruz is a prime example of pants shitting for no reason except your progressive narritive Nick. You're welcome.

  • bacon-magic||

    *narrative

  • ||

    Well, I mean there are a lot of things more scary than Ted Cruz. Every other candidate from both parties, for instance.

  • ||

    Except Rand of course. I can't believe he's already become so nearly invisible in this race that even his most ardent supporters have forgotten him.

  • bacon-magic||

    Rand was my pony...now I'm just looking for least evil.

  • ||

    ^This.

    His core supporters were mostly all he was going to get. When he tacked to the middle to court moderate Rs who were never going to desert their candidates anyway, he lost his core supporters. Thus the invisibility.

  • Swiss Servator||

    I HAVE NOT, DAMMIT!

  • Loki||

    Who's this "Rand" person you speak of? Ayn Rand? Isn't she dead? And also not a natural born citizen?

    Great, now we've got non natural born citizen zombies running for president. What's next, a jew? /sarc

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yeah, I do think that it's a little weird that Nick seems obsessed with attacking the most libertarian major party candidate not named "Rand Paul".

  • ||

    Look at who the majority of Reason staff voted for. It reveals preferences, explains much.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    One in 20,000,000 is not a problem, people.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Yeah, it is. It provides the justification for some really impressive rights-stomping.

  • John||

    Unless you are the one in 20 million. And of course that number never changes.

    There were exactly 4743 documented lynchings in this country between 1882 and 1968

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/p.....state.html

    There were probably 200 million or more people who lived in during that period. That means you had a one in 43,000 chance of being lynched. So lynching wasn't a problem either right? I mean one in 43,000 is nothing. You have a better chance of getting killed in a car wreck.

  • Sevo||

    "There were probably 200 million or more people who lived in during that period. That means you had a one in 43,000 chance of being lynched. So lynching wasn't a problem either right?"

    Can you say "false equivalence", John? If not, learn how.
    Your panic is unbecoming an adult.

  • John||

    How is it false? Both cases are random murders.

  • Eric Bana||

    So clearly the best reaction to terrorism is to create a Muslim registry, spy on all mosques, ban any new Muslim immigrants, etc. Just like the best solution to stopping lynchings was to create a Whites registry, spy on all white churches, ban any new White immigrants, etc.

  • Not okay||

    Or to not let in Muslims from places known for terrorism.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Fuck off pussy.

    You are on record calling for shitting on the rights of American citizens because your diaper is full over a statistically insignificant act.

    That makes you Hitler and a coward.

  • John||

    Yawn.

    You have no response and try to make up for it by screaming.

    You are an idiot Frank. Everyone knows it

  • John||

    And you are so courageous expecting other people to die for your delusional bullshit.

  • bacon-magic||

    Stick to copper.

  • Nativist, Racist & Xenophobe||

    Let me go on record as calling for everyone who incessantly whines about their Riiiiiiights! to be punched in the face. Or sold into slavery, preferably somewhere in the Middle East, where we can be comfortable in the knowledge we'll never, never have to listen to them ever again.

  • Marty Comanche||

    The most recent Paris attacks were 1 in 400,000 (160 victims / 66M). And given that these attacks were pulled off within weeks of Mali and San Bernardino, I think it's reasonable to ask if the rate of attacks is accelerating. San Berdu was no 9/11, but it's hard to see what's stopping follow up attacks from happening.

    And let's not forget Umpqua, perpetrated by some sort of Neo-Nazi with jihadi friends and a plausible jihad target in train attack hero, Skarlatos. ISIS -- not implausibly -- claimed credit for Umpqua. This was just weeks after another French train attack hero was inexplicably stabbed.

  • John||

    Don't bother Frank with facts. He is an angry idiot and they just make him worse

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    When the odds exceed that of getting murdered, to whom we find, try, convict and punish rather than declare war on, come talk to me.

    Odds of being murdered in a given year...about one in 14,000.

    You are 1400 times more likely to be murdered in the US every year than be killed by a terrorist anywhere in the world. And we don't violate the rights of innocent people to solve the "murder problem".

    Perspective.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Almost nobody dies from a skin mole. Effectively 0 at the "mole" stage. More people are hit by cars than die from skin moles. But some peoples' moles turn out to be skin cancer, and about 6,000 people per year die from skin cancer. However, if you wait until it actually is a skin cancer eating half your face and spreading throughout your body, well, it's a little late.

    The reason for what you term "hysteria" about terrorism is that people have cause to believe that terrorism is going to get a whole lot worse unless dealt with, whereas people are already of the opinion that we're doing what can reasonably be done about automobile accidents.

    If we wait until we have 30,000 people per year dying due to terrorism (about how many die in automobile accidents), then we've waited far too long.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    False analogy. Preemptively treating the mole doesn't require you violate the rights of human beings in the process. "Eliminating the threat" of terror...does.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Well, no it doesn't. I'm sure there are measures that can be taken that don't violate fundamental rights. I wasn't endorsing any particular measure.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The only measure that doesn't violate rights AND doesn't further the terrorist's agenda is to treat it as the crime that it is. Find, capture, try, convict and punish or as close to that as is practical.

  • Nativist, Racist & Xenophobe||

    Tell you what. How about I give you a bag of M&M's with the assurance only one in 14,000 has been poisoned. How many are you going to eat?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    No dickhead, one in 20,000,000 and I'll eat them all day. You obviously still don't quite grasp the concept or insignificance of the alleged threat.

  • EMD||

    I agree with you, but I do think some people answer these polls not out of immediate personal concern, but for a greater concern about the country at large.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Something I fear more than terrorism: Fashion Santa

    All the pictures are the worst picture, but this is the best worst picture.

    Additionally, this is why I would like place a ban on Canadians entering the United States.

  • Sevo||

    Stay thirsty...

  • Swiss Servator||

    this is the best worst picture

    I thought that was a pic of OMWC, this very winter?

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • Swiss Servator||

    Bag of chloroform and rags included!

  • Suicidy||

    Who the hell is he?

  • Swiss Servator||

    Secret Santa!

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Fashion Santa could use a helper, I think. Here's a good one.

  • Swiss Servator||

    I could use such a helper...

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Fashion Santa would never be so tacky

  • lap83||

    slutty santa is probably his arch nemesis

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Fashion Santa's arch nemesis is Breitbart Santa *

    *Not safe for work or any other location.

  • Fun at Parties||

    MY EYES!!!!! THEY BURN!!!!!!!!

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Sigh. Some guys never learn.

    Here, FaP.

    Great handle, btw.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Thanks for taking one for all of us - now I shan't be clicking that.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Breitbart Santa would approve of what this thread is going to become.

  • Loki||

    DAMN MY CURIOSITY!!!11!!!!!!

  • EMD||

    Fashion Santa probably needs a 'beard.'

  • Suicidy||

    So.......Hipster Santa?

  • ||

    That is a posable mannequin, right? It has to be. In every image I have seen of that...thing...it has exactly the same facial expression.

    It is creepy.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Blue steel!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Swiss Servator||

    Which came first, the anarchist or the egg?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Egg. Otherwise there would be no omelets to make.

  • jester||

    The egg. [standing ovation]

  • Rich||

    "you're more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than by a terrorist."

    So, you're saying not only should we *not* abolish DHS, we should also have a Furniture Czar.

  • Sevo||

    And wait in line with your shoes off for an hour or so to buy a sofa.

  • MSimon||

    Beware of falling coffins.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Terrorists tend to weigh less than furnature, so it will take more of them to fatally crush a person.

  • EMD||

    Fat terrorists are the new market efficiency.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    A perfect storm of hysteria and anti-government sentiments will lead to...what, exactly?

    A lot of guns being purchased?

  • LemonMender||

    The immediate fix of fortifying cockpit doors shortly after 9/11 effectively meant that commercial planes could never again be used as missiles.


    Unless it's German Wings, in which case they also ensured that it could not be prevented.

    I'm not mentioning that to be glib, but rather to point out that there is no way to eliminate all risk, but I'd rather live in a world with hardened cockpit doors than one without and the (very slim) risk of a pilot going postal is preferable to the other risks. But I'm sure someone somewhere was wetting his/her pants after the German Wings incident, trying to think of ways to prevent that.

    (Incidentally, I was flying from Barcelona to Germany right after the German Wings plain went down (although I was on a different airline). My wife heard the news about the German Wings crash while I was in the air and didn't know any details, just that I was on a flight from Barcelona. For about ten minutes she was seriously worried.)

  • Loki||

    For about ten minutes she was seriously worried.

    How many people's rights did she demand be trampled on because she was worried? /sarc

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "you're more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than by a terrorist."

    Well... I'm not more likely to be crushed by furniture, but people are.

  • Swiss Servator||

    *motions frantically to burly men carrying sofa*

  • GregMax||

    Asinine.

    Gillespse looks at polls from Gallup and jumps to hysteria. Hysteria is - a state in which your emotions (such as fear) are so strong that you behave in an uncontrolled way.

    Really he gets from a poll that people are BEHAVING in an uncontrolled way? What is the action that gives away the behavior? And what is uncontrolled about the non-existant action?

    I have doubts Reason will last much longer.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    I have doubts Reason will last much longer.

    *looks at watch*

    Kind of early, Greg, but ok:

    Drink!

  • Swiss Servator||

    Irish up that coffee for ya?

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's getting really difficult to distinguish the trolls from the idiots around here.

  • GregMax||

    I've noticed.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What would you fucking call people calling for more war and exceptions to the Constitution based upon a couple of idiots in CA?

    Peddle your bullshit elsewhere.

  • GregMax||

    No. And "calling" for anything is not really a measurable action.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    In the digital age, I beg to differ.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    hys·te·ri·a
    Exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people.

    Hysteria is exactly the correct word.

    Fuck off troll.

  • GregMax||

    Fuck yourself troll. ACTION is the critical component of hysteria. Just cause you frequent this site doesn't mean you aren't a fucking troll yourself. Your obvious inability to tolerate an opposing point of view, your inability to put a rational argument forward, and your rush to name-calling demonstrate you are probably more comfortable with liberals than rational people.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So we can add reading comprehension to your list of shortcomings.

    I posted the definition of hysteria which completely obliterated your original premise. There it is in black and white. Emotion or excitement. Action perhaps, but by no means required.

    You don't like Reason, so you come here, specifically to bag on the place...

    ...act like a troll, get treated as a troll.

  • GregMax||

    Uh, no Troll. You crafted a definition of hysteria that served your point. Mine was in black and white too and it came from Merriam Webster.
    Fuck you shitbag. I LIKE Reason and your hypocrisy and irrational trolling demonstrate what a tool you are.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Cite your definition.

  • GregMax||

    Blow me and then look it up on the MW website, troll.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Consider yourself blown.

    From MW:

    hysteria

    noun hys·te·ria \his-ˈter-ē-ə, -ˈtir-\

    : a state in which your emotions (such as fear) are so strong that you behave in an uncontrolled way
    : a situation in which many people behave or react in an extreme or uncontrolled way because of fear, anger, etc.

    People calling for war and exceptions to the Constitution are certainly behaviors and I see nothing in that definition that requires

    a measurable action

    Cite your shit, or shut the fuck up.

  • GregMax||

    I didn't feel much. You need a new profession, troll.

  • GregMax||

    Troll (that's for your next response).

  • bacon-magic||

    ^this

  • Sevo||

    GregMax|12.14.15 @ 1:07PM|#
    "No. And "calling" for anything is not really a measurable action."

    So if they don't succeed, it isn't hysteria?

  • GregMax||

    No, I mean actions like running amok and cutting the heads of Muslims is more like traditional hysteria, not simply expressing a desire (however impractical) to stop terrorists from breezing in on visas.

  • Marty Comanche||

    I thought letting your uteral feeling overwhelm you to the point of crying or fainting was traditional hysteria.

  • GregMax||

    Lost my uterus to a terror attack in 1974.

  • Marty Comanche||

    Well, ok, then. You're clearly not capable of hysteria, but I still recommend checking your humors and applying leeches.

  • John||

    We mean the Constitution we have not the one that lives in your half witted skull. The worst thing anyone has called for is Trump saying Muslims shouldn't be able to immigrate. And that is, according to everything I have read completely constitutional.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    No, dipshit, I'm talking about YOU!

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    Fuck off you diseased piece of shit.

  • GregMax||

    See, you are hysterical now. Troll.

  • GregMax||

    The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL not be infringed.

    Making no law respecting establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof - EXERCISE is the operative word. It doesn't say shit about establishing standards of immigration. And despite your trollesque comments, let me repeat - Banning people based on their declared religion is impractical and kinda stupid. But banning people from immigrating from KNOWN terrorist nations is not.
    Try to get your head out of your ass long enough to get beyond the guy's verbal retardation.

  • GregMax||

    *referencing Trump's verbal retardation,not John's.*

  • John||

    God you are stupid Frank. Gregg covered it but being angry isn't making you smarter here.

  • GregMax||

    He seems rather . . . hysterical. Maybe it's all the terrorism.

  • DesigNate||

    Not that it's even feasible, but not letting someone into the country, for whatever reason, seems to be one of those delegated powers to the fed.gov.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    not letting someone into the country, for whatever reason, seems to be one of those delegated powers to the fed.gov.

    It is, but that's not what this discussion is about. John wants to get rid of all Muslims currently living here, US citizens or not.

    John|2015/12/02 15:15:34|#5744644↑|–|filternamelinkcustom

    I am with you. I fucking had it with this bullshit. Nothing personal but if having Muslims in your society means putting up with this shit, every Muslim in America can pack their shit and head back to Bumfuckistan.
  • Suicidy||

    At least not as a libertarian organization. With Chapman, Richman, that Indira chick, or whatever the hell her name is. Next thing you know Krugman will be the staff economist.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    But despite unremitting coverage of the Paris attacks, an objective examination of the facts shows that terrorism is an insignificant danger to the vast majority of people in the West.

    After the first couple of days, most of the unremitting coverage I got were the abject horrors being suffered by Muslim Americans at the hands of hateful citizens looking for revenge.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The government should look at tightening its procedures, which it is doing.

    Are they?

  • Rich||

    I'm sure *many* government folks are looking at tightening procedures.

  • Swiss Servator||

    "Please remain still, whilst we tighten this C-clamp on your testicles..."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I have a sneaking suspicion that this "tightening procedures" leads to K-pop bands being interrogated for 15 hours until they finally return home in despair.

  • SugarFree||

    I have a sneaking suspicion that this "tightening procedures" leads to K-pop bands being interrogated for 15 hours until they finally return home in despair.

    Have we had any K-pop band terrorism since then? No? Then the system you mock is obviously working.

  • Loki||

  • Suicidy||

    "I just needs to look inside yo' asshole."

  • Mickey Rat||

    You may be more likely to be crushed by furniture but the furniture is not trying to kill you and you have likely chosen to handle the furniture. Other people initiating violence against their neighbors is a risk most people want to have dealt so they can manage the risk they have chosen to accept.

    That kind of statistical manipulation my be true on some level but it is rather meaningless.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It's not meaningless. So much of the overreaction is based around the belief that terrorism poses some sort of existential threat to our way of life. It does not.

  • John||

    See the point about lynching above. It doesn't have to be an existential threat to be a huge problem.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Very few things pose an existential threat to our way of life -- an asteroid strike or some of the more far-fetched extrapolated scenarios of global warming, maybe. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Soviet Russia never became an existential threat because they were never seriously able to impact the homeland outside of some outlaying territories. The US has never had to face a Hannibal-style enemy at the gates. If based on that analysis, the US were to dismantle its military Costa Rica-style, it would have found that those and other marginal threats would become existential ones in short order. Existential threats to societies rarely if ever start that way, and it is best to deal with them when they are manageable. Moreover, manageable threats are still threats -- so it is better to analyze based on trade-offs, instead of based on dealing only with "big" or "existential" threats.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    If based on that analysis, the US were to dismantle its military Costa Rica-style, it would have found that those and other marginal threats would become existential ones in short order.

    No one is asking to disarm the military. I ask that it only be used when the threat is real.

    I have no problem punishing terrorists for their actions and using the military to do so, when other means are impractical.

    But that's a big difference from using the military to preemptively eliminate terrorism by killing people who may or may not commit a terrorist act at some point in the future. Or going to war with an entire religion because a tiny few of its followers are nutjobs.

  • Octavian||

    I'm curious.

    When does the threat become real? What standard would you use?

    Is it real when you need to send in a battalion? An army? The entire Atlantic Fleet? Every time we've waited that long to address a "real" threat managing it has become a very, very bloody affair.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    When does the threat become real? What standard would you use?

    Oh, somewhat less than one in 14,000 which is what the average American's odds are of being murdered in a given year. It's the conservative point where we elect to use the existing justice system to adjudicate bad guys, rather than indiscriminately kill innocents with war. Oh BTW that's about 1400 times more likely than being killed by a terrorist.

  • Octavian||

    "The US has never had to face a Hannibal-style enemy at the gates."

    War of 1812.

  • EMD||

    He said 'Hannibal-style' enemy.

    Jeez.

  • Not okay||

    The odds of being falsely accused of campus rape are small, so is being killed by the police. Blasphemy laws effect very few people. It's time to shut down the magazine I guess, nothing is an issue.

  • jester||

    The public doesn't trust the government's ability to take guns away from the citizenry? [prog's take on the poll]

  • Homple||

    A statistically insignificant number of people are killed by police, so why all the pants shitting here about that subject?

  • Sevo||

    Man, did they hand out a pant's shitting manual with all the false equivalences for talking points?

  • Homple||

    So, why?

  • Sevo||

    So you're making them up yourself?

  • Homple||

    No, I'm asking why one statistically insignificant cause of death- police killings-is of more concern than another statistically insignificant cause of death-terrorism.

  • Sevo||

    Homple|12.14.15 @ 2:20PM|#
    "No, I'm asking why one statistically insignificant cause of death- police killings-is of more concern than another statistically insignificant cause of death-terrorism."

    Do you really want an answer? OK:
    1) Cops are expected, as 'public servants' to act professionally and not randomly kill people.
    2) We can do something about that without causing the associated harm to freedoms and increased taxes as required for the other.
    3) We can *identify* the cops without similar losses.
    There's more, but please, THINK before posting such stupid shit. I'm tired of answering brain-dead crap.

  • Homple||

    So it's not the likelihood of getting killed; it's the fact that cops killing non-cops is a good way to publicize police and general government overreach. Sounds sensible.

    Now if you could learn to present your thoughts without snotty-mouthed snark....

  • Suicidy||

    Why is that not a fair question? The actual number of people unjustly killed by cops is actually extremely low, relative to the population.

  • Not okay||

    Leave him alone, he learned a new term and he's gonna use it whether he understands it or not.

  • John||

    Its just a new version of "strawman". Basically if you point out a logical implication of their position they don't like, they call it a "strawman" and pretend the word actually means what they think it does.

  • Illocust||

    Strawman I've seen used fairly accurately by all side. False equivalence I've never seen used correctly. I've only seen it used as a way to say you can't make that comparison because I don't like the implication or find the thing being compared to insulting or demeaning.

  • Sevo||

    Illocust|12.14.15 @ 2:53PM|#
    "Strawman I've seen used fairly accurately by all side. False equivalence I've never seen used correctly."

    Bullshit.

  • Not okay||

    You understand false equivalence doesn't mean "equivalence I don't like"?

  • Sevo||

    You understand that "false equivalence" means something, right?
    See above, idiot. I'm tire of hand-holding poor, panicked twits who have to check under their beds for monsters every night.

  • Contrarian P||

    I would think it's because the police are paid for by the citizenry, so we have a direct interest and responsibility for their behavior. It's also highly statistically likely that any American will interact with a police officer, virtually all of whom carry the tools to kill at all times, in any given year. Finally abuse of power by the police is a huge problem, not just the fatalities (of which there are far, far more than deaths by terrorism). None of the above is true for terrorists.

  • Contrarian P||

    Oh, and we also haven't had to give up swathes of our rights without consent to "protect" us from the police. That's another thing.

  • Homple||

    I don't say we should give up any rights, I just say that people are as legitimately concerned about being killed by a terrorist as by a cop, given the rather small likelihood of either event.

  • Contrarian P||

    Except that virtually all solutions being called for to protect us from this alleged horrible threat involve the encroachment on freedom. So you might not be saying it, but a lot of people are.

  • Homple||

    I speak for myself, not the others.

  • Homple||

    Nonetheless, when you're murdered, you're dead irrespective of who did it or why. I can't see why worrying about the small chance of being killed by a terrorist is any way more hysterical than worrying about being shot by a cop.

  • Contrarian P||

    I don't think the ongoing campaign against police militarization, abuse of power, and inappropriate use of deadly force is caused by a concern of being killed oneself by the police. Libertarians oppose broad powers of government and the wide latitude granted to police are a prime example of those powers, so it's hardly surprising that libertarians would be concerned about that issue. I'm pretty sure if you asked Gillespie, he wouldn't have a lot of concern that he will be shot by a policeman, any more than he is concerned that the government will break down his door and haul him away to a secret prison camp. That doesn't mean he as a libertarian shouldn't be concerned by the government having the right to do that and call for an end to those practices.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Nor are the various aspects of Islamic law being opposed simply because of terrorism. They're opposed because they're foursquare against Western values and a country full of people who support Islamic law will undermine and oppose Western values.

  • Contrarian P||

    We aren't talking about opposing Islamic law here. We're talking about doing things to people.

  • Fun at Parties||

    I don't actively shoot, but there's a few decent long guns in the house I inherited which carry heavy sentimental value. If the government insisted on taking them away I would expect heavy compensation (2-3x value) like the cash for clunkers program did for junked cars.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Why would you give them up? The government probably doesn't know you have them.

  • Fun at Parties||

    That's a good point, but the government made them illegal to own it would complicate things wouldn't it?

  • Fun at Parties||

    *if*

  • Swiss Servator||

    So your rights are for sale?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    To the highest voter!

  • Unreconstructed (Sans Flag)||

    WA, CO voters likely to get the most rights.

  • Fun at Parties||

    Not necessarily. I have a high respect for the law tho, even unjust ones and feel that laws I disagree with should be changed via the democratic process and not with violence/force. Take the same-sex marriage law for instance. I think it's great SS couples gained the freedom to marry under the law, but it also tramples on religious freedoms and that's a bummer, not to mention they forced it via the SCOTUS and not by a vote of the people which is totally BS so I tend to waffle a bit at times due to my neutrality. Been lurking a few months and just decided to start posting today on a slow work day. According to the political compass test I'm 0.08% from a dead center liberal leaning slightly towards the authoritarian side. With how far-left most social media/political comment sites are that makes me fun at parties in their wide doe-eyes. :D

  • R C Dean||

    If the government insisted on taking them away

    I would think long and hard about whether it was time for armed resistance.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Honestly, I think people are more worried about being shot or blown up by terrorists than being fatally crushed by terrorists. Maybe if the Giants join ISIS it would be more of a concern.

  • Loki||

    Maybe if the Giants join ISIS it would be more of a concern.

    Still wouldn't be that concerned. The Giants suck, I mean, they couldn't even beat the Jets, and can't seem to win possibly the most pathetic division in NFL history.

  • EMD||

    -1 Seattle Seahawks, 2010

  • Suicidy||

    Well muslim arabs are mostly skinny shrimpy folks, so not likely to be crushed by a fat one. Maybe they should recruit orca sized muslims so they can engage in Jihadi crushing of infidels underneath their fat asses.

  • Glide||

    I wasn't aware that people getting fatally crushed by falling terrorists was even a problem! The more you know...

  • Ms. Eleanor Lavish||

    Hmmm. I'm gonna guess that this hysteria will last for a few weeks and like all other media promoted mass delusions will fade right up until there's another attack. When the economy shits the bed, we'll then engage in another kind of hysteria.

    I just want to say that accepting a permanent state of persisting terrorist attacks, as I think Nick is suggesting, is an admission of epic failure and not really a winning tactic for libertarianism - at least not politically.

  • Homple||

    I just want to say that accepting a permanent state of persisting terrorist attacks, as I think Nick is suggesting, is an admission of epic failure and not really a winning tactic for libertarianism - at least not politically.

    The Brits put up with this situation until the IRA ran out of steam, but there are hella more whackjob Islamists than there ever were disaffected Irish.

  • R C Dean||

    The Brits put up with this situation until the IRA ran out of steam,

    I think we are hoping to avoid the many, many bad things that went along with the IRA and the British response.

  • EMD||

    Try talking shit about muslims in Britain.

    That's what we can't allow happen here.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Terror attacks are hardly persistent. If the San Bernadino shooters had different surnames it would have been treated as another criminal mass shooting.

    And the only alternative it to throw out a bunch of beefed up security theater while accepting that none of it will prevent terrorism.

  • Homple||

    "Terror attacks are hardly persistent".

    They will stop on their pwn when and why?

  • Homple||

    "own"

  • ||

    pwned!

  • Homple||

    I know. Of all the stupid typos in the world....

  • Not okay||

    They were motivated by Islam. If there's another motivation that keeps causing people to murder then that would be a factor but most other shootings have no coherent connection.

  • Ms. Eleanor Lavish||

    Possibly, you're right. We've had 10 or so terror linked attacks since 9/11. But that hardly predicts the future, does it? Assuming past performance guarantees future returns is beyond stupid. I think the French might be finding that equation faulty.

    I don't necessarily accept your only alternative either. It's a bad idea to indulge in do-something-ism or security theatre, but accepting the status quo is a failure of imagination. We maybe able to come up with creative solutions, but before that can happen we need to be open to a discussion. It's also a failure of imagination in terms of what form terrorism might take.

    Your basic premise - that terrorism really is no big deal and we can't come up with creative solutions so why bother - is defeatist, as is absolutely a loser for any libertarian (leaning) politician to take.

  • Suicidy||

    I'm guessing we get hit again relatively soon. ISIS appears to be ramping up, not down right now.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Both findings are simultaneously understandable and hysterical


    Not trusting the government's ability to counter terrorism is hysterical? In what universe? You realize this is an article for a libertarian website and not the Daily Beast, right Nick?

    And "X exists and is large while Y is less large" is nowhere near being a proof that one should ignore Y. I guarantee you that not one of the people who would consider terrorism a motivating issue will find this approach to the issue satisfactory, anymore than a critic of police brutality will appreciate a cop apologist pointing out that such incidents are rare.

  • Loki||

    confidence in the government's ability to protect us from terrorism is at a new all-time low of just 55 percent:

    Still ~50% too high (I accept that at least 5% of the population really is that irredeemably stupid).

  • Loki||

    Because "you're more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than by a terrorist."

    BUT IT'S STILL NOT ZERO!

    *drops load of shit in pants*

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Swiss Servator||

    Does that mean the USAF will actually have some bombs on hand?

  • EMD||

    Pix or GTFO, Obama.

  • ||

    "Few politicians have been less effective than Barack Obama in showing empathy and concern for national anxieties,"

    Oh, I think that's been pretty evident from the get-go given his cynical proclivity to selectively insert himself into various tragedies. How can you lead when you want to score cheap points for political expediency to push a particular agenda?

    What better time to call for more sensible gun-control than right after a few people being killed by guns? Assuaging national anxieties, like a real leader, would just get in the way.

  • PapayaSF||

    He's very good at addressing the "national anxiety" that innocent Muslims might be discriminated against.

  • PapayaSF||

    Sorry, Nick, but I hate the "You're more likely to die by X than terrorists" argument. There's a big difference between the threat of accidents and the threat of people trying to kill you, and it's perfectly rational to fear the latter more.

    "I understand that your ex has threatened to kill you, but don't worry! Many more people die in car crashes than are murdered by ex-boyfriends!"

    Especially when those making the threats have already killed thousands of people.

    And especially when those killers of thousands of people have the full or partial support of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

  • John||

    What Nick and his various fan boys on here can't seem to grasp is that it is just as much of an injustice and a tragedy if I am murdered by a trigger happy cop or by a jihadist. No one here would ever accept the ridiculous assertion that because your individual chance of being killed by a cop in a given year is in the one in a million range somehow means cops killing people is not a problem. Yet they trot out this ridiculous notion to refute any concern about terrorism.

  • ||

    John. From What I gather, it's not that Nick and the Heartbreakers don't take this problem lightly (I hope not). They're just taking the position of is it worth throwing more resources and expanding the police state (and thus loss of liberty by way of civil rights abuses) for something that statistically shows doesn't merit it?

  • John||

    If they don't take the problem lightly, they should not claim it matters what your individual chances are of being killed by a terrorist matters. It doesn't.

    And if they think it is a problem, then they should be forcefully arguing for solutions to the problem instead of just insulting people who offer solutions they don't like. If they would do that, they would be a lot more effective.

  • ||

    At the moment, I think they believe there are enough resources as well as political capital and legal and law enforcement power in place to deal with it. It's come at a considerable cost to liberty and money.

    I agree we should necessarily downplay loss of life to mere statistics on this particular issue but what more can be done?

  • Contrarian P||

    Not all problems have solutions, John.

    Suicide is a problem. We lose tens of thousands of people to it every year. We've spent huge amounts of money trying to identify and treat those who will kill themselves and we haven't really affected suicide rates at all. Similarly, deaths by overuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are certainly a problem (a much bigger one, again, than terrorism). Gun violence is a problem, and again claims orders of magnitude more lives than terrorism. But libertarians are not calling for "solutions" to these issues, because just about all potential remedies come with worse problems attached.

  • John||

    Every problem has a solution. The issue is not if there is a solution. The issue is do you have the stomach for the solution. Muslim terrorism will not go on forever. At some point either they will win or they will quit because the government made them or the the American public will take matters into their own hands and made them.

    Nothing lasts forever.

  • Contrarian P||

    "Every problem has a solution".

    Needs evidence, and lots of it.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You really are stupid, aren't you.

    Has any libertarian, ever, called for solving the cop problem by violating the rights of innocent people (like you have)?

    Shall we deport all cops based upon the actions of a few of them, or should we just punish the bad cops? What say, John?

    I am with you. I fucking had it with this bullshit. Nothing personal but if having Muslims cops in your society means putting up with this shit, every Muslim cop in America can pack their shit and head back to Bumfuckistan.
  • PapayaSF||

    No, I am not stupid, I am just not so wrapped up in ideology that I am blind to the real world.

    No, I don't believe I am advocating "violating the rights of innocent people." Preventing Muslim refugees from entering the country does not violate their rights, and neither does ending Muslim immigration. There is no right to immigrate.

    If you have a problem of bad cops, the solution is not just to hire more cops. You want to hire good ones only. There is a problem with Muslim terrorism, so it behooves us to not add to it by importing more Muslims (who are a much higher terror risk than any other group). And by having fewer potential terrorists, we reduce the need for rights-infringing anti-terror methods. So my attitude is ultimately more pro-liberty (for Americans) than yours.

  • John||

    How many people have to die for your principles Frank? A million? Two million?

    As long as the one of them isn't you, I suspect the number is limitless.

    Is there any amount of death that would cause you to say no more of the ideology that caused it? If yes, then agree with me and we are just arguing over numbers. If no, see question number one.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    There's a big difference between the threat of accidents and the threat of people trying to kill you, and it's perfectly rational to fear the latter more.

    How about murders?

    One in 14,000 vs one in 20,000,000.

    Are you punishing innocent people to get murderers off the streets? Bombing suspected murderer facilities?

  • PapayaSF||

    You're really off the rails here, guy. I don't know what you think I am arguing for, but that isn't it. My point was that the death statistics argument about terrorism is hugely flawed. (And in several ways, not just the one I talked about.)

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So what's your plan? Serve it up, man.

  • PapayaSF||

    No more Muslim immigration or refugees. No general NSA/etc. surveillance of American citizens, and instead focus on where the problem is: Islamic terrorism. Which, conveniently, happens among members of only one religion.

  • Contrarian P||

    How do you plan to screen for Muslims? And do you think that those who really plan to kill us will simply decide to pack up and go home because of a "closed" sign at an airport?

  • John||

    They don't have to decide to do that. We can make them or we can lock them up for the crime of planning to kill us.

    Here is the thing, you cannot have a free society if a segment of it doesn't want it to be free and is willing to kill to make it unfree. Either them or your freedom has to go. If Muslims want to stay in this country, they need to embrace liberal ideals and an open society. The ones who do that, can stay. The ones who don't, have to leave. And I don't just mean the ones who kill people. I mean any Muslim who isn't willing to publicly repudiate his support for Sharia law or for violence against people for violating or insulting his religion.

    If it bothers you that that picks on Muslims, fine, make everyone else ask the same question. I don't want people who think it is okay to kill for Christianity or communism around either.

  • Contrarian P||

    You also cannot have a free society when you can lock up people or deport them because they don't like your society.

  • PapayaSF||

    We can at least stop importing foreigners who don't like our society.

  • Contrarian P||

    So your plan is to screen people as to whether they like America or not for entry?

  • PapayaSF||

    The US doesn't need more non-English speakers, welfare cases, unskilled workers, misogynists, Jew-haters, homophobes, conspiracy nuts, criminals, violent morons, religious fanatics, opponents of free speech, opponents of the separation of church and state, terrorists, terror supporters, potential terror supporters, and parents of future terror supporters. Screen for those things, and then we'll talk. If you can't screen for those things, then let's have no immigration for a while.

  • Contrarian P||

    All statistical arguments are flawed. It's pretty much the nature of the beast.

  • EMD||

    "I understand that your ex has threatened to kill you"

    This would make a lot more sense if you had a prior relationship with a jihadi, or terrorists started calling people they wanted to kill out by name

  • ||

    "I just have this one little itchy red spot on the side of my dick. I wonder if it could be...nah, no way. I am just being hysterical. She is a nice girl. Probably just a mild heat rash. This is nothing to worry about.

    I wonder what she is up to now. Maybe I should give her a call."

  • John||

    Maybe the government following Nick's lead and pretending that terrorism is just no big deal and Islam is not any kind of an issue or source of it has something to do with people having such poor faith in the government's ability to protect them?

    If your answer to the threat of a few dozen or hundred innocent people getting slaughtered by some religious nut a few times a year is simple "hey what are the chances it happens to you", then you really shouldn't complain when people have no faith in your ability to deal with the problem and look elsewhere for someone who can.

    If reason is going to shit its pants over Trump, maybe they should try and come up with better answers to this issue instead of just pretending it isn't and never could be a problem and in the process ceding the field to him. I find "hey your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are like one in two million man" to be just as infuriating and insulting a response as the worst and most idiotic things Trump says.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    I hope that what such arguments stem from is the fear of government solutions that focus on stripping the innocent of rights rather than taking the fight to the bad guys.

    Psychos kill a bunch of people with guns? Go after peaceful gun owners.

    Hard to find the bad guys? Rape the shit out of the fourth, fifth and sixth.

    I'm not sure how to prevent these attacks. I suspect that it really can't be done. I do think that a free and empowered citizenry is a good start. One of these days, there will be another attack where citizens can return fire. Then things will really get interesting.

  • John||

    To some degree that can't be prevented. And there is nothing wrong with saying that. But saying that doesn't mean they are not a problem or that the fact that your chances of dying being small makes them no big deal.

    Second, to the extent you can prevent them, you prevent them by going after the lunatics, not their guns. And of course a freely empowered and armed citizenry is one hell of a start.

    I think our best defense is a society wide commitment to not accepting or condoning religious radicals of any stripe. The message should be loud and clear that no matter what your religion, if you come to this country with the idea that you are entitled to force your will on it or that you have some right to demand everyone show your beliefs some kind of respect, you can leave immediately.

    It is funny that the liberals are always saying "if you do this, the terrorists have won." In reality, the progressive culture of "I have a right never to be offended" is exactly what the terrorists winning looks like. The people who do this more than anything have a giant victim complex that they use to rationalize their murdering people. One good start to stopping this shit would be to as a society tell everyone with a victim complex to fuck off instead of encouraging them.

  • Homple||

    Perhaps funders of the Reason Foundation could put some cash into TV commercials with the message "hey your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are like one in two million man". That might help damp down the hysteria that Nick keeps finding in the population.

    Are there any commercial slots left for the Super Bowl?

  • TimothyLane||

    If ISIS inspires attacks, it will mostly be among Muslim residents -- some born here, some immigrants, but all of them Muslims. The obvious answer is not to bring in any more Muslims. Considering that most Muslims are anti-Semites, and large fractions of Muslims even in the US (who have supposedly assimilated) favor honor killings as well as death for apostates and blasphemers, this can only be a benefit. And then there are the rape gangs, as in Rotherham. Why do you want more of all that?

  • John||

    They don't want more of all that. They are just trapped into a corner by their fantastical commitment to open borders and to never make any collective judgment about any group of people. The Progs' sin is that they think people can be perfected by the government. The Libertarians' sin is that they think people can be perfected by being left alone. Neither Progs nor strict Libertarians can account for the problem of Muslim radicals much less offer any constructive solutions.

  • Homple||

    The failures of prog and libertarian theories are that both believe people can be "perfected" if they live in the right political system.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I disagree. Libertarian theory accepts that people will never be perfected. Which is why we support free speech, even for ugly people.

  • Homple||

    The best to hope for is a system which minimizes the damage by bad guys while leaving the good guys alone. It's just hard to get agreement about who's bad and who's good.

  • PapayaSF||

    Exactly, John. Libertarians have a blindness about culture and religion and the ability of the US to function as a melting pot. Unfortunately, if you take Third World followers of a backwards religion and drop them into the US, they don't automagically become generic Americans. Their culture often comes with them! Imagine that.

    So now we have American citizens from Minnesota fighting to establish a sharia dictatorship in Somalia, and we're not supposed to be concerned. After all, how many Americans have been killed by Somali-Americans in the name of Allah? Not many! So no worries!

  • Homple||

    The Minnesota Somalis have so far been smart enough not to shit where they eat, at least not shit in spectacular quantities.

  • PapayaSF||

    They know they have no chance (yet) of taking over Minneapolis, so they go where they do have a chance.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    and large fractions of Muslims even in the US (who have supposedly assimilated) favor honor killings as well as death for apostates and blasphemers,

    Citation required

  • John||

    Are you too dumb to look for yourself or too afraid of the answers? That information is out there, go prove his assertion wrong if you don't like it. Otherwise shut the fuck up

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

  • John||

    You are making the affirmative claim they don't. Provide proof.

  • Contrarian P||

    Isn't saying something doesn't exist a negative claim, not an affirmative one?

  • PapayaSF||

  • Contrarian P||

    If you click on the honor killing link, it goes to a news article, not the poll in question, which states that the poll showed 10% of Asians thought honor killings were ok. The actual poll according to the BBC was of "500 Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims" in Britain of Asian origin, not Muslims alone, and only the 16-34 year old age group was interviewed. To represent it as an indictment of all British Muslims is misleading and dishonest, to say the least.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5311244.stm

  • John||

    Not necessarily. It may in fact be a lie to protect Muslims. Who says that support of honor killings is equal among those groups? If it is not and higher among Muslims, then lumping Muslims in with everyone else from the sub continent makes the Muslim honor killing problem look better than it actually is.

    And if you look at this poll of just Muslims, it appears to be higher than 10%.

    it is on the Washington Post. Reason won't take the link. Search Muslim support for honor killings Washington Post.

  • Contrarian P||

    Okay, John, so citing a poll based on the supposition that it only doesn't harmonize with your narrative because the pollsters were deliberately skewing the data to make Muslims look better is fine, despite a complete lack of evidence of such. Give me a break.

    As to the Post poll, are you talking about the Pew poll from 2013, which did not interview Muslims in Britain, the United States, or any Western European country, as supporting your claims? Pew did talk to Muslims in Russia and Albania, though (the overwhelming majority of those polled indicated that honor killings were never acceptable). What did you think you were proving by citing this evidence?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    There is nothing, that I can find, in that mountain of garbage that says large fractions of Muslims even in the US (who have supposedly assimilated) favor honor killings as well as death for apostates and blasphemers.

    Please provide the citation asked for.

  • PapayaSF||

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Again, not a single word about American Muslims favoring honor killings or death for apostates and blasphemers.

    PSF, you are simply a mendacious, bigoted cunt.

    Keep trying, though.

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh, so you are going to claim that the fact that they say violence is OK for those things is something entirely different from death? Do you think that they mean a bad spanking?

    Do you know anything about Islamic law? That's what they are supporting, and sharia law decrees death for those offenses. So when Muslims who believe in sharia law respond to a poll question about "violence," they mean "death," because that's what's in the Koran. That's what sharia law is: what's in the Koran.

    You're the one being mendacious, and making excuses for anti-libertarian views, while calling me names.

  • Contrarian P||

    We literally have millions of Muslims living in the United States and they have been immigrating here at a rate of a quarter million per year. The number of terror attacks by Muslims in the United States has been incredibly small from people you think are motivated by such hatred. Plus there's no diagnostic test to determine if someone is a Muslim. One could simply check Christian or agnostic on the immigration form. If you make Muslim immigration illegal and there are indeed immigrants who want to kill and are that motivated, do you really think we have the capability to keep them out? And do you really believe that we have the capability to monitor and identify all potential terrorists among 5-8 million people? Seriously?

  • PapayaSF||

    Nobody thinks the screening can be perfect. You lock your doors even though someone could break into your house by chopping a hole in the roof with an ax. That's not an argument in favor of leaving doors unlocked. You do what you can to make it harder for the bad guys.

  • Contrarian P||

    Actually, I don't lock my doors, except when I'm out of town for long periods of time. My property is insured against damage and theft at a quite reasonable cost, likely because the actual risk of loss is extremely low. I have a weapon to defend myself against home intrusion should one occur, but I literally spend no time worrying about one.

  • Homple||

    Will your insurance company pay off if they know that you didn't take the minimum precaution of locking your door? I thought they would balk at that.

  • Contrarian P||

    I haven't seen any mention of that in my policy and didn't see it on a skim I just did. Not sure how they'd prove it even if that's the case. In any event it's kind of tangential to the discussion, isn't it?

  • Cloudbuster||

    People being worried about terrorism right after two highly-publicized and bloody terrorist attacks is just normal human nature. It's no more hysterical than wetting ones pants about how people are becoming hysterical about terrorism.

    It's why we have a deliberative, representative system (or are supposed to). If we made our laws through national online voting systems, like a TV dance competition, the system would crumble almost instantly. Fortunately, we don't do that.

    But to get worried because people are voicing their fears, that's doubling down on hysteria.

  • PapayaSF||

    I do think it's a bit odd that Reason can get quite upset every time a cop shoots a puppy or some lowlife moron, but thousands of terror deaths by worldwide groups that want to take over the world and establish a theocratic dictatorship, and that have the support of hundreds of millions of "peaceful" Muslims: hey, let's not let our fears get the better of us! Let's have a sense of proportion! Look at how dangerous bathtubs are, for example!

  • Contrarian P||

    Again, terrorists are not public employees.

  • Tech||

    This.

    I guess the one good thing is that these topics are revealing the progs for who they are around here.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Fact of the matter is, the hysteria-free case goes something like this:

    A Muslim emigrant carries with him a negative externality -- his belief system. It is a system of belief which clashes with agreed-upon US norms in a huge way -- particularly, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the premise of individual rights belonging to women as much as they do to men. A moderate Muslim will be inclined to vote based on these beliefs and will likely be sympathetic to an extreme Muslim and provide some level of support. An extreme Muslim will commit violence for these beliefs. Both of these groups put together make up the majority of Muslim immigrants. Stopping or reducing Muslim immigration will reduce the number of people who are part of either group. It is left as an exercise to the open borders crowd to make an argument in favor of the other attributes these Muslim immigrants leave to the table which exceed these detriments, but it is a challenge they've passed on in favor of deriding their opponents as "pants-shitters" and racists, variously.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Because of this, it is unfortunately the case that we don't have an actual debate on this site: just a constant citing of the extremist beliefs of "mainstream" Muslims and a complete denial of these beliefs existing among Muslims among the open borders crowd. If we had a better idea of exactly what we lose by banning Muslim immigration, it would help us to evaluate the trade-off. My suspicion is that the general economic benefits of Muslim immigration aren't particularly convincing even to open borders types, and that they avoid discussing the trade-offs for that reason -- but who knows. Maybe you'll be the first to come up with something reasonable on the subject.

  • Tech||

    100% agree with this.

    Also agree with the above posts that Reason has basically become a shitbox ever since Trump didn't flame out. Now they're going after Cruz as well. Do these fucking progtards I used to think were libertarians want Hildebeest to win? Do they seriously think that would be BETTER? Half of you people need to stop standing on your fucking "principles" constantly and wake the fuck up to reality.

    For example, we didn't properly bet Malik because Obama Administration was concerned about the fucking OPTICS of looking at immigrants PUBLIC Facebook posts? Half of your douchebags here would probably agree with that. Post about violent jihad? That's fine, we want open borders more than we care about American lives. Fuck you people. Especially Francisco.

  • Tech||

    And I apologize for editorializing your thread IT. I respect many of the things you post but your thread came as a beacon of light at the end of a long tunnel of derp I had to read through and I couldn't take it anymore.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Do these fucking progtards I used to think were libertarians want Hildebeest to win? Do they seriously think that would be BETTER? Half of you people need to stop standing on your fucking "principles" constantly and wake the fuck up to reality.

    And there ya have the quintessential Republican. Can't possibly accept that both Teams are equally horrid wrt liberty and none of the above is a valid position. You want my vote? Nominate a libertarian.

    Teh Republikan haz a sad cuz libertarians don't vote Republikan.

    Are you lost? Here ya go.

  • russnelson@gmail.com||

    Fear + lack of trust of the government = a need for a strong leader to lead us through these troubled times, and Trump is just that leader! He will lead us safely down the road to serfdom!

  • GregMax||

    We're all headn' to serfdom anyway. Better to look at Trump's wife than Hillary's face every freaking day until we get neck stamps.

  • Inquisitor||

    Of course!
    First the Democrats tell us that there are 800,000 to 1,000,000 known terrorists on the terrorist watch list walking around free, that are too dangerous to be able to possess guns then the president goes on television telling us that the government is protecting us and keeping us safe?

  • Tech||

    Yeah and 72 of them work at DHS. It's beyond incompetence, it's complicit.

  • Homple||

    If these folks are too dangerous to ride an airplane and possess firearms, shouldn't we also ban them from owning pipes, pressure cookers and remote controlled model cars?

  • Wesley||

    Obama has been fanning the flames of hysteria since he was sworn in January, 2009. He's covered pretty much every topic. One out of six Americans doesn't seem like a hysterical ratio.

  • Alan@.4||

    With the government constituted as it is, how much trust do you have in it?

  • HenryC||

    I am more afraid of the Government's reaction to terrorism than the terrorism itself. It is taking away privacy and liberty in the name of liberty. People can take care of themselves. Just live in a conceal carry state.

  • JackInTheBox||

    The company I work for just came out with a "work place violence" training session all employees have to take, this is the first time they have ever done this as well. Their answer to everything in the coarse is to throw objects or run/hide, I would rather have my CC permit/9mm Glock.

  • EMD||

    "I would rather have my CC permit/9mm Glock."

    I would rather you have your CC permit/9mm Glock as well.

    We have idiotic gun-free zone stickers on the doors at the office.

  • woodNfish||

    Somewhere along the way the staff at Reason lost the ability to reason and now mostly produces pure slanted crap that is not worth the time it takes to read it.

  • XM||

    A furniture accident is an unforeseeable anomaly. We don't live in fear of some freak occurrence that could theoretically take our lives. I walk 30 minutes a day for exercise, meaning I have a greater chance of being ran over by a car than the average American. But that risk is tiny to begin with, and there's no pattern of civilian deaths caused by malicious drivers who hate pedestrians.

    Terrorism in our world is committed by a pseudo nation state that actively funds and recruits members for mass slaughter. They operate openly in failed states. We fear them for the same reason America feared Japan and Nazi Germany, and neither of them touched America's mainland. (No, I'm no saying ISIS is as strong as those fascist states). We're afraid of a growing evil that's the most immediate threat to humanity.

    I don't know why even libertarian play this game. I might as well as say I have a better chance of getting shot to death than losing my home to some eminent domain scheme. So why are libertarians so passionate about that issue? Because they recognize if government has that sort of power, it would a be looming, giant threat to liberty EVEN if it doesn't happen all that often. The same could said of ISIS.

    It makes no sense to use aggregate figures of unrelated incidents to dismiss the threat of terrorism. In a planet of billion of people, random tragedies will add up to thousands. But so what? ISIS is a TERRORIST STATE that exists to kill people.

  • Johnathan Swift Jr.||

    Yes, this is of course logical and sensible and of course the only reason there are not more attacks is not because of any lack of Jihadists, but because we in the west spend hundreds of billions of dollars preventing attacks and prosecuting Jihadists each year.

  • Johnathan Swift Jr.||

    I'm sorry Leather Jacket Man/Boy, but you're delusional to believe that a comparison of the likelihood of random accidents to terrorism makes any sort of sense. Random events are just that, random and unpredictable. Terrorist attacks are not random, nor unpredictable. They are planned, usually the result of at least a small conspiracy. Even the so-called "Lone Wolf" usually communicates with someone who encourages and/or advises them.

    The only reason that there are not many more San Bernardino attacks, one every few weeks or every month and that the numbers don't impress Mr. Leather Pants is because the entire Western World has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars in attempting to prevent them, while of course, at the same time, inviting millions of new residents whose values are incompatible with Western Values and many of whom would like to bring down Western Civilization. Even though the Security Theatre regime has elements of P.C. ridiculousness to it, it still discourages the type of hijackings we would see.

  • Johnathan Swift Jr.||

    Unfortunately for the smug class, they really do want to kill us, everyone one of us and every one of them who is not sufficiently zealous, women who wish to keep their sexual organs as well as adulterers and homosexuals. There are active plots in every state, about 1,000 currently with about fifty jihadis who require round the clock surveillance. There have been about seventy to eighty ISIS or A.Q. related prosecutions in the past year. So, the lack of enough deaths to make Mr. Gillespie sit up and take notice is NOT because of the lack of jihadists who want to kill people with a leather fetish along with the rest of us, it is because most of them are stupid enough to get caught through the process or planning and plotting our demise.

    There have been roughly 27,000 attacks by Jihadists since 9/11. Jihadists are on the march throughout the world, from the Maghreb, to Thailand, France and the United States. The noxious combination of the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi Islam has been spread to a mosque near you. The Islamic jihad movement has no relation to a car accident, to slipping in a bathtub, it is terrorism, which by nature frightens people. People may die in crosswalks, but rarely does someone get out of the car and shoot every person crossing a street at a certain time in the head. It tends to get a person's attention, even someone as cool and full of ironic detachment as a Nick Gillespie

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