Killing Americans

I came upon an interesting infographic the other day that caught my eye.  I have selected the most significant ones, but if you are interested, the full graphic is here.

(http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/causes_of_death#sthash.gxxFi7De.dpbs)

It details the leading causes of death in the United States, some of which are,

Major Cardiovascular Diseases [MCD]                                                796,494

Malignant Neoplasms [Cancer]                                                             584,881

Alcoholic Liver Disease [subset of Chronic Liver Disease]             18,146

Injury by Firearms                                                                                    33,636

Alcohol Induced Deaths                                                                           29,001

Homicide                                                                                                     16,121

Viral Hepatitis                                                                                            8,157

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Disease                                6,955

All Illicit Drugs Combined                                                                       7,000

Cannabis (Marijuana)                                                                               0

(Had to include the fact the Marijuana itself kills nobody)

I found it interesting in light of the saber-rattling nonsense about the ISIS threat from the several hundred thousand candidates for President and the comfort many take in the death penalty of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including this one from the Governor of Massachusetts;

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he hopes the death penalty sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will bring closure. (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/boston-bombing-trial)

What exactly is ‘closure’?

I find it troubling how people in this country see ISIS as serious threat to Americans and that by putting Tsarnaev to death somehow is a blow against terrorism.  The act of killing one young man embracing a delusional 14th Century religious fanaticism somehow mitigates or lessens the threat.

They stand and applaud a call to arms to deal with the threat from ISIS.

What threat?

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here is another interesting fact,

ISIS has killed FOUR Americans, none of them in this country.

Tsarnaev and his brother killed three people.

Between these two threats, they have managed a total of seven.

Hell, the Bandidos and Outlaws managed more than that with one outing at a restaurant. I see no mention of a war on Outlaw Motorcycle gangs being bantered around in Congress.  Although I bet the cops that had to deal with the mess wish there was.

Here is the irony, Tsarnaev and his brother most likely would have been considered enemies of ISIS had they been in Syria, they embrace the wrong flavor of delusional religious fervor.

Do not misunderstand me; while I am opposed to the death penalty, I would gladly stick the needle in Tsarnaev’s arm because there is no doubt of his guilt.  That is a different debate.

Here, I want to make the point that the Republican controlled Congress has tried repeatedly to overturn the Affordable Care Act because of costs, yet is willing to spend another 4-6 Trillion dollars fighting a war in Syria against an enemy that cannot reach us. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/study-iraq-afghan-war-costs-to-top-4-trillion/2013/03/28/b82a5dce-97ed-11e2-814b-063623d80a60_story.html)

If we go on sheer numbers beer, wine, and vodka kill more Americans than any foreign enemy.

Smith & Wesson, Glock, Ruger and other gun manufacturers produce products that kill more Americans annually than terrorist have done in total.

Yet ISIS is a bigger concern to the health and well-being of Americans than heart disease or cancer?

I find it ironic that due to the media pressure on the Presidential Candidates, many are acknowledging they based the decision to go to war in Iraq on flawed or false data.  They agree the choice was wrong in light of new information.

At the time of the decision to go to war in Iraq, the Iraq military or their alleged state sponsored terrorists had killed ZERO Americans.

Afghanistan was different story, they clearly supported Bin Laden and destroying the Taliban was justified.  Of course, the law of unintended consequences took over and the poppy production has improved dramatically, increasing the world’s supply of heroin.

Nothing is simple.

Which is precisely why any discussion of going to war with ISIS need be tempered with reality.

The reality is they pose little threat to most Americans.

The reality is they cannot reach us with any meaningful military threat.

The reality that, should it be ever be necessary, the US military would destroy them assuming they are given sufficient support.  If you are going to loosen the dogs of war, take off their muzzle.

The reality is there are a myriad of issues in this country that are real, serious, and life threatening to Americans.  I am not advocating isolationism, I am advocating reason.

Any death is tragic.  I am in not minimizing the enormity of the Boston bombing; however, we should expect Congress to be intelligent enough to allocate our resources where they can do the most good.

It would seem to me, focusing on saving Americans here should be our top priority.

And if you don’t want to be killed by ISIS, avoid Syria.

P.S. Don’t you dare try to take away my beer, wine, and vodka!

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About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of the novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, and Saving the Last Dragon available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working o the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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