Gun deaths dwarf terror casualties

Posted at 8:38 PM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 20:38:36-04

President Barack Obama gave a blunt, sometimes angry address Thursday, lamenting the frequency of mass shootings in America and the resistance to any change in gun policy.

Obama contrasted the high death toll from gun violence to the deaths from terrorism and asked the media to do the same.

"We spend over a trillion dollars and pass countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil and rightfully so," said Obama.

The President was contrasting the vast resources that go to preventing terror attacks to the near total inaction in the fight against gun violence.

The greater threat to our lives is clear. The  State Department's own numbers for the last decade show just 313 Americans were killed by terror attacks at home and abroad, compared to 316 thousand who died at the point of a gun.

"We are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months," said the President.

The President was unapologetic about calling for political change.   But there is a reason people fear the remote chance of a terror attack more than the much greater likelihood of getting shot.

"Those risks and dangers that we believe are under our control, we respond to differently emotionally," says Tampa Psychiatrist, Michal Maher.

Maher says that's why we feel safer in our cars than in an airplane, even though driving is much more dangerous than flying.

"The risk of driving your car is the most dangerous thing most of us ever do in our lives, but we don't perceive it that way."