Violence isn’t arbitrary!

Even more ironically, if you do carry a gun, you’re 4.5 times more likely to be shot during an assault and 4 times more likely to die in the process. If you’re a woman, you’re six times more likely to be shot and killed by your boyfriend or husband rather than some indiscriminate stranger.

As tragic as school shootings are, your child stands just a one in one million chance of perishing in one. The odds of anyone dying in a public mass shooting are even longer at 1 in 384,000 or .000003 percent.

To put that in perspective, you have a far greater chance of being struck by lightning (1 in 280,000), dying from a hornet, wasp, or bee sting (1 in 80,000), or shedding the mortal coil in an asteroid apocalypse (1 in 12,000).

Case in point!

A few weeks ago we covered how the press covered the murder of an 85 year-old East Dundee woman. The papers made it sound like there was a rabid killer on the loose, the police did nothing to reassure the residents, and the neighbors quickly got together to discuss just how they might put a damper on this kind of thing.

Richard Schmelzer awaits extradition to Illinois for the murder of his grandmother, East Dundee resident Mildred Darrington

Richard Schmelzer awaits extradition to Illinois for the murder of his grandmother, East Dundee resident Mildred Darrington

Meanwhile we theorized that, given the specific circumstances, the murderer was likely a family member who spontaneously stabbed the victim during an argument – probably over money.

And yesterday (8/25), the elderly woman’s grandson was picked up and charged with the crime. He’s being held in a Texas jail pending extradition. Whether we like it or not, if you lump enough human beings together, we tend to get rather predictable.

While there’s certainly something to be said for an occasional better safe than sorry stance, whenever we react primarily from a place of mindless fear, you can bet on courting a host of unintended consequences.

In this case, our fixation on “random” violence has lead to an over-armed society, the militarization of the police, the frequent demonization of our fellowman, and the loss of humanity that naturally occurs when you start living in the shadow of the Sword of Damocles.

The key to unraveling this downward spiral is us. As long as there’s something in it for the press and police, they’re not going to change. So it’s up to us to stop buying into the patently false assumption that random violent predators – intent on making us their next target – pervade our society.

Because they don’t!

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