The following story is the opinion of KOLD New 13 anchor Craig Thomas.
Gandhi said we think it's hate, but it's fear.
Right now I think that's what's going on in our country – and our media.
It is our job – the job of the media – to provide facts to help deal with the fear. To give perspective. It's our job. And I don't think we're doing our job well enough.
Because we're scared that people will get angry with us, or feel like we're taking a side. But our side should be on the side of the facts.
Remember how Ebola was going to kill all of us last summer unless we banned everyone from Africa? People and politicians were scared – they hyped up the fear. Medical professionals said we had a good plan in place. But we focused on the fear.
Guess what – not a single American got Ebola in our country and died. NOT ONE!
And now the issue is terrorism. I'm a New Yorker. I was there on 9/11. I knew people who died. I remember how the city was shaken to the core.
There is no question terrorists want to kill Americans. And no question that ISIS and Al-Qaeda are evil.
But – here are some facts that should temper our fear.
From New America Research Center:
Americans killed in the U.S. since 9/11 by self-proclaimed jihadists: 26 (things like Ft. Hood shooting, Boston Marathon Bombing, etc…)
Americans killed in the U.S. since 9/11 by radicals who are not jihadists: 48 (Charleston Shooting, Husband/wife who went on shooting spree in Vegas, etc…)
Around the world – The state department says the number of US citizens killed by terrorism in 2013...16.
In 2012 10.
2011 – 17.
So as things go – it's not one of the biggest problems we face on a daily basis. Does our government need to deal with terrorism? Yes. Do they need to work with other countries and come up with a plan? Absolutely..
But let's be more fearful that the education system in the state of Arizona is so bad – and do something about that. The facts say that's where we need the help.