I grew up in Southern California. I was a scared kid, mostly because I didn't know the odds. I could always hear sirens out of my window and the Manson and Zodiac murders were all over the t.v. along with the nightly shootings. The fact is, we all think the universe revolves around us, so we think "well if somebody is going to be murdered by a clown, it's going to be me". It's just not true.

Terrorist
iStock
loading...

Now, most of the figures I'm using are 2013, but that's what's been boiled down, and trust me, many haven't changed, or the odds have went down, not up.  Anywho, I saw this redneck bigmouth stereotypical Smokey And The Bandit Sheriff telling his town to arm itself against the "Gee-haw-dists". This gave me the idea of looking into how likely this was to happen and whether he is justified in scaring people.

Your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are 1 in 20 million. The entire population of Texas is about 27 million, so maybe one person a year?

How about mass shootings? Well most quotes say you have a better chance of being struck by lightning and that's about  1 in 12 million chance of dying in one of those.

And how likely are you to accidentally get shot? The chart put it at about 1 in 512,000.

Now how likely are you to just plain get shot? That's about 1 in 25,000 according to the same chart.

This other article claims that people who carry guns are far more likely to get shot than unarmed people.

So what did we learn? First off, we learned that world doesn't revolve around you and the "Gee-haw-dists" probably won't make their way around to you (they tend to hit large towns of worldwide renown anyway).  Sure chances may be going up, but the number is still tiny. Next we learned that you are safer in a theater or school than in a rainstorm. Finally we learned, that "getting a gun" to protect yourself agains the previous stuff, is most likely what will get you shot. So, if you choose to go that route, by all means get plenty of training and be safe out there.

Most of all, talk to your kids. Don't let them grow up scared. They should be aware and trained, but not scared.

 

(*edited. Population of Texas was off. Corrected and sourced)