According to the START consortium at the University of Maryland, here is the threat from “far right” extremism in America:
- Between 1990 and 2013, there were 155 ideologically motivated homicide events committed by far-right extremists in the United States. About 13 percent of these were anti-government in nature.
- Including the Oklahoma City Bombing, which killed 168 individuals, far-right extremists killed 368 individuals during ideologically motivated homicide events between 1990 and 2013.
Even if we factor in the Oklahoma City bombing we are talking about 16 fatalities a year. In a nation of over 300 million people.
Let’s contextualize by showing the odds of being killed by other things in America that are not “far right” extremists with this Economist chart:
If the odds of dying in a given year for an American is about 20,000,000:1, then you are more likely to be killed by the following things than by “right-wing extremists”:
Heart disease, accidents and injuries, intentional self-harm, assault by firearms, walking, choking, fire, post-surgical complications, alcohol, falling down stairs, exposure to forces of nature, cycling, exposure to excessive natural cold, firearms discharge, storms, lightning, and dog bites.
Even if the Las Vegas shooters were right-wing “anti-government” types, we still need to know one basic fact: the number of deadly acts of “far-right” anti-government extremism is fewer than one a year over 23 years.
It is patently absurd to represent millions of Americans by extreme cases, and this type of false inductive reasoning is rejected in serious research. Nonetheless, the news media grab onto extreme cases and hold them up as representative of decent, hard-working Americans.
Getting killed by a far right extremist is about as likely to happen to an American as getting killed by a bee sting – which has odds of around 25,000,000:1. Maybe the Department of Justice and Homeland Security should look into the threats posed by angry “far-right” bees in the United States?