[Ed. – Technically, WWII was fought 70 year ago, and the Korean War more than 60.]
Americans now face beheadings, gang warfare, Ebola, ISIS and a new war in Syria. It’s natural to assume that the world has gotten more dangerous. But it hasn’t.
People believe that crime has gotten worse. But over the past two decades, murder and robbery in the U.S. are down by more than half, and rape by a third, even as complaints about “rape culture” grow louder.
Terrorism is a threat. But deaths from war are a fraction of what they were half a century ago, when we fought World War II and the Korean War, and Chairman Mao murdered millions. Despite today’s wars in Iraq, Syria, etc., last decade saw the fewest deaths from war since record keeping began.
Last week’s beheading in Oklahoma and other despicable acts of terrorism are frightening, but Americans are unlikely to be killed. Terrorists killed 18,000 people last year, but only 16 were American. Every death is tragic — but even if terrorists pulled off a World Trade Center attack every few years, President Obama would still be correct when he said, “If you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, you’d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been.” …
Of course, as big problems such as Nazis and the Soviet empire fade, the media find new things to scare us about. …
Since crime is down, the media find the few cities, such as Indianapolis and Bismarck, North Dakota, where crime is up. If they can’t find increased crime, they focus on rare, lurid cases like mass shootings and serial killers. Even as life gets safer, people get the impression that the world is falling apart.
Then rule-makers overreact.