Not one single terrorist attack on US soil in the last four decades has been carried out by citizens of any the seven countries Donald Trump has put on his ban list.
This statistic has been seized on by the ban’s critics to illustrate its ineffectiveness and question whether the president’s attention would not be better used in other policy areas.
Trump’s January 27 executive order puts a freeze on citizens and refugees from Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Somalia entering the country for 120 days. He explained that the measures, which some are referring to as the ‘Muslim ban’, have been put in place to “to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” (Reuters)
Statistics shared on social media aimed to highlight some other dangers that pose a greater risk to Americans than jihadi terrorists.
Here's the # of Americans killed annually by terrorists vs other threats. When r we going to ban lawnmowers? I don't see lightning hysteria pic.twitter.com/kB50kaMjCM— ianaxel (@ianaxel) January 30, 2017
In a country where gun laws are a hot topic, the fact that, on average, 11,737 Americans are shot dead each year by fellow countrymen may not come as a surprise.
However, the average number of deaths due to seemingly innocuous objects and freak accidents, such as lawnmowers (69), falling out of bed (737) and being struck by lightning (31) may come as more of a shock.
The figures also highlight, on average, the small number of people killed by terrorists coming from outside the US, and suggest that more acts of terrorism that result in fatalities are carried out by US citizens.
New America’s report Terrorism in America after 9/11 echoes this fact, stating “every jihadist who conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident.”
This rings true in cases such as the recent Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016, in which 53 people were wounded and 49 lost their lives. The perpetrator, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, was New York-born American citizen.
When data like this points out that an individual in America is more than twice as likely to die at the hands of an armed toddler than a jihadist, the question could be asked: is Trump addressing the real threat to his country?