I usually don’t write about politics, but there has been one or the other exception to this rule in the last 12 years of this blog. This time, I’ve been missing one particular response to the various terrorist attacks in recent times, perhaps one of the few readers of this obscure blog has found it somewhere and can point me in this direction? I’m looking for something like this:
“Sadly, it is very difficult to completely prevent casualties such as those in the recent terror attacks in Madrid, London, Paris, Brussels or elsewhere, without violating basic human rights and abandoning hard-won liberties. Our ancestors have given their lives for these rights and liberties and we, as a society, are equally willing to pay that price. However, the victims of these horrific attacks have never been asked to give their lives. They were forced to become martyrs for our human rights and our civil liberties. It is infuriating and frustrating that there seems to be only little we can do to prevent such deaths. However, there are ~1.2M preventable deaths in Europe alone every year. We propose to do something about these lives instead. These fatalities are due to causes such as lung cancer, accidental injuries, alcohol related diseases, suicides and self-inflicted injuries. With even in the 1970s and 1980s terrorist-related fatalities never exceeding 500 per year, we will honor the lives of the victims of terrorism by initiating a program that will save at least 100 lives for every one that is being taken in a terrorist attack.
To reach this ambitious goal, we will start with increasing our efforts to prevent alcohol and tobacco-related deaths through effective public-health intervention programs as well as basic and applied biomedical research into the prevention, causes and treatment of these diseases and disorders. With about 30.000 annual fatalities in traffic-related accidents, we will also introduce European-wide speed limits, strong enforcement via speed-traps and an increased police force which collaborates across Europe. Drivers convicted of violating speed limits or DUI will have their driver’s licenses withdrawn for extended periods of time. We will increase our investments in the development of driverless vehicles. Should these activities fail to reach these goals, we will start targeting more areas. The individual projects will be named after the victims of terrorism, as a reminder of their forced contribution to the improvement of our open society. This program will be implemented on top of the intensified, heroic efforts of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies working hard to prevent such attacks within the bounds of our open society. We will strive to reach these goals in addition to our enduring political and diplomatic initiatives to mitigate the religious, socio-economic and political circumstances which can be used to recruit and motivate terrorists.
This death prevention program will not only protect our basic human rights and civil liberties, it will also benefit the economy in general and increase employment in particular. Through the additional investment in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, our public health systems will benefit long after any terrorist groups have ceased to exist. Our extra investment in basic and applied research will yield discoveries that will benefit all of humanity long after the last terrorist has sacrificed his life in vain. With our new program, every single terrorist attack will save the lives of countless more citizens than it has cost, turning terrorism into a net life-saving activity.”
If you have found an advocate for such a program, or one like it, please let me know where to find them, I’d like to support them.