Why are people afraid?
I keep hearing how people are afraid to go anywhere because of the shootings. Honestly though I don't understand. Many more people die in car crashes than from mass murders. What's the point of being afraid? Is the media doing this to people?
In my opinion people are afraid because of several factors. In the psychological "world" we generally call these biases of thinking. For example, Exaggerating the Improbable would cover what you have mentioned in your question. However there are other biases; namely, Mental Sets, which is ideally thinking in terms of a "set" way even though the evidence should lead you somewhere different. As I said, there are other biases...
However, I truly believe that the most significant factor attributing to this fear, is simply a fear of death which people think will result in a complete loss of control, ability to enjoy, ability to provide for loved others... You see we in this secular world think that death is the end-all, a most final-state, and completely separate from our life here. If we could think differently, perhaps not unlike how we use to think a 1,000 or so years ago, then perhaps we would be more brave...
I know of an absolute idiot of a woman that refuses to go anywhere after dark. She is in her fifties and has been this way her whole life apparently. I don't understand people who are afraid to go about their business and leisure. If something is going to happen, it will happen no matter where you are.
There are people who've been killed walking down the street, at the grocery store, while exercising, at parties, at churches, at work (where most people spend the majority of their time), while driving, on vacation and while at home just to name a FEW.
All one can do is prepare themselves, be aware of their surroundings, and LIVE their lives. In an attempt to keep this clean, stuff happens, no matter what time of day it is, whether you are at home, etc. Being afraid robs you of experiences and opportunities to enjoy yourself and those who are important to you. This is what makes life worth living for, I don't know why some people treat their lives like they are doing time in jail, afraid to truly live and letting life and time pass them by.
Yes, I believe the media has played a big part in the anxiety of the masses. What we need to realize is nothing has changed. There will always be psychopaths in this world. The chance of being struck by lightning are greater than being shot in a massacre.
Yes, the media and how it shows much more negative news than positive makes people think we live in a nightmare. It really isn't true. There are many loving, happy, giving people in this world and only a tiny number of people that aren't. We must choose to turn off the TV, internet or movies when the violence gets out of proportion (which in the USA is most of the time sadly).
The American people have always been a scared society. The media plays off of it and fans the flames, but the fears existed long before that. I think it had something to do with westward settlement into unknown country where there might have been bandits or Indians and the emancipation of millions and millions of slaves into freedom. No one trusted anyone. By the 1950s, there were suburbs in regions where less than 100 years earlier there had been a few log cabins. Societies do not change so quickly.
People are afraid because fear is paralleling and irrational, but the only way to overcome fear is to feel the fear, to laugh at it then do it anyway.
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