The threat of natural disasters has been around since the beginnings of the earth. Mankind has never been without the safety concerns and precautions associated with these threats. Yet it seems that in the last one hundred years or so the terroristic threats have become a far greater concern to the U.S. population. If the number of casualties from both threats were compared with each other, the numbers for one would hardly be anywhere near the other. Natural disasters are far more dangerous, yet there are several factors that contribute to the shift in focus towards the terroristic type of attacks.
The first of these would be that terrorist attacks are malicious in nature. That is to say that the purposes of these attacks are to damage, kill, or destroy. Terrorist attacks target specific objects, anything from a person to a political agenda. There is conscious thought behind these attacks and this serves to drive fear into people. People would fear that they may be the next target or be present near the target, therefore becoming a bystander. In general, there are no such conditions for terrorist attacks to occur. Many of the attacks are usually a surprise. They could occur anywhere and at nearly anytime. This unknown factor is incredibly powerful for instituting fear. Due to this instilled fear, terrorist attacks can be successful without having been fully carried out. By contrast natural disasters simply exist with no intent. There is no thought, rational or irrational, to drive the specific type of disaster forward. They simply are caused by different situations, in the often uncontrollable ingredients of the environment. Natural disasters are often uncontrollable from the beginning or after a certain point in the cycle. There are specific situations that must be present for these disasters. So, while there is always a low level of surprise, they can usually be seen before they happen. This leaves less to the imagination, and less to fear. As stated...
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