There are a lot of scary things happening in the world. As an actuary, my career was spent evaluating risk. I used a combination of statistics and gut instinct. The general public doesn’t have my training and experience. Instead of looking at the likelihood of something happening, decisions are often made based on headlines.
There are many examples. Back in 2016 there was a huge panic over a tropical disease even though there were only a handful of cases in the entire country. Millions are afraid to fly even though there hasn’t been a commercial plane crash in years. Over one hundred people die in auto accidents every day but I have never heard of anyone being afraid to get in a car.
The Florida school shooting was a horrendous event. Everyone feels for the families of the children who were killed. However, they are a small percentage of those that lost children that day. Perhaps they died of cancer, car accident, suicide, homicide or other reasons. We can’t mourn them because we never heard of them.
Right now the debate over gun control is focused on how to save the next seventeen children. We should also think about all those anonymous children.