The Fort Hood shootings in perspective: You're still safer on a military base

The homicide rate for resident military personnel is lower than the national average for civilians. In 2009, 2.3 service members per 100,000 were victims of homicide, compared to five civilians per 100,000 in 2010, according to the FBI. This means you’re more likely to be the victim of a homicide if you’re a civilian than a soldier.

The total number of military workplace fatalities—which includes homicides—is also falling. On bases outside of combat zones, “fatal injuries to resident military personnel reached a series low in 2012, dropping 25 percent from 57 fatalities in 2011 to 43,” stated the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The military is an enormous organization. Active-duty personnel alone amount to more than 1.3 million people, augmented by another 800,000 reservists. If we include civilian employees of the Department of Defense, the number increases to 3.2 million. That’s a million more people than Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, which employs 2.2 million.

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