The problem with this “don’t expect the government to protect you from every harm” argument is that conservatives flagrantly ignore it when it comes to Islamic terrorism. If mass shootings are extremely rare, Islamist-inspired homicides on American soil are rarer still. According to Michael Shermer, citing research by James Alan Fox, an average of 25 people are murdered with guns each day, or one an hour (a rate that if caused by influenza would clearly be deemed “epidemic”). There are 20 mass shootings a year (defined as taking out at least four victims). By contrast, we have had the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 9/11 attacks, and the Fort Hood shootings—three incidents over two decades. And yet conservative opposition to the creation of an entire new federal department to fight terrorism was muted at best, and largely limited to issues of unionization. As for the need for some sort of massive federal effort, not to mention a war, to protect Americans from terrorism, conservatives were nearly all on board. We now have an entire multibillion dollar terrorism-industrial complex selling government ever more high-tech goodies to detect and guard against a largely hypothetical threat (especially regarding chemical and biological weaponry), and infantilizing airport security measures that cost billions in lost time and thus commerce.