Dallas Mayor Says Armed White Men Scare Him More Than Syrian Refugees

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Following the Paris terror attacks on November 13, the Syrian refugee crisis emerged as an incredibly divisive issue in the United States.

In September, a narrow majority of Americans supported President Obama's plan to resettle 10,000 Syrians over the course of the next year.

A recent Bloomberg poll released following the Paris attacks, however, shows the vast majority of Americans now oppose that plan.

This shift in public opinion is tied to evident Islamophobia and the fear allowing Syrian refugees to enter will provide an opportunity for terrorists to sneak into the country.

Bloomberg also found around 30 percent of Americans view Islam as an "inherently violent" religion, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Similarly, many American politicians, including governors, members of Congress and presidential candidates, took strong stances against helping refugees.

But the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, exhibited a great deal of common sense that's been absent from much of the conversation surrounding refugees while speaking with MSNBC on Saturday, Think Progress reports.

Rawlings acknowledged people's trepidations over refugees and the importance of safety. At the same time, he highlighted how not helping refugees is exactly what ISIS wants us to do.

Mayor Rawlings was vehement ISIS does not represent Islam and exhibiting tolerance and unity is crucial in America's efforts against these terrorists. He said,

ISIS is no more Islamic than Nazi senior staff was Christian.

But his most powerful and arguably important point came when he stated,

I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don't isolate young white men on this issue.

When one looks at statistics surrounding mass shootings and deaths from terrorism in the US in recent years, Mayor Rawlings' fears are far more realistic than concerns over Syrian refugees.

Mass shootings are on the rise in the US, and the perpetrators are overwhelmingly white males.

Data from Mother Jones shows white males have been responsible for around 64 percent of mass shootings in the US since 1982.

Correspondingly, homegrown right-wing extremism has killed around twice as many Americans as jihadism since 9/11.

Mike Rawlings is right. Individuals like Dylann Roof and James Holmes are far more dangerous to Americans than Syrian refugees -- innocent people running away from terrorism, not bringing it with them.

Around 1,800 Syrian refugees have already been resettled in the US in the past several years, and none of them have been arrested or removed on terrorist charges.

The likelihood of Americans dying in terrorist attacks is very slim. If people in the US actually feared what kills them the most, there would conceivably be no debate over refugees at present.

Citations: Dallas Mayor Says Hes More Fearful Of Armed White Men Than Syrian Refugees (Think Progress), Lethal Terrorist Incidents (New America), Who commits mass shootings (CNN), What Americans really think about the Syrian refugee crisis (Brookings), Most Americans Oppose Syrian Refugee Resettlement (Bloomberg), The Threat Is Already Inside (Foreign Policy)