Ropeik: Face fear first, then the facts

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It is more likely that you will die walking in the next 12 months than be a victim of non-domestic aggravated assault in Worcester.

According to 2008 actuarial data compiled by the National Safety Council, the odds of dying from walking in a single year are 1 in 54,538. In a report to the City Council on Tuesday, Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme wrote, “There is a .0014 percent chance of being the victim of a non-domestic related aggravated assault.” In other words, 1 in 72,000.

Why, then, do many people feel on edge this year with both the number of shootings (20) and shooting victims (27) greater than last year and the summer marred by a series of high-profile shootings?

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