My Time.Com column on the Trayvon Martin case:
If you were handed a can of bug spray, you might start killing a lot of insects around the house. And if you had reason to believe that the bugs were poisonous — maybe because your neighbor told you there was an infestation, or you had seen a show about creepy crawly things on the Discovery Channel — you might even become convinced that the little piece of lint under your bed was a nasty spider, curled up just waiting to bite you.
Americans tend to overestimate both their risk of exposure to violent crime and their ability to judge dangerous situations with reasonable care. Unfortunately, these misperceptions are killing people, not insects.
Read the rest here: