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The False Sense of Insecurity

Posted on April 16, 2013
Marathon Explosion Security.JPEG-0e005

Washington steps up security after Boston Marathon bombing (Photo from www.washingtonpost.com).



Here we go again.

On my morning walk with my dog, I saw the Capitol Police friend of mine.  We both shook our heads at the events that happened yesterday.  Here we go again, we both said.

More overtime is in the future for him.   More insecurity for me and my family.

We don’t know who set off the bombs in Boston.

It could have been a Saudi National.  That was the early speculation.

It could have been a home-grown terrorist.  After, it was the 15th anniversary of Waco, as the media helpfully pointed out.

Whoever did it, they killed an 8 year old in the process, plus 2 adults (and maybe more).  They also wounded a bunch of other people.

And for what?  To make a political point?  Revenge?  Hatred?

We are still at war with Islamic extremists.  We seem to be getting awfully close to war with North Korea.  And the world is full of dangerous people who must somehow be contained.

But I would make this observation.

The bulk of America is as safe now as it ever has been, despite this terrorist attack, and despite an up-tick of post-adolescent killers.

Violent crime is down significantly.  Yes, an iconic American event was victimized by terror, but those types of events are extremely rare.  I would rather live in America than any other country in the world.

Inevitably, with this kind of attack, Americans will feel more insecure.  They will see a terrorist behind every trash can.  They will distrust their neighbors.  They will worry incessantly about bombs and killers.

But statistics show that most Americans, and by most, I mean 99.99 percent of us will never have a problem with terrorists or killers.

In this media world we live in, that is not how we will feel.

We will feel that we need to be more secure.  We will feel that the police and the Department of Homeland Security haven’t done enough.  We will feel that we should sacrifice a bit of our liberty and a piece of our freedom just so we can make certain that we will not be victims of a terrorist plot.

That’s a natural reaction.

The bombing in Boston was terrible.  It was devastating to those who were injured and to their families.   Worse, it gave us all a false sense of insecurity.  And that insecurity is going to stay with us for a good long while.