December 08, 2015

Avoiding Islamist Terrorism: Paranoia or Strategy?

Following the radical Islamist, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, my daughter, mother of two very young children, expressed her concerns to me. She worried about going to the mall, especially with her kids. She wondered if she should sell her Nutcracker tickets for a performance at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. I explained to her that the odds of her being the victim of a terrorist attack were still very low, even though the 24/7 news coverage gives the impression of the opposite.

Since then, she’s been to the mall, and she enjoyed the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance with her mother. However, she has recently taken significant steps to protect her family and herself.

Still, her reaction made me think. No matter how low the odds, we still have to think tactically and strategically when we go out to public places. With a federal administration that is obviously not doing all it can to protect us, in fact, even acting in ways that put us in more danger, and with their words and actions that have marginalized American law enforcement, is it wrong to at least hesitate regarding living life as usual?

While I agree with the notion that we should not alter our lives because if we do the terrorists win. At what point do we say that avoiding living our lives as normal, as long as our president won’t fight radical, Islamist terrorism like he means it, is not paranoia but a strategy for keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe?


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