We live in a very cruel world. Not a day goes by that the 24-hour news doesn't remind us of this. Sometimes it's just pure meanness, but more often it has religious/political overtones, disenchanted Muslims being the usual perps.
Over the weekend there were multiple shootings in Denmark, initially looking like a copycat of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris last month. Then there was the burning-to-death murder of the Jordanian pilot in Syria, and now the multiple beheadings of a dozen Christian Egyptians in Libya. And too many bombings around the world to count....it's just too easy to blow up a bus or a train.
Closer to home we've seen the lone wolf attacks on the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa and the hatchet attack on a policeman in NYC, and of course the Boston marathon bombers. The authorities have told us of some of the plots being hatched that they've broken up at the last minute, but we'll probably never know of many others. Suffice it to say there are too many soft (undefended) targets for the police to watch them all. Attacks can happen any where, any time.
And they WILL, here. Count on it. It's just a matter of time. So here's my question: When it happens, how will you react?
Remember after 9/11? Buildings in NYC and Washington were attacked, and many people who worked in tall buildings in other cities stayed away or even quit their jobs because they were too scared to go to work. And when commercial airlines were allowed to fly again a few days after the attacks, many planes left their gates close to empty. For quite a while this scared off leisure travelers, and the hotels, casinos, and resorts that catered to them suffered. Like the ripples on a pond caused by a single tossed stone, the effects were far reaching.
So if a terrorist bombs the Chicago "L", are people going to stay away from Dallas' DART, or the Bay Area's BART? If they attack a church or synagogue in LA are people in Minneapolis or Miami going stay away from their house of worship? And even more importantly, are you going to self-censor what you say around the water cooler or write on your blog or on Facebook? (K is certain I have a jihad contract out on me already :)
I remember years ago I had a trip planned to London just a few weeks after their horrific train bombings. K told me to stay off The Tube (London's subway) if I saw anyone get on who looked "middle eastern" and was carrying a backpack. Guess what, virtually everyone who rides The Tube looks middle eastern and carries a backpack! So what did I do? I traveled around town via The Tube.
When it happens, will you close your curtains and crawl into a hole? Will you still take your summer vacation to Disney World? (OK, now that one scares me more than any terrorist ever could!) Will you still ride your transit system to your job on the 40th floor of a downtown office building? Will you blink?
If you change your lifestyle (beyond just being more aware), then the bastards win. Will you let them? It's not too soon to start thinking about it.