Terrorists Want You to Be Very Afraid. So Don’t Be.


AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews / Shoppers approach an NYPD anti-terror patrol unit in Herald Square, New York City, on November 27, 2015. 

 

Gershom Gorenberg | The American Prospect | December 9, 2015

The original meaning of words is washed away by overuse. So a reminder: Terrorism is intended to make you feel terror, to make fear flood your mind and keep you from thinking straight. That’s true whether it takes place in Paris, San Bernardino, or Jerusalem.

The first step in defeating terrorism, therefore, is to chill out.

Take a long slow breath. Then we can talk calmly about things to do next.

Here’s a small example to start with. In October, when the current wave of terror attacks began in Israel and the occupied territories, a major Israeli supermarket chain removed knives from its kitchenware shelves. It was done without fanfare. The owner of the chain explained that it didn’t make much sense to have a guard at the entrance checking handbags for weapons—a standard precaution in Israel—if someone could walk in, grab a knife off at Aisle 3, and start stabbing people.

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