Don’t let fears hand terrorists a victory

It seems reasonable to suspect the horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon was the work of Islamic fundamentalists or their sympathizers. At the time of writing, however, no suspected culprits had been publicly identified.

Not surprisingly, immediately after the explosion federal and local law enforcement agencies went on high alert.

In Baltimore and the surrounding counties police patrols were increased at sites deemed to be strategically important. At the same time, an extra and highly visible police presence was planned for the Orioles’ three day set with the Tampa Bay Rays, which started the day after the bombing, and for the Sole of the City 10K on the weekend.

The whole purpose of terrorism, as Vladimir Illyich Lenin, a leading exponent, so succinctly explained, “is to terrorize.” In short, it is a means by which a cruel and ruthless minority seeks to impose its will upon the majority.

A primary aim of the terrorists is to force federal and local authorities to institute draconian security measures that disrupt the life of the average citizen to such a degree that faith in the established government is utterly undermined.

In this regard, a foretaste of things possibly to come can be seen in the long and dismal lines at the security check points at the nation’s airports. If similar measures were to be adopted for all open-air events, the obstacle course they would create would make life almost intolerable.

This, of course, is precisely what the terrorists hope to achieve—to wear government and people down until capitulation to their demands seems an acceptable price of peace.

Thus, prudent though tight security measures may seem, they must not come at the price of eroding our constitutional rights and freedoms. It would be tragic were they to do so—for it would simply be handing the terrorists the victory they are so desperately seeking. GPH✠

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