Mall Threats

Following the San Bernardino attack, Americans are very aware of the risks we face. Terrorism is real and it has the potential of rearing its ugly head any time, anywhere. We are more diligent as a result, but this diligence is creating a side-effect that is usually annoying but that can actually be used as a weapon itself.

Fear of terrorism is sweeping the country. Every briefcase left unattended could be a bomb. Every suspicious person is scrutinized. Metal detectors are going up and the frequency of attending events is going down. This fear is gripping and it can be made even worse.

Life disruptions are annoying. One moment, you’re shopping for a Christmas gift. The next minute, you’re being herded out of the mall because someone made a threat or left a package under their table at the food court. This is a better scenario than an actual terrorist event, but it also paralyzes many from performing their daily routine and can create a problem for the American economy.

Pranksters, anarchists, and idiots are starting to take advantage of the hyper-awareness that’s sweeping the country. They will use this to their advantage even if it’s only to get attention. We’ve even seen reports of students using false threats to get out of taking a test.

Then, there’s the more nefarious non-attacks. Islamists can use this fear to perpetuate more fear. They can also use it to lull us into a false sense of security. From both angles, there is damage done every time a false threat is made. They know this and they’re going to use it to their advantage.

It’s easy to succumb to the fear, but it’s extremely important for Americans to be diligent without allowing the fear to paralyze us. Be careful but don’t become paralyzed. Be diligent but don’t let diligence turn a normal situation into an unnecessary event. Be smart. That’s all that we can do in these perilous times.

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Following the San Bernardino attack, Americans are very aware of the risks we face. Terrorism is real and it has the potential of rearing its ugly head any time, anywhere. We are more diligent as a result, but this diligence is creating a side-effect that is usually annoying but...