RedEye

Domestic terrorism still rare

After 9/11, Americans assumed we were in for weeks, months or even years in which savage acts of political violence would become commonplace on American soil. We had all discovered how fanatical and savage our enemies were, and we could easily see how many easy targets were available.

The explosions that occurred on the Boston Marathon course today are a reminder of our vulnerability. But they are also a reminder of how extraordinarily rare terrorism is in this country.

What happened in Boston would hardly warrant news coverage in Iraq, which today saw 37 people die in at least 20 attacks across the country. It's a shock to Americans because it's so exceptional. A 2011 report by the University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response found that the number of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil actually declined after 9/11, averaging just 16 a year. Between 2002 and 2010, it found, there were only 25 deaths in such incidents.

If there were many violent fanatics among us, they would have no trouble carrying out mass slaughter -- as the Newtown shootings proved. The number of places with little security and many people is huge, from shopping malls to street festivals to sporting events, like the Marathon. There are more places open to attack than we can ever hope to protect.

Fortunately, America is just not fertile ground for violent religious or political extremism. In a free, democratic society, the sympathy for expressing one's views through murder is very low. That's our greatest protection against terrorism.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Genealogy gold mine: Millions of wills now online

    Genealogy gold mine: Millions of wills now online

    Thousands of amateur genealogists who fantasize about being left a fortune by a distant relative can now get a reality check. Starting Wednesday, upward of 100 million wills written over the last three centuries will be posted to Ancestry.com, the popular genealogical search engine.

  • Northerly Island Park opens Friday on Chicago lakefront

    Northerly Island Park opens Friday on Chicago lakefront

    Twelve years after former Mayor Richard M. Daley's "midnight raid" that shut down the small lakefront airstrip called Meigs Field, a new park will open Friday on the southern portion of what is now called Northerly Island, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday.

  • American recalls French train attack on Jimmy Fallon show

    American recalls French train attack on Jimmy Fallon show

    A California man who was one of three Americans who helped subdue a gunman on a high-speed train traveling to Paris says he couldn't have picked better people to be with that day.

  • Historic Gold Coast rowhouse for $1.375M

    Historic Gold Coast rowhouse for $1.375M

    855 N. Dearborn, Chicago $1,375,000 Listed on May 13, 2015 This historic three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath rowhouse is in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. The three-story home has three decks, including a rooftop deck. The home also features hardwood flooring, central air conditioning...

  • Northerly Island Park: Beguiling lakefront landscape justifies Daley raid

    Northerly Island Park: Beguiling lakefront landscape justifies Daley raid

    A dozen years after Mayor Richard M. Daley carried out the infamous “midnight raid” that shut down the small lakefront airport called Meigs Field, the question lingers: Did the end justify the means?

  • 'A Walk in the Woods' is soft and mushy

    'A Walk in the Woods' is soft and mushy

    Because “A Walk in the Woods” quickly wanders from a funny look at life at a crossroads to an obvious series of embarrassing nonsense and basic observations about nature and people, let’s just rattle off some things bumbling around my head during the movie:

Comments
Loading
85°