Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Keep it steady

Obviously, everyone and his sister Sue has heard about the Boston bombing, and many if not most of them know more of the details than I. In these situations I tend to hold back from reading the news until the facts are known, and since, luckily, there's no one in Boston I need to check up on, holding back is working for me.

What I would like to do is take a moment to remind my fellow Americans of the lessons we learned since the last terrorist attack. Giving blood and donating money is good at any time, and especially now, but here's my list of things we should not do:

  1. Invade a foreign nation.
  2. Restructure national government.
  3. Adopt any color-coded system of warning people of vague threats
  4. Vote for (or against) any particular political party.
  5. Blame the president.
  6. Declare a War on anything.
  7. Ban marathons.
  8. Ban children from attending marathons.
  9. Enact any law that goes by an acronym. (PATRIOT Act, I am looking in your direction.)
  10. Change our way of life.
Admittedly, most of these are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I really mean #10. Terrorists, domestic or foreign, attempt by their actions to spread fear and disrupt our way of life, so let's not give them what they want. Let's keep having marathons, sending kids to school, getting on planes, and all of the other things we love to do.

Obviously, it's scary to think that there are people running around looking to harm others, but never forget that a) those people were there before April 15; and b) they are relatively rare, as are these kinds of attacks. That doesn't mean we can't and shouldn't take sensible precautions, but "sensible" does not mean "any and all." It means we do what can reasonably do to keep ourselves safe, and then we get on with life. When confronted with terrible events like bombings, getting on with life is the best most of us can do.