The CDC reports that in 2005, 3,582 people drowned and another 710 died in boating accidents. Drowning kills nearly 30% of children
There were about 17,000 murders in 2007.
I mention the foregoing for a reason. We live with the fact that car crashes occur, that children die in horrible accidents and that people will seek to kill each other. Most of us live out our lives around the carnage.
Yet terrorism is different. Somehow, and in no small measure to the fear-mongering of the Right (especially the last vice-president, Dick the Torturer), the Federal government is supposed to prevent all terrorist plots from coming to fruition. This is the same government that the fear-mongers routinely deride as wholly incompetent, yet the same people who think the government is completely inept somehow expect the Feds to be omnipotent when it comes to stopping terrorism.
Americans need to grow up and get a grip. The Luftwaffe sent over wave after wave of bombers in 1940 in order to pound the British into submission, the British did not buckle. Yet al Qaeda sends one guy with exploding underwear (who only manages to burn off his own nuts) and the whole country goes into a tizzy.
Let us take a page from the British as they struggled to live through the Blitz:
We are in situation, now, where there is a group of nutjobs who are determined to carry out terroristic attacks against us. No matter how diligent our security is, they will, from time to time, succeed. We have to keep our heads about us.
We have to grow up and stop basing our security protocols on crap that would barely cut it as a basic-cable movie plot. It is past insanity to take our cues from a goddamn television show, but that is what our last president and his administration did. We have to quit the fascination with the wholly-unlikely ticking time-bomb scenario. This isn't some damn third-rate technothriller.
We need to start acting like mature adults. We need to deal with security through measures that make sense and stop with the stupid security theater that the TSA and the cops are so fond of. And, most of all, we have to pour large doses of STFU down the throats of the partisan fearmongers.
Terrorism is a tactic. It is a fact of life in the age we live in. Let's get on with it, let's deal with it, and let's stop living in pants-wetting fear.