How many times in the last 24 hours have you heard the question: How can we stop the terror?
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Here's my answer: you can't. Certainly not in the short term. This is not defeatism, it’s reality.
You can't stop people driving down the street, you can't protect all sidewalks in all cities and there are limits to targeting suspect groups. We are a constitutional republic, a nation of laws.
We'll beat it, eventually. But as we face it down, terror will change our society.
Our cities will look different. Already the barriers are going up, especially in areas where pedestrians congregate. Just a few years ago, you could drive right past the White House. The truck bomb threat stopped that.
Walking down the street, we will be aware of danger. Some will think twice before joining a crowd.
Our attitude towards immigration will change. It’s changing already – which politician will now openly embrace "open borders?”
Right after the Barcelona attack, the State Dept. issued a warning: open borders make Spain vulnerable. You can easily relate that message to America, and the president will.
Keeping track of suspects is going to cost a lot of money. There will be demands for more surveillance. Watching someone 24/7 takes at least 20 professionals. And yes, there are likely to be endless lawsuits about profiling and privacy.
In Europe, bitter division. In many places, the Muslim minority lives apart and feels under siege, emotions run hot. The authorities are trying to keep a lid on it, sacrificing some freedoms in the interests of community calm. The tension is palpable. We have to hope that it doesn't come here, but in a protracted terror campaign, it might.
As of now, we live in a time of intense, angry politics. Many people ignore it, choosing to walk away from the sheer nastiness of the news.
But it will be hard to ignore the age of terror. We're in it. We feel it and we see it. And its not going away.