My Side of the Fencepost

Better to be free — and vulnerable
By Jim Dickerson
The bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday were a huge shock. Everyone has an immediate reaction, but no one really knows how to explain it at this point.
There are just some crazy, fanatical people out there who continue to look for ways to exploit our freedoms.
Two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, about 10 seconds and 100 yards apart.
So far on Tuesday morning, the toll is three dead and 140 injured. Many of those injuries were very serious, and some are expected to result in lost limbs. Immediately after the two explosions, at least two other bombs were found nearby and dismantled.

These bombings were acts of terrorism, plain and simple. No specific group or individual has claimed responsibility at the time of this writing, but we’ve seen this scenario all too frequently.
The big change, from just a few years ago, is that terrorists are able to build bombs and detonate them remotely by cell phone. The instructions are apparently available on the internet.

We are at war with terrorists on many fronts right now, and that war is likely to continue for years to come.
Increased security is deployed at big events like the Boston Marathon. The security measures were in place Monday, but still a terrorist was able to place explosive devices at locations where many people would be watching the marathon.
At times like these, it seems all too easy for the terrorists and all too difficult for a free society to defend itself.

Obviously, a free society is also a vulnerable society for things like remotely detonated bombs. I don’t believe we’re ready to give up our freedom to congregate — to travel, watch sporting events, conduct business or even hold religious events — just because there is a chance terrorists may strike.

Yes, we need to continuously improve security measures for these events; but we must continue to live our lives. We need to continue the battle against terrorism while maintaining our freedoms.
One front of that battle is to cut off terrorist funding worldwide, wherever we can find it. Terrorist organizations need an effective financial structure, and they have been making money for years through the illicit drug trade, money laundering and fraud schemes.
Terrorism is taking place throughout the world, and the entire world would need to cooperate in order to choke off the money supply to a common enemy. The best scenario would be to find their money supply and use it against them.

In short, I believe most Americans would rather maintain the basic freedoms we enjoy — even if it means we are more vulnerable to terrorism — than to see those freedoms diminished..

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