Terrorism and America's Culture of Fear

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For weeks now, there's been saturation news coverage of violence in the US and around the world -- from Paris, to Colorado Springs to San Bernardino. The results include school closings from Los Angeles to rural Virginia and metal detectors at Disneyland and Universal studios. Public opinion polls show that such non-stop news coverage of violence has created a high rate of fear among Americans. President Obama has acknowledged it, and alarmist warnings of "terrorism" to come are a staple of Republican presidential campaigns. But an American is more likely to die from a fall in the bathtub than a terrorist bullet or bomb, and that's raised the specter of over-reaction. We look at the consequences of ignoring former President Franklin Roosevelt, who famously said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."




Warren Olney