“Police in Austin said an explosion in a residential neighborhood Sunday night appeared to be related to the three bombs that detonated earlier this month,” washingtonpost.com reports, “plunging the Texas capital further into a frightening mystery that forced residents to remain locked in their home as investigators scoured the area for answers.” Sensible, law-abiding Americans know . . .
that the odds of being the victim of a random violent attack — be it a bombing, armed robbery, home invasion, terrorist truck or passenger plane — are lower than a snake’s belly. But they also know it stops being statistical when it starts being you. And the more random an attack seems, no matter how distant, the more people worry about their safety.
Weird right? Your average Joe’s a hundred times more likely to die in a car crash or a coronary or cancer or old age than expire via a bomb or bullet. But that type of violent homicide gets all the ink. Again, no surprise. There’s nothing like random violence to stimulate anxiety. It could have been me! In fact, my life could well depend on nothing more than pure luck.
Which is true on a lot of levels. But people react to that realization in two different ways.
Some people say oh well. There’s nothing I can do.
Sure, they might change their habits a bit like not ordering from Amazon or stop bicycling through the ‘hood until the Austin bomber’s caught. But they turn to the police — the professionals! — to sort it out. Professionals who do everything they can to convince the public to chill while they find the killer.
Other people think, well, there it is: more proof that evil exists.
Yup, it’s out there, somewhere. It’s nice to have eleventy dozen FBI and ATF agents on the case, but I better be ready if evil comes knocking on my door. Or I happen to run into it. What if I see the bomber planting a bomb and the bomber sees me? He’s not going to be very witness tolerant.
I call the first reaction BS (Boston Strong) and the second PS (Pistol Strong).
Will the Austin bombings convince unarmed TX BSers to tool up? Nope. Denial and fear. Fear and denial. It’s a closed loop.
But the Austin bombings will strengthen the resolve of PSers to use the best possible tools for their safety and the safety of their loved ones: a seatbelt, situational awareness and a firearm. FWIW.