Over two thousand five hundred people were killed by IRA terrorism in the United Kingdom back in the 1970’s and 80’s. Prime Minister Margret Thatcher gave a speech addressing terrorism to the American Bar Association in 1985. I’ve remembered her words my whole life and remind that the issue is not new.
Thatcher said: “The terrorist uses force because he knows he will never get his way by democratic means. Through calculated savagery, his aim is to induce fear in the hearts of people. And weariness towards resistance.”
Most vital of all, we must have the will power never to give in to the terrorist.
“In this evil strategy, the actions of the media are all important. For newspapers and television, acts of terrorism inevitably make good copy and compelling viewing. The hijacker and the terrorist thrive on publicity: without it, their activities and their influence are sharply curtailed… They see how that coverage creates a natural wave of sympathy for the victims and pressure to end their plight no matter what the consequence. And the terrorists exploit it. Violence and atrocity command attention. We must not play into their hands,” Mrs. Thatcher warned.
Thatcher said later in the speech: “Most vital of all, we must have the will power never to give in to the terrorist.”
So here’s a question: When we change our society to treat the law abiding as if they are potential terrorists in daily local activities like attending a ball game in the absence of any imminent or strong threat have we not let the terrorists win, at least a little bit?