When sudden massive violence ruptures our normal sense of safety -- especially at a festive moment like Monday's Boston Marathon -- the world feels grimmer and grayer for a while. There's the initial burst of fear and alarm, and then the residual pinch of tightened security, followed by the questions about which trade-offs of free movement and convenience are worth making. Some responses go too far. Ross Douthat of The New York Times understandably argues against, at the next race or parade, "layers of extra stops and searches and checkpoints, wider and wider rings of closed streets, the kind of portable metal detectors that journalists remember unfondly from political conventions, more of the concrete barriers that Washingtonians have become accustomed to around our public buildings." More.
How 9/11 prepared us for Boston