Don’t give terror moral support in our country
I’ve never lived in fear of terrorism. It was always an abstract concept for me – something that happens in faraway places to other people, certainly not in the United States.
After all, I used to think, we don’t have too many crazy people over here planting car bombs or assassinating ordinary citizens because of religious or ideological grudges, do we?
That’s what I used to think. The Oklahoma City bombing changed that view for me. And my confidence has been failing ever since.
Now it seems that for some citizens, terror has become a justifiable alternative to the system of representative government that has kept the United States strong for more than two centuries. Right wing extremists, left wing extremists – take your pick. There are wackos with firebombs on both sides.
In New York, a doctor who performed abortions was recently gunned down in cold blood at his home by a sniper – only the latest of many attacks against abortion providers. Others included the bombings of abortion clinics in Georgia and the murder of two people at a clinic in Florida some years ago, as well as countless other major and minor incidents through the years since Roe v. Wade.
But terrorism in America doesn’t begin and end with the violent part of the right-to-life movement. Not hardly.
Arsonists claiming to be upset over Vail Ski Resort’s expansion into potential lynx habitat recently destroyed $12 million in private property there. Mind you, that’s “potential” lynx habitat. The government is planning to reintroduce the species to the state, and the arsonists were upset that Vail’s recent expansion would intrude into 800 acres of land that could possibly support lynxes. The same group, the Earth Liberation Front, has claimed responsibility for other criminal actions and has been linked to arson fires across the northwest United States.
Can’t get the legislation you want passed in Congress? Ticked off because the rest of the country doesn’t agree with your ideology? Shooting someone or destroying property isn’t the answer. America was founded on a majority system of government. If the majority of voters don’t agree with your views, maybe you’re just flat wrong.
Terror is a foreign term for most of us – especially when compared to countries such as Israel and Ireland, where residents have become accustomed to living with the constant threat of terrorism and sudden violence.
All that seems to be changing now. More and more, violent actions with political intent are being committed by our neighbors -people who are ostensibly U.S. citizens and should consider themselves subject to the same system of law as the rest of us.
The actions of these extremists undermine the trust that the United States places in its citizens, and cannot help but reduce the freedoms enjoyed by all within our country. More terrorism means tighter government control, more checkpoints, and more hassles for all of us.
In order to operate, terrorists require two things, which we as citizens can deny them – moral and monetary support. Major environmental groups have condemned the Vail arson as being outside the law. Likewise, major anti-abortion organizations have denounced the assassination of the doctor in New York and the clinic bombings.
Any group which does not vocally and publicly denounce terrorist actions and deny funds to the criminals is just as much to blame for the attacks as the terrorists themselves.
We as citizens can choose not to support organizations which give tacit approval to terrorism. Make your voice heard – and close your pocketbook.
John A. Bayless is news editor of the Sierra Sun.
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