On this day in 1975, a bomb exploded at the TWA baggage claim area at the LaGuardia Airport. It had the equivalent of 25 sticks of dynamite and killed 11 people. It remains an open case. No one knows who did it. No one ever claimed responsibility. Some of the possible perpetrators are the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Jewish Defense League, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, Croatian nationalists, and even the mafia. Or maybe it was just some crazy person. Regardless, it hurt a lot of people and had the effect of terrorizing the population.
What I continue to find shocking is that most people I talk to seem to think terrorism was something that started with 9/11. Most are even foggy on the USS Cole bombing. The Troubles were something that happened outside the United States and therefore never happened. But the truth is that terrorism is something we’ve lived with forever. The only thing that has changed is that we freak out far more now than we used to. In 1975, a deadly bombing was a terrible thing. But it wasn’t cause to change our very way of life.
Now it’s 2015 and a couple of maniacs going on a killing spree is cause for us go to war. Nothing matters but making us all feel safe. But not by doing anything about guns. That would be silly in that it might actually make people more safe. No. Instead we need to reduce our rights to privacy. And we need to stop “those people” from coming into the country. People go on television and say racist and patently false things like, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.”
People die unjustly all the time. The LaGuardia Airport bombing is a good example. People have always been murdered and based upon human nature, they always will be. But we are heading down a very dangerous path. We are looking at creating an authoritarian society that I don’t want to live in. The cure those on the right have to offer is far worse than the disease.