Vox published an article Thursday suggesting it might be a “good thing” for people to be desensitized to acts of terror, in the hopes of frustrating future terrorists.
The Vox piece drew heavily from another article published by Slate, in which authors Amarnath Amarasingam and Colin P. Clarke wrote that terror incidents may be on the rise, but this doesn’t mean more people are fearing for their safety.
“The common assumption is that more terrorism inevitably means people are more terrified, but some research suggests the opposite,” Amarasingam and Clarke wrote. “In essence, individuals find ways to integrate and normalize some violence as part of their life.”
Vox agreed with the article’s sentiment, and published its own Q&A with the authors. In the interview, Amarasingam doubled down on his initial claim and said, “in a way normalizing terrorism is good.”
Q: So people have become desensitized to terror? It’s just another thing we learn to live with, like hurricanes or car accidents?
A: Exactly. And I’ll add that this is actually a good thing in some ways. If terrorism is normalized for people, both jihadist and far-right violence, they are less likely, maybe, to support crazy laws that impact their civil liberties and the rights of others. It’s only when you introduce a sudden sense of fear, one that people don’t understand, that they become kind of irrationally protectionist. So in a way normalizing terrorism is good.
This article comes on the heels of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York City where Sayfullo Saipov took the lives of eight people when he rammed his rental truck into a bike lane, shouting “Allahu Akbar” before being wounded by police.
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