It's not surprising that after a terrorist incident -- such as the Boston bombings -- dominates the news and interests of Americans, there tends to be a spike in perceived terror-like threats. This has occurred in the Top of Utah. In one week, there was a pipe bomb found at Mountain View Elementary School, a threatening letter sent to Shadow View Elementary School, a threat made to Davis Hospital and Medical Center, a "suspicious" backpack and trash bag were checked, and at Weber State University, events were interrupted while a powdery white substance -- that turned out to be plaster -- was investigated.
Added concern over terror, and more reports of "suspicious" packages, powders, and threats are caused by human nature, and frankly, the old adage, "better safe than sorry," remains good advice. The heightened interest and concern that the Boston terror incident has brought locally and nationally is not unknown to law enforcement. And, on those threats that turn out to be crimes, police are at work. For instance, officials are combing through surveillance video at Mountain View Elementary with the hopes of learning who left the pipe bomb there.
As the shock of the Boston bombs ebbs, the number of threats reported locally will, of course, decline. We've been lucky in the United States. Despite the terror of Sept. 11, 2001, the Boston attacks, and a few other attacks -- such as Fort Hood -- we don't live with terrorism as a potential daily threat, as others do in many parts of the world, such as Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
A Rasmussen Reports poll, released more than a week after the Boston bombings, indicates that most Americans are taking the threat of terror in stride. Seventy-one percent of us think that another terror attack is likely within the next year, but more than half of us, 54 percent, still regard economic concerns as more important than terrorism threats.
If attacks occur with more frequency, the sentiments revealed by the Rasmussen poll will change. But so far, our nation has been protected well against the threat of terrorism.