Friday, October 07, 2005

Subway guys with guns

There was a terrorist threat reported. Apparently there's a somewhat specific threat aimed at the New York subways, which I ride every day, which is supposed to happen sometime this month. Bag checks are escalated (though I did carry a large shoulder bag right past a checkpoint this morning and the cops didn't check me, since I apparently don't look like a terrorist, I guess.)

We were discussing this in the office this morning. Someone said, "There were army guys with rifles in the subway this morning. I like that. It makes me feel safe."

"Not me!" said someone else. "Yeah, it makes me feel nervous," said a third. "One of those guys could go crazy with the guns." I chimed in, saying that a guy with an M-1 wouldn't be able to do anything about someone carrying a bomb in a black shoulder bag of the kind that I had with me this morning, for example.

What was interesting about this is that the person who was pleased to see the army guys on the subway is a conservative, while the two others I mentioned who don't like it are pretty much apolitical. And then there's me, whose politics you know if you've been reading this blog long enough.

I don't think it's likely that the army guys'd lose their nerve and start shooting people, but I don't see what they could do to protect us, and just seeing them there doesn't do anything for me. It depresses me, in fact. I remember the first time I saw an army guy carrying a rifle in the subway. My heart just sank. I'm more used to it now, but it still brings me down.

Anyway, it's curious that it's only conservatives who are thrilled about seeing armed soldiers in the subway, while the rest of us aren't fazed at all. Or maybe it's not so curious. It's things like this that convince me to take these "threats" less and less seriously.

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