Are We Safer Today Than We Were Before Sept. 11?

Wow! I cannot recall such an overwhelming e-mail reaction to one of our questions. Thank you, dear viewers, for taking the time to write. I promise I will read every comment, though because of the volume it is impossible to respond to everyone.

Here are some samples of what was on your mind.

Douglas of New York City:

"I think the short term risk of some forms of terrorism may have actually increased since 9/11, but we're still far better off because we are now fighting the scourge of terrorism and the long term outlook looks bright. Before 9/11 we were just sitting ducks."

Dale (who didn't tell us where he lives):

"No. The enemy has declared war on our nation and no nation is safe under such circumstances. Americans need to stop attacking each other and attack the enemy!"

From West Palm Beach, FL, we heard from Egon:

"We are only in the early stages of assessing the extent of the Islamic threat to civilization, the question "whether we are safer now" doesn't really make much sense. What we see is the media's and the administration's simplistic view of this, still growing, problem. Political correctness can be our ultimate downfall if we don't face the facts."

From Hiram, GA, Carl wrote:

"Are we safer now? I would say we are no safer now than we ever where. However, I would say we are far more aware of the fact that there are people who would like to see all those they consider infidels, dead."

Ed from DuBois, PA, used the opportunity to offer commentary on some of the stories we cover:

"Maybe we are somewhat safer now. The terrorist and their actions have not been eliminated but their existence and purpose aimed at destroying us is now known. Prior to 9/11 hardly anyone in the U.S. knew or cared about bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Prior to 9/11 the major news outlets were reporting non-stop about shark attacks, missing young women and celebrity trials. Well, on second thought maybe we aren't any safer now since the news media are still reporting non-stop about shark attacks, missing young women and celebrity trials. Maybe we need to send reporters to the Afghan and Pakistani borders and start to interview non-stop the family and friends of bin Laden and his henchmen.

"I know that it’s important to find out what happened to Natalee Holloway but isn't it really important that we find bin Laden and the terrorist so we can actually start to get our world put back together again. Just a thought."

There were many who echoed the sentiments of Dan from Goodlettsville, TN:

"I believe that overall the world is a safer place since 9/11, but here, in America, we are not safer. The open borders we allow have let an unknown number of people into this country that intend to do us harm. It is a fact we have ignored, a fact our government has ignored that terrorists are coming into our nation through the Mexican and Canadian borders. It is only a matter of time before some insidious act is perpetrated against us."

Phyllis from Florida wrote:

"My 'gut feeling' on being more safe now than before 9/11 is: Noooooooooooooo. Until we have our country borders as secure as our banks we will never be safe."

John from Elgin, OR, took issue with the way we posed the question:

"The question should be, 'Do you believe continuing the war on terrorism will make the world safer, specifically in regard to terrorism, 50 or 100 years from now?'

"The sitcom generation has learned to expect immediate gratification for every desire. They have also learned to expect that short-term solutions will solve long-term problems. Have we forgotten the word, "perseverance?" Shame on us for our lack of it. Let's forget our selfish desires for our own immediate safety and think of our children and grandchildren for a change."

And we'll wrap it up with this from Marilyn from Mound, MN:

"Absolutely we are safer now than before 9/11. We are now AWARE! We used to walk around in ignorant bliss, and now that is a thing of the past. We are AWARE, thus we are safer!"

Thank you all for caring enough to express your thoughts. It helps me to hear opinions from the real world — from "beyond the Beltway." I think this will become a regular Monday morning feature on The Wilson Watch.

See you next Sunday — if not before.


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Brian Wilson is a congressional correspondent for FOX News and anchor of the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."