9/11: Are we safer?

Sept. 11, 2001, marked the end of thousands of lives. It also marked the beginning of a journey the U.S. embarked on to conquer terrorism. Despite continuous talks of troop withdrawal, the war is far from over, and public opinions continue to change. Six years later, members of the university reflect on the changes the country has gone through. Are we further protected from terrorism today?

“I never really felt that the world was a safe place anyway. The same threats that were out there before Sept. 11 are still out there now. We always took precautions, and we still were attacked. Because we are involved in this war, we are now angering not just the Middle East, but nations everywhere.”

-Lauren Randle, sophomore political science major

“I do feel safer in post-Sept. 11 America, because I think that we are more aware now. My brother served and I have heard from him firsthand what is going on.”

-Travis Bowles, senior communication studies major

“I feel safer because, before, we did not expect anything like Sept. 11 to happen, and now we are taking steps to prevent it from happening again.”

-Jodi Prachyl, freshman movement science major

“I feel much safer after Sept. 11 because of increased security in various areas around the country. I think it makes everyone more cautious and more aware of what is going on around them.”

-Ruthie Clements, junior psychology major

“I felt safer before Sept. 11, because of our involvement in places like Iraq. We are turning it into a training ground for terrorists. We have created more enemies than friends. The genie is out of the bottle now. Suicide bombing and the innocent killing of civilians is no longer taboo. In fact, political violence by political extremists is now mainstream. Therefore, we are not safer, we are more likely to become the random target of politically inspired violence.”

-Manochehr Dorraj, political science professor

“In some ways I think it is safer; in others, I feel that we are more at risk. Domestic travel certainly is more safe – airport security has definitely improved as has our consciousness of vulnerability. I think we are less secure as international views of the United States have become increasingly hostile and critical. I think we are now aware that we are vulnerable whereas before we didn’t have this strong of a sense that violence and foreign terrorism could strike our country.”

-Joanne Green, associate professor of political science

“We are marginally safer because we all have been exposed to and forced to acknowledge that there is a threat against this country. This has prompted the government to take an active role against terrorism. The problem is that, as a whole, America has a very short memory. We are all too willing to forget that there are people out there who simply hate us. There is nothing that we can do to appease them, and they will continue to try to kill us. Most of the country is perfectly willing to live under the illusion that if we leave them alone, they will go away and not harm us. We were ‘leaving them alone’ before Sept. 11 and they still attacked us. Basically my answer is, yes we are safer, but we are quickly falling backward into being unsafe again.”

-Lance Willingham, junior political science major

Compiled by staff writer Jessica Reho