patriots day

How to Respond to a Marathon Massacre

Runners cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Photo courtesy David Eby/

“How do you defend against terrorists?” asked a colleague, as we processed news reports of two bomb explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The answer, truth be told, is you probably don’t defend against terrorism. Like a deadbolt on a residential door, you can create deterrents that slow the bad guys down. But a determined thief will only be delayed, not prevented.

Although it isn’t yet known whether these bombs in Boston were a terrorist attack, questions like my colleague’s arise because we live in such an open and “target-rich” society.