On Friday the 13th, Paris was subjected to multiple terrorist attacks. News agencies have provided non-stop graphic images of the ensuing deaths and panic. In the wake of this horrific event, governments and cities across the world have pledged their support and solidarity with the French. And, French fighter jets have launched retaliatory strikes in Syria.
Americans are duly concerned about future attacks upon our soil and upon our citizens abroad. In response, our leaders must evaluate a variety of responses and legislation. In this hour of increased concern for security, we must be careful to preserve the individual liberties in our country that form the core values of our society. We justifiably condemn the senseless and random violence of terrorist organizations. And, we reasonably ask our leadership to protect U.S. citizens. Security and law enforcement professionals desire to discharge their responsibilities effectively, and, based upon their training and experience, can both identify and recommend policy changes. Yet, we must maintain-to the extent feasible-a free society. That is where independent statesmanship is required. We call upon our elected leaders to oversee the protection of our country’s safety; but we also rely upon them to make wise choices to ensure our liberties. Accordingly, as we contemplate an immediate and effective response to these attacks, and a defense against future ones, our leadership must enact wise and long-range policies to ensure the vitality of our country.