A comic strip about sports is not a place for politics or world events or tragedies.  But this is an overlap that I feel I have to touch on…

They say that if we live our lives in fear, the terrorists win.

I’m not living in fear, and I won’t…but that fear is inside me.

For the second time in three years, terrorists have targeted sporting events.  In a few months, one of the world’s largest single sporting events is coming to the Bay Area.  It’s hard not to shudder at the obvious possibility.

To take a logical view of it all, the attacks in Paris mostly targeted so-called “soft targets”, which is a dispassionate way of saying targets that aren’t obvious to defend. Restaurants, bars, and so on.

They also targeted a very hard target, the Stade de France during a Euro Cup game attended by the French President.  And there, the security worked about as well as can be expected.  One of the bombers was stopped at security, and when the total of three bombers detonated themselves, only one innocent life was lost.  (‘Only’…I hate myself a little for saying that)  Many were wounded, but it could have been much worse.

What’s disturbing to me is that it’s easy for me to see how these villains could have improved their plot in a realistic way to be more damaging, and more so, hard not to imagine that others might not also see that.  Others who have similar aims.

That scares me.

I genuinely doubt that a suicide bomber or armed assailant will be able to get into the Super Bowl.  The efforts to prevent that from happening will be clear, obvious and probably annoying to the nearly 100,000 fans who want to watch a football game.  But the Super Bowl is an event, meaning that the crowds won’t only be in the stadium.  They’ll be outside in parking lots.  They’ll be at the Super Bowl village in San Francisco, in a very public plaza with many entrances.  They’ll be at hotels, and restaurants, and bars.  They’ll likely be at public places I’ve frequented and been alongside 49ers and Raiders and Giants.

I probably shouldn’t think this way.  Either that, or I should’ve pursued a career path that would do something about preventing it.

For those who don’t know, I (Kevin) work in tech, teaching people.  One of my areas of specialty that people come to me for is discussing security on their devices and online.  And techniques aside (different passwords for everything, people), one thing I tell my customers is that life is a slider switch between Security and Convenience.  The further you go towards one end of that slider, the further you are from the other.

I don’t know a realistic way to protect against an attack here in the Bay Area, my home.  Not against every attack.  The more effective it gets, the more it will inhibit everyone’s fun at what should be a great event.

What’s more, even if I could, I don’t have any control over it.

It’s easy to say to not live our lives in fear as a response to terror.  I know enough to know that not every religious person, or Muslim, or refugee is a terrorist.  I know enough to even know that not every religious extremist is a terrorist…after all, the Westboro Church are a bunch of intolerant, evil assholes, but even they aren’t killing people (as far as I know).  I know that the chances of running into a situation where I am exposed are about as minuscule as my chances of winning the lottery.  I’m not going to the Super Bowl (I may work in tech, but I’m not working in tech).  I’m undecided about the Super Bowl village.

And I still don’t know how to fix this.  I don’t know if that’s the scariest thing, or whether the scariest thing are the various “solutions” being proposed by the various presidential candidates on both sides, and know that one of them will choose their way to try and fix it.

I’m not living in fear.  I’m not.  The terrorists haven’t won.

But none of the rest of us are winners, either.