Have vehicle attacks on pedestrians become the most troubling security threat in our time? It’s certainly a lot harder to protect a sidewalk than an airport. But while it’s very difficult to prevent someone from renting a truck and driving it into a crowd of people, these incidents are still, fortunately, relatively rare.
Yesterday’s attack in Toronto was devastating and disturbing, just as its predecessors in other cities. But the odds of being struck randomly and deliberately by a car are still incredibly low. The carnage in Toronto is a reminder that the best way to fight terrorism and other violence is at its source. The police need the resources to identify and respond to threats before they are carried out. And we need to fight isolation and mental illness that can contribute to the circumstances that cause some people to lash out at others.
But we also have to be ready for the fact that not every attack is preventable. We can’t put barricades between every road and sidewalk in Canada.