What now, open borders advocates?
I have an anon who asks this after every terrorist attack in Europe that was sponsored or claimed by ISIS and associated organizations. At this point I can only presume it is because anon likes hearing my answers.
Most people are compassionate. We hate to see others suffer, even if we never knew them; we hear about what they were doing when their lives were interrupted by deadly violence, and we empathize, imagine ourselves there, imagine our families there. We learn the victims were children and we hug our children close.
Terrorism only works because of this. Terrorism doesn’t work through its effect on the people targeted; it works by causing pain and grief and anger and fear in all the rest of us.
It will not surprise you that I do not think the solution is to stop being compassionate. In fact I think the solution is to be more resiliently compassionate, more stubbornly compassionate. To grieve for everyone killed in senseless violence in Manchester and everyone killed in senseless violence in Syria and everyone killed in senseless violence anywhere. To declare that compassion is the best thing about us, and that we will not be incited to turn it off no matter who is suffering. To declare that we will not change.
Everyone deserves a good life, no matter where they were born. If that was true this weekend, it is still true today. No one deserves to die violently as a child, or watch their children die. If that was true this weekend, it is still true today. ‘what now, open borders advocates?’ implies that of the hundred fifty thousand people who die every day, ISIS should have the right to add twenty-two of them and demand all our compassion be directed there, with none to spare, and all our policy shift around ISIS and the agenda they want to achieve with violence.
We have enough compassion to spare. We can grieve those deaths alongside all of the others. We can continue to push for whatever immigration policy does the most to make everyone in the world safe and free and happy. We can be sad and angry and horrified without letting murderers set our priorities.
(When a month goes by peacefully, do you go ‘what now, immigration restrictionists?’)