Bad, bad news

The second bombing is scarier than the first was. If the bad guys can make a habit of this, life in London is going to get grimmer.

Today’s London bombings weren’t anywhere near as deadly as the ones two weeks ago — none killed, one injured at last count — but to my mind they were much scarier. If whatever al-Qaeda splinter or franchisee is doing this has the capacity to attack not once, but repeatedly, then the stakes in the game just went up enormously.

After three decades of IRA terror, London is much less vulnerable to mass panic than an American city would be, and most of the key security measures are already in place. Still, if the bad guys can make a habit of this, it’s not going to be any fun.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com