Ariana Grande concert explosion — New Jerseyans say we must be strong
As news poured Monday night of a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert New Jersey residents said their hearts go out to the victims, and debated how the world should respond to yet another apparent incident of terror.
In calls into Steve Trevelise's evening talk show, several said they were glad President Donald Trump talks frankly about Islamic terror; others warned about lumping people together or reacting with assumptions and racisms.
“Tragic as this terrorist attack is ... I don’t think it indicates that the world is a safer place because President Trump is in power," Joan on the Parkway said.
She was responding to several callers who said almost the opposite.
Nicole, from Bucks County, Pa., said she feels safer since Trump took office, calling the bombing in London “horrific.”
Chris from Neptune was critical of Trump's predecessor: "There’s a very long list of stuff that happened under Obama, and there were also several failed attempts ... Everyone just got numb to it. But he did give Obama credit for “killing bin Laden when he had the chance.”
Jon in Spotswood said the United States is "the safest country in the World — and we've got a president that wants to make it safer."
"Other countries have to step up," he said. "They have to follow what we do. ... This is just going to get to the point of no return. "
He told Trevelise he worries about his kids going out in public, or to their Jewish school.
"You have to be on guard for everywhere you're going to send these kids," Jon said. "It's not going to get better. It's going to get worse unless we strengthen this country, and close these borders and get these bad people out, and start screening everybody.
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"I have a real problem with the politicians of our country lately," Steve in Hamilton said. "I really believe in my heart, DT is trying to do something, and all you have is people trying to discourage him.
He cited the words of Cold War Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev: "He said you would never, never beat the United States. He said the only way you would possibly beat the United States is from within. And that's what's happening now."
David in Lakewood said Americans have to be prepared for much stricter security — like the spot checks his family experienced in Israel. He spoke of security checkpoints and random searches of his wife's purse.
"It was a pain in the ass and unfortunately it was a way of life, and unfortunately the rest of the world is going to have to catch up and do it," David said. "If you don't, they're going to win.
But Bill in Ewing said he's "not worried about anything," despite the carnage being reported Monday night.
You've got better odds of dying in a drunken car crash," he said.
And Emmanuel in Burlington County said the best response is to be brave — and live life as usual
"My heart goes out to the people, the victims ... I have to say, you live in a free world, especially in this beautiful country of ours ... you're fearful that the terrorists have won," he said. "If you're going out to a ball game, to Washington, DC, to a big event — don't be fearful."
News of the explosion was coming in as Gov. Chris Christie participated in the monthly "Ask the Governor" show on New Jersey 101.5.
"The world has changed since Sept. 11, 2001," Christie told host Eric Scott. "And that is really the line of demarcation. And I think that history will show that that's the moment that changed this country the most since World War II. I think we are never going to be the same."
"It's part of our job of this generation to be vigilant about it and remind them that things like this can happen."