Economist Steven Levitt recently caused a stir when he asked New York Times readers to submit clever ideas for how they would plan terrorist attacks. Hundreds of readers offered suggestions and Levitt advised that terrorists would get the most bang for the buck by having 20 men copy the D.C. sniper in towns and cities across America.
Not bad but I have a better idea. Instead of shooting humans, the terrorist snipers should take out pet dogs. A bouncy golden retriever here, a speckled dachshund there and then POP! out-of-nowhere the terrorists strike at long range. One minute a suburban woman is walking her black Lab puppy, the next moment she is crying to the heavens asking why. Meanwhile, an urban dog park is transformed from an idyllic playground into a brutal canine massacre. Think of the public outcry, the fear, the little children crying. Think of the media attention, the adorable memorial pictures, the interviews with distraught pet owners tearfully demanding justice.
Terrorism is about fear and nothing would make people more fearful than a nationwide dog slaughter. Most people have trouble identifying with human victims they have never met but everyone with half a heart falls in love with a puppy the moment they see a cute photo. I just hope the terrorists don't see this blog post because this idea would be very dangerous if it got into their hands.