Editorial: After Boston

It is hard to know what lessons New York’s law enforcement officials can take away from the Boston bombings, for the scenario seems to be precisely the sort of thing authorities have warned us about for years. The bombers do not appear to have been members of a foreign-based terrorist group. The plan was developed on U.S. soil, by two young men who lived here for many years. The attack was executed against a soft target.

In other words, the bombing was the work of, for lack of a better phrase, two lone wolves, at least one of whom apparently adopted a radical, warped version of militant Islam.

If there is a takeaway at all, perhaps it is this: New Yorkers, and everybody else for that matter, should no longer need to be reminded why their bags are subject to random checks, why they are asked for photo identification before entering buildings, and why there is a heavy police presence at even the most innocent public events.

Regrettably, vigilance will have to be stepped up, as it was during last weekend’s Road Runner’s Race in Central Park. Those who might be inclined to grouse about little inconveniences ought to remember just how easy it was to turn Boylston Street into a bloody mess on April 15.

We need to live our lives despite the threat of terrorism. But we also need to be aware that law enforcement has a job to do. Our responsibility is to make that job easier, not harder.