We Need to Install Bollards Now!By Ken Adams, CDC Gaming ReportsAugust 25, 2017 at 4:21 pmBollard is a 19th century word that is being re-purposed in the 21st century. The word used to refer to a short, thick post on the deck of ship or a wharf. But it is now being used to describe a steel post used to protect people from cars. And bollards are likely to be next major adjustment to make in the war with terrorism. In the latest round of attempts to limit the effects of acts of terrorism, Las Vegas is scurrying to have bollards installed along the Strip before the end of the year. The bollards were in the works, but the project developed a sense of urgency after two recent events. In the first incident, Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove into a group of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia; and then in Barcelona, Spain 13 people were killed and dozens of others injured by terrorists ramming a car into a crowd. Those incidents follow others in New York, London and France where terrorist cars have become the weapon of choice. In fact, ISIS is directing would-be terrorists to use cars and knives instead of guns and bombs. Each incident increases the odds that there will be another. Every city is going to need something to protect innocent pedestrians.A car attack has already happened in Las Vegas. In December 2015, a woman used her car to kill one person and injure 36 more. The police said it was an intentional act, but not an act of terrorism; to the dead, that is a distinction without a difference. It also happened years ago in Reno. On Thanksgiving Day in 1980, Priscilla Ford drove her Lincoln Continental onto the sidewalk killing 7 people and injuring 23. She was not a terrorist either. She might have been insane, but not enough to meet the legal standard. Ford was convicted of murder and sentenced to death; she died 25 years later in prison of lung cancer. As I said she was not a terrorist by the standards of her day or ours, but it would be hard to find the difference. Ford professed to believe she had a special godlike status. She was using her car to punish people for society’s crimes against her, but in her mind she was incapable of sin or murder.The veil of righteousness is powerful. Priscilla Ford thought it gave her the right to punish innocent people. At her trial she testified that she believed she was the reincarnation of Jesus and therefore incapable of sin. In Virginia, the 20-year old man from Ohio who drove his car into demonstrators was moved by political righteousness. To him, the demonstrators were “left wing” radicals committing crimes against the true America. And of course, all of those attacks in Europe were done by young men bent on bringing god’s vengeance on “unbelievers” and revenge for the Western attacks on Islam. It does not seem to matter if you are Christ, a white supremacist or an agent of Allah, you have the right and sometimes the obligation to kill people. And as Priscilla said when she asked how many people were dead, “the more that are dead the better it is.”Neither political nor religious fanatics are prime casino customers. Most of those righteous evil-doers probably do not even play the lottery. But inadvertently casinos might be in their sights because casinos are bright lights that attract moths. Especially on holidays casino and casino centers attract large crowds of people. Las Vegas has 200 thousand tourists in town every weekend; on major holidays that number goes over 300 thousand. At any one time thousands will be out strolling up and down the Strip. All casino jurisdictions are going to need protection for their visitors, but Las Vegas is the most vulnerable. It is difficult to imagine a place that presents an easier target than the Las Vegas Strip. It is always filled with people and anything that happens in Vegas rather than staying in Vegas is immediately broadcast around the world. The Strip should be leading the world in developing safeguards.Since the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 our world has been increasingly shaped by terrorists. Air travel will never be the same, but now the streets of every city are vulnerable and our sense of freedom of movement will be limited even more. To make it worse, ISIS is a disembodied concept. It no longer has land, an army or indeed even a recognized leader. But it has evolved into an un-organization; its free-floating operatives have learned to motivate the disadvantaged, disfranchised and angry youth of many different countries to take action on their own. How do we fight back? There is no organization to fight or leaders like Osama bin Laden to kill. Instead the enemy is an ideology that takes vulnerable, exploitable people and shows them how to die as martyrs. ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram and all of the other terrorist organizations could disappear tomorrow and the danger would remain. The internet and a few rogue preachers of hate are there to point the way to heaven thorough righteous action for those would-be martyrs. It is the path out of the ugliness of poverty, discrimination and defeat into the arms of celestial virgins. And once you change the weapons from guns and bombs which can be identified and tracked by the police to something as innocuous as a car, the dynamics have been completely altered. Bollards will not end the threat, nor will they save everyone. But for the moment, installing bollards is the best option available and we should begin installation as soon as possible.