What is terrorism?
Since 9/11, terrorism has continued to strike fear in the hearts of contemporary Americans. But even experts cannot agree on its definition.When most Americans hear the word terrorism, many picture the Twin Towers crumbling to the ground. But when it comes to other violent incidents, such as the Boston Marathon bombingin 2013 or the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016, experts debate whether or not these are acts of terrorism.
Some experts argue that only physical acts of violence qualify as terrorism, while others say terrorism includes verbal threats. Some dispute whether destroying property is terrorism, or if only physical injury to people is classified as such. Others debate whether Americans who commit violence on U.S. soil can be considered terrorists.
According to a 2013 study by Pew Research Center, 75 percent of Americans say occasional acts of terrorism will be part of U.S. life in the future.
To get a better understanding of the definition of terrorism, Ball Bearings sat down with Bob White, Donna Schlagheck, David Carlson, and Jeff Gruenewald to discuss their definitions of the term. After the initial interviews, each looked over and reflected on the other responses.
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