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Final Word: Terrorism has a new meaning for Americans

Friday's shooting at Los Angeles International Airport should serve as a reminder that the definition of terror as we know it has changed a lot since 9/11.

After 2001, our focus as Americans turned against people from the Middle East and all the talk was about racial profiling. Was it right or wrong? Was it effective? And the TSA was born, to further complicate air travel with hour-long lines, ridiculous restrictions on what you can and can't pack in your bags, all in an effort to make air travel safer.

Has it worked? Maybe, but you'd better believe that terrorists who are hellbent on killing Americans will do so, either here or abroad. And they probably won't do it using a major airliner anymore.

What we saw Friday was terrorism too.

We will likely find out that the shooter who went after a Transportation Security Administration agent at LAX was mentally ill and had the TSA on his hit list. But for the thousands of others in the terminal today, this was nothing short of an act of terror.

Can you imagine coming face-to-face with a madman carrying a rifle in a crowded airport with your children next to you?

Can you imagine being the man or woman in charge of air traffic at one of the world's busiest airports, LAX, and having to deal with this shooting?

This shooter caused mayhem, plain and simple.

He killed a TSA agent too, and not only has that agent's family suffered a loss, but the TSA will no doubt try to change something in the way they operate so that something like this doesn't happen again, which means even more fun at the security line.

Terror has a new meaning. It's the knowledge that you never know when or where you might be faced with a situation where your life or maybe the life of one of your children is on the line and someone who can't tell reality from fantasy or right from wrong is holding the gun.

Is there anything more terrifying than that?

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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