In the wake of recent bomb explosions in Hyderabad, the Times of India has run a series editorials evaluating the adequacy of our response to terrorist actions.
Apart from its practical aspects, targeting terrorism through special laws is a declaration of intent and signals the political and societal resolve to take on an enemy. It's a call to arms and tells those on the frontline that the authorities recognise the nature of beast and are prepared to confront it. That there will be no half-measures in a war against opponents who do not believe in dialogue, rather are convinced that their cause will be served by killing innocents.
Elsewhere too, there is discussion--in media, blogs and around water coolers--about how we ought to protect the ourselves from future risk.
Exactly one year ago, Bruce Schneier wrote on Wired.com about the nature of the beast and how to confront it. It's a must read in its entirety for anybody thinking about ways to tackle terror, and what NOT to do.
Our politicians help the terrorists every time they use fear as a campaign tactic. The press helps every time it writes scare stories about the plot and the threat. And if we're terrified, and we share that fear, we help. All of these actions intensify and repeat the terrorists' actions, and increase the effects of their terror.
Source: Refuse to be Terrorized
The 24 hour news channels are especially given to sensationalism, because such reporting apparently attracts audience.
However, playing on the fears of the public, in the case of terrorist acts, is equivalent to playing into the hands of the terrorists.