“Please get a grip, folks. This is not “war.” It’s one Islamist-inspired lunatic killing one guy and then getting killed in a famous building” While referring to a fallen soldier as ‘one guy’ is singularly infelicitous, and something I suspect he regrets, it is true that the murders of Canadian Forces personnel and the assault on Parliament are not deeply significant. However, we really are in a war with Islamic extremists and their abettors. At the fringes, troubled or variously motivated individuals will commit what security forces sometimes call ‘spectaculars’ – low-risk, high-publicity attacks like the Boston bombings. Unlike the World Trade Center, London and Madrid attacks which required coordination and training, anyone possessed of a firearm, edged weapon or chemistry set and bus fare can commit one of these crimes, make headlines and unfortunately influence behaviours, attitudes and policies. As a civilization at war with barbarism, we must expect these attacks, maintain our values and keep what Mr. Kay so condescendingly called our ‘grip’. But we must show our citizens that we can and do fight back. Bombing ISIL is not quite pointless, but it does at least show resolve. A review of immigration policy would actually mean something, but we are not yet wounded, frightened and angry enough for meaningful action.