Shutting Down A City

EJ Graff is on lockdown in Cambridge:

What we have here is a metro-region-wide snow day without the snow. It’s too gorgeous to stay inside but we’re not allowed to go out. I think I understand, now, how people live in places like Israel and just keep going about their business. You simply can’t stay on high alert at all times. The dog needs to poop; it’s too nice to stay inside; there’s still work to be done. A mile away there might be a shoot-out, but they’re not aiming at you. Life calls. At the same time I can’t tear myself away from the TV, the radio, and Twitter. I’m watching what’s happening in my town just like the rest of you, although it’s freaky to see all those cops lined up at the mall where I’ve been hundreds of times, picking up a prescription or getting a bargain at the Gap Outlet or buying pansies for the yard. And instead of listening to the blatherers on network news I’m at least watching local reporters who know the landscape, who, instead of saying “Watertown” say “the Arsenal mall” and know which side of Arsenal Street they’re worried about. And instead of saying they’re descending on a house in Cambridge, they give an address on Norfolk Street, just outside of Inman Square so that I can picture the restaurant around the corner, the one with the great ribs.

Allahpundit wonders if shutting down the Boston area is an overreaction:

You don’t want people milling about in a park when there’s a guy with a suicide vest, guns, and ammo on the loose. But then, murder suspects are on the loose all the time in big cities and nothing shuts down for them, even though in theory they’re just as likely to go out in a blaze of nutty glory among a crowd. If you’re an aspiring terrorist, knowing that you can shut down a city for a day must be encouraging.

I take Allahpundit’s point. If we discover this is a function of two twenty-something loser religious fanatics, what kind of precedent are we setting?