VOA Special Report

The Terror Threat

Most of the mass shootings in the United States in recent years have been carried out by native-born, white American men. But attacks carried out in the name of Islamist extremism garner great attention, and Donald Trump’s repeated promises to deal with that threat resonate deeply with his supporters, even in such rural settings as Boscobel, Wisconsin.


Since I was a kid until now, it’s different. When I was a kid we could go out and play football, baseball, basketball, whatever, at the neighbor’s house. We didn’t think twice about it. We didn’t talk about terrorism. That wasn’t on the back of our minds.

Now it’s spread out, you know what I’m saying, where .. It’s here. I believe there’s ISIS in America today. It’s just we don’t know who they are. We don’t know where they are. They could just pop up at hospitals or bars like they did down in Florida or in California. I hate to say it but that’s what’s happening and that’s where we are today. It’s a different day. There’s an apprehension back there thinking there could be a bomb threat in our school, in our hospital and we don’t need that. That shouldn’t be there.

Much as we’d like to see people come here, because it is the greatest nation in the world, there’s an apprehension there, to say “Now, wait a minute.” We need to vet these people, find out who they are, where they came from and what their intent is. There is a difference, compared to 20 years ago, even 30 years ago.

Just be a little more diligent about watching who comes in and out. I mean, the majority of people aren’t here to kill me and my family, or Americans. But there are a few that make it bad for everybody that try to come into America just to visit or whatever the case may be. I think there could be more, not necessarily more stringent laws, just laws that we already have to be enforced.

—Todd Schmitz, Truck Driver

Boscobel, Wisconsin