It's been quite a week: a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California leaving 14 dead and whole nation wondering 'am I safe?' It has been a stressful time. It hasn't been since the September 11th attacks when people have been so unnerved. A kind of nervousness has begun to pervade our national psyche, and maybe that's why Obama made the decision to address the nation. 

He referenced various actions he has taken and plans to take with regards to terrorist threats around the world and at home. But it's the idea of home that's so important. He referenced his daughters, his role as a father, and his own concerns about a world that feels to big and scary for the people he loves. 

Later in the speech, having outlined how we are going to fight ISIS both here and abroad said this basic truth: "the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would be mass shooter-- weather that individual is motivated by ISIL, or some other hateful ideology. What we can do and must do is make it harder for them to kill." 

That is the truth. We are never going to get the threat we now face down to zero, and we need to face that fact. We are at risk. Maybe one day our intelligence will be good enough, or knowledge will be specific enough to disrupt every terrorist, but we're not there yet.

What the president needed to say is that we need to be realistic about the realities of terrorism, and be responsible about how we talk about it. We have to get serious about our own response, our own capabilities, and our own communication. We need to work together in families and communities to come up with plans that address these kinds of acts: communicate with others about security concerns, open up a dialogue about active shooter scenarios with family, and find solace in being prepared. 

The president could have used this speech as an opportunity to discuss what it means to be engaged in security as citizens and communities, and it's a shame that he didn't.