August 20, 2014

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Some Thoughts About The Boston Attack

More questions than answers.
In the 48 hours (as of this writing), after the explosion at the Boston Marathon, I've thought of a couple of things: First, it proves that, when it comes to deadly attacks, we have more to fear than just guns. The incident (interestingly) happened almost four months to the day after the Sandy Hook shootings; four months during which we've heard non-stop debate about gun laws (when we haven't been hearing about sequesters and "fiscal cliffs"). But sadly and shockingly, there are other ways to take a life, none of which are legal. But the ways the terrorists (either foreign or domestic) obtained the means to make this bomb were perfectly legal. Looking to ban them doesn't solve the problem, any more than the sale of kitchen knives should be controlled just because someone used one to kill someone. We need to focus on the act as much as the means by which it was carried out. Secondly, where was the threat? Schools and other buildings get closed or "locked down" because of bomb threats. I understand we need to take those things seriously, but this bomb went off with no warning or hint of any planned activity "on the radar". And I hope this doesn't happen, but this may be followed by a number of copycat "threats" inspired by the Boston attack which may be taken seriously. Perhaps too seriously. Last, when I interviewed local law enforcement officials about security (and all of them have years of law enforcement experience which pre-dated Oklahoma City, 9/11, Columbine and the rest of the recent attacks), they say that, while everything is being done to ensure the public's safety, there is no way it can be 100% guaranteed. Indeed, one news report said that the finish line at the marathon was swept; that is, checked out for any suspicious items, before the first runners crossed. Everything that could be thought of was done to ensure safety, but someone was able to breach that security, anyway. None of this has easy answers. That's not the point of this. What is the point that these are questions no one that I've heard of is raising.
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