I am not a Bostonian, but I do attend school in Boston and therefore was in the city when the Boston Marathon Bombings happened. As the one year anniversary of the event approaches, I’ve done some thinking about the bombings and terrorism in general. Here are a few thoughts:
1) Terrorism is rare. We all have a much higher chance of dying in cars on the highway than we do of dying in a terrorist attack. Therefore, as hard as it may be, we must not be afraid of terrorism.
2) If we do start to fear terrorism, we lose. Terrorists WANT us to cower in fear and ruin our way of life. They know they can’t win any sort of ground war against the United States so they instead try to wage a mental war, they try to strike fear into the heart of every American (despite the point I made above). If we give into this fear, we can no longer claim to be BOSTON STRONG, or any “strong” for that matter.
3) Keeping in mind the point above, I do not support the decision to ban/crackdown on bandit runners this year at the real Boston Marathon. Runners are not the danger. My gut tells me that they made this decision to ban the bandits because they wanted to show the public that they were “doing something” to increase safety. This is simply creating an ILLUSION of safety, not real safety. Creating illusions of safety is also why we have to get patted down at airports. Some quick research will show that even the TSA itself knows that they are not keeping us nearly as safe as out politicians claim they are. For example, the over-reacting TSA (they declared mashed potatoes a security threat because it was a “liquid”) and security experts decided that it would make us safer if we allowed people to carry pocket knives shorter than 2 inches on planes. But politicians (who are experts only in self-promotion) freaked out and demanded that pocket knives remain banned in order to maintain and illusion of security.
4) This kind of touches on one of my previous blogs, but at no point during the bombings on the day of the marathon or the manhunt for the Tsarnaevs did I feel SAFER because I didn’t have a gun. I was lucky enough to be on a college campus where there was a police force specifically dedicated to the safety of students, but my heart goes out to all the homes who did not have armed guards. I know that the police did the best they could during the crisis, but at the end of the day the terrorist was found in a stored away boat by its civilian owner. If I was a resident of the Commonwealth I would have wanted to have a way to defend my family in case the police were not present.