Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Heroes and Others

The Boston Marathon bombing brings America that much closer to life lived in much of the world, if we weren't already there. It's not like there haven't been these sordid, cruel, stupid events before. Maybe this one just feels a little more like something that happened yesterday in Madrid, or London, or Mumbai. Here's a clear picture of reality:

I particularly liked the moment when some credentials zealot is brushed aside by the doctor. It's heartening that in real moments of life and death, at least now and then the bureaucratic impulse is defeated. May it always be so.

There are some deep similarities between the various firearms generated massacres and this bombing--all terroristic bombings. We have allowed "terrorism" to become a technical term, when in fact it is a concept with a clear, human meaning. We all know this, just as the doctor knew to brush aside the bureaucrat. The slaughter of a sweet eight-year-old boy in Boston is exactly like the slaughter of the twenty children in Connecticut.

And this should be made clear to all of us when in the presence of the lying dissembler, Wayne LaPierre. Some journalist worthy of the name should take Mr. LaPierre by the lapels at the next opportunity and ask just what his "good guys with guns" will bring to the Boston Marathon bombing. "It is an asymmetric situation, you lying cynical sack of offal," some David Gregory should scream at LaPierre, close up, where the spit flecks LaPierre's glasses. Because if Mr. LaPierre knows anything at all, it is surely exactly this obvious fact. The bombing just makes it plainer, not different. There were hundreds of "good guys with guns" at the bombing, instantly ready to defend the civilians.

The utter cynicism of the NRA is to be entirely willing to muddy these waters with obviously false "solutions," which in fact only sell more weapons. Thus proffered like a plate of canapes, politicians searching for a way out of a hard choice like drowning victims of a submarine attack can reach for these life rafts and say, later, from dry land, why yes, I did something. We looked into putting armed veterans in all the schools in America, just like the experts at the NRA suggested. Case closed.

"Good guys with guns"

Friday Morning Update: It appears that the police have caught and killed one suspect, and are chasing the others. This is what good guys with guns do. It does not speak to the fundamental asymmetry of unexpected attacks on civilians or even on military personnel. We can all hope the second suspect is captured alive so further information can be obtained on the reasons for their actions.

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