(For those who missed it, Part I is here.)
By now everyone surely knows the news. Two Muslim brothers from Chechnya appear to have been responsible for the bombing. The elder was killed in an exchange of fire with police. The younger was arrested, apparently badly wounded, after a prolonged stand-off. Congratulations to the investigators who identified the suspects and all involved in hunting them down.
However, the process has raised several very serious concerns. For a start, these two amateurs succeeded in effectively locking down an entire US city for a full day. Hundreds of thousands of people were confined to their homes, prevented from going to work. More thousands were prevented from returning to their homes. A temporary no-fly-zone was declared over much of Boston. All these measures amounted to a ridiculous, almost hysterical over-reaction.
Commander Zero put it very well:
So, what we have seen, interestingly, is that all it takes to completely shut down a (mostly) major US city is two guys who aren’t afraid to die. That’s it…two guys.
Imagine a larger, highly-motivated, technically-adept, group…maybe a small cell of four or six people all on the same page, working off the same plan, with the same level of dedication/fanaticism. Dude, you could totally shut down virtually any city.
Asymmetrical warfare is kinda what this seems to be an excellent example of. Two guys with a few hundred bucks of hardware shut down a city, suck the manpower of an entire city and surrounding regions, create a huge economic impact, and create chaos. Pretty big deal to pull off for just two guys. This, I suspect, is the future of ‘terrorism’ in this country.
There's more at the link. Good reading - and, as one with more than a little experience in dealing with terrorism, both urban and rural, I agree with him. Here's Karl Denninger's rather more blunt take on it:
The stupid, it burns.
The wrong answer to terrorism is what we're doing right now.
. . .
The payoff for [the bombings] is that an entire city shuts down to literal empty sidewalks and train service is halted along a hundred-mile+ stretch.
Even worse now the authorities are allegedly preventing residents who were away from their homes from returning there! You are now being forcibly dispossessed of your residence! Yeah, it's temporary, but so what -- that's my damned house, not yours! Get the hell out of my way!
Need I remind people that the entire point of terrorism is to terrorize? To create economic havoc in a given area through violence, and by doing so advance some social or political goal?
What sort of lesson is the jackass in the Oval Office along with those crap-for-brains idiots in Massachusetts sending to our enemies around the world?
Two *******s shut down a city of 7 million people who then cower in fear in their homes.
I wouldn't have been quite so rude . . . but I agree, this was an over-reaction to the threat.
Another factor is that Massachusetts is one of the most restrictive states in the Union with respect to the private ownership of firearms (let alone issuing permits to carry them). Most of those confined to their homes in Boston would not have owned firearms, due to the extreme difficulties placed in the path of those wanting to do so in that city. Furthermore, according to Massachusetts law, they would not have been permitted to store them in a loaded, ready-for-immediate-use configuration, so that if one of these fleeing terrorists had kicked down their door, they would have been effectively helpless. That should outrage any right-thinking person!
By contrast, imagine if a situation like this had occurred near the residence of Miss D. and myself. If we were woken from sleep by all the fuss, I'd have no less than three loaded firearms immediately available for use. Two are at my bedside - I won't even have to get out of bed to pick them up. A third, more powerful weapon is within arms reach as I sit on the edge of my bed. If someone decided to hide on my property or break down my front door in an effort to hide from the cops, he'd rapidly regret his decision! As for not being allowed to leave the house, that wouldn't worry us. Within a matter of seconds, we'd each be holding a semi-automatic rifle equipped with a 30-round magazine, loaded with the latest-technology bonded ammunition. We'd have spare magazines and loaded handguns on our persons, and backup long guns would be stashed within easy reach. Our housemate would have armed himself with his own weapons of household protection. Given our joint and several levels of skill and experience, I daresay we could hold our own against an average infantry fire team if we had to, let alone a jihadist terrorist looking for somewhere to hide.
That's what the Second Amendment is all about. It empowers and enables us to defend ourselves against illegal and unjust attack. It's not about hunting, or target practice, or 'bitter clingers', or anything like that. It boils down to, "If you want a piece of me, you'd better be prepared to pay for it!" As Caleb said today:
Now, I’m no gun expert like Joe Biden, but it occurs to me that if a known terrorist who’d already displayed a willingness to shoot it out with the cops and use explosives was on the loose in my neighborhood, I’d probably want a little more defensive firepower than a double barreled shotgun. I might even want a rifle like what the police likely used to shoot at said terrorist with. But that’s crazy talk, right? Dianne Feinstein said there’s no reason for me to own a military style weapon, because we have cops and the military to protect from things like terrorists running around shooting up neighborhoods.
The situation in Boston presents an excellent teaching moment. When the emergency broadcast system comes on and tells you there’s a terrorist loose in your neighborhood, do you want to lock the doors and cower in fear hoping for the best, or would you rather lock the doors and go about your life as normal, knowing that you have a rifle and the skill to use it?
The last word must surely go to the Huffington Post, which reports:
On Friday afternoon, a handful of Dunkin' Donuts stores remained open in the Boston area to serve coffee and donuts, despite the widespread lockdown of the city and surrounding areas. Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands, said the orders to remain open came from the city.
"At the direction of authorities, select Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the Boston area are open to take care of needs of law enforcement and first responders," Raskopf told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement.
If you'd wanted to satirize the police response today, could you possibly have invented anything more stereotypical - or as funny?