As a writer it is difficult to remain silent about the news in times such as these. So much is being said, much is being spewed in anger, and of all that is expressed so little makes any sense. By adding my voice to the fray I run the risk of being as irrelevant as many of the others but I am willing to take that risk because I absolutely cannot stifle myself. I will be brief.
In the USA we have so much freedom – so much that we often hang ourselves because of it. Everyone can go about their business, whatever that might be, unnoticed and unaccounted for. People want to come here for the freedoms we offer, and then they sometimes put it to use in ways it was never meant to be tested. Our legislators can’t figure out how to work together in the common cause of regulating weapons and the voices of our citizens apparently no longer count. Don’t you think that many of our so-called representatives in Washington are, in the privacy of their minds, heaving a sigh of relief that the Boston massacre was not accomplished with guns? It is more fuel for their way of rationalizing all violence to place this particular violence in a category which is nearly impossible to legislate or prevent. Who would imagine a pressure cooker would be put to this use? Only the most brutal of minds.
Who are these angry people? How does a mind get from normal to mass murderer?
The seeds for radical violence can be planted at any time of life – a child can be sweet and respectful for many years and then seem to “turn bad” in a matter of months, with disastrous results, based upon some ideology that was recently adapted. When that happens, and that young person’s apartment is found to be a bomb factory, or a weapon factory, or a gun warehouse, or headquarters for a grand plan of mayhem thus revealing a second, secret, sinister life, I have to wonder where the family was during this development? Sometimes these children actually live at home but their parents have given them the privilege of eminent domain when it comes to their own bedrooms….even though everyone is under the same roof! In the case of the Boston brothers, I imagine that the aunt or the father and mother, as astonished and in denial as they seem to be, had not visited the boys in their own environments for a long time. There would have been clues there.
It really does take a village of people to be aware and cognizant enough to notice when neighbors, friends and “nice kids” are purchasing bomb making equipment, guns, knives and other tools of war. Many trips to the hardware store for instance, purchasing items that do not seem congruous with a college student’s life, might be a big clue. Smiling faces and friendliness do not insure anything anymore – people often quite good at living double lives. Our daily business is now everyone’s business. Privacy is no longer an excuse. Freedom does not extend to a license to kill and injure. Families must monitor their family members – money sent generously to young adult children for tuition and support may be money that is funding terrorism. People need to step forward and report what they see as suspicious even if the person in question is a relative. If you take the time to truly engage a person in conversation you might notice a shift in belief or attitude that indicates a deeper problem. If no one has bothered to check in on a relative or friend in a long time, that is negligent and irresponsible. People need to keep in better touch and know eachother. It all begins at home in the neighborhoods where we live. The FBI cannot be everywhere all the time, and our best eyes and ears belong to eachother.