It’s increasingly clear that the Boston bombing was a watershed event. While the media focuses on the bombers’ past and the possibility of further attacks, the police response to the terrorists is bound to have a more significant and long-lasting impact on the public psyche . . .
The local, state and federal authorities’ decision to order over a million Boston-area residents to “shelter in place” marked a new chapter in the People’s relationship with their government.
Putting an entire city into “lockdown”—shutting down public transportation, ordering businesses to close and cabs not to run; filling the streets with heavily armed police and National Guard troops—is the closest thing Americans have seen to martial law outside of a natural disaster.
Let’s face it: the “lockdown” was martial law in all but name. We can debate about “exigent circumstances” and discuss the legality, morality and practicality of the police strategy. But the plain truth is that the number of cops deployed and the tactics they used scared the shit out of a lot of people.
In much the same way that Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath turned gun confiscation from a tin hat-wearer’s paranoid fantasy into a real life possibility, the brute force of the police response to the Boston bomber has opened-up minds to the idea that government force presents a threat to freedom.
Did you see the dancing in the streets after the lockdown was lifted? Tell me Boston didn’t look like a liberated city. Liberated from the fear of the bombers. But also liberated from the government-ordered and enforced “lockdown.”
So, did the police response to the Boston Bombers open Americans’ eyes to the threat posed by their own government? If so, does that help the cause of gun rights?