As I watched the coverage on the Boston Marathon bombing, two distinct things registered in my mind. The first people to tear open the barricades and make their way to the wounded were by and large, not the police, but a mixture of race organizers and ordinary citizens. I commented to my wife that incidents like this are when we find out how we would react to danger and tragedy – do we run toward it or away from it. We never really know until we are tested. Every one of those people is a hero as far as I’m concerned and its a shame that they will never be individually recognized for what they did . . .
The thing that most distinctly registered was the commentary by Jack Williams, one of the local anchors on CBS in Boston. He said over and over again how shocked he was that this happened. What kind of scares me is that I wasn’t that shocked. I was actually surprised that it took this long for something like this to happen.
This line of thinking made me reflect upon a theory that I have. I suspect that if you were to take a poll of three groups of people – one pro-2A, one pro-gun control, and one that does not have a strong opinion either way, you’d find that only the pro-2A people were not that surprised about what happened.
People who have embraced the concept of personal responsibility for their own protection and that of their loved ones are all too familiar with the nature of evil. The evil that enables a person to detonate a bomb that kills an eight year old boy whose only crime was that he wanted to cheer on his father, the evil that enables a troubled teen to walk into a school and gun down first graders, the evil that possesses men as they burn, rape, and murder their own countrymen and women in distant lands – that evil is all too familiar to those of us who have chosen to take responsibility for ourselves.
People who choose — intentionally or through inaction — to live in condition white are always the ones who are shocked by this naked vision of evil. It presents them with extreme cognitive dissonance as they try to reconcile their vision of the State’s almighty protective blanket with the simple truth that the State can’t actually protect them from all dangers all the time.
Would the outcome have been different had the crowd been packed with 2A people? Maybe, maybe not. I do know that people who believe in personal protection are usually more aware of their surroundings and are on the lookout for things that seem out of place.
Would one of us standing near the finish line have noticed someone doing something suspicious with a trash can? It’s impossible to say, but one thing we can be relatively sure of is that those in condition white had a near-zero chance of noticing something as their world view didn’t allow for the possibility that something bad could happen – especially with all those police officers around.
If there is to be any silver lining in this terrible tragedy, it’s that maybe a few more people will come to the realization that they need to step up and take responsibility for their own safety. Uncle Sam can’t do it for you. I’m not saying they need to jump on the pro-gun bandwagon, nice as that would be. What I am saying, though, is that they need to open their eyes to the nature of evil and choose whatever path their conscience dictates.