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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.

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  1. I’d rather live in a world with evil than a world without, because anyone can step into the role of evil at any given time. In the perfect non-violent utopia, if one individual decides to stray from good, there will be many helpless victims unable to react appropriately. The sad story of the dodo is a good example. It is best to be well rounded and be able to react to anything life may choose to throw ones way. In that sense I view evil as a vaccine: If we can survive it, we will only be stronger as a consequence. If we choose ignorance and pretend the monster will vanish with a few laws, we will always be weak.

  2. I wondered the same thing. I wondered if I were there if I would have noticed something not right. I will never know but I do know that I would have had a better chance of seeing something that was not right far easier than most others.

    After sitting in Church and watching over all the people no one but me keeps their head moving and scanning the whole Church. I sit in Restaurants and keep my head moving and am amazed at everyone else with their heads down eating or talking to their table mate and not paying attention to what is going on around them. Where ever I go I see this same thing. Everyone in their own little world not paying attention on what is going on around them.

    • C,
      We all play our parts. Right after or during an explosion, taking photographs can capture critical evidence that can lead to an arrest and neutralize the long term threat. As the smoke clears from the air, a fog sets in on peoples memories and recollections, but not on the photographs. Get off your high horse. As Colion says, we do not know how we will react in such emergencies. Some are not so constituted and that is the diversity of our spiecies. Maybe you have proven yourself in similar circumstances and even so, the photographer ran toward the smoke and fire, not away from it.

    • I saw a good number (subjective observation) of photographers helping remove the barricades with police, normal citizens, and a couple young Army kids. I was pissed at the normal person taking the video of it happening not to help out though. But there does come a point when too many people can get in the way though, especially at point zero of a det with shocked civilians.

  3. I agree that pro-2A people, like myself, are not shocked and I find it odd that a news person would be shocked at such a thing. There were plenty of people at that event and some of them are bound to be pro-2A people. I say this as someone who grew up in the Boston area and knows the city pretty well. After all, there are lots of military folks who run that race, and their families are there watching.

    So no, I don’t think that a crowd of only pro-2A people would have noticed anything more at this event or any other where everyone’s attention is on the event. However, a day at the mall is different. There is nothing on which to focus one’s attention so pro-2A folks probably do notice more.

  4. I also was not surprised but the Boston Marathon attack.

    I think an important lesson for all of us to learn from this attack is that if we see someone or something out-of-place or suspicions act on it. Someone leaving a backpack unattended seems pretty suspicious.

    In Aurora what would have happened if someone had noticed the door being propped open and got up and closed it? I have been to highschool basketball games since then and see students and others propping locked doors open supposedly to let others in the game for free. But you never know, so now I take the time to go close the door and sometimes report it to security or police and then they keep an eye on it.

    We all have the responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe in such a situation and thankfully the vast majority of the actions we can take don’t involve the use of a firearm.

  5. “Would the outcome have been different had the crowd been packed with 2A people?”

    How could that possibly make any difference in this situation? Now, if the crowd had been packed with bomb-sniffing dogs, particularly around the start and finish lines…

    OH. WAIT… IT WAS!!!!

  6. Well said Jim. Those people are heroes. We are all saddened by the loss of life and the injuries, both mental and physical. I keep my firearms to protect me and my family. I don’t want to have to hurt anyone. I would prefer peace. I don’t want to have to worry about my family every time they are not around. At the same time, of there is a threat to my family
    you bet I will defend them. With my own life if it comes to that.

  7. Thanks for bringing this up. I may be as guilty as anyone for being trapped in my own worldview: I had no idea anyone was shocked that this could happen.

    My first reaction to Newtown was “S**T. Here we go again: gun bans.”
    The Boston Marathon bombing gave me practically no reaction.

    The fact that anyone could be shocked and surprised that this stuff can happen certainly explains how so many people see no need for a firearm. I have a hard time accepting that such a personality type still exists…and votes.

  8. I would submit that those of us that have seen and worked around bombs going off like that would be among the last to rush to the site of the bombing. That is because we have learned through hard experience that often a second bomb is planted to kill those rushing to the rescue.

    If you’re already in the kill zone then you should help the wounded, otherwise you should be very wary of rushing in to help because that’s a good way to multiply the number of wounded.

    It’s a sick thought, but it’s borne out by experience. I applaud those that followed their instincts and rushed to help. They are good people, but that people in uniform did not rush in could be a sign of training.

    • I agree, that’s how we’re trained. And it sounds really bad to say this, but I’m surprised only 3 were killed. Two explosions in an area where everybody was packed together; it could have been a lot worse and I’m glad it wasn’t.

  9. now now…. I’m too busy abdicating responsibility for my DNA to society to consider these foolish notions.

  10. I’m not sure . . . .

    The police should not congregagte in one place, including where the injuries are.

    If there had been a third bomb timed properly many more would have been hurt.

    Best if the police stay put, look around, not at the bomb scene and determine if more is coming or if they need to do something in a different direction.

    What gave me concern was that there appeared to be no control over spectators many minutes after the event. There did not appear to be any Command and Control.

    I go to a hockey game and they check me for food and drinks (to make sure I buy from their vendors stands), even opening up my coat, then through a metal detector They take away small knives, etc.

    Whomever was in charge of security blew it . . . . no backpacks, no big packages, etc. Let them whine, too bad.

  11. In Iraq the insurgents loves to detonate a bomb and kill a few people and create casualties. Then the Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and medical people would show up and rubberneckers would surround the blast sight. Then a second device would go off creating even more casualties. I never understood why civilians would run to the blast site to see what was happening over there. When I heard the initial few details I immediately thought of the complex attacks over there.

    I was also not shocked that it happened. I am just glad I was not at the Marathon this year like I was last year. At 4:08 last year I was across from where the bomb blew up hoping to see my family member cross the finish line.

  12. Bravo to those who reacted with courage to assist the wounded. I would call this a depraved and cowardly act of terrorism rather than a tragedy though.

  13. This is a trajedy yet thousands of people maimed & killed by criminals isn’t? Sorry to be insensitive, I think this needs to be in perspective here. 3 people dead & many wounded, this is just one bad night in Chicago. I am sorry for the good people that were lost, I’m also sorry for the daughter that was raped & her mother stabbed to death in a wonderfull gun free city. I remember the liberal grief outpouring for POS tokie williams before he got the needle. Maybe one day jerkson & sharpmouth will go to a white guys funeral(like my friend) that was killed by minority gangbangers, maybe o will grieve the good whites & blacks killed in his criminal safe zones, hell, maybe Batman will get to Robin in time, Randy

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