Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Tragedy - What Will Be Our Response?

I am disinclined to write at length about the tragedy at the Boston Massacre, because little relevant is know except the number of dead, 3, and injured 140+.  There have been various reports about suspects, none of them reliable.  For the dead, my heartfelt sympathies to their loved ones.  It is hard to imagine the heart-break of having someone you love die in this gruesome way on Patriots' Day, especially the parents of the eight year old who was among the dead.  The injuries to those who survived will also be mind-numbing.  Our prayers go to the injured as well, many are suffering grievously.

I worry also about what self-inflicted stupidity will result from the tragedy that will further erode our rights without adding to our real security.  Early reports suggested that the bombs might have been in back packs.  Will we be checking young mother's diaper bags when they take their babies to the beach as our next move to ensure safety.  Will we ban backpacks altogether, or at least at any public gathering?

After 9-11, we started to strip down at the airport and take off our shoes and generally suffer humiliation just to use air transport.  Who can argue that we are safer as a result?  As a people, we need to stop believing that the we can be made perfectly safe and that our safety is solely the province of the government.  Private firms and private citizens can and will take action without violating the rights of others.  Airline safety could be vastly improved by merely reinforcing the cockpit door and arming pilots, for example, to prevent hijackings.  The shoe bomber was stopped by passengers.

I hope for a more sensible debate about security when the details of this tragedy are revealed.  Ceding more of our personal liberty shouldn't be on offer.

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