Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Boston bombings and other painful truths

   I was torn. I had almost decided that I would avoid the mandatory after-action blog post on the bombing in Boston. The internet will be full of them. They'll all say how awful the attacks were, how well Boston's emergency services reacted, and the annoying ones will go on to Monday-morning quarterback the poor bastards in charge of event security.

   Bombers piss me off, because they are cowardly and indiscriminate. Drones piss me off for the same reason, and clusterbombs, mines, chemical weapons, etc. They're the sorts of weapons frightened children would gravitate to, while adults risk arrest and worse to climb onto a soap-box in a square and make their political demands the old-fashioned way.

   When I step back from those normal, unavoidable emotions, though, and put the bomber in context, I realize something about our world-view that's shocking.

   Yesterday, in the US, three died in terrorist attacks
   Yesterday, just on average, 45 people were  murdered in the US
   Yesterday, on average, 230 people were forcibly raped in the US
   The inexplicable part? That we should be horrified by the first number, and largely unconscious of the other two. No one deserves to be listed as a statistic in any of these categories.
    Hang in there, Boston.