“Security theater, martial law, and a tale that trumps every cop-and-donut joke you’ve ever heard”
My own brief response: when I heard Peter King using the Boston response to call for additional surveillance cameras in cities, presumably government owned, I was put off. Like, viscerally. That was my initial reaction — and not just because I’m reliably non-photogenic. Rather, because it seems to me that store cameras, bank cameras, and personal cell phones, etc., did the work here, and I’m fine with that kind of arrangement.
I suppose I’d be open to the argument for more surveillance cameras to be placed in public provided there was an ironclad guarantee that they’d only be referenced in the event of terror attacks — and even then, I’d expect “terror attack” to be very narrowly defined. And even even then, I’d hate the idea, knowing that somehow, someway, some court somewhere will eventually find cracks in the legal language and allow use of the cameras in ways I wholly despise, based on some thing claiming to be an interpretation.
So it’s a balancing act, and one that won’t be solved in smarmy Tweets.
Assholes like David Sirota (who incidentally blocked me on Twitter, so thoroughly must I have rattled him yesterday — which continues to escape the notice of Twitchy somehow) are now busy arguing that “conservatives” are criticizing Boston for “cowering,” failing I suppose to note that Michael Moore, hardly a TEA Party supporter, did just that.
And yet, what choice did the people of Watertown really have? The government has disarmed them (and I’d bet that nearly 45% of MA residents disagree with the state’s anti-gun policies); the government controls the public transportation; and evidently, we’ve militarized our metropolitan police forces to the point where your best bet is to stay inside, because we have (rightly) nervous law enforcement officers patrolling in areas that might be booby-trapped, armed with “assault weapons,” ready to fire on perceived threats.
— Which incidentally is why the media who were climbing on rooftops or trying to circumvent road blocks are lucky they were identified in scanner chatter.
At the risk of sounding like a real throwback, why wasn’t a makeshift community “militia” of the remaining legal gun owners put together — voluntarily — to aid police in the search? Why is a lock down preferable to a group of responsible citizens with firearms aiding law enforcement of their own volition to help end a community threat?
I think what rankles many “conservatives” — which includes classical liberals, many libertarians, and constitutionalists — and even people like Michael Moore, who is none of those things, is that the Boston lock down, while ultimately proving effective (ironically, by way of its having ended), essentially served the purpose of the terrorists: It shut down cities, shut down (most) commerce, and forced the populace into hiding, in some cases I imagine against the will of individuals.
And this came on the heels of the populace having shown itself on the afternoon of the bombing to be up to the task of acting responsibly and effectively, with civilians rushing to join and augment the brave work of first responders, helping the wounded and the dazed, providing intel that helped find the bombers, and so on.
If it’s time for a national conversation, I recommend a national conversation on what it means to be a citizen of a free country. This would include the price we may have to pay for liberty.
But if the progressives and some on the right think it appropriate to wave the bloody shirts of children to push an anti-gun agenda, pardon me for not taking their outrage seriously over some of us raising the specter of a city on lockdown, with people in many cases left defenseless in their homes, as a perfectly legitimate starting point to counter their anti-gun propaganda.