Dealing with Hate
As I sit here writing this Hub from the comfort of my couch, forty miles from the scene, the news channels are overloaded with coverage of the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. People are lining the streets in Watertown, MA cheering the Police, FBI and other first responders as they drive by. Looking at this, my heart goes out to the four killed by these two degenerates, the hundreds injured and the thousands who attended the Boston Marathon on a sunny Monday afternoon. Their good time was transferred into a nightmare that many may never be able to overcome. But mostly I think this is not over. We may cheer the capture of a suspect, but what nags at me is why? Why did two brothers kill innocent people? Did they act alone or were they just patsies for a larger organization?
And what's next? I don't necessarily mean when is the next bombing or al Qaeda style terrorist plot. But when is the next crazy person or persons going to pop their head out of a hole and get their 15 minutes of infamy? In the last year we have seen a massacre at a theater in Aurora, CO, a disgruntled and deranged LAPD Officer go on a rampage and kill fellow officers, a mall shooting in Oregon and the tragic school shooting of 26 children and teachers in Newtown, CT by the deranged loser and gun nut, Adam Lanza.
What really amazes and scares me is that the last year has been nothing out of the ordinary. In previous years we've dealt with tragedies at Columbine High, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, Lockerbie, Oklahoma City and so many others that I hardly recall them all. They were all perpetrated by crazies. True, some of them were ideologues whose beliefs gave them an excuse for their murderous rage. Others were just loners who wanted to get back at society for the indignities they felt. But the victims had one thing in common. They, like the people who were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, were innocent people who were just having a normal day and until the crazy ones showed up and ended their lives.
There is a tendency by us to look at the latest tragedy (or tragedies) and think they are the worst ever (What is happening to the world?!!!).True, it is the one were dealing with now and with respect to the victims of these tragedies, these type of things have all happened before.
Jack the Ripper, Charles Starkweather, Richard Speck and many others went on murderous rampages and claimed many innocent victims. Jack the Ripper murdered as many as 11 prostitutes in London from 1888 to 1891. These murders were never solved and to this day we only have theories on who the killer was. Charles Starkweather, along with his girlfriend Caril Fugate, went on a spree from Lincoln, NE to Wyoming and along the way killed 10 people in late 1958 and early 1959. Richard Speck was a deranged career criminal who raped, tortured and murdered 8 student nurses in Chicago in 1966. These are only 3 of the many sociopaths that have affected us in history, many of them have faded into obscurity as time has passed. In Bath, Michigan, in 1927, disgruntled politician, Andrew Kehoe went on a rampage and murdered 44 people (mostly children) when he blew up a school in Bath with several preplanted bombs. (the death toll would have been more, but several bombs failed to detonate.)
While the four above were just seemingly insane and their actions were a result of their insanity, other have used the excuse of extreme ideology (or worse they were members, or were sponsored by a much larger group.) While it's too early to know whether the Boston Bombings were part of a larger conspiracy or the two brothers were just wannabes, we do know the perpetrators of 9/11 were devoutly religious who truly believed that their hatred and evil were moral. But more than any other disaster, 9/11 changed the way we do things. We are more diligent, law enforcement is stopping crimes before they happen and security at airports and large gatherings is increased. While the Boston Bombings proved that you can't stop everyone, the twelve years between 9/11 and Boston proved that we have gotten better at detecting these attacks and stopping them before they occur.
Sometimes, seemingly isolated terrorist actions can set off a chain of events that leads to absolute disaster. In 1914 Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated by a young Serb Nationalist named Gavrilo Princip. While hostilities had been brewing for years, this act was the cinder that ignited the conflagration of World War 1. Since World War 1 led directly to World War 2 (in Europe anyway) which led directly to World Communism and the Cold War, It can be said that this one action led to three quarters of a century of death and misery for millions.
So, what do we do? Well going on to live our lives as normal is a good start. It has worked since 9/11 and there is no reason it won't work in the future. No matter what our differences, ideaologies and beliefs, over 99% of us would never think of taking the lives of innocent strangers. We go about our days blithely ignorant of people who would like to destroy us for no good reason. But every once and a while, when something like Bostom or Sandy Hook happens, we are reminded how precious life is. And that is a good thing. It seems that whenever these freaks come out of their hole and attempt to hijack and intimidate us, there are many more good people who will come together. Yes, there is evil in the world. But there is also caring, charity, character and love.