I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from family and friends around the country about what it was really like on Friday here in Boston. And despite the fact I consider myself a professional wordsmith, smithing those particular words is turning out to be harder than I thought.
The best anecdote I can give is that I woke up on Saturday exhausted and my entire body physically sore, which was probably the result of sitting on my couch watching the news for 15 hours and unable to relax any single muscle until the suspect was declared officially in custody. And when word came down that he finally was caught, I let out a huge sigh, which was probably a response to feeling like I had been holding my breath all day.
But then, THEN, I started to get retro-actively angry. And not all of it was entirely aimed at this tiny, tiny, petty man who had managed to hold my entire city hostage for a day. I was also angry at all the ignorant social media messages posted by tiny, tiny petty people who had used this tragedy to promote their own pro-gun agenda. From Arkansas legislator Nate Bell’s incredibly insensitive tweet about liberal Bostonians probably wishing they had an AR-15 as they cowered in their homes, to NRA supporters gloating over the bipartisan gun control bill being voted down while innocent people in Boston were having their legs amputated and West, Texas was reeling from their own tragedy, to even a few friends reposting disgusting and ill-timed memes of the president, a man who was busy trying to help Boston and West, Texas and the rest of the country heal.
All of it was horrifying and soul-crushing.
Because while there is a time and a place to have a RATIONAL debate about gun control, particularly after the tragedy in Newtown, this week wasn’t it. And using Boston as an example certainly wasn’t the place.
I woke up to a war zone on Friday, as did all of Boston, after only four days of living through another unimaginable tragedy. And let me tell you, what happened that day was a beautiful example of true patriotism.
See, while Nate Bell was busy having masturbatory fantasies about playing Rambo through the streets of Boston as he personally killed all the terrorists of the world, the patriots of Boston were staying in their homes with their doors locked because we knew that the last thing the police and FBI and military members (who had been working non-stop since Monday) needed was to worry about us. Their job was to make sure they got this guy without anyone else getting hurt and our job was to let them do it. We didn’t riot, we didn’t form militias, we didn’t try to hunt down a possibly bomb-strapped bad guy on our own to “help.”
(Speaking of which, for all their big talk, I didn’t hear of one single anti-gun-control advocate that was mouthing off on Facebook hopping on a plane to Boston and publicly declaring their intention to help catch this guy with their own personal AR-15. Not a single one came up here, tapped the police chief on the shoulder and said “don’t worry, we got this, why don’t you guys take a rest.”)
Boston kept calm. We carried on. And when the police did the job that we pay them for and that they are trained for, we came out of our homes and stood with our families in the streets, cheering them on as they made their way home to their own families after an amazingly well done job.
And as for all the people posting ignorant statements that one madman would never be able to hold their own city in Texas, or New Mexico or wherever under siege because they all own guns, all I have to say is 1. I hope to God you never have to find out and 2. You never bring an untrained civilian with a gun to a bomb fight. That is, of course, unless you don’t care how many innocent people get hurt in the process.
The NRA and die-hard gun advocates are their own worst enemy. Not just because they’re giving a bad name to gun-owners everywhere, almost all of whom are responsible and good people.
And not just because they dared to say that the American people have spoken when the gun control bill was, pardon the pun, shot down. (Even just the smallest amount of unbiased research will reveal that the only people who spoke that day was the NRA and the legislators that are in their pocket since the overwhelming majority of people feel like I do, which is that people should have the right to own guns but there should be background checks and restrictions on Internet sales.) And not just because they keep repeating the untrue mantra “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” (Even the smallest amount of critical thinking skills will reveal that a person with an automatic gun with a high-capacity magazine can kill a lot more people than a person with a rifle.)
And not just because they distort the facts on a regular basis and try to scare people into thinking someone is coming to take away their guns. (Even though no government official has ever knocked on the door of a law-abiding, gun-owning citizen and demanded they hand over all their weapons, no questions asked).
It’s because through all of those tactics combined and the complete lack of tact they showed this week, they have turned someone like me, who supported the Second Amendment and wasn’t very vocal on the issue of gun control, into a very vocal enemy. An enemy who believes these gun nuts should have absolutely no lobbying power in Congress.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one.