I was all set to publish a different post for this week when I turned on the news, for the first time today, and saw that bombs had been set off at the Boston Marathon. As is known, right now, 3 people are dead and over a hundred are injured. Those numbers might change as more information comes in.
I just can’t tell you how much I hate this. I hate it when people get hurt for no reason. I hate it when people expect to be safe and they aren’t. I hate it when a fun, cool event is ruined by violence.
But what I hate most, as a general rule, is stupidity, especially on a massive scale. People blow other people up, shoot people, and do all sorts of nasty, violent things… and for what???
What do they accomplish? What did Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier accomplish when they blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City? Well, we all know that they hated the FBI. Is the FBI gone now? Is it going away anytime soon? Or ever? No.
Assuming the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on 9/11/2001 was actually perpetrated by foreign terrorists, what did they accomplish? Nothing. Less than nothing. They got their own people, including countless innocents, killed, maimed, and/or rendered homeless.
Blowing people up isn’t just evil – it’s stupid. It’s not even the equivalent of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. It’s more like wanting to eat a hamburger, so you set your shoe on fire and throw it in a garbage can. It not only accomplishes nothing, a sane person would predict ahead of time that it will accomplish nothing.
But some idiot, every once in a while, makes a plan thinking that he’ll (I’m pretty sure it’s mostly men who do this) show us all – that he’ll make some statement, or hurt his enemies. Never mind that the people actually hurt have nothing to do with whatever he’s upset about.
I implore all who read these words or hear about them – Think. Think about what will be accomplished by your actions. Think about the costs. Think about people’s lives and families. If there is one, unifying message that runs through all of my posts (for the last couple of years), it is that we should form a society in which we care about each other, and in which we carefully plan for our collective future. If we do this, we will individually benefit, and we will be safe from threats of all kinds… or at least safer than we are now.
Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.