, Gloucester, MA


May 2, 2013

Insights and Outbursts: A far cry from 'back to normal'

On Monday, April 15, I was at a poetry session at Ravenswood Park, listening to Margery McManus Leach read from her book “Captured by Long, Icy Winter.”

Later, I walked through the park and though I usually stay on main paths, took a smaller trail through the woods, certain that if I just turned around and followed it back to the main path, I couldn’t get lost.

I was wrong. Instead, I found myself out on the road, and after walking to the parking lot, drove home, turned on the TV and learned of the Marathon bombing.

After watching repeated footage of the horrific scenes in Boston, I turned off the TV and, later that day, heard a public radio interview with Northeastern University Professor Emeritus Edith Flynn. Now a terrorism expert, she was one of my criminal justice instructors in the 1970s, and someone I respected.

She reminded us that that April 15 was tax day as well as “Patriots’ Day” in Boston, and Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma occurred on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people, injuring over 800, the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and so far, the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in United States history. According to Wikipedia, “McVeigh hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government. “

While runners raced toward the finish line in Boston, Washington was involved in three volatile issues: immigration, tax reform and gun control, all subjects capable of provoking anyone who believed his or her “rights” were violated by the government.

By the end of the week, gun control bills were defeated and once the Marathon bombers were identified as legal immigrants, one a U.S. citizen, immigration reform efforts slowed while Republicans called for the surviving suspect to be treated as an “enemy combatant” because “we are at war.”

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