Boston: Look for the ‘Helpers’

The Telegraph has a good examination of the two prevailing early theories as to who is behind the Boston Marathon bombing.

Foreign Policy tells us “Beware of the Few“; from the Battle of Britain to the lone gunman, we live in a world where the actions of a very few can have enormous consequences. John Robb has been analyzing this trend for some time.

Massachusetts State Police confirm that a search warrant related to the investigation was served Monday night in Revere, but they haven’t said anything else. Some investigators were seen leaving the house early this morning, carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag. The Associated Press reports that the FBI “has served a search warrant on a home in suburban Boston. Reports are that this was the residence of a Saudi student that was injured by the shrapnel, though he has not been named as a suspect (part of the “No Muslim unturned” policy).

Alex Jones, a primary disseminator and  profiteer of anti-government wingnut conspiracy theories, was quick to take his blather to Twitter (“out damned spot” much, Alex?). The rest of the usual screwheads took turns publicly soiling themselves. The professional right has reacted just as predictably.

The level of vitriol spewed at the Sandy Hook parents that dared speak out for universal background checks  and the proximity of the bombs to the VIP section where they were seated at the finish line had me immediately considering the possibility that some “patriot” was seeking to exact vengeance on them. How dare they make mass-shooters pause to re-load more often or keep guns out of the hands of criminals? TYRANNY!!!

An economist analyzes the cost of war-now versus war-later with North Korea. It’s an interesting cost-benefits situation.

As tragic as acts of terrorism like the Marathon bombings truly are, Here’s a graph of the relative impact of terrorism vs. the boring, garden variety gun-looniness we live with every day in this country:

The simple truth is since 1968, more Americans have been killed with guns than died in all the wars of this country’s history. Yes, it’s true, not like the make-believe talking points proffered by gun-industry dupes. We tend to react to terrorism disproportionately, giving up our personal freedoms, submitting to TSA gropings and warrantless searches and communications intercepts only because terrorism is so damned rare that it actually scares us. Meanwhile the clear political message that there is nothing to be done about the shootings that happen all the time has been repeatedly hammered home by politicians who’ve sold out to the NRA.

The graph above should be on billboards next to a picture of Wayne LaPierre wearing a keffiyeh to emphasize the uneven reaction to theoretical terrorism vs. the real evil evangelized every day by gun-industry shills like him. Yes, I consider LaPierre one of the wrong kind of ‘helpers’: he helps people die in large numbers and calls it ‘patriotism’.


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