(Obviously, we know more about the suspects at this point than we did when I wrote this column. So far I’ve seen nothing to change my conclusions.)
SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." – Fred Rogers
More good words from Mr. Rogers, words to live by. Maybe the biggest thing we should take from the Boston Marathon terrorist attack is that there are still way more good people than bad. Fire, police, EMS, National Guard, marathon officials, and bystanders with no responsibility whatsoever raced forward to help. The good people of the world are of every stripe – all colors, religions or lack of one, every spectrum of political viewpoint.
For every bad guy and every person who doesn’t want to get involved, there are still hundreds who will and do. The world is full of good people; it’s just that the bad ones make more noise, and more headlines.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t my first thought on waking up to discover innocents have been attacked again. My reaction can be best summed up by a movie quote, one that I’ve used before under similar circumstances:
“Mr. Rat... I have a writ here says you're to stop eating Chen Lee's cornmeal forthwith. Now it's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of the same. See? Doesn't pay any attention to me.” (Rooster Cogburn shoots the rat.)
“You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him … or let him be.” – Rooster Cogburn, “True Grit”
I suspect the rest of this column won’t sound terribly original, either.
Some people – and I use the word “people” loosely – aren’t stopped by the idea that their unique, psychotic form of hatred puts them in the minority. On the contrary, their hatred is especially keen toward those they see as helping their enemies. You know, enemies, like 8-year-old children.
These “people” take great delight in the use of secondary devices: bombs that go off some time after the initial attack, designed to kill and hurt as many first responders and good Samaritans as possible.
All the good will in the world isn’t going to deter these animals. They like to kill. No matter what reason they give, what cause they claim to fight for, in the end they love causing pain and destruction.
You can’t argue for them to see the right, because they’re certain they’re in the right. You’re not going to stop them with diplomacy or reason. You’re not going to appeal to their better nature, because they have none.
You can’t serve papers on a rat.
And you can’t let the rat be, not if it continues coming after you, determined to take what’s yours: Your property, your family, your freedom, your life. You can’t live in harmony with something that wants to destroy your world.
You have to kill it.
That’s not a political commentary. I’m not suggesting what needs to be done to keep more people like that from coming along. Once they get to the point where they’re killing innocent people in the belief that it furthers their cause, they should no more be reasoned with than people who kill others for fun. They’re rabid animals that need to be put down.
Mr. Rogers would likely not approve, and I understand that. Maybe he and I are on the same page as to how we should treat most people. No matter where they are or where they’re from, we should start from a standpoint of humanity. Do the right thing, treat others as you wish to be treated, better yourself and your community.
But part of bettering your community is defending it from evil.
Evil is what this is.
I don’t care what bad thing happened to these monsters in the past. I don’t care if they were economically downtrodden, or if they have a beef with America for any reason. Once you start murdering people just because they happen to be standing there, you’re evil. Period. You give up the right to be considered anything but a threat that needs to be dealt with. You’re a rat.
Notice I didn’t mention who actually committed this act, or why, or what, if anything, they represent. I don’t know. As of this writing nobody does, including those who are speculating anyway. I want to know their reasons, yes, but only to hunt down their followers and keep it from happening again. A scumbag is a scumbag, no matter what cause they wrap themselves in.
We should celebrate and support the good people who will always be there to help, but also protect them where we can, just as we should protect our children, our communities, our liberties, and our nation. There will always be someone trying to take those from us, and when we have to choose between what we hold precious and the rats trying to swarm over us, there’s really no choice.
You don’t serve papers on a rat.