By Mike Sweeney, Gun Owners Action League – Massachusetts
Like many Americans I sat glued to my television watching the Boston terrorist manhunt unfold. I followed the action interactively, watching my Twitter feed, listening to the Boston P.D. scanner online, and most of all, watching it live on a variety of the Boston area TV stations which seemed to be out in front of the big national news outlets.
While sitting, watching the images come across the screen of cocked and locked – armored up SWAT troops, riding around on armored vehicles all I could think of was the video game “Call of Duty, Modern Warfare.” It looked exactly like the scene where America is invaded by a foreign army.
One big difference though, this foreign army was one religious fanatic.
I watched these surreal scenes unfold, SWAT teams riding around the neighborhoods, searching, dismounting, stacking, and pulling innocent - law abiding citizens out of their homes at the muzzle of an M4, or more accurately, many M4s. I watched the people, as they were dragged out of their homes for the most part taking no issue with these tactics and I was shocked.
I kept wondering, “How many other people watching this are taking issue with what we are seeing here?” It seemed so wrong to me, for many reasons, to see so many people literally pulled out of their homes at gunpoint, children in arms, many without shoes on, for god knows how long, all because the government soldiers said so.
Have we as a nation become this conditioned and this dependent on our government to protect and save us?
I wrote earlier this week about the “gun control” angle, wondering how many of the citizens, locked down in their homes, a good portion of which are most likely anti-gun, or at the least most likely voted for a politician that is and wondered, “How do they feel about guns now?”
The voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have time and again voted as a majority to send anti-gun legislators to congress, and all levels of state positions, overwhelmingly supporting candidates who have pushed for gun control on both the local and national level.
Now, here they were, disarmed by their own doing and getting dragged out of their homes at gunpoint.
I once again wondered, “Are they happy now?”
Our city, our capital and many surrounding towns were literally and figuratively shut down and under martial law. There were a million of residents sitting waiting and watching, thousands of residents pulled from their homes, and not a single voice of dissent.
I understand the enormity of the situation; armed terrorists had just shocked our country. I understand the desire on the part of law enforcement to bring the terrorist to justice, especially in light of the previous night’s pursuit and resulting gun fights, which killed one officer and critically wounded another.
The manhunt on the other hand was a step too far.
At the height of it we had approximately 9,000 police, many of them in full combat gear, with approximately 9,000 handguns, 3,000 M4 rifles and 500,000 rounds of ammunition to catch one terrorist in a Boston suburb. Does this sound ridiculous to anyone else? Just for a little perspective we only sent in 160 men to catch Osman Ali Atto in Mogadishu.
Was this a manhunt or a justification of the militarization of our civilian police force? I don’t know what bothers me more about the situation, that we voted to enable this sort of thing, that we were so willingly complacent to let our government trample our rights in the name of justice, or that nobody took issue with it?
When our nation rose to prominence as a world power in the early 20th century we were characterized as a nation of individuals, self-reliant, with a “can do” attitude.
President Theodore Roosevelt, who defined much of our early 20th century character, stated “If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.”
Over the course of approximately 100 years since the Roosevelt presidency came to a close we have lost that self reliance. What happened?
For one thing we voted for legislators who have grossly infringed upon our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This resulted in large chunks of law abiding urban residents being disarmed and unable to defend themselves. Years of objectification by anti-gun politicians and a complicit media have helped this disarmament tremendously, and in doing so, have convinced many that guns are bad, and not needed by civilians.
Guess what? By default, suppressing our Second Amendment rights has caused infringement upon others.
There was no better evidence of this than what we saw on our television sets and online while people were dragged out of their homes, forced to leave while armored up “war police” illegally searched their private residence.
This terrorist bombing and resulting actions would have caused our Framers to weep for the loss of life and the injuries to so many innocent people. But what would have pained them most about this event is the precipitous decay of enumerated rights for which they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor unfolding for all of America to witness.
Be careful what you vote for.
Editor’s note: Mike Sweeney is the Communications Manager with the Gun Owners’ Action League, please check out this group by visiting their website, they do some very good work - http://www.goal.org/.