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Boston and Heart of a Nation

It won’t be an ordinary night at Fenway Park tonight (if the game even happens); Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon by two immigrant brothers of Chechen origin already has everyone on edge, and with one of the brothers dead and the other on the lam, as of this writing (Friday noon), it’s tough to imagine how the game is going to be allowed to proceed.

Just this morning, my neighbor greeted me and said, “My granddaughter goes to Boston College and lives near that corner. She and a friend were out watching the finishers. About half an hour before the explosion, they decided they’d seen enough. Until I heard from her mother within the hour after the blast, my heart was in my mouth.” We live in Virginia, but the event obviously reached around the globe as far as China, where one of the fatalities was from.

In 2001, baseball came to a complete stop after the terrifying events of 9/11, and when it began again it had a great healing force for the nation. So while it would be great to go ahead with tonight’s game, I’m not sure the authorities will allow it.

Compare and contrast with the feckless vote in the United States Senate this week, where a watered-down common-sense measure to help improve gun safety failed to gain the 60 votes necessary for passage. The Gun Lobby worked furiously to defeat this mild bill, while advancing their own legislation to further unleash more guns on this stressed society. It is worth noting that Senators representing 74% of the American people favored this minimalist control, which is favored by even a higher percentage of those polled, yet a determined minority could thwart their will. As President Obama said, it was a shameful day in Washington.

Some have pointed out how when a crime is committed that we call “terrorism”, even one victim is too many and no effort is too great. Yet we tolerate over 30,000 fatalities due to gun violence every year due to a warped and mistaken reading of the Second Amendment. While the number of guns owned by Americans continues to increase, the number of Americans owning those guns continues to decrease. A curious situation in truth..

I cannot posit a solution to our woes. I fear that the identification of the perpetrators in the Boston tragedy as not just immigrants, but Muslim immigrants, will stoke the fires of bigotry. People of good will must come together and speak out against that.

Play ball!

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