Boston Bombings

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mooseman, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    So, it's another attack by terrorists in the US and the 24/7 news has it all over the place.
    Do any of you watch this stuff on end or do you like me read just enough to be informmed.
    Any opinions on this or the reaction to this.
    There used to be some heated discussions here, but a few trolls killed it.

    I believe that the US needs to start looking into ways to prevent these kind of things, but just how and to what extent, I am unsure. One thing that is a problem for me is the people (media?) that scream for the government to solve this, but don't want the government to intrude on "their" freedoms and rights.
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I remember this topic coming up with previous terrorist attacks, but a lot of aspects of this kind of thing are very, very hard to prevent. That's not a reason not to try, of course.
  3. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I tend to agree with Mooseman, as to the government's role in this. In situations like this, people are going to demand answers and elected officials are going to look for solutions. However, I think we have seen a history of said officials always coming up with really bad solutions. They're used to creating laws and when you're creating laws, you end up painting situations with really broad strokes that are usually effective at preventing the attacks that just took place but do nothing to prevent future attacks which will most assuredly be planned with those laws in mind. So 99.99999% of the country gets majorly inconvenienced while the remaining terrorists and nutcases carry on with their new plans.

    IMO, the best thing the government can do is to remind the whole country to always be vigilant and prepare for the worst. This doesn't necessarily mean profiling people and taking the law into one's own hands, but just be watchful of the world around you and don't be afraid to speak up or act out if something's obviously wrong. Two instances off the top of my head are the 4th plane from 9/11 where the passengers took over and died preventing what could have been another monumental disaster. They knew the stakes and no longer feared for their lives. Never again will a passenger plane be used in the manner they were on 9/11 because everyone in the country now knows how much worse a hijacking can be than just losing the lives of the passengers. I think that knowledge and awareness is worth 100x that of the TSA. Another example is the attempted bombing in Times Square, when the guy had a van filled with explosives that failed to detonate because passersby noticed that something was wrong and immediately notified authorities. Obviously, not every situation will come with the same warning signs (an unattended car left running and smoke coming out the back), but I think there was a time when a lot of people wouldn't have cared enough to do anything.

    The leaders of this country need to keep the public informed that it's our responsibility to protect each other and we shouldn't be afraid to do so. We can't just sit back and rely on laws and authority figures to keep the country safe.
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    First, I'm not sure this is an act by "terrorists". To me, that term implies that they are backed by a greater organization that provided training and materials and they were used to further that organization's goals. So far I have read that they are two seemingly disgruntled Chechans who disagreed with the U.S.'s policies in that country, but "took matters into their own hands", so to speak.

    It is an act of terror though, no doubt. But since (so far) it seems they acted on their own, realistically, there's pretty much no way to prevent this kind of thing unless they have loose lips and speak about their plans to somebody who in turns has presence of mind to relay it to someone in charge who can do something about it. Pressure cooker bomb recipes are easily found on the Internet, the materials are easily obtainable, so until it happens, it can't really be prevented.
  5. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    I think terroist applies to anyone who commits a terroristic act. The Colorado bombing was committed by terrorists. So was the Boston bombing.
  6. turgy22 Nothing Special

    Colorado bombing? You mean Oklahoma City?

    With respect to the "what defines a terrorist" debate, I think the truth lies somewhere between what Mooseman and Spiderman are saying. Motives are extremely important when it comes to identifying whether or not a situation was an act of terror or an act of senseless violence. Less important, I believe, is whether or not the perpetrator was backed by a larger organization.
  7. CanadianBrad Member

    Regardless of whether or not the Boston bombing was part of some greater agenda, I personally feel it was terrorism. The purpose of the attack was to kill, maim, and frighten the public("terrorize"). In my book, that makes it an act of terrorism, and that makes those who committed the acts terrorists. We recently had a similar event in Quebec, where university students threw smoke bombs into various public transit stations. It was part of their protest against raising provincial tuition prices(if anyone could explain how smoke-bombing people on their way to work in the morning protests tuition prices, I'd love to know). An act such as that is aimed at creating panic and disorder among the public. Regardless of lethal intent or result, I also consider that an act of terrorism, and would have liked to see the parties responsible tried as such(it would help if our justice system had a little bit more for teeth, and wasn't so directed toward sheltering and protecting the participants in such events, and more geared to punish participants and protect victims).

    With regard to terrorist incidents overall, I pay them only cursory attention. It is terribly unfortunate that something like this has happened. However, I don't feel that the endless, non-stop media coverage helps much, so I don't pay it a lot of attention. I think that terrorists can claim a pretty significant victory when they've paralyzed a huge amount of the population into staying home and watching CNN non-stop, afraid to leave their homes. 9/11 is a perfect example. What did it work out to, something like 3000 people killed? However, they managed to paralyze a nation of around 300 million people and inspire an environment of fear in one of the most powerful, privileged countries in the world, an attitude which can still be seen to some extent today. Yes, it's important and relevant news and needs to be relayed to the public, but it doesn't help anyone when they are force-fed it by the major media outlets non-stop for the next week.

    I believe in swift and aggressive justice. I would like to see the surviving bomber tried and sentenced almost overnight. If that sentence means that he's condemned to die(do they do that in Massachusetts?), they need to get out there and do it, right away. None of this spend-30-years-on-death-row crap. Give him his trial, sentence him, and hang him from the big oak tree in front of the courthouse that afternoon, or bury him deep in a vicious prison atmosphere amongst the other scum of the earth, and allow him no chance at "infamous celebrity". And then promptly let the incident be pushed aside. Allow the appropriate parties access to the information they need to prevent similar events in the future, but take it out of the newspaper and off the television, and motivate the city of Boston(and the country in general) to remember it more for the lesson of vigilance it teaches, and less for the actions of some homicidal terrorists.
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Massachusetts doesn't have a death penalty. So he's going to be charged with a federal crime.

    I don't know how important it is (although I'm sure it's important to some people, legal implications notwithstanding), but then from Mooseman, what's a "terrorist act"? To me, this is kind like why there's different "shades"/"flavors"/definitions of killing someone or murder. You have voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, first degree murder...

    Regarding turgy22's statement, I don't think the two are exclusive; an act of terror results in senseless violence.

    I think anyone undergoing any type of violence is going to be terrified, so pretty much any crime is an "act of terror". The DC Sniper shootings terrorized the area and people, but I wouldn't call the snipers "terrorists". The Newtown shooter/Columbine shooters/Utah City Batman movie screening shooter certainly terrorized people, but I wouldn't call them "terrorists". So to me, it helps to have the greater organization and what the act is supposed to accomplish to distingush between a terrorist and someone just wanting to create havoc.

    There are reports of investigating the brothers trip to Russia several months ago, so it could come out that they were part of an organization after all.
  9. turgy22 Nothing Special

    Was the nation paralyzed? I guess I was "paralyzed" for about two hours, watching the events unfold from about 9am - 11am that morning, but then I stopped watching the coverage because I had a class to go to. I'm guessing most people around the nation dealt with it the same way. We wanted to know what was happening, but kept working / studying / going about our lives when we had to.

    And I take great exception to your classification of the coverage being "force-fed" to the nation for a week. I think conscious person in the country knew that we were witnessing an historic event. It would have been stupid and irresponsible for the media to shift their coverage away from that. Besides, no one is ever forced to turn on the TV or read the news. Everyone did because what had just happened was nearly impossible to not want to keep up with.

    Yeah, I agree, I'm just trying to differentiate between an act of terrorism and an act of violence that isn't necessarily an act of terrorism. I chose to call the latter "senseless violence". If you have a better phrase, I'll start using it.

    All the examples you gave I would agree were not terrorists. They were people that just wanted to kill people. They also weren't tied to any larger terroristic organization. However, there are also terrorists that aren't tied to another organization. I would say that Timothy McVeigh (OKC bomber) was a terrorist, as was the Unabomber. I also think these Boston bomber kids were terrorists, regardless of whether they received any funding or training in Russia.
  10. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Yes! I start a great conversation, with very good posts that discuss the topics.......

    I guess I feel that a terroristic attack is one where the motive doesn't involve those that are being attacked. The people in Biston watching the race were not targets selected by the terrorists,, they just happened to be there during the attack. The terrorists didn't know these people or personally want them dead (i don't think). This is true of most of the mass shootings too (maybe not Columbine)
    I don't think they need to have some organization behind them, that's more like organized terrorism with a purpose, even if the purpose is not applicable to those that are terrorized.
    Whew, this is getting long winded.
    I too dislike the 24/7 coverage of a story that has little to add and updates to the story can get lost in the barrage of redundent coverage. I watch the news very little and only read/watch enough to get the gists, unless a story interests me enough to further.
  11. CanadianBrad Member

    That's an interesting point. At what point, in your opinion, does a mass shooting become a terrorist act? I'll have to give that some thought myself, as while on paper, mass shootings(Columbine, or the Colorado massacre, or any number of others - Taber was local to us, but I don't know if that really made news outside Canada) fit my description of a terrorist action, I've typically viewed them as a little different.

    On a side note: To those a little closer and more in the know to the events in Boston, has the gun control issue raised its ugly head yet? Seems to me after the highlights(for lack of a better term) of the shootout that I saw on the news, we're about due for another round of that discussion.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, I think most acts of violence are "senseless", so I don't think it's necessary to append that in front (the exception that comes to mind is self-defense). So I'm not sure if there *is* a better phrase.

    I can't remember the circumstances of McVeigh or Unabomber, but if their actions were to further some goal, whether it be individual or group, yes, I would agree with you (I think McVeigh was anti-government?) So I can take out the "backed by a greater organization" part I said earlier, I guess that just helps in achieving whatever goal the violence is intended to accomplish.

    That's pretty fair, but again, that can mean any acts of violence by someone who just wants to accomplish mayhem. The DC snipers are a good example, they weren't committing "mass shootings" (i.e. 5 or more victims in one instance) but neither did they know their targets, they just picked them at random.

    Havn't seen any, but I think the circumstances are different than from others like Newton. Bombs were the primary weapons and the guns were used as an "after-event" and against law enforcement trying to get them, kind of like any criminal being sought by police, like a gang member or bank robber making a getaway.
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Hmmm... so who's this "Misha" guy....
  14. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    ohh...that means that we should push for legislation against bomb ownership.....wait, that has been done already? Now how did they get the bimbs if they are illegal to sell/distribute...we all know that criminals don't break the law, before they go and break the law.
  15. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    he he... that is funny.
    But if bomb ownership wasn't illegal, then if they had caught them prior to the attack, the authorities couldn't have done a thing.
    Just when do people become criminals? Before they break the law?
  16. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    LOL... this discussion came up on Facebook with me and some other people.

    I thought it was obvious that a "criminal" becomes a "criminal" when he breaks a law, as it's part of the "definition", but apparently it's not so obvious and to the people I was discussing this with, when someone "thinks" of doing something that breaks the law, they become a "criminal". Which to me is no different from saying something like "Man, I'm gonna kill that guy" when you're really frustrated or sports crowds chant "Kill 'em" or whatever or a kid draws in their art some depiction of war and killings... etc. And you're not a criminal then.

    And who needs to buy or distribute bombs when you can make them yourself?
  17. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    interesting point, does anyone know, is it illegal to make your own firearm?
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    It isn't illegal (yet).
  19. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    It is in some states (well regulated may be a better term.)
    Some Federal laws will still apply, minimum lengths for rifle and shotgun barrels, no full auto, brandishing, carrying where law prohibits etc.
  20. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I think it's okay if your ammunition consists of potatoes.

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