Yesterday was a roller coaster of a day for the media and for millions of Americans who are yearning for answers in the Boston bombings. While the state of the investigation remains fluid, what is certain is that Americans are courageous and generous, especially in the face of tragedy.
Here is just one moving example of our collective willingness to stand strong. Last night the Boston Bruins hosted the Buffalo Sabres in the first major sporting event in Boston since the bombings on Monday. Take a listen to this powerful rendition of our national anthem.
This morning the Obama's were in Boston to attend a beautiful interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross honoring the victims and the community.
There are a few tangential discussions to be had in the weeks and months ahead.
One of those discussions is how to handle any suspect or suspects in such a case. Should they be afforded Miranda Rights? Does it depend on whether they are American? Does it matter that this took place on American soil versus overseas? I'll tell you right now that whoever is tracked down will be Mirandized under the Obama administration.
The other discussion is about the level of security we should employ in public places versus our expectation of privacy. This is not a new discussion, but it is worth revisiting. Some conservatives argue that more security cameras are more appropriate than potentially other solutions, which could lead to more of a police state.
At some point it is worth questioning reports that the current administration apparently cut the budget for domestic bomb prevention by 45% compared to the funding under George W. Bush. Under Bush we spent $20 million on domestic IED prevention; Under Obama we now spend $11 million. This is according to Robert Liscouski, a former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, in a report that appeared in the Daily Mail. I am not saying that this cut in funding, nor the Obama administration, is responsible, but it calls into question where we need to focus our resources in order to keep Americans safe.
Unfortunately, the politicization of the issue continues.
MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell blamed the NRA for being the reason why the investigation in Boston cannot move faster. He says, “The NRA's efforts to guarantee that American mass murderers are the best-equipped mass murders in the world is not limited to murderers who use assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The NRA is also in the business of helping bombers get away with their crimes.” He goes on to complain about the inability of investigators to trace gunpowder.
Al Sharpton somehow linked the Boston bombings to our need for enhanced background checks. He said on his radio show yesterday, “One of the things that is so interesting to me is that with all of these threats and all of these actual attacks, three people dead in Boston, one an eight year old child, we see the prosecutors killed in Texas, they made an arrest on that today, why are we even debating background checks in the Senate? I mean how can we have such upheaval, such bedlam and people don’t even want to check who we allow to have deadly weapons. Something don’t make sense to me.” I've tried my best not to make this political, but I don't understand the logic here; In the case of the Boston bombings, are we going to now demand background checks for pressure cookers?
Politicization aside, America and Boston remains strong and will persevere, and I have faith that our questions will be answered in due time.