Now gratefully back in warm weather after freezing my butt off in flooded Chicagoland for a week, I think it’s a good time to reflect on lessons learned from five horrifying days in Boston. I spent that week at the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. It was there, as I mentioned in my last entry, that applause spontaneously broke out when it was announced that the useless Universal Background Check had failed in the Senate. ILEETA’s 700-plus attendees train cops for the streets, instead of sitting in white shirts behind mahogany desks, and they know the reality. Maybe that’s why NRA always has a strong presence at the vendor booths during the police equipment expo there, and why the anti-gunners don’t bother showing up.
We sadly witnessed the spectacle of a major city turned into a ghost town, its citizens literally in lockdown and hiding in their homes from a single heavily-armed teenage terrorist. You may be sure that most who owned firearms had them loaded: the fugitive, and the brother he apparently killed by accident, had already kidnapped one citizen at the point of illegally possessed firearms. Despite a massive police presence, it was a private citizen who found the quarry; thank God the suspect was debilitated by wounds sustained in his shootout with brave Watertown Police officers and was in no condition to attempt to murder him. One wonders if that good citizen would have felt better at that moment if he’d had a familiar pistol at his hip when he pulled back the tarp on his bloodstained boat, and realized what he was facing.
We have much more to learn about this incident and how many more of these terrorists are inside our borders. Among the many lessons that will sooner or later become plain, one is certain to be this: in a nation of well over 300 million citizens policed by far less than a million cops, more people than ever will recognize the importance of the armed citizen that our nation’s founders so wisely memorialized in the Second Amendment.