We Gather Together – or Maybe We’d Rather Not

April 16, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

692910_sorrow_and_worryFollowing the events in Boston yesterday, I felt I should share some thoughts. When I was a kid, our home, which was in the country and set back way away from the road, was broken into on several occasions. I really didn’t feel secure there by myself. Rather, I felt more secure among the crowds at school, church and the grocery store. Security in numbers, I thought.

These days, it’s just the opposite.

The first amendment to the Constitution gives us the right as Americans to peacefully assemble. However, this is becoming harder and harder. Not the peaceful part, the assembling part. One can think of few events where people would gather peacefully together than to watch a marathon, rooting on contestants that have trained so long to achieve their goal of reaching the finish line. Rather than witnessing the joy of accomplishment, so many people there in Boston instead either were victim to or witnessed such horrific tragedy. One can bet that the bombs were intended to kill or injure as many people as possible. It’s all just wrong.

It’s just getting so hard to truly feel comfortable in a crowd these days. Going back the Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, to the Gabrielle Giffords rally in Arizona, to the movie theater shooting in Colorado, the numerous school shootings and now this. Simply leaving the house is becoming an exercise in courage.

After 9/11, the federal government created the Department of Homeland Security. Key word, security. Millions of federal dollars have been spent on programs to improve our nation’s security, but frankly, I don’t feel any more secure than I did prior to the creation of DHS. Case in point, a day after this, DHS’s National Terrorism Advisory System shows that there are no current alerts. After this, why not?

Sure, many of these tragedies simply cannot be prevented as they are random acts of violence, but the act of assembling at even the most festive of events – an innate desire of all humans – is not as appealing as it once was.

We here at Thompson send our condolences to the victims of the senseless Boston Marathon tragedy and truly hope that the perpetrator is found and brought to justice. I, for one, hope it is a long, long time until I would have to write another post as upsetting as this one.

If you have any on the Boston Marathon bombings, we’d like to hear them.

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