Random Thoughts Post-Boston

Random observations, in no particular order…

Anyone can buy a pressure cooker, but the Boston bombers also killed with guns. Wonder where they got them? Internet? Gun show? As a friend of mine has noted, we demand background checks to buy Sudafed, but not guns.

The right to vote is at least as important as the right to own a firearm, but the same people who are so protective of the Constitution and the  2d Amendment seem to have no problem requiring documentation in order to vote. Yet in-person vote fraud is virtually non-existent, while gun violence perpetrated by felons and paranoids is epidemic.

Speaking of self-appointed guardians of (selective) constitutional rights, it hasn’t taken long for many of them (yes, Lindsey Graham, I’m looking at YOU) to advocate immediate retribution against the Boston bombers in defiance of both the Constitution and the rule of law. Amazing how quickly the same people who indignantly wrap themselves in the Constitution when they perceive a threat to their rights are willing to resort to mob rule when someone else’s rights are at issue.

Finally, for all you War on Terror types: the horrific attack at the Boston Marathon was treated as a crime, and the perpetrators were promptly apprehended. Random acts of carnage, whatever the motives of those responsible, are criminal acts. The perpetrators are criminals, not “warriors.”


  1. “Background checks for Sudafed but not guns.” Excellent point! Those who voted NO, including Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN), should be too embarrassed to even hold up their heads and look people in the eye!

    Well said, Sheila! At this point in the Boston Marathon Bomber investigation, we cannot afford slip-ups that would send the entire thing to the trashcan and send Tsarnaev out the front door of the courthouse as a free man. That just simply cannot happen.

  2. The War on Terror is being used as shorthand at every turn as an excuse for stripping all Americans of their fundamental constitutional rights and liberties.

    If these two young suspects fingered by the government are to blame for Monday’s tragic bombings, the blame rests squarely with our own government. These young men sought refuge in this country with their parents from their native country. USCIS granted them asylum in the post-9/11 era with the Patriot Act and all. They successfully adjusted their status as lawful permanent residents. The younger brother became a naturalized citizen. As an immigration lawyer, I’m quite familiar with the background checks to which these family members would have been subjected. There would have been multiple opportunities to detect any terrorist concerns with these individuals.

    It’s even worse than that though. We now know that the Russian government warned the FBI two years ago about their concerns of the older brother. The FBI admits it gave him a thorough scrubbing and gave him a clean bill of health after the Russian communication and closed his case. If their mother is to believed, she says the FBI had been surveilling him for several years. He had a criminal conviction for domestic violence against his wife, which alone was sufficient to prevent him from becoming a naturalized citizen at the same time his younger brother was granted citizenship, if not the loss of his permanent resident statu. According to his mother, the FBI had visited her on several occasions and told her that her son was “an excellent boy”, but he needed counseling because of his Islamic views and his perceived role as a leader. She says she was under the impression the FBI was monitoring all of his Internet activity and virtually every move he made.

    So despite spending trillions of dollars on this so-called War on Terrorism and sacrificing more of our civil liberties, we’re to believe these two individuals on the radar screen of the Department of Homeland Security and FBI were able to successfully carry out highly sophisticated bombings at the highest profile public event in Boston where big brother government’s eyes and ear were omnipresent and on a heightened state of high alert that claimed the life of three innocent Americans and permanently injured scores more.

    Forget about the guns, Sheila, which we know are easy to obtain. Where did these two young men receive the training to build these sophisticated bombs? Where did they get hand grenades and other improvised explosive devices they supposedly used against police during the chase? Where did they get the money to finance this undertaking? The parents didn’t have money, and they had returned last year to their native country. The mother had a conviction for shoplifting at Lord & Taylor in Boston, which may have had something to do with their decision to go back home. Who was paying to send the younger brother to attend college at the University of Mass-Dartmouth? On whose money were the sons living after their parents left the country. Neither appeared to be gainfully employed.

    Because of the gross ineptitude, if not wilful and wanton acts, of our own government, innocent lives were lost and others permanently altered for the worse. Bostonians got treated to full-blown martial law, complete with house to house searches without search warrants. Ironically, the suspect was only identified after the government released the restrictions and a homeowner was able to leave his locked down home and find the suspect hiding in a boat that was searched earlier in the day by the same government that imposed martial law to find him. People had better wake up. We’re this close to losing all of our fundamental rights and freedom–all for the sake of a War on Terror that as far as I can discern is largely of our own government’s doing.

  3. Gary: good stuff there. I’ve thought all of the same points myself. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Drawing connections with Sudafed and gun rights is just as erroneous as the voter ID/ID to buy liquor thing. Obviously some rights have higher status than others. For Pete’s sake they’ve already banned the former key ingredient to Sudafed without incident.

    Common sense (IMHO) draws a distinction between crimes committed stateside versus crimes committed where our courts have no jurisdiction. Many people who fail to draw that distinction don’t understand the procedural aspects of our court system.

    Interesting note on the gun control arguments. Massachusetts passed one of the most restrictive gun control measures back in the 90’s, they blame the rise in crime on the availability of guns in New Hampshire and Maine (despite the comparatively low rate of gun crime to gun ownership in those states, but I’m sure, joking aside, any numbers you read on the issue from either side at this point are cherry-picked.) And so it goes…

  5. I have recently created a petition for Move On.org that seeks to limit the use of the fillibuster per year. What are your thoughts on it from a legal point of view?

  6. The filibuster is a self-imposed RULE created by the Senate; as such, it can be altered by the Senate. People can debate the wisdom of the filibuster or its amendment or elimination, but there is no legal impediment to doing either.

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