The shocking bombings at the recent Boston Marathon is an event that Mike Lopresti of USA Today Sports anticipated.
“We knew this day was coming,” he wrote. “It was always just a matter of when, where and by whom. You want to see blood in America, you want to turn joy and smiles and life into carnage and screams and death, what do you target? You target a sports event.”
While people were celebrating Patriots’ Day and the 117th Boston Marathon, two Chechen brothers were planting pressure-cooker bombs at the Boylston Street finish line of the race. Without benefit of any security checks.
Pressure-cooker bombs were easily hidden in backpacks, of which there are literally thousands among the innocent spectators along the 26.2-mile marathon route. Backpacks seem essential these days. And improvised explosive devices (IEDs) seem easier to make.
To enter an NFL game or a NASCAR race or a baseball game, I believe you have to go through a gate that detects anything threatening. Any event in an enclosure should have a security check of all packages and backpacks. Bombs can be made by an unbelievingly large number of folks in our population, courtesy of Google.
How could have the marathon bombing been avoided? I don’t know. But maybe more police, especially at the finish line, might have sniffed out the bombers before any damage happened. Lucky that a video camera on Boylston Street nailed the culprits.
Any open-air sporting event that is not conducted in an arena, stadium, racetrack or ballpark provides a target for sick murderers such as the two in Boston. When I did the 100th Boston Marathon back in 1996, the only worry was getting wet from spectators handing out cups of water. (I say “did” because I walked all the way and took seven hours to finish.)
Twenty-six-plus miles of double fencing between Hopkington and Boston would cost a fortune, but maybe that’s what we need for future marathon spectators.
The marathon tragedy is just another of several local attacks by terrorists, according to USA Today, including:
1886: Chicago Haymarket Square, 11 killed, 100-plus injured.
1910: Los Angeles Times Building, 20 killed, 100-plus injured.
1920: Wall Street, 40 killed, 143 injured.
1927: Bath School, Lansing, Mich., 45 killed, 58 injured.
1975: LaGuardia Airport, 11 killed, 75 injured.
1993: World Trade Center, six killed, 1,042 injured.
1995: Oklahoma City Federal Building, 168 killed, 680-plus injured.
1996: Atlanta Olympic Park, two killed, 111 injured.
2001: World Trade Center, 2,977 killed, 6000-plus injured.
We are a vulnerable United States because some people and factions hate us, and/or some individuals want to make their mark on society by wreaking damage, death and injury on their victims. And we don’t have security at every single strategic spot imaginable.
Another manmade threat to America are drones, which can easily be manufactured in several different styles, shapes and configurations. The thought of drones going to war in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan and saving American lives was very appealing. Robotic infantrymen killing the enemy with fewer casualties on our side.
But hang on. I’ll bet someone is thinking about droning an American city or strategic site, such as a nuclear power station, sometime in the future.
Our little madman midget from North Korea has threatened nuclear attacks on us and Japan, but I’m betting he already has a drone capability that could knock our socks off.
It’s time for everyone to be ready for an attack — even though it may, God willing, not happen. We need to be more suspicious and surveillant.