By: Austin Koeller
Every single year the city of Boston, Mass., welcomes nearly 20,000 racers to participate in the city’s most celebrated event of the year–the Boston Marathon. In addition to the 20,000 participants, the event also attracts 500,000 spectators, according to the Boston Athletic Association.
The Boston Marathon website said 23,336 runners ran in the race with 17,850 of these racers crossing the finish line. Many of these runners had turned out for this year’s marathon to run in memory of those that died in the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
As the runners ran towards the finish line on Boylston Street, the peacefulness over the crowd ended in a split second.
At 2:49 EDT, two bombs went off along Boylston Street killing three people and injuring 183 others. What was supposed to be a day of fun for the city of Boston, and the world, turned into a day of sorrow.
Since last night, a massive manhunt has been unfolding in the Boston area as the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shot and killed a police officer on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As I watched the media coverage of both of the bombings and the standoff, I asked myself why anyone would want to create such an event that injures so many people? One of these victims was an eight year-old boy. Why would anyone take pleasure in doing this?
It is not just this event that makes me ask these questions. This year’s Boston Marathon was dedicated in memory of the 20 children killed in the Newtown shooting. Ever since the Newtown shooting, I have struggled with being able to accept the fact that we as a nation can allow such violent acts to occur.
Much of the debate in Washington, and in state capitals around the country are talking about how we need to have gun control and this violence will end. What people do not seem to realize is that the suspect set off a bomb at the Boston Marathon. This was not gun. It was event set off by the suspect making two homemade bombs from a pressure cooker.
In another recent event, a suspect went on a stabbing rampage at Lone Star College, wounding 14 people. Again, this event was not at all provoked by gun violence.
I am not saying that gun control should not be an issue in this country. But rather I struggle with what to do to decrease the amount of violence in America.
Every single time there is a shooting or a stabbing it seems to go away in an instant by the media. The reason for this is that so many shootings, stabbings, and other acts of violence have become more occurrent. While our initial reaction should be, “Oh my! A shooting!,” our actual reaction has become, “Another shooting? Really?”
In the wake of the Boston Marathon shooting, I wonder how we can stop the violence. I most certainly have no answer to this question. However, I think that together, we as citizens can ultimately take a stand to say, “enough is enough!”
As I continue to watch the drama unfold in Boston tonight, I would encourage everyone to think about the above questions. In the days after a national tragedy, we must all stand together with Boston. We must stand together in hope for an end to violent acts, like the Boston Marathon bombings, to come.