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Sunday, April 21, 2013

OK, We Got Him. Now What?

Hey All.

Well, our friends in Boston have breathed a huge sigh of relief, and toasted the efforts of their local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in apprehending the surviving accused terrorist who attacked the marathon.  No further attacks anytime soon, we hope.

So now what happens?  The legal issues.  Will he be tried for murder under state law in Massachusetts, which does not have the death penalty?  Or will the US Attorney General charge him with capital murder, which by definition, carries the death penalty?  Will this exception to the Miranda warnings stand up in Court if challenged by the public defender?  Or will his all-too-important statements be excluded from evidence?  Or will the proper authorities realize the risk of this overconfident maneuver, wait until Tsarnaev regains consciousness, and read him his rights just as a CYA move?  Or better yet, will they deem him an enemy combatant and ship him off to Gitmo?

This is why we have police, this is why we have courts, and this is why we have at least two overlapping justice systems.  Let's leave the second guessing to the pundits and prognosticators, and trust that they'll figure it out so we don't need to deal.

But what about the rest of us?  I think we've already seen what to do next.

(1) Remember the victims and their families.  Whether it's buying a shirt to show support, running in a race to acknowledge them, or just plain posting inspirational messages on your feed, just show them that they matter more than any extremist, miscreant, or gangster.

(2) Remember that life matters, just like we all did after 9/11.  It's not a guarantee, it's a gift.  Although we all have laws and standards to live by, we also have free will.  Unfortunately, free will is sometimes used to accept hatred and anger, and to commit unspeakable acts because of them.  But it's no excuse to avoid living life just because there's a risk that someone will take it from us.  Rather, it's even more of a reason to live, and live even better.  Nobody, not the FBI, CIA, TSA, DHS, or ICE can ever stop this from happening.  But we can still live anyway, and live with greater purpose.

In fact, what better reason is there to live, than with the knowledge that our death could happen 20 years from now, or tomorrow?  I apologize in advance for the thoughts this hypo may generate, but what if you or I were lost in that bombing?  Granted, the media would grant you a brief, but sincere-sounding epitaph.  And they may take a few tearful statements from your loved ones.  But wouldn't it be better if you knew, just for yourself, that you were living life the best way you knew how, When The Hour Comes?  Wouldn't it be satisfying, at least for your loved ones if not just for you, that you died doing what you loved?  Instead of postponing it because the other daily crapola got in the way?

(3) Let Love Trump Anger.  This one I'm borrowing from a good friend of mine.  This friend has recently become a fan of this blog, and has reviewed some of my posts dealing with anger.  This friend acknowledged that anger sometimes stays with us longer than necessary, and believed that some anger stays with us permanently, no matter what we do about it.  However, this friend believed that the best possible way to keep anger at bay is to let it be trumped by love.

That doesn't mean we should all bake cookies and send them to this miscreant while the feds grill him.  It does mean that we do the same thing we did after 9/11, and use this as a chance to heal.  Act a little friendlier to total strangers, maybe -- if you're in NYC, give up your seat on the subway to someone else, and pay it forward.  Or if elsewhere, drop a quarter in someone else's parking meter.  Maybe even strike up a conversation with a total stranger at the DMV.  And even now, when at least one playoff series pits New York against Boston, taper off the anti-chowder rhetoric and show a little respect and understanding.

Smile at people.  Pay a few compliments.  Be less rigid.  Know what to sweat and what to let go -- I mean really know this.

There's no reason to forgive this Chechen extremist, whether he was brainwashed or not.  But there is a reason to live like it matters, and to enjoy life by letting our righteous anger be pre-empted by good old-fashioned happiness with life.

That's all from here -- and thanks to that friend of mine who gave me a little reminder.  :)