What follows are friend-of-the-blog Jim Bale’s reflections on our recent bad days in Boston, Cambridge, Watertown and environs. He picked up the loathesome suggestion by an Arkansas state rep who misunderstands so much about both Boston and the concept of society that I could come up with nothing but sputtering obscenities. Jim, a better man, has something much smarter to offer.
Jim Bales here, with thanks to Tom for the loan of his soapbox.
During the hunt for the Marathon bombers, Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell (a Republican) tweeted:
“I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?”
He followed with an apology for the timing of his words, but not the words themselves.
I sent him the following email (his contact information is at http://www.arkansashouse.org/member/256/ )
Dear Representative Bell,
I am fortunate to have had multiple opportunities to visit the beautiful state of Arkansas, and to spend time staying with friends and relatives in your state. I was taken aback to read your tweet that you wondered “how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?” I was then saddened to read your apology for “for the poor timing of my tweet earlier this morning.”
What you don’t seem to understand that your words themselves are offensive and ignorant, no matter when expressed. I urge you to take the time to reflect upon your words, and try to wrap your head around the fact that the good liberals in Boston (and I am one of them) recognize that only a fool believes that a personal firearm is a magic talisman that makes one safe.
Our safety is based on our recognizing that we are a Commonwealth – that our individual well-being is strengthened by our commitment to each other, through our words, our deeds, and our taxes. We put our tax money into training and equipping our law enforcement officers. We put our trust and our support behind them. We don’t try to do their job for them, and we understand that possessing an AR-15 cannot magically make us invulnerable.
And so, because we have faith in our law enforcement officers, we did not cower in fear behind a firearm. Rather, we calmly stayed home, were alert, and stayed out of the way of our brethren in law enforcement.
I urge you, in your capacity as Member of the House of Representatives of the great State of Arkansas, to review the support your state gives its law enforcement agencies, and (if necessary) vote to increase taxes to ensure that the good people of Arkansas can reasonably enjoy the same level of faith in those agencies as we in Boston (and Massachusetts) enjoy in ours.
Trust me; having competent, well-trained and well-funded law enforcement is far more reassuring than holding an AR-15!
Image: John Singer Sergant, Repose, 1911.