I just bought a movie on DVD that offers an interesting extra feature – alternative endings. I think it’s a cheesy gimmick when it comes to fiction, but when it comes to current events, the idea has real merit. Imagine how great it would be, for instance, if we could apply the concept to the Bombing of the Boston Marathon.
Depending on how you did it, you could change the story completely. Take the case of the FBI’s interview with big-brother-bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. We could change the ending so that somebody in the Bureau had a clue, and realized years ago that the guy they were dealing with (The name Tamerlan should have been regarded as a hint.) shouldn’t have been allowed to stay in the country.
Or you could alter the part of the story where the FBI failed because of a misspelling, (See kids, proper spelling saves lives.) to detect that Tamerlan had left the country for six months. Had they noted his extended absence while he was awaiting US citizenship, his application would have been denied.
Or you could change the part where officials, aware of Tamerlan’s history of domestic violence, dithered over his citizenship application, instead of sending him packing.
Of course, you could go back even further and revisit the decision to let the Tsarnaev family immigrate to the US in the first place. What, exactly, made someone in the State Department decide that these were people equipped to contribute to American society? Once they got here, what about their behavior made the case for their being allowed to remain? Was it their mom’s facility for larceny that recommended them as good citizens?
And what about the guy who got himself carjacked by the brothers Tsarnaev? What if, instead of being a sheep with a “Coexist” bumper sticker, he had been a holder of concealed carry permit? What if he had acted in his own defense, and as is so often the case, defended all of civilization in the process? If we could change that chapter of the story, maybe Boston could once again be famous for the kind of men who “fired the shot heard round the world,” instead of the kind of men who, “shelter in place.”
Well, we can’t change the story. Countless bureaucrats, the same kind of people who will soon be in charge of our healthcare, made a series of decisions that brought us where we are today. I may be joking about it, but make no mistake. I’m sickened by the tragedy. I’m disgusted that, despite a hundred warning signs, these savages were not prevented from harming innocent people, and I’m disheartened that Americans have become the kind of people who ignore an obvious threat because they lack the fortitude to confront it. If I could change anything about this story, that is where I’d begin.