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What If the Tsarnaevs Had Been the “Boston Shooters”? (newyorker.com)
17 points by brianchu 1523 days ago | hide | past | web | 14 comments | favorite



"Numerically speaking, terrorism, especially homegrown terrorism, is a minor threat to public safety and public health. It pales in comparison to gun violence."

Numerically speaking, mass shootings using semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 are also quite rare. Most gun violence in the US is carried out with handguns by gangbangers, muggers, drug dealers, and other such criminals, not by unhinged psychopaths.


"Most gun violence in the US is carried out with handguns by gangbangers, muggers, drug dealers, and other such criminals, not by unhinged psychopaths."

Yep - this is why ending the war on drugs will solve 70% of the 'gun-violence' problem.


Two thirds of all gun-related deaths in the US are suicides, domestic violence is another huge chunk.


I find it fascinating that when the subject of gun control arises, the opponents of gun control talk exclusively about gangbangers and muggers when the real problem with guns is unhinged and suicidal people with no previous criminal record (except maybe for assaulting/stalking a spouse).


Let me start by saying I may be biased as I live in the city of Boston.

This article is ridiculous and utterly worthless. There are glaringly obvious differences between a crazed shooter who goes on to commit suicide and an unknown criminal(s) with the demonstrated capability (and I'm not talking strictly technical) to plant and blow explosives. I firmly believe that in either case, were the assailants unknown, it would have resulted in a man-hunt.

This article simultaneously exaggerates and undermines the efforts of the "man-hunt" that took place here and it's crass and insulting. Life here was largely uninterrupted by police action. The costs associated with the additional police action will, I'm certain, be greatly dwarfed by the damage directly caused by the bombings. The city was by no means shut down. Friday involved a voluntary lock-in that most people abided by out of respect, but that was it. The rest of the week was, by and large, business as usual. Do you not think a city would be at the least equivalently "locked-down" were an unknown shooter on the loose?

And while we're here, I'm absolutely fed up with the kill-count being used as a speaking point. No one seems to acknowledge the medical tent 100 yards away, or the many world-class area hospitals (and the sheer number of physicians that live in the neighborhood that hosts the finish line) as the reason for a "mere" 3 deaths. In any case, who cares? The fact of the matter is this was a tragedy and, sure, in that sense it is not unique. It is fairly unique (at least, in the US) in the way that they executed and in the sense that there were two suspects on their way to being identified yet on the loose. That's what is notable here.

And don't speak on behalf of the foreign world. They're doing a pretty good job of it themselves and I haven't heard much "looking on in astonishment" as the author has described it.

John Cassidy, you're a hypocrite and a truly offensive human being.


Most incidences of gun violence end with the shooters dead on the scene. With the Tsarnaevs it was questionable whether they would ever be found. We don't need to conjecture about what would happen if a "terrorist" was on the loose with guns--it happened 2 months ago. His name was Christopher Dorner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Dorner) and they assembled multi-agency taskforces and set off on a manhunt equally resource intensity as the hunt for the Tsarnaevs.


This article is premised on a redherring, and its also factually incorrect on a few things. The first thing its factually incorrect on is that even if the legislation had passed, it would have done nothing to prevent this. If the FBI agents investigating the older brother found nothing, there is nothing legally saying these guys are different from anyone else in the US and they are granted the rights and liberties of all americans. Background checks are useless when you're dealing with sleeper cells or psychopaths.

My personal feeling is that small bombs are the tools of cowards and terrorists, and cowards are unlikely to pull out guns and start shooting. Crazy people yes, but cowards, no.

I also usually ignore arguments involving "the NRA has herpaderpa yadda yadda". The NRA has power because there are millions and millions of gun owners in the US who are tired of the negative story shoved down peoples throats. Gun crime is so miniscule in this country compared to other types of crime, and those comitting the crimes don't even fall under the veil of legal gun owners anyways, so NRA members are being demonized because people don't understand how the world works.


Most terrorists do not try to sneak away like a coward after planting a bomb. In fact, they fight till they die once the attack is initiated. They are stealth and death is usually a part of their plan. This is why they are able to infiltrate even the most secure places.

Their modus operandi is not to run away, but cause maximum damage and get maximum attention.


Indeed, thats why I'd classify these guys as cowards more than terrorists, they slithered away and hid out. Thats not to say they're not terrorists, but they didn't act out the pseudo-jihadi dream.


"Gun crime is so miniscule in this country compared to other types of crime ..."

30,000 gun deaths a year is minuscule? Wow.


Pretty small when you take out the unnecessary Drug War deaths. And much smaller than people who commit suicide via poor food choices, smoking and not wearing their seatbelt.


Bull. Taking out Drug War deaths doesn't change the picture much. Two thirds of all gun-related deaths in the US are suicides.


I don't consider suicide to be gun violence (excepting murder-suicide).


Point of speculation: bombs trigger a bit of a different response, at least in my head. For starters, you don't get to flee from a bomb, and a bomb doesn't need to be held by a human. It can be hiding anywhere.

Wasn't it just recently that a study found that the stress on our troops in the Middle East due to traveling around risking IED's was at least as great, if not greater than regular combat?




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