On Friday, April 19th, as Americans held anxious vigil during the police pursuit of and violent confrontations with the Boston Marathon bombers, one state senator from Arkansas, Nate Bell, saw fit to post this on Twitter:
I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine? #2A
— Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR) April 19, 2013
As a New Yorker, I ordinarily regard Bostonians as my arch rivals: the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins fans I love to hate come game time. But like my fellow fans who paid tribute to Boston with a rousing rendition of "Sweet Caroline" at Yankee Stadium, I, too, feel an urgent need as an American to show solidarity with my cousins in Beantown.
Senator Bell, your state should beg the Waltons to funnel a small fraction of their multi-billion dollar fortune into some remedial education just for you because your ignorance about your fellow Americans on the East Coast is appalling. The truth is, we eastern liberals believe in protecting our families, and we most certainly have the means to do so. Still, like all too many of your craven GOP partisans, you remain stubbornly impervious to facts and empirically-verifiable reality, let alone the best interests of the American people.
Compared to you and your constituents in Arkansas, we northeasterners pay out a whole lot more in Federal taxes than we ever get back in benefits and services. As a result, much of the means you have to pay to protect your family CAME FROM US. That's the first reason why you should either say “Thank you,” or kindly shut the hell up. We will gladly settle for the latter.
I’ll spare you any further discussion of statistics, as I wouldn’t want to make your head explode from all the, you know, *knowledge.* We'll leave that for the folks at Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston University, Boston College, U Mass, NYU, Columbia, Barnard, Baruch, Queens College, Brooklyn College…. Eh, never mind.
And when you answer the door with a semi-automatic firearm in your hand, you go right ahead and explain to SWAT teams, conducting house-to-house searches for armed and dangerous fugitives, that you’re just protecting your family. That should go well.
Of course if you weren't so busy flexing your Internet muscles behind the safety of a computer screen, you'd be out there catching bullets with your teeth and jumping on grenades to save your colleagues. Please proceed, Senator. Please proceed.
The Boston Marathon is the most perfect embodiment of participatory democracy in sports. Everyone is free to take part by running, walking, rolling in a wheelchair or by offering cups of water and cheering on the racers from the sidelines. Begun in 1897, only eleven years after the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, the Boston Marathon is the occasion when all the denizens of Beantown throw their arms open to the rest of the world and put the best of America on display.
In light of all this, it could not be more obvious that the attack on the Boston Marathon -- on Patriots Day, no less -- was an attack on America itself. And while Boston police and residents were braving a hail of bullets, bombs and grenades, while the families of the injured held vigil at Boston hospitals, and while 4 Boston residents lied dead, all you could do was launch a self-serving, partisan barrage of insults against your fellow Americans.
You might also recall that, together with my forebears from New York, Bostonians kicked Arkansas’ Confederate hiney in the Civil War. As to the former, you can just say, “Thank you,” and in light of the latter, you can shut the hell up. We’ll gladly settle for the latter, or we'd be happy to refresh your memory any time.