The crime of April 15 was unspeakable. The bombers murdered three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured two hundred more, many of them maimed and missing limbs. An atrocity like this, of course, represents everything civilization must oppose.
I cannot help but wonder what the standard is that triggers the martial-law response we’re seeing in New England. If these bombers had murdered three but not caused as many injuries—if the sheer terror of their crime had not reached this magnitude—would Boston look like a totalitarian state right now? What if the police needed to find a serial killer? Or what if a city was home to lots of violent crime in general?