From the Boston Marathon to Jodi Arias to North Korea, what does it all mean? (Photo courtesy Facebook/Boston Marathon Explosion)
By Robert Bradley
As I listened and watched events unfold from the Boston Marathon bombings to the anticipated end of the Jodi Arias trial a variety of thoughts have crossed my mind including:
How did the Secret Service authorize the public appearance of the President in Boston when at least two suspected bombers were still on the loose? At the time of the President’s appearance, law enforcement officials did not know with any certainty where the bombers were, how many were involved with the bombings, whether there was a connection to a foreign terrorist group, and what their future plans were. All of those unanswered questions should have led those in charge of protecting the president to the conclusion that allowing him to visit Boston was a huge risk.
Will the phrases “shelter-in-place” and “granular terrorism” become commonly used parts of the English language? The implemented practice of “shelter-in-place” that cleared the streets of Boston and a number of nearby municipalities was done in response to the Boston Marathon bombings. What guidelines will be developed to control the discretion of governmental authorities to exercise this practice in the future? The phrase “granular terrorism” is used to describe lone-wolf or small groups of terrorists. How will the nation deal with this increasing threat?
What guidelines will the media impose on themselves to ensure the accuracy of their reporting while addressing the need for a ‘scoop’ in an emergency situation? As events happened in Boston, watchers of news reports were exposed to a number of faulty and misleading reports, ranging from the misidentification of an alleged suspect to inaccurate event accounts and timelines. Much of this probably contributed to the state of apprehension and fear that immersed the community.
Will there be an increased expectation, as a result of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, that government, businesses, and the general public conduct more surveillance on individuals? If so, then what price are we willing to pay in regard to reduced privacy in our daily lives?
Will the made-for-television movie based on Jodi Arias be finished before her murder trial is completed? How much attention would the average citizen have given to this trial if not for the incredible amount of time that the news media has devoted to it? Will the television coverage of this case give pause to those states that have allowed cameras in their courtrooms?
Will Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, initiate some unprecedented military action in the next week to divert attention from South Korea President’s, Park Geun-Hye, planned visit to the U.S. to meet with President Obama on May 7th and address a joint session of Congress on May 8th? Such action would get the world’s notice, and divert the focus of the North Korean populace from their poor state of affairs. One indicator of the difference between South and North Korea is that the typical 21-year old male in North Korea is 5 inches shorter and 25 pounds lighter on average than the same male in South Korea. This is due to the nutritional differences that the two males are receiving.
And finally, will the upcoming town hall meetings across the nation be sufficient to convince members of Congress that instituting revamped background checks on gun purchases is a hot-enough issue to make it a priority? Or will congressional members continue to ignore the overwhelming majorities in the nation and even among the NRA that favor reforms in background checks and say the issue is just not important enough to pursue now?
Bob Bradley is solely responsible for the opinions expressed above. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of WJBC, Radio Bloomington or Cumulus Media staff or management.
Bradley was a full-time professor in the Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University where he has been since 1982. He has received several recognitions including: Carnegie Scholar for Civic Engagement, Constitution Trail Friend of the Year, and Faculty Star distinction by ISU Athletics. He dearly loves his wife, Reenie, of more than 25 years, and his daughter, Erin. He is an avid reader, devout sports enthusiast, gardener, golfer, and bird watcher.