The main headline in the Boston Herald after the Boston Marathon explosion was: “Catch the Bastards!” Although that is unseemly language for most newspapers (this one included), it nevertheless expressed how most Bostonians and perhaps others felt.
Wanting revenge is in the DNA of most of us. You might be a liberal when it comes to how criminals should be treated. When your own house is ransacked, however, you want to see the bad people who did it caught and punished.
If I were a Bostonian, I would want to see the perp hung up by his big toes (assuming it is a he) and whipped. Because he had the nerve to set off bombs in my city, I would want to see him in permanent pain. I would want to see his freedom permanently taken away.
Massachusetts has no death penalty, so death would not be an option. But maybe the good folks in Massachusetts would change their minds and reinstate it, just for the bomber’s benefit. Or they could sentence the bomber to life in a jail cell in which speeches by former U.S. Sen. and now Secretary of State John Kerry were played incessantly day and night at a fairly high volume. That would be a punishment to which the electric chair might be preferable.
Stories from Boston indicate the people there, runners, spectators and just plain folks putting up with all the fuss of the marathon, responded with great skill, kindness and compassion to the terrific challenges suddenly thrust upon them by the awful event. That speaks highly of the city’s character, not to mention the individual characters of those who rushed to help.
Still, there is anger.
Catching the bastards won’t make up for losses of lives and limbs, but it might make some feel better.