At Popehat, Clark explains why the security theatre response to the Marathon bombers was a lot of show, but not proportional to the actual threat posed by the two fugitives:
First, just in case it’s not utterly obvious, I’m glad that the two murderous cowards who attacked civilians in Boston recently are off the streets. One dead and one in custody is a great outcome.
That said, a large percent of the reaction in Boston has been security theater. “Four victims brutally killed” goes by other names in other cities.
In Detroit, for example, they call it “Tuesday”.
…and Detroit does not shut down every time there are a few murders.
“But Clark,” I hear you say, “this is different. This was a terrorist attack.”
Washington DC, during ongoing sniper terrorist attacks in 2002 that killed twice as many people, was not shut down.
Kileen Texas, after the Fort Hood terrorist attack in 2009 that killed three times as many people, was not shut down.
London, after the bombing terrorist attack in 2005 that killed more than ten times as many people, was not shut down.
Counting the cost of the city-wide lockdown:
First, the unprecedented shutdown of a major American city may have increased safety some small bit, but it was not without a cost: keeping somewhere between 2 and 5 million people from work, shopping, and school destroyed a nearly unimaginable amount of value. If we call it just three million people, and we peg the cost at a mere $15 per person per hour, the destroyed value runs to a significant fraction of a billion dollars.
[. . .]
Third, keeping citizens off the street meant that 99% of the eyes and brains that might solve a crime were being wasted. Eric S Raymond famously said that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow“. It was thousands of citizen photographs that helped break this case, and it was a citizen who found the second bomber. Yes, that’s right — it wasn’t until the stupid lock-down was ended that a citizen found the second murderer:
The boat’s owners, a couple, spent Friday hunkered down under the stay-at-home order. When it was lifted early in the evening, they ventured outside for some fresh air and the man noticed the tarp on his boat blowing in the wind, according to their his son, Robert Duffy.
The cords securing it had been cut and there was blood near the straps.
We had thousands of police going door-to-door, searching houses…and yet not one of them saw the evidence that a citizen did just minutes after the lock-down ended.
Come for the takedown of security theatre on a city-wide level, stay for the ultimate cops-and-donuts story.