From immigration reform to controversial magazine covers, the Boston Marathon bombing created a network of five consequences that are worth noting.
1. The Persistent Culture of Fear
Next to the loss of innocent lives, the most tragic result of terrorism is its ability to create an atmosphere of fear and paranoia. The Boston Marathon Bombing was the third in a succession of large-scale random events that contributed to the culture of fear. The movie theater shooting in Arizona, as well as the Sandyhook Elementary tragedy are reminders of how violence can occur even in the most unlikely of our public spaces. Following the attacks, security was tightened for the Kentucky Derby, however, strategies to prevent such tragedies are still being debated.
2. Friends and Accomplices?
Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos, friends of Tsarnaev’s, are charged with conspiring to conceal and destroy evidence that connected Tsarnaev to the bombing. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev, both 19 year old immigrants like Tsarnaev, were living in the U.S. via student visas. The revelation that Kadyrbayev visa was up has cast a dubious light on the…
3. …Student Visa Program
While immigration reform has always been a hot topic, the bombing has prompted Congress to make amendments on an immigration bill in an effort to prevent fraud, tighten school accreditations and stop schools which are not in accordance with Homeland Security from issuing visas.
4. Tsarnaev the “Rockstar”
One of the more surprising controversies to spring from the tragedy was the July 19th Rolling Stone magazine cover that used a photo depicting Tsarnev as the Washington Times describes it, “in rockstar mode.” The comely representation of a young man who is charged with helping to conduct one of the largest acts of terrorism in U.S. history enraged many. Yet the numbers don’t lie: Rolling Stone sales increased 102% for the issue. Perhaps a result of controversy baiting curiosity, others argue that the magazine was only trying to advocate the age-old warning, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
5. American Resilience
There have also been stories of triumph, like Jane Richard, the 7 year old who lost her 8-year-old brother and her left leg ater the attack but is now able to walk using crutches. Boston natives and celebrities, such Aerosmith and Blue Man Group, showered the city of Boston with support through free performances. Thousands of college students signed a Facebook petition pledging to walk the last 5 miles of the marathon that the victims of the bombing were unable to complete. While many of these students may have been too young to experience the sense of loss that followed the events of 9-11, their show of unity after this most recent tragedy shows that fear cannot take away American resiliency.