In the immediate aftermath of the bombings in Boston last week, once initial shock wore off, and after my wife confirmed that her mother, who lives three blocks from the finish line, was okay (as it turned out, she was 100 yards from the first explosion but was unharmed), I joined the rest of America in wondering who could have done such a terrible thing, and why.
I admit, my first instinct was that it was some far-right gun nut, mainly because of the timing: the toothless background check bill had just been voted down, and the attack happened on Tax Day and Patriots’ Day — three different things freighted with great meaning to libertarians all coming together at once.
I was not the only one to jump to that conclusion, but it was hardly the only theory out there. Some people thought it obviously another Al Qaeda attack, and started combing photos from the blast site for brown faces. Alex Jones and the InfoWars crowd immediately — like immediately, the day of the bombing — confidently predicted that The Government had done the bombing and would frame a right-winger for the crime in an effort to gin up support for giving the TSA dominion over sporting events, or something.
Now that one of the perpetrators is in custody and the other is in the morgue, it seems increasingly clear that their uncle’s application of Occam’s Razor — the simplest explanation is usually the truest — to the puzzle was correct: they were just a couple of losers. Or at least, the older brother, Tamerlan, was a loser, and he dragged his baby brother, seven highly impressionable years younger, into a pointless act of violence that ended one of their lives and has ruined the other (to say nothing of the 250+ innocent people killed or maimed by their actions).