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Life under siege

National Guardsmen march past Boston Marathon bombing memorial

In response to a tweet about how people should walk down Newbury Street to see how it was "decimated" by looters, Sonia Alves was not having it and replied with her husband's photo of ready-for-anything National Guardsmen marching past one of the Marathon-bombing memorials on Boylston Street on Tuesday:

Oh, you mean THIS Newbury/Boylston St? I don’t need to “take a walk.” I live around here. Looters did damage *one night.* MILITARY have made normal walks with my kids fraught, picking up prescriptions impossible, etc etc. Helicopters are CONSTANT. It’s bullshit.

She also forwarded this photo of the National Guard protecting a boarded-up TJ Maxx:

National Guard protect the TJ Maxx
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Comments

I can understand why the army has rifles and machine guns but can anyone explain why the Transit Police and campus cops need rifles and machine guns?

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Voting closed 19

At what point would the NE or MIT police need to switch from a handgun to something with more firepower?

Even in a Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook situation, responding in kind is only going to further put bystanders at risk.

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Voting closed 10

Bystanders to a police shooting are safer if those police are shooting rifles.

The person they are shooting is likely to stop shooting sooner.

They are much much much much much more likely to hit their targets vs with a handgun.

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Voting closed 21

If they can't hit their target with a handgun then why are we arming the police with handguns.

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Voting closed 25

A handgun is easier to carry while accomplishing other tasks. It's still formidable. It can be used in closer quarter situations.

Until we de-arm our citizen police force (which will likely require simultaneously de-arming our citizens), the handgun is good for most situations, even if its accuracy beyond medium distance is less than that of a long barrel.

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Voting closed 2

The Federal government has for years been giving surplus military equipment to police departments of all types. In general, cops love that stuff, so you'll see suburban police departments rolling out armored assault vehicles, and cops equipped with for-real, no-doubt weapons of war. There's a clause in the weapons grant that says if the recipients let a year go by without deploying the equipment, they're supposed to give it back, so they have an incentive to trot it out whenever the mood strikes.

Obama put some restrictions on what types of equipment could be transferred, so of course Trump reversed that.

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Voting closed 24

'The 1033 program was instituted per Bill Clinton's 1997 National Defense Authorization Act, though precedents to it existed following World War II. '

Long term program. Wow. everything from trousers to fax machines. Oh, 'grenade launchers' too. Maybe grenade launchers. The media frequently says, 'grenade launcher' when what they mean is '37mm flare launcher'. Marine (nautical) type.

'Obama put some restrictions on what types of equipment could be transferred, so of course Trump reversed that."

Please, specifics. Let us know what really happened. It's a lot more convoluted than, 'vox says'...

Truth is those restrictions and authorizations are hundreds of pages long. So, when you're done reading them, let us know what's in them.

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Voting closed 10

Links to news stories are embedded in the Wiki. From one of those:

Banned will be tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms, and large-caliber weapons and ammunition.

"So we're going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments," Obama said. "There's other equipment that may be needed in certain cases, but only with proper training."

That equipment will be placed on a "controlled equipment list" that includes aircraft, wheeled tactical vehicles, mobile command-and-control units, battering rams and riot gear.

To have access to that equipment, police departments must meet national policing standards, track their use and receive approval from the federal government before selling or transferring them.

This from another:

The new plan, outlined in documents obtained by USA TODAY, would roll back an Obama administration executive order that blocked armored vehicles, large-caliber weapons, ammunition and other heavy equipment from being re-purposed from foreign battlefields to America's streets.

If you want to read the whole articles, try to figure out the cites in Wikipedia. Not rocket science.

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Voting closed 19

It was clever and erudite. I clicked on the wrong thing and it disappeared.

So, since it was so great and I am rather lazy, that's it.

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Voting closed 4

No need clutching pearls about federal transfers of rifles. They are cheap enough on the open market. Acceptable quality AR pattern rifle can be had for $400 or less, no doubt cheaper in bulk. Feds probably will not be saving locals much money on that front.

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Wait, back up - why does the National Guard need machine guns outside a war zone?

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Voting closed 14

Rifles are safer for all involved in a situation vs pistols, when a firearm is needed. Much, much easier to hit shots with. More effective at stopping the threat. Much less likely for bystanders to be struck because of their inherent accuracy.

In the vast majority of police interactions they are just more shit to carry around. I could see 1/10-1/5 of squad cars having a patrol rifle.

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Voting closed 20

Those M-14 rounds are sooo much safer! After they go through the target perp, they keep on going, through the two bystanders, or the concrete-block wall, automobile, or whatever is behind him. So very safe!

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Voting closed 13

223 penetrates less drywall than many other rounds, including 9mm that I assume 99.9% of BPD carries. Misses are more dangerous than hits. Rifles, even pistol caliber rifles, ensure more hits.

https://www.outdoorhub.com/stories/2013/11/04/ar-15-appropriate-home-def...

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Voting closed 5

Boston police carry .40 caliber Glock weapons, the next step up from a 9mm. I don’t know about the drywall penetration.

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North Hollywood shootout where two armed bank robbers with AK-47s and body armor could simply walk freely through the streets shooting because the firearms the LAPD had could not penetrate the body armor.

Go to Columbine where the shooters also had body armor, and it adds to the need of more firepower for police who are responding to these calls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1IvZFwj0M

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And yet in this case no one has been shooting at cops at all, let alone people wearing body armor, so like, what the fuck? Call in the big guns when they are needed otherwise this is just unnecessary intimidation and escalation.

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Voting closed 27

Instead of big guns, let’s get them a crystal ball so they know when these big guns are going to be needed.

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Voting closed 16

All police should just carry RPGs, after all, you never know when someone might commit a crime while driving a tank, right?

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Maybe for an active shooter type situation in a train station or on a campus? Would you prefer the police be outgunned by some criminal with more firepower, rendering the police defenseless and unable to protect themselves or the public? Perhaps you would. Point of information; 89 police officers were killed in the line of duty last year.

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48 police LODDs were as a result of intentional gunfire in 2019, from the tracking by ODMP. If we're going to use statistics, lets use the best statistics available.

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If someone shoots you, it doesn't really matter if your gun is bigger, it just matters if you will survive the injury. Gunfights aren't about having more power, but avoiding getting shot and trying to get the other person to stop shooting, which might mean killing them but doesn't have to. How powerful your gun is is one potential tool in that strategy, but it's a severely limited one.

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National Guardsmen? Check yourself! There was a Black Nation Guard WOMAN along with the men at Mass. Ave. and Newbury on Tuesday!

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Voting closed 20

As often seems to be the case, people from the suburbs and further out are all too willing to believe that cities are now burned-out, shattered husks, overrun by looters and gangs "antifa" preying on innocent small business owners. People who don't live here and probably haven't been here for years, other than an occasional Red Sox game, are the main group pushing for deploying the National Guard in my neighborhood.

This is simply not reality. In Boston there was one night that featured some vandalism. Other cities have endured a bit more. But no city in the country is a war zone now. Even in the hardest-hit areas of Minneapolis, the community wakes up the next morning, cleans up, and life continues.

Who benefits from leading a certain segment of our population to have this perpetually distorted view of urban life? Who's pushing these ridiculous fictions? Why are the people who receive this messaging so eager to accept it?

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Voting closed 70

Ya, last week it was a train wreck. As AG so eloquently put it 'White people run amok downtown, battle police, loot stores' https://www.universalhub.com/2020/white-people-run-amok-downtown-battle-... in a thread that has been, well, interesting.
He was trying to make a point of course, maybe it was 'Orange man bad', maybe it was, 'Look, Nazi looting', whatever it was, it was somewhat roundly denounced as being a bit over the top.
It was, of course, the desperate liberal mind thinks that way.

Truth of the matter is, well, once again, blacks get screwed. Totally co-opted out of a legitimate cry for justice, having it turned into just another 'orange man bad' moment.

So I guess all the real progress made by the real reforms to the justice system, as testified to by Kanye West, well, I guess it means nothing.

Joe Biden, originator of the laws that caused so much heartache, for President.

People see.

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Voting closed 15

Truth of the matter is, well, once again, blacks get screwed. Totally co-opted out of a legitimate cry for justice, having it turned into just another 'orange man bad' moment.

cause where from i’m sitting, i see insane numbers of people outside protesting for, what is it? the 11th straight night?

i see companies left and right being forced to acknowledge where they’ve done wrong, or to publicly recommit themselves to awareness of black issues. i mean, roger goodell admitted a mistake for christ sake. that’s more than pats fans can claim.

i see the mayor of los angeles reducing funding to his PD and rerouting that money into community service. i see the minneapolis pd introducing changes to their policy on choke holds.

so yeah, i’m not sure that blacks having been “co-opted” is a thing that resides anywhere but in your head. it’s pretty clear that these protests are still going because they aren’t about trump, no matter how hard he tries to insert himself.

funny enough, you writing that is emblematic of one of the biggest problems we’re facing: white conservatives truly believe that the way they perceive the world is The Way Things Are. there’s no room for any competing reality in the mind of the conservative, which leads to weird thoughts like blacks were totally co-opted out of a legitimate cry for justice. said as though your acknowledgment is required for the validation of my experience!

anyway, maybe goodell will send you guys some high grade binoculars or something as long as he’s in the apologizing mood.

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Voting closed 19

They ain't going anywhere folks.

Remember, it was one nut, 19 years ago, who tried to light a cherry bomb off in his shoe (failing miserably, btw) and we're STILL taking our shoes off before flying.

What we're witnessing is the US Military occupying a major city that hasn't seen even a fraction of the violence and unrest as other cities. And why?

To get us used to it. To have us think packs of patrolling soldiers in full uniform with rifles is "just the way it is now".

And if the past is any indicator, we're gonna let it happen without so much as a whimper.

NONE. OF. THIS. IS. NORMAL.

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Voting closed 64

It is not the US military, it is the Massachusetts military.

Has it been necessary? No. Boston has been a shining example of protesting and places like Brockton (one and done IMO) do not have the critical mass to require massive support beyond current police capacity.

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Voting closed 22

Until it isn't.

We're still currently in a national emergency and if Trump wants them, "...the powers of the President to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned."

Baker needs to get them off our streets NOW.

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Voting closed 11

...state military and naval forces. No air force, though, but that's probably because the Constitution of the Commonwealth was written in 1780. If I'm not mistaken it is the oldest written constitution in the world.

It also declares Massachusetts to be "a free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or state". Why are we giving Donald Trump the time of day?

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He actually had more than a half pound of plastic explosive in his shoes. Which is, like, maybe not the same as a cherry bomb. Just saying.

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The TSA is horribly ineffective at detecting weapons. As with so many things in the US, instead of actually following logic or science, we take the flashier, less-effective route (while maximizing profit whenever possible).

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Oh! Well clearly the bomb being a few ounces bigger than the parent post surmised justifies the 19 years. If it was only a cherry bomb maybe 15 would've been enough.

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Can people try for one day not to find something to criticize or fear? I know most people here absolutely hate police, military, White people, conservatives, Chick Fil a, churches, cars, and the South but now isn’t the time to shame or hate. Why don’t you instead try thanking that diverse group of Guardsmen for putting their lives on the line? Automatically getting angry and snapping a pic of them and shaming on social media is not acceptable...

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Voting closed 87

You cannot be serious man. You’re supposed to lick the boot, not swallow it entirely. The architects of this country devised specific legal mechanisms to prevent the deployment of a military force domestically.

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Voting closed 18

Why should we fear groups of armed men stationed in the heart of our city?
Soldiers that were placed there as a direct response to protesters exercising their civil rights?

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Voting closed 53

Know mob rule and looting was a civil right.

If that never happened, they wouldn’t be here. Theyre only station in areas which have seen violence.

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Voting closed 18

Are there dangerous people roaming Newbury St. right now? We, the people of Boston, are far more at risk of personal harm due to this squad well armed imports than they are walking around on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Who is going to attack these goons?

Serious question - do you think it was all well and good when armed men made a show of occupying the Michigan State House a few weeks back?

Buddy, this is Massachusetts- the birthplace of the American revolution. We've never been a fan of occupying forces - maybe go somewhere else if you're really eager to kneel to a man with a gun.

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Voting closed 90

Why would I thank a "diverse" group of Guardsmen until I know how many of them are sporting white power tats? Add to that, you seem to be a member of a political party that is nowhere as diverse as these troops you're drooling over. Start there, homeboy.

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Voting closed 26

We need to prove people are not racist by checking them for tats before we show any gratitude that they are doing something good for the public? That’s a very high and bizarre you’ve set.
Totally get how people do not want soldiers patrolling our streets and dealing w protestors. I don’t like it either. But one can guess that these guys would rather be at a socially distant barbecue or with their families than patrolling Newbury St in formation on a 85 degree June Saturday.

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Voting closed 30

Homeboy? Really racist of you...

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Well known racist!

My man.

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I think your on to something. We need the national guard to be stripped and closely examined for offenseive tattoos. My wife is already volunteering :)

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Voting closed 11

The military faced a personnel problem and basically let anyone in, regardless of their political leanings.

Which is why you see white power tats on some soldiers and some you don’t.

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Voting closed 7

We agree, kinda -
It is a good time to stop the hate. You control your shame, it comes from within.

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You are the most negative poster on this site. You seem to hate everything about Boston. You constantly talk shit about this site and this city. So, yeah, no thanks hypocrite.

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Voting closed 17

"You are the most negative poster on this site. "

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Voting closed 51

Can people try for one day not to find something to criticize or fear?

Maybe, if you set us an example! I know that would be a major change to your usual commenting style, but gosh! You could be seen as the trend-setting avatar you've always known you were!

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Voting closed 13

As a fan of democracy I’m very afraid of military being deployed in response to protests and a couple of hours of vandalism. If you don’t understand why maybe look at other countries that respond to protests in this manner.

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Voting closed 11

>Can people try for one day not to find something to criticize or fear?

No.

Armed patrols in American cities is not ok.

Police forces with military weapons is not ok.

Allowing vile, hate-spewing propaganda to be broadcast as 'news' is not ok.

Letting our country burn to the ground while Nero in Washington laughs and fiddles is NOT OK.

None of this is ok, and we are not going to stop screaming out against it until we fix the problem or the police state has killed us.

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Voting closed 16

someone forgot about the second amendment. i wonder why

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Voting closed 7

The National Guard's presence is reassuring after Sunday's night looting. In Dot during the Blizzard of 1978 the National Guard were also deployed to stop the looting.

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Voting closed 36

Exactly, the looting stopped once the National Guard showed up. I appreciate their presence and welcome them. The looters ruined what was a peaceful protest. Shame on the looters.

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Voting closed 16

The looting continued for several hours more. At least on Sunday night, there were only 30 Guard troops bused into the Boston, and initially they spent their time protecting firefighters responding to a couple of vehicles that had been set on fire..

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Voting closed 12

Looting stopped after very early Monday morning to my knowledge.

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The looting stopped itself. The National Guard made no difference whatsoever. They were not needed, and their continuing presence on our streets is simply insulting.

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Voting closed 7

But police officers did - without the help of the military.

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Voting closed 6

You may be right about what happened downtown, but the activity that moved down Newbury/Boylston/Columbus petered out without any input from law enforcement and did not come back.

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If you just say thank you.
A few blocks west is where multiple shootings take place on any given day

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Voting closed 17

Thank you for what? Loitering on Newbury Street? Wasting taxpayer money? How do those boots taste?

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Voting closed 20

Please, your Back Bayness, let those of us who live a few blocks west of America's Most Highly Defended TJ MAXX know exactly where these daily multiple shootings are happening. Because those of us who live here have no evidence of such occurrences, so we need your guidance and omnipotence to provide a rationale to turn on our neighbors. I await your counsel, good sir.

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Voting closed 34

Why is he racist? Sorry I may have missed it.

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Voting closed 23

He's been around these parts maybe even longer than you.

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...appears to be the Fens. I’m thinking there’s something off about your definition of “few” or “blocks” or “west”. Or all of them.

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Voting closed 10

why aren't they where the shootings are apparently happening rather than patrolling an empty street?

(oh right, because that's where all the rich property is, which is all that apparently needs to be defended)

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Voting closed 3

Gaslighting. Very weak point

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Voting closed 3

On Sunday we needed them. Frankly, we needed them a few hours earlier than when they arrived.

Now, after almost a week of relative quiet, I'm not sure why the governor and mayor still have them here. I'm also not sure why they are armed. That's a valid question to ask. But maybe there are enough viable threats of looting to warrant it.

But in no way whatsoever are we under seige. I'm pretty certain that YOUR national guard (the same folks who did COVID testing last month and help dig us out after blizzards) hasn't stopped your movement or denied you any supplies.

Poor choice of headline, and a lot of needless hand-wringing in the comments. They're only here because your elected leaders asked them to come, which was as rioting became more than police could handle.

. Siege: a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.

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Voting closed 10

You're right, it's not a siege. A more accurate term would be "occupation."

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Not long after the Islamic terror attack on the Boston Marathon, one of the far-left PBS hosts fretted that the innumerable pairs of running shoes left in tribute had become an eyesore in her toney neighborhood. Is it any wonder that the same crowd hates the presence of the National Guard, called in when cruisers were toched nearby and tens of millions in damage was occurring on that very street? I noticed a physical reaction by Marty Walsh when asked for a total, all-inclusive damage estimate. He furrowed his brow and quickly dismissed the question, "no, no we don't have that." The pillaged Jewelers Building and high end stores alone are probably in the $50 million range on theft, cosmetic and structural damage. God Bless the National Guard. Few would have waded into that war-zone for a million dollars, but our Guard does it for a lot less. They have been called in for less damaging, less violent events so they are more than justified and welcome here, God Bless them.

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Voting closed 39

My eyes can't physically roll far enough to respond appropriately to this post.

It was not a "war zone." Being dramatic like this is bad for me, for my neighborhood, for the city, and for democracy in general. You most likely wish it had been that bad, but stop it with your fantasies and get a grip.

Also, it's unlikely losses were that high because the vast majority of retail businesses have been closed for months, in case you forgot about the pandemic we're still enduring. Many of them moved most of their valuable items into storage long ago, including Skylight Jewelers who said so publicly. Laced was almost completely empty when people smashed their window.

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Voting closed 9

The Tsarnayevs were not following the precepts of any religion; they were just mass-murdering assholes.

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Voting closed 7

There is no war going on in Boston.

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Voting closed 6

it doesn't look that bad...
Blue Hill Avenue businesses were destroyed in 1967.

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Voting closed 9

I live in Boston and I'm not so alarmed. Given the mayhem on late Sunday night, I'm totally fine with the MA National Guard keeping an eye on things for a while. It's temporary and it's clear there are some people out there looking for an opportunity to vandalize and loot our businesses, small and large. Just like COVID, this will not last forever.

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Voting closed 31

Now that the saboteurs have gone. We can continue. If we need.

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Boston Board Up has been meeting the demands of businesses trying to protect storefronts

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/06/06/nation/boston-board-up-has-been-m...

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