I wish I could appreciate Williams-Sonoma’s decision to pull pressure cookers off the shelves in Massachusetts following the Boston Marathon bombings. It was done to show some respect for those who might be traumatized at the sight of a pressure cooker, which the bad guys used as their bombs.
But the move was foolish. It’s the typical knee-jerk reaction to fear that makes me wonder how the human race got this far.
According to Dedham Patch, the store manager of Williams-Sonoma’s Natick store said, “It’s a temporary thing out of respect.
I’ve struggled with crippling fear and anxiety, especially after 9/11, and I can appreciate the sentiment. But bad people use all kinds of tools to conduct evil. These guys used pressure cookers and put them in backpacks. Pulling pressure cookers off the shelves is simply feeding the fear the bombers want us all to feel. I can’t help but wonder when someone will suggest pulling backpacks from shelves. That would be unfortunate, too. Kids need backpacks to cart all those heavy books to and from school.
Objects don’t murder people. People murder people. You’ve heard that line often enough to roll your eyes and groan. But it’s the truth.
We can’t rid the world of the tools murderers use, nor should we. Most people use pressure cookers, backpacks, knives, automobiles and firearms responsibly.
People kill people every day with cars. Does that mean we pull all the cars off the road?
Williams-Sonoma overreacted to the bombings, just as we tend to overreact to other national tragedies.
Here’s a thought: Instead of banning and packing away everything, why don’t we try harder to identify people who are in danger of turning down a violent path and help them turn the other way?
We can’t save every soul, of course. But I’d rather put my efforts there than on removing every potentially scary object from view.