Normalcy returns to Rochester, NY?

Normalcy returns to Rochester, NY?

Firework burstOn New Year’s Eve, like everyone in town, I was surprised that our New Year’s fireworks celebration was cancelled at the last-minute. Huh? Why?

Yep, after a lot of hype by the local media and city officials promoting the event, a five o’clock news conference announced that they were CANCELLED. Apparently, terrorism has come to our community. The day before, a terrorist attack was thwarted when the FBI detained and arrested a person of interest who was planning an attack on a bar full of patrons celebrating the new year. He was alleged to have been operating under orders from ISIS.

After he was taken in custody, a search of his abode turned up a pressure cooker bomb similar to what was used in the Boston Marathon bombings. I wasn’t too surprised to note that the incidence made the national news.

Later, while attending a family party to ring in the New Year, the incident sparked heated arguments in the wee hours leading up to midnight. No one was upset by the arrest itself but the big question was “How could he be arrested before he actually did anything?” The group was divided on the question. Some said, “Why not? They had enough evidence supporting the arrest.” Others said, “What? Arrest a guy without actually doing anything? What are we, in a police state?”

I’m glad they stopped the terrorist attack before it became a reality. But it did prompt me to reflect upon the question. Should I be arrested for the thoughts that I bring to life in my books? Should John Carpenter for his ‘Halloween’ story be arrested for writing a story about a serial killer targeting teenagers? Should Stephen King be arrested for writing his huge volume of works? Should anyone who delivers creative works of criminal acts be arrested, simply for crafting a well put together recollection of their fantasies?

I wouldn’t want to be part of a world that makes that distinction.

I’m Richard Verry, reporting to you from Rochester, NY. I hope you have a very happy and safe 2016.

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