My hope is that the memory of this event will serve as a constant reminder of the consequences of hatred and revenge.
Twenty years ago today Timothy McVeigh drove up to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a truck full of explosives. When the bomb detonated it killed 168 people, 19 of which were children. Before 9/11 this was the single most deadly act of terrorism in the United States. When this happened, I was getting ready to graduate from ASU with my B.S. What should have been an exciting time suddenly became a time of despair. I had already become cynical as a result of the hate-filled radio shows and the nasty politics that I had recently become aware of and I was certain that there was a connection between the hate mongering and this act of terror. McVeigh’s hatred of the federal government was not the result of just the blunder at Waco, where David Koresh and many of his followers were killed, it was just the final straw in a series perceived threats. He was part of a culture that saw the world divided between themselves with their guns and the government that was trying to take their guns away. In his hatred McVeigh couldn’t see that the “evil” federal government was made up of average Americans just trying to live their lives.
Remembering the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years later – Yahoo News.
M. AndrewHolowchak explains why Conor Cruise O’Brien’s claim that Jefferson favored an anarchic freedom that must be maintained with the blood of martyrs is a misreading of Jefferson’s vision. It is this reading of Jefferson that has been championed by some to justify their own pursuit of an absolute freedom from all governmental constraint. It was also this vision that, in part, inspired Timothy McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City. He was wearing a t-shirt on the day of the bombing with the famous quote from Jefferson:”The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” ButHolowchak argues that this is a misreading of Jefferson. Jefferson’s ideal of liberty was more nuanced and progressive. “O’Brien commits Jefferson only to “negative liberty” of a radical sort, which amounts to freedom from governmental intervention in any activities whatsoever. Jefferson’s embrace of negative liberty, however, is freedom from the encroachments and corruptions of government—i.e., freedom of all citizens from the tyranny of one or some group of humans with power—not freedom from all encroachments. Some encroachments are needed to preserve freedom. Government must act in ways to maximize opportunities for human flourishing—e.g., advocacy of freedom of religion, repeal of entails and primogeniture, and push for general education of all citizens.”
“In sum, Jefferson was never committed to liberty per se, but always committed to liberty in the service of intellectual and moral advance.”
See his entire argument here:
History News Network | Can Timothy McVeigh and His Ilk Claim Jefferson as a Hero of Liberty?.