There goes the neighborhood!

(The Editor of the Libertarian Republic’s brother, Justin Petersen, lives in the area of Watertown where police have been on a manhunt for suspected terrorists connected to the recent bombings in Boston. Petersen lives in ground zero where the search has brought out police and paramilitary forces to sweep areas where the suspect may be hiding. The suspect is currently still on the run and said to be armed and highly dangerous. The following is a retelling of the events of the past 24 hours at ground zero.)

(WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS) As the events of the last 24 hours have unfolded, Justin Petersen has been watching the events from his windows as SWAT teams and snipers sweep his neighborhood looking for the suspect in the recent bombings in Boston. As tensions have ratcheted up in the area, armored Humvees and police forces have been detaining and questioning citizens in the area. I questioned Petersen about the events over the last day.

Austin: What happened this morning when you woke up?

Justin: When I woke up at 6 o’clock, NPR was saying that public transportation in Watertown as well as Taxi’s were shut down.

Around 2PM I drew up the windows to look out onto the street and see what was going on. I noticed 1-2-3 police officers slowly moving down the street when I saw them stalking the neighborhood. They took up strategic positions in the neighborhood, behind garbage cans. They looked like they began taking up positions in my backyard.

View from Petersen's window
View from Petersen’s window

As I looked out the window I could see police everywhere. I went back inside and laid on the floor when suddenly an armored Humvee appeared and began blaring over the loudspeaker “Justin, Justin, this is the State police, please come to your front door.” I put my hat on and walked outside and there were probably about 20 SWAT team members standing around. Camouflaged SWAT team members by the tank waved him over behind the vehicle. I could feel the scopes of sniper rifles trained in my direction. They were all over the neighborhood everywhere. There was also a police blockade at the end of the street making sure that people were safe. Everyone on the block started coming out with his or her hands up.

Austin: I know you haven’t always been necessarily an outspoken 2nd amendment guy. Have the events of the last 24 hours changed your mind in any way?

Justin: No, but I do believe in responsible gun ownership. I don’t believe people should have easy access to a weapon. I want a responsible approach to guns.

I would have felt better if I had a weapon and been trained to use it. It’s not just having the weapon; it’s knowing how to use it. The only thing that was scary to me was when the cops left. I wanted them to come back. There were over 1,000 police officers at the mall about a mile from where I live.

Austin: Now you were ordered to come out of the house. Did you feel as if there were weapons pointed in your direction.

Justin: It’s hard to remember exactly because it was so terrifying but I definitely believe that there were weapons pointed in my direction.

The liquor store on Petersen's street
The liquor store on Petersen’s street

Austin: And were you then allowed to return to your home?

Justin: After they questioned me next to the Humvee I was ushered to an area where other citizens were gathering. They had all exited their homes with their hands up in the air. After a few minutes we heard the area was secure and could return to our homes.

Austin: Thanks for the interview Justin. Stay safe. I love you brother.



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