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Marathon panic

Published April 27, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the Boston Marathon bombings ("Boston bomb suspect charged, could face death penalty," Tribune, April 23).

I remember when weapons of mass destruction were defined as nuclear, biological or chemical. Now panic has changed the meaning of the term into anything that can hurt or kill more than one person — except a gun, of course. Particularly if the perp is perceived to be one of them and not one of us, American citizen or not, or if there is a perceived political advantage.

The result is that neither the term "weapons of mass destruction" nor "citizen" has any particularly special meaning any more. Damn shame.

David R. Lamb