Boston_Marathon_explosions_(8652971845)Clearly, this past week has been particularly unsettling, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Poisoned letters have been sent, bombs have killed civilians, police officers have been shot, and fertilizer plants have exploded. I know my reaction to the next disaster will be greatly mitigated, almost expectant. Not that I hope anything else awful happens next, but I am beyond being surprised anymore.

Interestingly, all of this is purely domestic news. The United States does not often experience periods of turmoil, thus whenever the lawless feel the need to act, we are shocked. But if we step back and consider what happens every day in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the United States looks rather peaceful, even with all of this week’s events in view.

It turns out, the world is a scary place, and disorder is the norm. In Pakistan, terrorists have free-reign over large swaths of the country, and there is no justice. In Iraq, suicide bombers attack constantly, ripping away the lives of men, women, and children. Again, there is no justice. In Syria, the government bombs and gasses its own people in order to quell a rebellion seeking just a moment’s rest from the horrific oppression. And there is no justice. In Israel, Palestinians and Lebanese unceasingly plot and carry out acts of random terror, and there is no peace, there is no lasting justice. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is working to reinstate its rule of tyranny and mercilessly murders civilians to achieve this goal. And with the strongest semblance of authority in the country planning on leaving by next year, there will be no justice.

It seems odd, in the wake of two madmen setting off bombs during a marathon in Boston, to say that I am glad that I live in the United States. Yet I am. One reason quickly comes to mind: here, there is justice. One of the suspects is already dead and there are charity efforts putting together startlingly large amounts of money to help the victims rather quickly.

America was founded on the rule of law. An important part of this is drafting laws that promote individual rights, but equally important is enforcing those laws and bringing criminals to justice. In America, there is the expectation that lawbreakers will be called to answer for their deeds. The rule of law is the foundation of a peaceful society, and the reason that America does not look like Syria or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Israel or Iraq. We may be perhaps softer than a lot of the world when it comes to these kinds of events, but we also have a level of optimism that the rest of the world does not have. When crimes are committed, we are accustomed to arrests being made and sentences being carried out. In America, there is justice.

Discussion — No responses