As I write this, 14th street is FUBAR between Rhode Island Ave NW and Q St NW because someone forgot to take their backpack, or their box of paper napkins, or threw out a small sealed box. Have we gone too far with our treatment of these abandoned items? Must every little thing somehow be a threat that requires the closures of whole blocks while the bomb squad is summoned, and hits a Transformer on the way to the site, and then declares the box to be napkins or newspaper or a dead newt?
But the question is: why do we so badly overreact to this whole thing? Why do we have to seal off the block and prevent traffic going through so we can figure out it’s a box of napkins? Have there ever actually been an IED or a bomb in one of those backpacks or boxes? Or is it just Johnny’s school books or a dead old backpack?
Either way, something’s gotta give here. I think that there ought to be fines for causing one of these events. You want to shut down a block of DC by carelessly leaving something behind? If we can trace it back to you, that’s a $5,000 fine. Fewer packages, AND a line item for assholes in the DC Budget. Hell, it can go to fund the Bomb Squad.