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The Austin Bomber


There was a person, a young man as it turns out, building and planting bombs in Austin, TX.

His bombs killed two people and injured several more before he ultimately killed himself by exploding one of his infernal machines in his car while police were trying to apprehend him.

Speaking of which, although this guy was an amateur and pretty sloppy, it was good work by the police in Texas, along with the FBI and BATFE to track him down. It’s likely that if they hadn’t, he’d have continued to make bombs and killed more people.

I have friends and relatives in the Austin area and was more than a little concerned about this.

His death ends the threat of more bombs being made, but it doesn’t seem to answer any questions regarding why he did this. His recorded confession gives details of how he built the bombs, but not why he did it or why he selected certain targets.

Unfortunately, that just adds to the wild speculation that these unfortunate incidents seem to attract. While the police will try to figure out his motive, legally motive is not an element of a crime. It often helps the police track down a suspect, but it isn’t necessary to prove that the crime was committed by the suspect.

So far, there is no indication that race was a motive. Which hasn’t stopped people from peddling that theory.

His political leanings, if he has any, don’t seem to have come out. It appears he was pro life, but that’s not indicative of much of anything.

He doesn’t seem to have become a religious radical of any sort.

Don’t forget TV, movies, and video games. Despite there being no proof at all that any of those increase the potential for violence, they get blamed almost as much as gun ownership for criminal violence. If that was true, I’d be in prison for hitting people in the head with crow bars ala The Three Stooges years ago.

I haven’t seen any indication that he had any mental illness, although some have speculated that his “medications” caused him to go crazy. Even though there isn’t anything about his medications in any of the official statements.

No matter, a lot of people have jumped on their favorite Hobby Horse and taken their pet theories for a ride.

As the saying goes, “Those who talk don’t know, those who know, don’t talk.”

He was 24 and a “millennial”, that was his motive according to some. Which of course is as patently ridiculous as blaming gun owners for shootings.

As investigators continue to dissect his life we might find out what he hoped to achieve by spreading mayhem around central Texas.

Then again, we might not. Sometime a person’s motives are inexplicable and can never be determined.

It will be interesting if the investigators tell us how he learned to build bombs and not blow himself up in the process. More than one would be bomber ended his career prematurely because he made a “slight” mistake. Bombs are tricky things to make and the only thing worse for the builder than one not going off when it’s supposed to is one going off when it’s NOT supposed to.

A self limiting problem, as they say.

I’m glad he’s dead and gone and make no apologies for that. I’ll save my sympathy for the victims and their families, with a bit left over for his family.



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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.