Over the last weeks, citizens of Austin, Texas, have been plagued by bombings. Five, to be exact, which killed two and injured five more. A sixth bomb was found before it was detonated.
The bomber was using false packages to target and attack members of the Austin community.
But it goes a little deeper than that. The two killed — Anthony House and Draylen Mason — were African American men who were part of families that have long and deep roots in black, religious and civil rights groups in Austin.
It may seem like just a coincidence, but for House and Mason, the bombs that killed them were hand delivered in packages to their home, most presumably by the bomber himself.
Another hand delivered packaged seriously injured a 75-year-old woman who is still in critical condition after the attack.
After these first three bombings, tactics were changed to utilizing trip wires and trying to send packages through FedEx. Police were able to connect the later bombings with the earlier package bombings.
On Wednesday morning, police located who they suspect was the bomber, but he detonated a bomb in his car before capture. This writer is not using the suspect’s name because they believe that criminals who do this are trying to go down in infamy.
And so far there has been radio silence from the nation’s capital. A terrorist was on the loose in Austin, but statements weren’t made, and there was no call to arms. Upon writing this editorial, the Trump administration had still not spoken about this tragedy in Texas.
But the Austin bombings feel like more and more piling on to how unsafe it feels currently.
Every day in this country, it feels a little less safe. School shootings and others jockey back and forth in the news, pushing each other out of the limelight. And now this.
When will enough be enough? Maybe this level of violence has always occurred in this country but we’re just becoming aware of it. But we’re tired. There needs to be an end to this senseless violence.
There must be a way to combat this. In response to the walkouts of last week, some decided to start #WalkUpNotOut. In theory that seems fine, but once you start discussing it, it falls apart.
Imagine you’re a high school student who is bullied and doesn’t have many friends. And all of sudden everyone is being nice to you and sitting with you at lunch. All because they don’t want you to become a school shooter, because they’re afraid of what you could do.
There’s this idea that others are responsible for the actions of individuals. Forcing vulnerable people to have to confront those who could be dangerous is not the right step.
And so far there hasn’t been one that doesn’t do that or challenge the mentally ill — which, by the way, covers more than those deemed “crazy.”