Well, crap. Some jackass got mad at the IRS (and, apparently, the federal government in general) and crashed a plane into an Austin office building today that houses, among other things, an IRS office. What an asshole.
Looking out of the courthouse windows this morning we could see smoke rising from a location farther to our north. People had turned on televisions and were watching local coverage of the whole thing.
As soon as I heard that the struck building contained federal offices, I told a few people that I suspected an attack. I knew it wasn't Al Qaeda or Middle Eastern terrorists, but I immediately suspected that one of these angry, homegrown, anti-government people to be involved. Working at the courthouse, it's not all that uncommon to get some of these anti-government activists, and they're usually both very angry and looking to find a way to send a message. It may turn out that this guy was simply angry about having to pay his taxes, but in my experience, there are a whole group of people out there who are just filled with seething fury over anything that they perceive to be a government intrusion into their lives. These are the sorts of people who see demons and monsters behind the faces of every government employee that they encounter (while these employees, of course, are mostly just trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability while hoping to maybe have some kind of positive impact upon the city, county, state, and/or federal entity for whom they work).
Ugggh. People are stupid. Do the rules work perfectly all of the time? No. Of course not. It's a big society that we live in with lots of different types of conflicting ideals and points of view. Sometimes the rules are unfairly manipulated. Other times people simply don't get what they want because they live in a society where other people don't share their views.
We live in a society of majority rule, where certain rights of the minority are protected as civil liberties. Increasingly, though, it seems like a lot of people just expect to be able to live in a society full of other people (accepting all of the benefits of such a living arrangement), but then they get really angry and feel violated when they're expected to follow the rules that govern a civilized society.
I'm tired of the temper tantrums from a bunch of naricissistic, entitled, self important Americans who think that things like being asked to pay the same taxes as their neighbors somehow makes them an oppressed minority with no rights.
We have a legal system for addressing wrongs and grievances. We have media outlets and the internet and freedom of speech and artistic expression and the right to assemble in protest and a hundred other ways that people can legitimately express dissatisfaction and try to bring about change. (sometimes we just start blogs where we can pour out our frustrations onto our poor, loyal readers)
But when people resort to violence as their chosen means of self expression, they're just acting like spoiled children.
So now CNN and the other news organizations have this guy's rambling, self pitying, anti-government, anti-establishment suicide note up on the internet. I actually read the thing. The guy is fairly articulate and sounds sort of intelligent, but his logic is warped to the point of being nonsensical. He uses big words, but in the end, his general argument is that he doesn't like a particular set of laws, so he doesn't think he should have to obey them. He's really just throwing a temper tantrum because of taxes- a spoiled brat who decided to hurt a bunch of other people who were trying to collect taxes that this guy was refusing to pay.
So this guy launched an attack against the citizens of my fair city because of some kind of tax debt? (which, by all accounts, could have been easily payed off by selling the plane that the guy used to crash into this building)
Arrrgh! What a jackhole!!!!