No Requiems for a Terrorist in Austin

When Anthony Stephan House picked up the package that was left on his front porch in Austin, Texas, on March 2, he pulled away some paper that allowed for an electric circuit to be completed, and the current caused the bomb inside to explode. House likely lost his hands immediately from the shockwave while the shrapnel that was packed into the bomb tore through him, severing arteries, embedding in bone, slicing organs. This is not to mention the additional fragments of broken windows and pieces of the porch. Just before picking up the bomb, House had sent his 8 year-old daughter back into their home to brush her teeth. Had he not done that, had he not been being a good dad, the girl would have been ripped up, too, probably dead.

I think about Draylen Mason, the 17 year-old musician and student who leaped in front of his mom after she opened the package in her kitchen with a knife. Mason must have known that something was wrong with the box on the table, and he protected her, getting the full impact of the bomb in a contained area. It would have torn him to pieces, and he died instantly. His mom is in the hospital. Imagine what she saw. Imagine her helplessness.

And I think about the three other victims, all severely wounded, probably from the nails that the terrorist packed into the bombs to achieve maximum pain and destruction.

Let's be absolutely clear:

Mark Conditt, the bomber, is a fucking terrorist, as surely as anyone from al Qaeda or ISIS or whatever spooky Muslim group you want to invoke is. When I hear Austin's Chief of Police describe Conditt's video confession as "the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point," I don't give a fuck because he's a fucking terrorist. The deranged shit blew himself up at the end. You know what we'd call him in other circumstances? A suicide bomber. Fuck him. Fuck his pain. Fuck his personal life. Fuck his challenges. Fuck his outcry.

Now we're treated to descriptions of Conditt as "the quiet, socially awkward oldest child of a devout Christian family that held Bible study groups in their white clapboard house, where an American flag hangs from the front porch." Oh, so he was a Christian terrorist, right? Shouldn't we be asking every Christian if they condemn Conditt? 'Cause "devout Christian" can mean crazy-ass fundamentalist, especially if they belonged to a sect that held secret meetings in a private home. Fuckin' hell, that's just a sleeper cell, and Conditt got activated. He was home-schooled, and that's suspicious as hell, isn't it? Maybe we should be dragging in his parents and ask them what the connection with Amway is. Is Amway really just a cover organization for a cult of Christian terrorists? Is their Ponzi-scheme of shitty personal care products covering up for a coming coordinated attack on others in this country? What about the town of Pflugerville? It sure seems like we should be raiding all the churches there to see what they might be hiding, especially Conditt's Austin Stone Community Church.

Another home-schooled student described the pasty terrorist as someone who "loved to think and argue and turn things over and figure out what was really going on." Have they questioned him and other home-schoolers about what they figured out? Have they rounded them up and beaten them until they gave up information on other terrorists?

Or maybe, just maybe, we should think about humanizing all terrorists in order to understand what drove them to violence. Maybe that would actually do more to make us mitigate terrorism, no matter where it comes from. Every terrorist is troubled. Every terrorist is challenged. Every terrorist has to go through a personal journey to get to the point where they want to kill others. We should try to figure all this out without demonizing the demographic group the terrorist comes from.

But we should never forget that, no matter who they are, they are still fucking terrorists, and we should call them as such, whether they're named Nidal Hassan or Dylan Roof or Nikolas Cruz or this fucking Conditt.