Everyone a Bomb Builder
I’ve got mixed feelings about this odd little story out of Tiverton:
James R. Lapre, 24, of 320 Hurst Lane, Tiverton, was charged with disorderly conduct and with threatening to place a bomb in a public place (a felony) after police took him into custody, then searched his residence and discovered makeshift bomb-making materials.
Police said that a co-worker Mr. Lapre had invited to his home said he saw there a section of PVC pipe, nails, and other materials that he lifted and described as heavy.
Police said that when the co-worker asked what the pipe and materials were for, Mr. Lapre told him that he was going to leave the bomb at their boss’s business if he was laid off. The co-worker told the employer, who reported the matter to Tiverton police.
My first reaction is to think of Arlo Guthrie’s line about “using up all kinds of cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station” in “Alice’s Restaurant“:
Armed with a search warrant, Tiverton police officers and detectives, along with representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island Fire Marshall’s office, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), and tactical and bomb squad units, surrounded Mr. Lapre’s Hurst Lane residence.
More seriously, though, the incident seems to reside along a fine line of civil liberties. Consider this excellent comment from the first link above:
What you will need to make a bomb:
1. PVC Pipe
3. Items that when lifted can be described as heavy
What combination of legally purchased items are required in order for one to be arrested for credibly building a bomb? And should bomb-building be a criminal offense, anyway, given the Second Amendment? Working in construction, I’ve probably got everything I’d need to put together a makeshift bomb, if I cared to learn how to combine them for that purpose; does that mean that an army of acronyms could bang down my door if I make an off-hand quip that somebody ought to “blow up” this or that?