There’s a famous curse, supposedly Chinese but apparently not really, that says, “May you live in interesting times.”
Well, folks, we live in interesting times.
The most recent example comes from the state of New Jersey. While a very anti-gun state, it seems that gun control laws won’t stop violence from reaching residents there. Shocking, I know. But it seems someone may have had a nasty plan to detonate pipe bombs during a Labor Day parade in the state.
A Middlesex County man is in police custody after several pipe bomb-like devices were found near the route of a Labor Day parade that the governor was set to attend Monday.
Officials detained a man on Monday morning after they found “over half a dozen” devices on his large property near South Plainfield’s Labor Day Parade route, according to a senior law enforcement official with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Gov. Phil Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy were supposed to attend the parade, which was set to start at 10 a.m., according to spokesman Dan Bryan. The parade and other festivities were abruptly cancelled by borough officials Monday morning.
In fairness, no direct threat was made against either the governor or the parade itself. Instead, due to the proximity of the property to the parade route, the parade was canceled. Officials did so “out of an abundance of caution,” which is probably fair.
Of course, it should be noted that pipe bombs aren’t exactly legal in New Jersey or anywhere else in the country except under a handful of tightly-controlled circumstances. It would seem, though, that New Jersey really needs more bomb control, don’t you think?
More seriously, though, while we don’t know if the individual in question represented a threat to anyone or not, pipe bombs aren’t the kind of thing most of us keep around just for laughs. Regardless of whether we should be allowed to have such devices, the truth is that we’re not allowed to and something like this is likely to set off all kinds of red flags.
Was the man a threat to Murphy or paradegoers? Who knows.
What I do know, however, is that despite all the laws on the books, this man was able to secure explosive devices that he could then use for whatever purposes he so desired. That he hadn’t done any such thing raises many questions. In particular, why have them at all? After all, everyone knows they’re illegal.
It’s possible that he felt that the Second Amendment gave him the right to have those. I don’t disagree, though every court in the United States does. In fact, I hope that’s precisely what was going on. Either that or he just liked making explosions but didn’t want to hurt anyone. Either of those means he’s a harmless sort, more or less.
The alternatives are far more troubling.
To be sure, this is one of those stories I’ll need to follow going forward. It should be interesting to see what he had in mind if anything.