There are always alternatives to violence

Violence is not the only answer to frustrations with bureaucracy. Peaceful protesters like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. managed to get their messages across without flying a plane into a building. Many citizens in the country are coping with financial hardship and bare mistrust toward a system that is lacking in transparency and accountability, but there are other outlets for anger. Although Austin plane crasher Joseph Andrew Stack may have felt he had no other option, there is an alternative to threatening or taking the lives of others. Write a letter, protest in the streets or bring signs to a dog show.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference Thursday that “it appears to be a singular act by a single individual,” noting that the incident was contained to one building and “there really truly is no cause for alarm.” According to The New York Times, officials in Austin called the act a “criminal” case and not a terrorist attack.

However, that assessment may be flawed. According to, terrorism is defined as “a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.” In a long, angry note Stack posted on the Internet, he clearly expressed resistance to the government. Just because Stack was an American doesn’t mean his attack should be taken as any less of a threat to people’s safety. The Oklahoma City bombing showed that Americans are able to take the lives of others in gruesome fashion without remorse. Homegrown terrorists are just as capable of killing innocent people as are foreign terrorists.

Projects editor Courtney Jay for the editorial board