This morning a rogue lunatic, who identified himself as James Boulware, fired a barrage of bullets into the Dallas police headquarters before fleeing in a specially designed armored vehicle, replete with gun ports in the sides, that withstood multiple crashes and bullets. It stopped only when police fired a .50-caliber round into the engine block, a huge round originally developed in World War I for use as an anti-aircraft weapon.
The suspect was killed by a high-powered sniper shot through the van’s windshield, after hours of negotiations in which he often “ranted and screamed.” In addition to his rolling reign of terror, two pipe bombs were found outside the police headquarters, and as of this writing, robots were checking the vehicle for further explosives. This rampage was so intense that at first witnesses said as many as four assailants were involved.
The gunman reportedly told negotiators he was after the police for taking his child away and, ironically, accusing him of being a terrorist.
If the suspect is indeed James Boulware, he’s no stranger to terroristic threats, having been busted in 2013 with body armor, guns, and ammunition after threatening to attack his family members, churches, and schools. So how the hell does a certified member of the lunatic fringe get his hands on what amounts to an urban assault tank and enough weapons and explosives to start his own mini-war?
Actually, it’s damned easy. All you need is a computer and a few thousand dollars. You can even just put it on your credit card—no need to worry about paying it back if you’re headed off on a suicide mission, or at least withdrawing from society, right?
First, the vehicle.
Believed to be a 1995 Ford van, it looks like one modified by military and civilian contractor Lenco for use as a S.W.A.T. vehicle. It was described on the alleged seller, identified by the Dallas News as Jenco Sales Inc.’s, now-deleted Facebook page rather succinctly:
Zombie Apocalypse Assault Vehicle and Troop Transport. This full armored zombie busting vehicle features convenient gun ports so no zombie juice touches you during a mass zombie take down. It also has benches in the back so you can take turns resting during long Zombie sieges. The tactical step boards are installed for when you only need swords and axes for drive by mow downs. The bumpers are made of reinforced steel tubing, so no dents from smashing zombie heads! It’s full armor plated and has bullet proof windows just in case you run into other zombie hunting hordes who might try to take this bad boy from you. Like anything, there is a price attached to this fine piece of zombie fighting machinery.
Just replace “zombie” with “police officer” and that playful paragraph becomes a lot more chilling.
But these vehicles are hard to come by, right? I mean, where does a wannabe revolutionary go to get himself some bullet-and-crash-proof wheels? The Internet, of course. In this case, a van just like the above was sold via eBay, just days ago from a dealer in Georgia. Spend a few moments Googling, and you can find yourself a used tactical assault vehicle to call your own—be it an ex-police SWAT van or a straight up ex-military assault truck. Baseline cost for a good condition, former Army, used armored Hummer with just 5,600 miles? $7500. That’s less than a comparable Honda Civic.
Added bonus—there’s no regulations on who can own a tactical vehicle, and no special registry of who does own them.
Okay, so now that you’ve gotten yourself some wheels, what’s next? Well, we all know that any idiot can buy an assault weapon here in the United States, right? Sad but true. Local gun monger not stocking the military style machine gun you want to get your trigger-fingers on? No need to fret, just go to one of many sites, order it, then kick back and listen to Rush Limbaugh until it’s delivered to the local gun store of your choice. Of course, those of us on a budget may not want to shell out over a grand for a fancy name-brand gun. That’s okay, even the ubiquitous Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods have cheap pump-action shotguns, sidearms, and ammo. You can get a starter gun for $150. Let’s call it $600 for a couple guns and a bucket of ammo. Oh, and don’t forget, they offer in-house financing.
Wait, you’re a felon? Or maybe just want to keep the name off the books. Don’t worry, here in America it’s easy as apple pie to get your hands on a gun, and you’ve got the NRA so rabid to keep it that way they even want mentally ill people to be able to pack heat.
You’re ready for combat, but now you need to cover your own ass. Bulletproof gear? No problem. Let’s keep this simple and just go back to eBay, where you can get a used law enforcement issue bulletproof vest for as low as $104.95. A word of caution here: in many states, it’s illegal for felons to own bulletproof clothing, but hey, there’s no background check or anything, just the honor system.
Finally, we dive into the “weapons of mass destruction” category.
From the Boston Bombers’ pressure cooker to Oklahoma Bomber Timothy McVeigh’s compost truck to today’s pipe bombs, the Internet has made the Anarchist’s Cookbook look like Goodnight Moon, and with way more anonymity. Just a few seconds of trolling the World Wide Web will unlock enough potential for destruction to make locking yourself in the basement with a stockpile of canned goods and tinfoil helmet seem like a pretty good plan. Price? Depending on the scope or horror you’d like to inflict, most look like they’d run under $100, with, obviously, some assembly required. (We’re not linking to these sites, for obvious reasons. Google at your own risk.)
All that for only around $8500. You’ve still got some cash for lunch and couple stiff drinks.
Here’s the thing: in the coming days, as everyone is up in arms over “How does this happen!” and “Where do these lunatics get their gear?” the answer is: it’s really, really easy.
Here in the USA anyone can, and apparently does, get their hands on enough deadly equipment to make ISIS’s beards curl in jealousy, and for bargain basement prices. The question isn’t “how do they get them?” It needs to be “how do we stop them from getting them?”