source of bomb recipe should not matter

DE PERE, WI — Did you read the October 22 story about the 13-year-old Oregon boy who gave a gift-wrapped pipe bomb and a flower to a classmate for her birthday? Well, the boy was arrested (and later released). But the Associated Press couldn’t just leave the story at that. They had to mention that “he found instructions for making the 5½ inch bomb on the internet.”

Why did they mention that. What purpose does it serve? Does it matter where he got the instructions? Why have I never read a story where they explain that the instructions were found at the library? Or in a book from the local bookstore? Or in a magazine? It is obvious that some people are out to give the internet a bad name.

I make a living on the internet. The internet puts food on my table and shoes on my kids’ feet. The internet is teaching my girls how to use a computer, how to do research, how to read and spell and comprehend. The internet allows my daughters to communicate with their aunt 2000 miles away. The internet is good.

Where this young boy got the instructions is not relevant. The AP should instead address the issue of why he did what he did. If it were my son, that’s what I would want to know.

(this letter appeared in the Green Bay Press-Gazette people’s forum, Wed 22-Oct-1997)