In addition to killing himself, it appears he killed one other person. Another neighbor who lives in another nearby suburb who apparently enjoyed his work, loved his large family, and rode to the office with his wife every morning.
So, there was no need to research the annual GDP, or the literacy rate, or the availability of water in a poverty riddled nation to try to understand the angst of the Austin Suicide Bomber. He could not have been more like one of us. If I'd written his character into a ficticious story, I'm betting many readers of the tale would have told me the character just wasn't believable. And, really, he wasn't.
He had the wife, the family, the house, the plane, the education, the independence, and the opportunity that frames the American Dream. But he also had an important bolt missing from his brain - the one that holds back the kind of rationale that advances the theory: "Nothing changes unless there is a body count."
The change Joe Stack believed required a body count was tax reform. I'm not sure where to turn for information that would help me understand Joe Stack - a man from my neighborhood and my income bracket with my unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But Joe Stack is not the only unbelievable character in this story.
Meet Tyler Britten of Texas.
Tyler BrittenAccording to the New York Daily News, Tyler was quick to join a "Joe Stack Fan Club" on Facebook yesterday afternoon, a few hours before Facebook removed it. Tyler reportedly posted this comment at the site: "His sacrifice was for all of us."
Throw on Emily Waters of Louisville, Kentucky who wrote: Finally an American man took a stand against our tyrannical government that no longer follows the Constitution.
Stir in Greg Lenihan of San Diego who tweeted: "Joe Stack, you are a true American Hero and we need more of you to make a stand."
Who ARE these people?
My friend Jane sent me an email last night, puzzling over that very question. I liked her conclusion: "Can you say Taliban?"