Tools of a Terrorist, or Junk From My Workshop?

Tools of terror?

Tools of terrorists, or just somebody cleaning junk out of his garage?

We’ve been watching the story of the 17 young men arrested in Toronto over the weekend with some interest. Here’s the thing that caught my attention (tin foil filters on!): The pictures of the stuff the authorities displayed at the press conference.

In particular, I was interested in the bag of ammonium nitrate — not seized during the raid, but presented “for display purposes only”, according to the Toronto Star. Do the press need visual aids to properly report a story, or was the stunt bag for the people watching at home?

All of the other stuff displayed at the press conference as evidence of nefarious intent, except for the 9mm Luger (which I could own here in Missouri if I wanted to), can be found in my garage, storage closet, or laundry room.

I don’t claim that the young men who were arrested are all good boys. I’m just saying that in today’s climate, with the PATRIOT Act giving the FBI permission to “sneak and peek” inside my home without a warrant and the NSA able to read my e-mail and listen in on my phone calls, it makes me more than a little nervous that a handgun, batteries, a utility knife, broken cell phones, old flashlights, duct tape, a piece of a barbecue grill, and a bag of fertilizer “for display purposes only” can put me away as an enemy of the state.

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