Why is this an act of terrorism, and, just as important, why are the police saying it isn't one? and where did a guy who had a history of mental illness and violent behavior get an armored truck and a
This is an act of terrorism, because
(1) it is intended to frighten people in addition to showing what a stud the guy in the truck is.
(2) because the guy was acting for a political reason, attacking the police, defenders of the state, and (3) because the guy showed no concern for innocent bystanders (If it was a military attack, he should have cared about that sort of thing.)
(4) in addition, besides opening fire with an assault weapon in the middle of a crowded city, he left a sack full of pipe bombs unattended where anyone could have stumbled against it (it's the middle of the night, remember). Police noticed the sack and used a bomb-seeking robot to investigate it. The bomb was rigged to explode on touch and it did. That is a terrorist act, because the guy did not care who he killed.
The reason for the attack was that the man held the police responsible for his losing custody of his child while his wife was in jail. Of course, the police were not responsible. The laws of the state of Texas were responsible. Boulware assaulted his mother and his uncle in 2013 during an unprovoked attack.
We know where Boulware got the van. He found it in Georgia, from an eBay ad, at a company that armor-plates vehicles but apparently doesn't care who buys them. I'm not saying there was anything illegal about the sale, I'm just saying that anyone can buy an armor-plated vehicle in this country. This is just as much a deadly weapon as an assault rifle, even worse, because it can be used to stand off a whole police department, as it was in this case. This kind of truck is used by police departments to transport suspects.
We don't know for certain where the guns came from, but in 2013, when the police picked up bulware on an assault charge, he had told friends he was going to get some weapons. He never got there, so it's possible that those weapons are the same as the ones used in this attack.
Why did Boulware start shooting at police?
In a televised video on CNN, Boulware's father said his son had reached his "breaking point" and gave his opinion that we all have a breaking point. I submit that, while we all may have a breaking point, we usually call a suicide hotline (or something similar) before we go out and start shooting at police. Boulware's father lamented, "Where does a white man go for help?" If he is mentally ill and prone to violence, he reaches for his guns and goes out to kill someone.