The Tragic Truths about America's Juvenile Bombers: A NOVA Online Investigation
The Tragedy of Juvenile Bomb Makers
Bombs make for one of the most dangerous scientific experiments, and unfortunately, some young people in the US cannot resist the temptation to experiment with them. It's alarming to learn that children under 19 years of age have access to bomb-making information, mainly due to the World Wide Web. However, incomplete information can be deadly—what you don't know can certainly harm or even kill you.
What's the Reality?
Do you know how many bombs juveniles create every year, exploding either intentionally or unintentionally? What is the number of juveniles who died making, moving, or placing a bomb between 1992 to 1994? Similarly, how many juveniles were injured during the same period while making, moving, or placing a bomb? What is the success rate of the bombs created by juveniles, and how many of the reported bombings can be attributed to children under 19 years old?
On average, juveniles create 1000 bombs every year. Between 1992 and 1994, 13 juveniles died as a result of bombing incidents, whereas 91 were injured during the same period. Shockingly, 87% of the bombs created by juveniles work, as the bombs are typically easy to construct. Approximately 32% of the bombings reported in the country are attributed to children under the age of 19.
What Drives Kids to Bomb?
Sadly, there is no straightforward explanation for this behavior. Some do it to experiment, while others might have deeper psychological issues that they cannot handle. The majority of juvenile bomb-makers are boys from different backgrounds, including honor students or dropouts. One of the reasons behind the high fatality rates in homemade bomb experiments is that the builders have no idea how quickly the ingredients react to heat and friction, leading to the materials exploding. One high school student from Indianapolis, for example, placed a bomb inside a toothpaste dispenser, severely injuring a 4-year-old girl.
As per the NOVA program, the incidence of bombings in America has increased fivefold over the last five years. If you have information about someone who is planning or has already made bombs, call the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-800-800-3855. By making a report, you might just save someone's life.
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