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Yesterday, police in Waseca, Minnesota made a chilling announcement--they had uncovered evidence that a local teenager had planned to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre with a bloodbath of his own before committing suicide by cop.  Now that teenager may be facing adult charges, and a lot of people are asking a lot of questions.

John David LaDue, who police say outlined his plot in chilling detail — and backed it up with a cache of guns and homemade explosives — is already charged as a juvenile with four counts of attempted murder, two counts of first-degree damage to property and six counts of possession of a bomb by someone under 18. Adult charges against LaDue are expected to be addressed at his next court appearance, on May 12, said Waseca County prosecutor Brenda Miller.

At Waseca High School, which was closed Friday due to a scheduled staff development day, the mood was “various levels of somber,” said Superintendent Thomas Lee. While students stayed home from school and police continued investigating, faculty and administrators talked about addressing students, parents and the community in general.

Lee said that some teachers openly struggled, asking, “How could I have missed this?” Others walked around in stunned disbelief. Still others were “beating themselves up,” Lee said.

Back on Tuesday, Chelsie Schellhas was washing dishes when she happened to notice someone cutting through her backyard to get to a nearby storage unit.  To Schellhas, something didn't add up--there was a road nearby, so what was this guy doing going through her yard?  According to KARE in Minneapolis, Schellhas thought the guy took way too long to open the unit.  She was originally going to see if he needed help, but her cousin suggested they call police.  When police arrived, they found a stockpile of bomb-making materials and promptly arrested him.  

A search of LaDue's house yielded seven guns as well as a 180-page journal detailing a plan to kill his parents and sister, then attack the school and kill as many people as possible after throwing police off the scent by setting a fire in a nearby forest.  He planned to use Molotov cocktails and pressure-cooker bombs to wreak maximum havoc before being killed by the SWAT team.  According to Minnesota Public Radio, LaDue idolizes the Columbine shooters, and also referenced the massacres at Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech.  LaDue reportedly told police he had originally planned to launch his attack on April 20--but discovered that day was Easter Sunday.  He also admitted to setting several practice bombs at area schools, churches and parks.  

Police chief Kris Markeson thinks that LaDue had every intention of going through with this plot, based on the fact he spent 10 months preparing for it.  He was also gobsmacked at the arsenal LaDue had assembled.  

To put it mildly, the community is stunned.  They saw no warning signs at all that LaDue--a B student who liked to play his guitar most of the time--was even contemplating something like this.  Looks like a lot of questions are going to be asked about this for a long time.  

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Firearms Law and Policy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Perhaps (21+ / 0-)
    Looks like a lot of questions are going to be asked about this for a long time.
    But I bet there's one question that won't be allowed to be asked, "How and where would he get the guns?"

    Apparently we're not ever allowed to ask that question.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:32:13 PM PDT

  •  Let's guess (15+ / 0-)

    Decent, but not outstanding student. Plays guitar. Flies under the radar by not bringing attention to himself in either strongly positive or negative ways. And as this evolves kids and teachers will say "he was a pleasant guy, but didn't seem to have any close friends".

    Yeah, exactly this sort of stuff from your first link

    LaDue was described by superintendent Lee as a “good kid” who was quiet and a B student who made the honor roll. He was never in trouble at school and never had any dealings with Chrz, Lee said.

    Ryan Lano, who taught guitar to LaDue for four years, was left “totally shocked.”

    “John was normal in every aspect. He was courteous. … He asked questions and followed instructions very well. He loved music and his guitar and did really well. He was polite and said thank you after every lesson.”

    Three sets of neighbors across the street from the LaDue home recalled seeing him outside almost every day throwing knives and axes at a tall pine tree in the front yard. The bark is gone on a swath of the tree trunk. After neighbors complained, plywood boards, wider than the tree, were nailed to the other side to prevent the knives from flying through the bushes and into the street.

    Then there will be more along these lines (from your third link)
    "In fact, several students are more sad for him because they liked him and considered him a friend and wondered what was going on, and there's some confusion right now with our students."
    The investigation began in late March after three small explosive devices were discovered at an elementary school playground ...Police got a break Tuesday with the tip. An officer found the teen in a storage unit that had numerous materials that could have been used to make bombs.
    Eventually further discussion with family and friends will reveal that he had been withdrawn lately, was not his former cheerful self. Some will note that he's always been a little odd, they were always a bit uneasy around him. And so it goes.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:32:15 PM PDT

  •  Someone left flowers for his parents (16+ / 0-)

    I watched the 5:00 news here in MN and Chelsie Schellhas received a bouquet from the school liaison office too. I think that speaks to how shocking this was. It's a small town and people aren't exactly unknown to each other. The blame is not going to the parents for being neglectful, as far as anyone knows they were a close family.

    Some news sources are really scrabbling at straws, pointing to him liking heavy metal and hunting. That describes almost every male in rural Minnesota between ages 15 and 23.

    Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

    by bull8807 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:42:10 PM PDT

  •  7 firearms and 400 rounds of ammo (12+ / 0-)

    in a gun safe in his bedroom, the same bedroom in which police found 3 complete bombs.

    My question is how does a 17 yr old get his hands on 7 firearms, several of them semi-automatics?

    Did dad buy them for him?

    Between this, and the mess in CO and other mass shootings this year, it's time to repeal the 2nd Amendment and get some sane gun control legislation enacted in this country.

    •  Not enough info. (0+ / 0-)

      Semi-auto is technology that was invented by hand a hundred and twenty five years-ish ago - just a couple decades after the civil war. So "semi auto" isn't as important of a trait as some may claim.

      But of the 7 guns, need more info on whether they were rifle size or hand size. That is important info.

      At least you didn't comment on the 400 rounds. For many guns, that's not even half of what is recommended for the initial break-in functioning.

      •  Don't care if it was 7 or 70 (9+ / 0-)

        Don't care if they were semi-auto or Light anti-tank weapons.

        Don't care if it was 400 rounds or 40,000 rounds

        There is no way that someone who is neither old enough to vote or drink, barely old enough to drive, has the requisite maturity of judgement or a well enough developed moral compass to be in control of firearms.

        Period. No qualifications. No excuses.

        He had the weapons. He had the key to the gun safe. He was going to use them to murder dozens of people. The case pretty much makes itself.

        As for "semi-automatic" and what it means, who gives a shit? As long as it will keep firing rounds as long as he's pulling the trigger, and until how ever many rounds he has are all spent, he (or anyone else) is still going to be able to kill people.

        At least one of the weapons was a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, one was an SKS semi-automatic rifle, another was a .22 handgun that he was going to use to kill his family because "it would make less noise". He had, it would seem, a weapon for every use case he could think of.

        His plan was, kill the family, drive to the edge of town and set fire to the grasslands on the edge of town to tie up first responders, then drive to the school and set off bombs at noon hour (he'd already tested smaller versions, so he knew they'd work), shoot the school liaison officer, and then kill as many students (those that weren't killed by the shrapnel) as he could before police killed him.

        He had no history of mental illness, no history of being bullied. He had been properly trained in the use of firearms, both safety and how to kill with them as a hunter.

        So, I think we have more than enough info to conclude that teenagers should not, under any circumstances, have access to firearms without the presence of a responsible adult.

        •  About that responsible adult (4+ / 0-)

          I know from first hand experience, that is a slippery term. The teenager 200 ft from my house would fire some magnum pistol that his parents gave him for Christmas into a tree, 75 feet from my friend's house. Dad lied to the sheriff, oh no, haha, ol buddy, see, we use this bunch of piled up hay over here. Haha, ol buddy. Ding, 'responsible adult.'

          That's but one of a zillion anecdotes.

        •  The parents should face some kind of sanction (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight, WakeUpNeo

          No matter if they think that they knew their son. No matter if they thought their son was mature enough. These "responsible owner" parents failed to supervise their son and their property. His parents are the legal owners of the gun safe in their home even though it's in his bedroom. The parents are responsible for any guns they gave him, or that he acquired under the nose. They were the next Nancy Lanza, except for their good fortune that a responsible citizen flagged suspicious behavior.

          This boy can't pass a background check to purchase a firearm retail, long gun or handgun. He can't legally own a handgun. We need to close the private sales loophole. We need universal background checks. And we need mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns to the police. Just for starters. That should not be controversial.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:42:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  close loopholes blah blah - NO we don't (2+ / 0-)

            We need to ban the sale of handguns.

            We need to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons

            No open carry. No concealed carry.

            Long rifles registered and properly secured when not in use for hunting - single shot, six round max mag.

            "only outlaws will have guns" bullshit -  Mandatory 20 years for anyone caught selling a banned weapon or in possession of a banned weapon. Life for anyone caught committing a crime with a banned weapon.

            To do that, we need to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

            Sorry but there is no excuse for citizens going about armed, killing one another over political arguments, driving disputes, being jilted, not being popular in school, getting fired at work, being drunk, screwing your daughter or any one of any other 50 reasons people get killed for in this country every week.

            Bottom line is this; which is more important, your individual "right to bear arms" or the lives of the 20 teenagers this kid was going to kill next week, or the 20 from the last shooting, or the 100 from the next five that don't get caught on time? If you knew that one of those was going to be your child, wife, husband, or parents, would it change your position?

            •  The situation is totally untenable (3+ / 0-)

              As a nation we are in a stupor re 300 shootings/day, 85 fatalities/day. This is a failure of criminal justice approaches and economic policies. It's a shameful public health crisis.

              Totally agree on this.

              Sorry but there is no excuse for citizens going about armed, killing one another over political arguments, driving disputes, being jilted, not being popular in school, getting fired at work, being drunk, screwing your daughter or any one of any other 50 reasons people get killed for in this country every week.
              A great hypothetical:
              Bottom line is this; which is more important, your individual "right to bear arms" or the lives of the 20 teenagers this kid was going to kill next week, or the 20 from the last shooting, or the 100 from the next five that don't get caught on time?
              All the lives are more important, no question about it.
              If you knew that one of those was going to be your child, wife, husband, or parents, would it change your position?
              Of course, we'd raid our savings, pack them up and leave the country this afternoon.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:52:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Do you see yourself as an abolishionist? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              i saw an old tree today

              The situation is simply not that tidy. We don't live in a black and white world.

              Mandatory 20 years for anyone caught selling a banned weapon or in possession of a banned weapon. Life for anyone caught committing a crime with a banned weapon.
              With the failures of our criminal justice system on full display, with for profit prisons growing like a cancer, becoming a 21st century incarnation of slavery, how can you consider yourself an abolitionist and claim this?
              To do that, we need to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
              Why do you think the 2A is a limiting obstacle to gun law reform?

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:05:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  43 states have some version of the 2A (0+ / 0-)

              43 states have some version of the 2A in their state constitutions.

              Connecticut's Individual Right to Arms - 190 Years Before Heller
              Yet, Connecticut laws are now among the most strict in the nation. They've been vetting their gun laws against an individual RKBA for decades now, and I think passing at least some of them nationwide would reduce gun violence dramatically.

              What does lock em' up and feed them for life, get you?

              Instead of demonizing others, I hope to understand diverse gun laws and culture across the country, so I can win over people who want to live together in peace.

              My main focus is shorter term, to become an effective advocate for near-future solutions that rely ethical and legal arguments. Not just any old, hair on fire arguments, but arguments that courts find persuasive and consistent with current constitutional law. I'm not saying Heller is necessarily correct. I want to start by understanding the 2A as articulated by SCOTUS and the lower courts as they apply Heller to state and local law.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:16:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Dude, calm down. You went on a rant there. (0+ / 0-)

          Home from work. Couldn't really reply earlier.

          You said

          7 firearms and 400 rounds of ammo

          in a gun safe in his bedroom, the same bedroom in which police found 3 complete bombs.

          My question is how does a 17 yr old get his hands on 7 firearms, several of them semi-automatics?

          You mentioned semi auto in a way that seemed like it was an important element. That's why I pointed out that it was invented and made in the era before power tools - so it is more accurately treated as basic knowledge rather than something new. Semi-auto is like power windows on a car, old enough that it is more noticeable if it is absent.

          By minnesota law a handgun is treated differently than a long gun. That's why that is important info, so as to point the blame accurately rather than just spew emotionally-fueled outrage wildly in all directions.

          That's why the gun size matters. All handguns -> look hard at the parents who bought them. All long guns -> look hard at the parents if they got all of them or look hard at the people who sold them to him without checking his age. What mixture of hand and long is it? I'd say that establishes enough reason to hold off on spewing outrage until the proper recipient of blame can be determined.

          And I still wonder, as I have wondered elsewhere, why the nsa didn't have a red flag on this kid since they monitor internet searches?

      •  Why does it matter what size the firearms were? (5+ / 0-)

        He was planning mass homicide and bought the tools to carry out his plan.

    •  My question: (11+ / 0-)

      What's a 17 year old doing with a gun safe in his bedroom?

      "Soylent Green is people too, my friend!" Guess Who

      by oldmaestro on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:18:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Link to Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (10+ / 0-)

      Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Minnesota

      Our munitions dump arms collector had been at this since he was 16.

      Police chief Kris Markeson thinks that LaDue had every intention of going through with this plot, based on the fact he spent 10 months preparing for it.  
      How old was this kid when the gun safe was installed in his bedroom?

      -----------------------------------

      •  good link, 88kathy! (4+ / 0-)

        I think the US needs an "all of the above" approach to combating violence here in the US (and maybe in curbing our foreign militarism, as well...). Mental health support (especially for young men), gun-safety regulations (UBC, universal reporting of sales/transfers, licensing, registration, safe-storage and safe-transport laws, insurance, unintentional discharge penalties, etc.), violence in movies/TV/lyrics/video-games, improved community-policing, etc., etc., etc.

        I'm not of the hands-off mindset that says it's taboo for liberals to consider the impact of so much violence depicted in movies/TV/lyrics/video-games. (I don't usually watch TV, so when I do at a friend's, I can't believe how many movies show people being killed or threatened, mainly by guns. It's a cheap writer's trick to get attention -- I hope it will be 'called out' and made uncool, though I don't know how.) That doesn't mean blanket censorship. I haven't explored this enough to have an informed opinion or even to know what's been tried and what other options are.

        The solution will most likely not be through government regulation, alone. There are mutually-supportive ways of changing behavior -- concerted, unified efforts to help define accepted norms, on any number of social issues and of varying degrees of severity. None are perfect (and neither are laws). E.g., littering is not cool. Starting forest-fires is not cool. Foot-binding is not cool. Beating your wife is neither cool nor funny. Prison rape is not funny. Bullying is not cool -- even if it doesn't cross the line and break any rules. Owning a gun made to look like an assault rifle is not cool (whether or not it's legal). Neither is carrying a gun in public, its uncool (barring unusual circumstances, job-duties, threats, etc.). Date-rape is not cool, it's a crime. Making racist comments is not cool, even if protected by free speech.

        My guess is there's a market and appetite for this message, given e.g. 90% support for universal background checks.

  •  Maybe JayFromPA will advise us as to what guns (8+ / 0-)

    this kid should have selected and how much ammo he should have amassed to successfully complete his plan.

    Maybe he'll let us know whether he approved of the ball bearings selected as shrapnel for the bombs, too?

    What else are we missing, JFPA?

  •  Little pockets of undetected insanity everywhere. (9+ / 0-)

    Not heartening.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:09:53 AM PDT

    •  Do you mean to imply that those who plot to maim (4+ / 0-)

      and murder others should be found not guilty by reason of insanity?

      How do we as a civil society keep the distinctions clear for children and teens?

      In advance of assault and murder, how do we really distinguish those who are criminal insane from those who merely fantasize about maiming and murdering others, (e.g. video games, movies, free speech, casual colloquial speech "I could have killed him!"), etc.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:47:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Would you call the Bundy ranch vigilantes "insane" (7+ / 0-)

      They are riding around armed, in the beds of pickup trucks like something you would see in Somalia or Sudan.

      They are openly trying to provoke violence.

      They prevented federal officials from executing a court-ordered action.

      They are using their weapons to intimidate citizens who don't agree with them.

      Or, how about the champion of the 2nd Amendment who showed up at a children's baseball game openly carrying a weapon, and daring people to do something about it. Was he insane? What if one of the parents at that game had felt that the safety of his/her children was at risk and had shot the idiot? Would that person have been insane?

      Or the guy who made a big deal about walking around his neighborhood openly carrying a shotgun to enjoy his 2nd Amendment rights causing his terrified neighbors to call the police who, fortunately, did not shoot him on sight (he was white after all) but probably wished they had, since a few weeks later he got into an argument with his girlfriend (daughter of one of the cops who stopped him) and blew her head off. Was he insane?

      Calling mass killers or murderers "insane" is a cop-out. It's a cop out that says "it's not the fact that we let anyone who wants a firearm to have one that's the problem. The problem is we don't lock up all the crazy people before we know they are crazy"

      This kid was NOT insane. By all accounts, he was extremely rational. He knew fully that what he was doing was wrong. He was going to do it anyway because he is 17 and has an undeveloped moral compass. That's why we don't let him vote. It's why we don't let him marry. It's why we don't let him enter into legal contracts. It's why he was charged in juvenile court.

      The problem is that firearms have only one purpose; killing things. Handguns - killing human beings. They aren't "just like cars if used incorrectly". Cars are not designed specifically to kill people. Firearms are.

      We do not live in 17th C America. A "well organized militia" is not longer essential. We have a standing army under civilian control. We have a National Guard. We have more armed law enforcement agencies than any country in the history of the world.  Therefore, there is no longer a need for the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" not to be infringed upon.

      •  standing-army; infringement; open-carry bully (5+ / 0-)
        We do not live in 17th C America. A "well organized militia" is not longer essential. We have a standing army under civilian control. We have a National Guard. We have more armed law enforcement agencies than any country in the history of the world.  Therefore, there is no longer a need for the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" not to be infringed upon.
        Yeah, there is the standing-army thing. Kinda hard to keep a straight face about Scalia's 'original intent' bullsh*t, with our standing-army's 800-lb/$1 trillion 'gorilla' facts staring us in the face.

        There's also the whole question of what constitutes 'infringement,' then and now. (E.g., mandatory registration doesn't come near infringement, from the better legal opinions I've read. Yet the NRA spreads fear about this, because black-helicopters. And black presidents.)

        I don't recall the case about the guy open-carrying a shotgun who later killed his girlfriend. Could you provide a link on that? Sounds like an interesting case, I'd like to learn more about it. Has it been diaried, here? Feel free, if not!

      •  An argument could be made : ) (4+ / 0-)

        Not the legal definition of insane, but a loose layman's interpretation... yes.

        A penchant for aggression, attention seeking, ...

      •  No, none of the examples you cite (3+ / 0-)

        are people who are insane.

        All of them are angry men, seeking attention, aspiring to become anti-heros in their own lives, and to become local or national heros based on the anti-social behavior. And they are using 2 of the 5 most powerful tools that we have in American society to assert personal power. (Violence, Money, Sex, Religion, and Fame)

        The issue is that a display of a gun is not by itself a threat of violence. Context matters. Intent matters. You are spot on, the reason that guns are displayed by the assholes you mention is because it instills the fear of death.

        If they have a political agenda or their behavior is driven by a political ideology they are domestic terrorists. That distinguishes them from ordinary criminals seeking money, food, drugs, whatever.

        If they use their guns, display guns, use or display their physical strength, or even use words to put women and children in fear, then they are engaging in domestic violence. They are domestic abusers.

        That man who spoke about putting the women and children up front? Classic DV warning sign. Absolute control, everyone else is at his disposal, for whatever ordinary or bizarre reason he asserts on any given day. Especially troubling is that he felt compelled to brag about it. Wouldn't surprise me if there is a dv conviction in his past or future.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:08:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pardon the hyperbolic use of "insane." (4+ / 0-)

          I meant "mixed nutbag."

          "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
          Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
          Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

          by OleHippieChick on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:25:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't agree (3+ / 0-)

          "The issue is that a display of a gun is not by itself a threat of violence."

          Yes it is.

          There is no reason to carry a firearm other than to kill something or someone.

          There is no reason to openly carry a sidearm, if you are not in law enforcement, other than to intimidate. Intimidation is a threat of violence.

          You may try to argue that you are carrying it for defensive purposes "just in case", but "just in case" means "just in case I need to kill someone".

          You never draw a weapon unless you are prepared to use it. You never point a gun unless you are prepared to fire it.
          You never shoot to injure. Always aim for the center of mass and shoot to kill.

          •  If I'm a sport shooter or a hunter or (0+ / 0-)

            detective (in plain clothes) and I carry my gun from my home to my car and lock it in my trunk?

            By itself is that a threat display?

            If my neighbor sees me, is that a threat display?

            Suppose I have one of MD's hard to get concealed carry permits and I'm returning from a business trip in West Virginia. I have a handgun safe permanently mounted in my trunk so that I can secure my gun when I go into a restaurant, church, sports venue, bar, etc.

            Suppose I stop at a rest stop on the highway and teens in the car that just pulled in next to me sees me remove my gun and place my gun/holster in my safe, then close and lock the trunk.

            Is that a threat display?

            "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

            by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:48:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Everything you describe is attempt not to display (4+ / 0-)

              or the exact opposite of what I was talking about.

              If you strap a shotgun across your chest and go out to walk your dog (the video I referred to earlier), what is your intent? The intent is to cause your neighbors into calling the cops so that you can have a confrontation over asserting your 2nd Amendment rights.

              If you wear a handgun in a holster on your hip and walk around a baseball field commenting to spectators that you are wearing a gun and there's nothing they can do about it, your intent is to intimidate.

              Ditto wearing your AR15 across your back to go grocery shopping.

              Ditto showing up at some deadbeat rancher's farm to face off against BLM agents trying to do their job, and then riding around in a pickup bed in the surrounding towns brandishing weapons and dressed in battle fatigues.

              Ditto having a meeting with all of your gun nut friends in the parking lot  of a restaurant while a bunch of soccer moms have a meeting inside about preventing gun violence, and making sure your weapons are on display as they leave.

              In almost every instance, someone asserting their right to carry a firearm openly is doing so to intimidate someone else. That someone might be their neighbors, it might be "the government", it might be their ex-wife but their intent is to intimidate someone.

              If you are trying to secure your gun in the trunk of your car, I'm pretty sure you are doing your best not to display it while doing so. Otherwise, you're asking for someone with a crowbar to wreck your trunk the minute you are gone.

              •  None of those threat displays (3+ / 0-)

                are protected by the Second Amendment.

                And frankly, I'm not aware of any court in the country, including SCOTUS, that has found that guns in public for the purpose of political protest is not protected under the First Amendment either.

                IMO, all of the threat displays you mention are disrupting the peace. A gun is potential death. Always. Without a doubt, a gun displayed changes the power structure and the social dynamics. Always.

                Gun activists can't have it both ways.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 12:44:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Typo - no evidnce that gun displays as political (3+ / 0-)

                  protest is protected under the First Amendment.

                  Sorry. Preview is my friend!

                  "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                  by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 01:42:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, but they are. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sharon Wraight, WakeUpNeo

                  Perhaps in your opinion the instances I described are disturbing the peace but in not one of those cases was anyone arrested or cited for disturbing the peace.

                  However, in all of those cases the people around the person carrying the weapon felt intimidated and threatened.

                  The second amendment is absolutist; "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". Not "except for the crazy people", not "except for the stupid people", not "except for guys with really small dicks", not "except where kids are playing baseball" not, "except in bars where people might be stupid drunk" not "except in the house of the God who said 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'"

                  If you really believe in the 2nd amendment, it means anyone, any weapon, anywhere, at any time. You may want to live in that country - I don't.

                  if "guns in public for the purpose of political protest" is not the very definition of a "threat display" I don't know what is.

                  Guns are not free speech any more than money is free speech. I'll respect the man who stands and speaks truth to power with out a gun in his hand long before the man whose idea of exercising his right to free speech is putting women and children between two groups of armed men in the hopes that some of them get killed on TV.

        •  intimidation: "it's complicated" (3+ / 0-)

          I agree with many of the comments in this thread, from various commenters.

          It's strikes me as complicated. There are legal issues (laws, definitions, evidence, policies, charges, etc.), and there are social/ethical/kindness issues (scaring parents and kids even if its legal, etc.).

          Laws in some jurisdictions emphasize (more than others) the impact on those who feel threatened/intimidated. Laws in other jurisdictions emphasize more the intent of the gun-slinger.

          The former is a more stringent criteria, and puts more burden on the gun-slinger to behave in a civilized manner and to be aware of who is around him/her. Carrying a pistol in a city park full of Little League kids (and their parents) is different than carrying a rifle in the woods during hunting season, of course. Many more issues come into play -- perhaps even the size, gender, ethnicity, and history of those who might feel intimidated. This raises uncomfortable, sensitive social issues.

      •  I think they're nuts, but IANAMD. (3+ / 0-)

        Or let me be kind, they have "belief problems."

        "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
        Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
        Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

        by OleHippieChick on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:32:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your first four lines (3+ / 0-)

        are what makes me think they're nuts.

        They cannot just behave like this in the US in the 21st Century without expecting someone to question their effed-up belief system or whatever motives they're running on.

        We're not going backwards, ffs. They'd better wake up.

        "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
        Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
        Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

        by OleHippieChick on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:38:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the links Sharon and Lillith were asking (4+ / 0-)

        for.

        First I got back to the Kos GunFAIL diary.

        Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 04:52 PM HST
        GunFAIL XXIII

        I think Daily Kos might be the only place this stuff is being publicly tracked. But it is STRANGER THAN FICTION.

        Which had the blurb. Then through the comments -- there were the links.

        Youtube of Pratt getting stopped

        It wasn't 3 hours from the video -- the blockquote below is talking about 3 hours from another murder. The other murder was about hotdogs boiling over. Pratt and Pell just got in a shouting match. Pratt killed Pell and them shot himself.

        About three hours later, there was a distraught 911 call from Pratt's mother, who had just left the arguing couple; it appears she heard gunshots after she left the house. When authorities arrived, they
        found both Pell and Pratt dead. Police said it appeared Pratt shot Pell before killing himself. Link
        •  OMG, Robert Pratt, I remember watching that video (4+ / 0-)

          when that was first published.

          When Pratt asked to see a copy of the ordinance, they should have offered him a ride in the Police Car.

          We need to transcribe the video. Pratt claims in the video that he knows Pell. Was Pell a police officer?

          May I just ask what would have happened if a black young man behaved like that toward police officers in that neighborhood?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 02:26:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  At the end of the video the police asked him (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight, 88kathy, WakeUpNeo

          what time of day he planned on taking his walks and Pratt  mentions that he was aware of the time, that with school letting out it could create a possible confrontation...

          He did it on purpose.

          Do we know the date of the video? How much time lapsed between the afternoon when he made this video and he shot and killed Pell?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 02:29:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK, the dates and who's who (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy, Sharon Wraight, WakeUpNeo

          Based on the linked article he Pratt murder suicide probably took place on Monday June 17, 2013.

          The article mentions his Youtube video was posted the prior October, October 2012.

          The Officer Pell to which Pratt refers in the October video is Cassandra Pell's father.

          In June, 2013, Pratt murdered Cassandra Pell who was at the time his girlfriend.

           I'm wondering if all these public displays of belligerence with open carry need to be studied and documented more carefully. What is going on? Testosterone poisoning? Roid rage? Drug Addiction? Undiagnosed suicidal depression?

          When is a pointless provocative threat display a sign of domestic violence or a nervous breakdown?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 02:45:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  tks, 88kathy! awful: Pratt the open-carry murderer (4+ / 0-)

          Thanks for digging up that story/video! It's worth a diary unto itself (anyone?).

          I'm struck by the excruciately forced-casual, exaggeratedly laid-back tone of his voice. He was obviously a lot more high-strung than his (bad) acting suggested.

          He posted another video of himself confronting 2 cops on his property, where he's a lot less cool, and a lot more agitated: http://www.youtube.com/...

          Pratt, the open-carry murderer, uploaded 8 videos to YouTube, mostly about guns or anti-cop. One of them is titled "Cop's daugher shooting", showing her shooting a semi-auto rifle.  Morbid. I presume this is the young woman he murdered, his 'girlfriend', the daughter of one of the cops who talks to him about open-carrying. Another shows a different girl shooting a 12-guage shotgun -- I wonder if this is the same shotgun he open-carried, and also the murder-weapon?

          David nailed it, per 88kathy's link:

          You've seen this sort of thing before, right? An open carry demonstrator "just exercising his rights," carrying his shotgun while walking his dog, and videotaping his encounter with police. It's usually billed as anything from heavy-handed harassment of a law-abiding citizen, to a tyrannical suppression of civil liberties, but most often the encounters evidence kid glove treatment from officers...
          Well, it's all good, of course, because these open carry protesters are educated on the ins and outs of the law, are cool customers, and pretty much the definition of the Responsible Gun Owner.TM Until they're not. And this week, we ran headlong into that awkward moment when the Responsible Gun OwnerTM suddenly becomes a murderer. And then a suicide statistic.
          Several notable Facebook groups posted about this case:
          https://www.facebook.com/... Take Aim on the NRA
          https://www.facebook.com/... 1,000,000 Moms and Dads Against Gun Violence, and Parents Against Gun Violence

          The broader problem isn't the statistical likelihood that any given gun-owner is a murderer. The problem is that you don't know which one is that bad "1 in 1,000" gun-owner/year.†

          (†That's a very rough back-of-envelope calculation, off-the-cuff, based on:
          * roughly 30,000 gun deaths/yr +
          * roughly 100,000 gun injuries/yr =
          * 130,000 people shot or injured, guesswork says maybe 20% involve multiple murders by the same person, so 130,000 - 26,000 = roughly 104,000 nitwits who shoot somebody (or themself) with a gun/year,
          * divided by roughly 1/3 of US who owns a gun so about 100 million people.
          * 104,000 / 100 million is roughly 1/1,000.
          Did I get that right? If even roughly correct, those odds are actually a lot worse than I would have expected. Those are not odds I want to play with death or gun-injuries.)

    •  Little pockets of careless gun owners everywhere. (4+ / 0-)

      Thinking about this situation since yesterday, we have to admit that these loving presumably responsible gun owning parents failed to supervise both their son and their guns.

      Bottom line - the parents, the homeowner, or the renter, whoever's name is on the mortgage or on the lease are responsible for all the guns/ammo in the home, regardless of who brought it there, regardless of who paid for it.

      Gun owners who are parents who give their kid a gun safe are failing to secure their firearms. That's the simple fact.

      In Connecticut now, the parents could be prosecuted for failing to secure their guns.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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