I hardly know where to begin on this one. I mean, it’s not every day that something so tailor-made for TTAG literally just drops into my lap. Sah-weet! Okay, for lack of a more original approach, we’ll take the Sound of Music approach and start at the very beginning, to wit…
The KTAL-TV (Texarkana/Shreveport) Ark-La-Tex Homepage reports:
A Claiborne Parish man is behind bars after officers discovered him in possession of numerous firearms near a Shreveport elementary school.
At approximately 8:56 a.m. this morning, the suspect, John Wiese, called Shreveport Police dispatch and requested a patrol supervisor meet him in the 700 block of Thora Boulevard, but refused to give any more information.
Several patrol officers responded to the call and they ultimately located Wiese standing outside of a vehicle parked there on Thora Boulevard. There were numerous long guns and a handgun prominently displayed on the closed trunk of the car and officers, not knowing what his intentions might be, immediately secured Weise.
But there’s more to the story. Over the past few days, LEO-types have been gathering intel on Wiese, indicating there was something going on…as in “lots of guns and weird behavior,” going on. Then the man in question calls police and asks them to meet him in front of someone else’s house. His story? The suspect indicated that he had a beef with an individual at this address. Unfortunately for Weise, the cops were already aware that he was acting a little screwy. Oh, and then there was his small arsenal in the car.
Apparently Weise wanted to be ready for bear. Or prairie dogs. Or ready to stage his own home invasion. (Dude: note for future reference…calling in the police as backup when you’re gonna break the law is just…just…too weird for words, man.) The police found Weise had about 500 rounds of ammunition (be prepared, sure, boy-o, but for what? An invasion from Cuba?) plus a bolt action .308 rifle, a semi-automatic .308 rifle, two semi-automatic .22 rifles, a .460 magnum revolver, a .45 semi-automatic pistol, a 12 gauge pump shotgun, and a crossbow. (What? You left the grenade launcher and thermonuclear warheads back at the ranch?)
The cops had intel that the Wiese-inator was heavily armed. Of course, that’s like saying “the last time it rained like this, Noah built a boat.” Never one to miss a cue, Shreveport police immediately took Weise into custody. (Thankfully, this isn’t the U.S. Mexico border, where the ATF would be helping him sell his guns to Mexican drug cartels.)
Through the miracle of modern GPS technology, Shreveport’s finest determined that Weise and his rolling arsenal were within 1000 feet of South Highlands Elementary Magnet School. Can you say “Gun-Free Zone” boys and girls? I knew you could.
SPD said they have no indication that the nutjob o’ the day had any plans to turn the school into an abatoir, but instead wanted to “bring to their attention” the dispute he was having with the man living on Thora street. (Dude…”bring to their attention?” Talk about overkill. What do you do for an encore? Self-immolation?)
Here’s the kicker: the Homer, Louisiana native was booked into the Shreveport City Jail on one count of carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon in a firearm-free zone.
One count? ONE COUNT?! I’m no math whiz, but I seem to recall that the law counts each gun as an individual offense. You boys savin’ the rest up for an encore, or were you taking pity on the mentally-infirm? By my count, I make seven firearms. Plus the crossbow. (Robin…is that a bolt in your tights, or are you just glad to see me?) And lets not forget the 500 rounds of ammo. This boy be spoilin’ for a fight.
And of course, we have to take into account the “Firearms-Free Zone” (read: “target-rich environment”) that is our public school system in Louisiana. Some would say, “hey, the law worked. It allowed police to arrest a guy and get him off the street – someone who might have shot up a house and, inadvertently, shot up a nearby classroom.” Ahhh, horse pucky. You think the police WOULDN’T have arrested this walking ad for straight-jackets if he’d not been parked near a school? All this did was give them more laws he broke on which to hold him. And I guaran-damn-tee you, had his target been the school, not a thing would have stopped him, until it was too late.
In many ways, this story offers a perfect counterpoint to the Giffords shooting. Cops knew about a crazy person. Couldn’t do a thing before he broke the law. They got lucky, and were able to arrest him on a weapons charge, instead of after a murder. Or six. And the gun-free zone nonsense didn’t really enter into the story, except to prove it’s ineffectiveness, and the fact that bad guys don’t read and obey signs.
Let’s chalk this one up to competent police work, catching a lucky break, and a whack job that did us all a favor and called the police BEFORE he started shooting up the joint.