“‘A stupid act,’ is how Shelby Township’s Police Chief describes what a military veteran and his two buddies did Thursday night with a vintage tank called ‘Lonely Bull’ and its mounted 50 caliber machine gun.” Roger that: driving down the street firing blanks from a tank won’t earn you any thanks. Not that there’s anything wrong with celebrating Independence Day with a little military display. It’s simply a question of context. For example, how many times have you heard on-screen tank commanders yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie house? Bottom line: “[John] Lind is now in custody on a $100,000 cash or surety bond.” No mention of a breathalyzer test, for some reason.

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60 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: John Lind

  1. As a soldier it always irks me when people call everything a tank. That is not a tank! End of rant.

    • I cringed when I read a wheeled-vehicle being described as a ‘tank’. Side-effect of being a history nerd.

      • More like a side effect of being knowledgeable. Only an idiot would call a wheeled vehicle a tank and actually believe they were being accurate.

      • Technically you are correct but the M-20 is an M-8 without a turret with the Ma Deuce replacing the rather useless 37 mm anti-tank gun

    • Thanks tdiinva for correcting the misidentification of an armored car as a “tank”. Obviously, there’s no surprise that the ABC News people got it wrong, but I was surprised the Police were going along with the misnomer.

      Given Mr. Lind’s credentials, it is a surprise he would do such a stupid thing, and no doubt it will cost him more than it could ever have been worth. So it goes.

  2. TO: Anyone
    RE: Driving On the Street

    Was the vehicle ‘street legal’ and licensed?

    As for firing ‘blanks’. What’s the problem with that?

    The only charge I can see, based on the information provided—if the vehicle was licensed—would be:

    • Disturbing the Peace
    • Creating a Panic

    Neither of those worthy of the bail posted.

    If the vehicle was not licensed, then the tank and weapons could be seized. [NOTE: And I’ll wager the police would end up on possession.]

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The Truth will out….these cops are idiots….]

    • Really. It was NOT a machine gun, it did NOT fire blanks (only compressed air according to the news report). So there was no “gun” crime. Worst case scenario is disturbing the peace, and maybe a moving violation.

      • TO: Mark N
        RE: The ‘Gun’

        Thanks for the information.

        Worst case I see is that they operated an unlicensed vehicle on the public thoroughfares. Justifying seizure by the authorities.

        I’d hate to lose such a charming armored vehicle to that sort of stupidity.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        [Drive defensively; buy a tank.]

  3. OK, really stupid idea. However, I suspect that the only thing they can actually convict him of will be disturbing the peace (stupidity is obviously not a crime in the US – observe the President and his Cabinet members).

    Pedantic WWII history buff note: That is NOT a “tank”, no matter what the idiotic media talking heads call it. It is an armored scout car – looks like a version of the M-20 Armored Utility Vehicle.

  4. Here are two more for the files:

    1) Don’t fire into the air:
    Toddler shot on Fourth of July watching fireworks
    “What goes up, must come down,” Stephen Sutton, from Oklahoma City, said. “A bullet doesn’t just disappear when it leaves a gun. It has land somewhere. Until people learn that and stop shooting guns in the air, there will be more accidents like this. People need to practice gun safety, not gun stupidity.””

    2) Just having a concealed firearm won’t protect you – you need proper training as well: Oakland: Security guard charged with murder in Wingstop slayings: “At the restaurant, the two became concerned for their safety after a brief conversation with another customer at the restaurant.
    That man left but Gurley and the man with him, apparently believing the man might come back armed, took refuge in a walk-in freezer at the back of the restaurant, police said.
    When the two employees came to get them to leave, Gurley, who had a pistol, shot them, killing them instantly.
    Authorities said Gurley apparently shot the employees, not realizing they were not the man he had exchanged words with earlier.”

    So, two innocent people dead, and the shooter’s life in tatters – all because he thought that merely owning a gun and learning enough to be able to hit what he aimed at would make him safer. The knowledge that there are lots more people just like this guy packing heat does not make be feel safer.

    • Wish more people in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez had the same complicated grasp of physics you demonstrate in your first point. Always strikes me as funny that the only place you can’t have a gun is Fort Bliss Army Base. I think atomic bombs are allowed, though.

  5. “Hey Scooter, hold my beer and watch this!” Of course they’d think it was a terrorist attack. Shelby Township is the political and economic centers of………….Where is Shelby Township anyway?
    Only saving grace was the guy who said “everyone was waiting for someone to shoot back at him!” Hold that thought my friend. Hold that thought.

    • And the .9 caliber handgun strikes again.

      “Police said Fox was armed with a Smith and Wesson Sigma .9 cal in an open carry holster on his belt, and a Glock .40 cal with a Roni Short Barrel Rifle attached on a sling around his shoulder.”

      • The heat and humidity combine to induce a type of crazy that is simply not found anywhere else.

      • It’s a State built on speculation, groundless exuberance, land fraud and a constant stream of rootless outsiders. That’s got to have something to do with it. Either that or there’s something really awful in the water and they built the whole State on top of an ancient cursed burial mound

  6. It’s not really a gun, it looks like a propane powered pipe disguised to look like a machine gun. It wasn’t even firing blanks, it was just exhausting gas to look like it was firing.

  7. The bad part of this dummies sense of humor in driving his antique armored vehicle down main street is how we’ll be hearing from Alex Jones in a week that it was Russian troops hired by barry to put down a revolt in the American Heartland. Survivors of the massacre were herded into Fema Deathcamps. Cause every town has one, you know.

    • One of the FEMA “death camps” sites was my SHTF duty station if the end of the world was nigh.

        • No need to have such facilities. The warhead from the Soviet/Russian SS-18 was sufficient to take care of all the inmates.

        • Plus all the staff manning the camp. Neat. Gets rid of the victims and witnesses at once.

        • Humor aside, the sleeping quarters were suitable for that concentration camp atmosphere. I always took a sleeping bag and slept under a table in my organization’s spaces.

        • I was actually activated into FEMA during the flooding in West Virginia in the early 80’s. FEMA manpower is all state and Federal employees for the duration of the disaster.

          We staged out of an old unused insane asylum. That place had been closed for years and it was hitchc0ck creepy in there.

  8. Chief de Popo with no brains or balls. Homeowner idiots, a propane MG does not sound like a 50cal. Scout Car owner not so bright. Forget about it.

    Where they heck is Shelby Township (Ohio ?) that has such a concentration of idiots?

  9. A couple of thoughts

    First up: If you really think someone in an armored vehicle is firing on you with an M2 machinegun while you are armed only with a pistol AND you’re not reenacting Saving Private Ryan, the correct response is run to cover.

    Next off: If you think a bunch of OFWGs in WWII vintage uniforms driving a fully restored armored vehicle at a 4th of July gathering is a possible terrorist attack you need to speak with your Dr. about upping your meds, they aren’t working anymore.

    Lastly, since that isn’t a gun and it seems incredible that causing a panic was anyone’s intention (for that matter it’s arguable that a reasonable person could have foreseen that it would cause a panic), what we have here are a couple of minor misdemeanors, if that. I don’t know the local ordinances but I’m pretty sure that playing with your non-hazardous trick noise maker in public on the 4th isn’t exactly an odd thing to do.

    • Although any ridiculous responses from the public likely came from ignorance, I have a question based on having used both an M107 and an M2… What exactly would you use as cover if you thought someone was shooting at you with a .50BMG?

      • If someone were actually trying to shoot people from an armored vehicle, they cannot put bullets everywhere and they cannot shoot what they cannot see. So any cover that conceals you has a very high likelihood of saving your bacon.

  10. Ok, you guys are probably going to hate this despite my hope that any charges get dropped and that he gets all his property back, but…

    I don’t know how the laws are where he is, but it may not matter if it was a functional firearm or not. Think of it like an armed robbery, does it matter to the victim if the gun was operable? Or unloaded? Or an airsoft gun with the orange safety tip cut off? Or even if the bad guy really, honestly, swear to God wasn’t really intending to shoot anyone?

    Depending on how the law was written where this man lives, it could easily be the same as if he was firing blanks out of an authentic M2. Although personally, I would be a bit less concerned if I saw that, because the blank adapter is gigantic and easy to see. It may be that the important part is whether or not people were placed in a reasonable fear for their safety, and that means it could be very important if they choose to be victims or not for the court.

    If this happened in WA, and the people who called it in could be calmed down enough, it could be enough to get everything dropped. If not, he could be convicted without a great deal of trouble.

    And again, I hope this particular case goes nowhere.

    • You are referring to “facsimiles” in law. Common sense would dictate that in order for the state to prosecute someone for wielding a facsimile, the state would have to prove that the “perpetrator” actually intended people to believe that their facsimile was real and that the “perpetrator” actually intended to harm someone.

      I do not think either applies in this situation.

      An example might help to clarify this. One Halloween a group of teenagers came to our door a couple hours after all trick-or-treating had stopped (around 9:30 p.m.) and our porch light was off because it was too late and we were out of candy. I greeted them pleasantly and told them that it was late and we didn’t have any more candy. The teen in front began asking if we had alternate items. The teen’s last question, as he raised what was presumably a toy gun to my face, was, “Do you have any money?”. Two friends who are LEOs told me that the criminal justice system would absolutely have considered that armed robbery because he was holding a gun “or a reasonable facsimile”. As a result, I could have used force to defend myself. Lucky for the teen, I wasn’t armed at that moment. However, I did have a one-million candlepower spotlight in my hand which was shining in his face (from two feet) within two seconds of his question. That took the wind out of his sails. And his friends started laughing at him and even insulting him for being stupid. They never came back. I guess that was the best possible outcome.

  11. So somehow this guy committed some criminal act. And yet when our military flew over Houston and Miami in full blown exercises firing blanks from helicopters — without telling the public what they were doing — that was A-OK.

    Whatever the charges, this guy’s attorney should point to those “exercises” for his defense.

    All I can see here is a citation for “Disturbing the Peace”.

  12. Everyone in that ‘hood knows he has that vehicle and knows it has been local parades with it. It is a ridiculous overreaction. I live in MI, not that far from there.

  13. This guy wins the DA award for 2013! And the year is not over.

    Make him do community service, for the rest of his life.
    And write on the towns billboard. “I will not be a DA again.” a 1000s times.

  14. Almost a year has passed, Police Chief, Officer in charge are gone from their positions, Command Sgt is patrolman now. Disturbing the peace was the charge, $300 fine All the equipment was returned and placed in museum.

  15. Always interesting when people comment on half ass reporting by local media. When the truth came out, that the local police blew the story and run in front of the cameras to sound a little sympathetic, the local media dropped the story. Local judge got the story right, Police Chief and LT in charge fired or retired, command SGT now patrolman.

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