“A grand jury on Wednesday charged Michael Steven Sandford, 20, with disrupting an official function and two firearm possession counts, U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said. Together, the charges could get him up to 30 years in prison.” Trying to explain his motivation in trying to grab a cop’s gun to shoot Donald Trump, Sandford, a Brit whose parents say he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, reportedly told his father, Paul Davey, that ‘Someone had to stand up for America’.
Mr. Davey sees darker forces at work here.
‘I have never heard him talk like that before. I can’t understand why he was so motivated and politicized that he thought grabbing a gun from a policeman was a good idea.’
Mr Davey said, after spending an hour talking to his son that he believes Michael was brainwashed.
‘I think the people he met, and was living with, may know what motivated Michael. Did someone start feeding him information? Did they set him up for it? I really think he has been brainwashed.
But despite a history of illness, even Sandford’s own attorney doesn’t see an insanity defense in his future.
Sandford’s appointed lawyer, Heather Fraley, said Sandford previously attempted suicide and once ran away from a hospital in England.
However, Fraley said she believed Sandford is competent for trial.
With the scant attention an assassination attempt against a major party candidate has gotten in this case, gun owners should probably be thankful that Sandford, or someone like him, didn’t choose Hillary Clinton for their target. If that had been the case, we’d have been treated to weeks of coverage about America’s toxic culture, our permissive firearms laws, the acrimonious tenor of this season’s political debate, mysogyny, the NRA and climate change as contributing factors. Bullet dodged?