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.
Your right on TARGET again Brad, this fool could have wiped out most of the school kids or the person he had a beef with if he really wanted to do so. These cops got lucky he didn’t take them out.
The phrase “not guilty by reason of insanity” immediately comes to mind. Also the word “meshuga,” which roughly translates to “this guy’s nuttier than a boatload of filberts.”
We Cubans only try to invade our own country. But this guy was verifiably a LUNATIC!!!!!!!!!. To add to our gun loving misery he’s the one the gun grabbers are going to say represents all gun owners. To that I say this. Thanks (insert LUNATICS name here) for giving them more reasons to try and take our rights away.
It is great they caught this guy before he hurt anyone, assuming that was his intent. How they locked him up doesn’t appear to be anything to celebrate–what prevents ordinary gun owners from the same charges? I often go to the range with more than 500 rounds of ammo (that’s only one bulk box of .22), and occasionally “an arsenal” of handguns. In my town it is almost impossible to get from one end to another without crossing a school zone.
Of course, do you often call the police to notify them you have a dispute with another person? I think this guy had something else (or something less, perhaps) going on upstairs to motivate him on this one.
I see your point about the ammo (I do the same thing with my .22LR Golden Boy), but from the tenor of the story, I assumed that he didn’t show up with seven guns, but ammo for only the two .22LR semi-autos. And when some crackpot calls the cops to come and play backup in his Master Plan to git sum frontier justice, I’m gonna go with the cops on this one. In a way, they were lucky he stepped on the school zone ordinance, because it gave them a solid reason to put him away. Otherwise, we might have seen the ACLU argue that his civil rights were violated.
If the story is remotely accurate, the guy was a problem–I’m not arguing that.
But the ‘firearms free zone’ charge appears to be effectively unavoidable if you are driving somewhere with guns for a legitimate reason–What is the *legal* difference between a crazy man driving past a school with a carload of guns and ammo and one of us driving to the range with a carload of guns and ammo? I get nervous when my rights are dependent on the discretion of police and prosecutors.
Point well-taken, Sevesteen. But to be clear, this guy loaded up his vehicle, had the arsenal in plain sight, called the police (who already had reports that this guy was spoiling for a fight with the police and had made threatening remarks about the police), and he asked the police to join him at the address of a guy with whom he was having a disagreement.
In short, the guy was askin’ for it.
There’s a wonderful passage in Atlas Shrugged that pertains to this issue. In the book, an industrialist, Hank Rearden, has invented a new alloy, Readen Metal, that is stronger, lighter, and cheaper than steel. The government and his competitors want to get their hands on the process. He holds the patent. As the economy worsens, the government imposes draconian laws on producers, punishing the efficient ones, and rewarding the inefficient. They send a government watchdog to Rearden’s factory to make sure he’s playing ball. At one point in the story, Rearden remarks to the watchdog that the government’s rules are set up in such a way so as to make it impossible for him to obey all of them – obeying one, means breaking another. The watchdog grins and explains that this is the intent of the government. By doing so, they have a way to control you, no matter what you do.
If you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged, please do so. It’s an awesome book, and a gripping read – think Tom Clancy with a philosophical agenda. Oh, and if you’re not the reading type, on April 15th, the first part of a planned trilogy will be in movie theatres – Atlas Shrugged: Part I. You’ll wonder how a story published in 1957 could be so dead-on accurate regarding what’s happening in our country – and the world – today.
I’m an avid reader, and I’ve read a large part of Atlas Shrugged. Being controlled by laws impossible to comply with is exactly the point I was making. As a practical matter, I’ve got the right to carry concealed in a majority of states. Technically there’s no way I can do that completely legally, because the wording of the gun free schools act doesn’t account for reciprocity.
And despite my agreement with the overall philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is an awful book. “Water is wet. This is how water is wet. Another contrived example of wetness. Can’t you see that water is wet?” I plan to eventually finish it, but as a duty rather than enjoyment.
500 rounds of ammunition? I can go through that on a good day at the range. If it’s .22, that costs about $18 at Walmart.
So exactly how many rounds of ammunition do YOU think a person should carry without being Really Scary?