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Is Anyone Really Surprised?

The media proceeded, per usual, to get nearly everything wrong. First there was a shooter, then two shooters, then three, then maybe just two. There was an AR, then a double barreled shotgun. Then maybe a double barreled AR? (OK, I didn’t see that one to be fair). But in the end, it seems like it’s just one crazy dude. What’s interesting about this case is that it looks like he was charged with malicious mischief, which if of the second or third degree (which I think would qualify here) is a felony and would amount of a disabling offense for the purposes of firearms ownership. So did Seattle authorities follow through with charges? Or did they plea him down to third degree malicious mischief, which would not be disabling?

19 Responses to “Is Anyone Really Surprised?”

  1. The Jack says:

    There’s also the musical chairs on where he came from New York, Texas, Washington. And where the guns came from.

    Though the rush to “OMG it’s a terrorist team!” is bound to help fuel conspiracy theories. Joy.

  2. Matthew Carberry says:

    And it appears he started with a Biden Special (a shotgun anyway), targeted the security guard as the open threat and to get his pistol and at some point also took a rifle off another wounded officer.

  3. Andy B. says:

    At the moment I’m thinking we should all be quiet and not make any definitive comments for at least a day or so. Clicking around the news channels I don’t get the impression anyone is crediting that Seattle story, and on Fox News, I saw side-by-side photos of the guy that didn’t look like the same person to me. I’m thinking the name may be common enough that local authorities around the country have been jumping into the story with reports on their locals by that name.

  4. Tam says:

    They should make it illegal to steal high-capacity magazines off dead cops.

  5. The Washington Post identifies the guy as having been an active-duty Navy reservist from 2003 until 2007. I have a hard time understanding how he could even enlist if the info from Seattle is correct. This isn’t the old days when a guy was given the choice of joining the military or going to jail or juvenile hall.

  6. Patrick H says:

    Also I heard he was discharged- possibly dishonorably. I know you can’t buy guns I you are- but what does that do with possession? Illegal too?

    • harp1034 says:

      In order to get a dishonorable discharge he would have to have a major felony conviction. We don’t know much at this time.

    • Andy B. says:

      I don’t know the statistic, but I’m pretty sure that among discharges before full term of enlistment, dishonorable discharges are a very small percentage. Remember that back in the ’70s, the Navy and possibly other services were putting guys out early just because they didn’t need them — too many had joined the Navy to avoid being drafted into the jungles of Southeast Asia. And in the early ’90s, after Gulf War I was over, I know Marine recruits could get out just by saying they’d changed their minds.

    • J says:

      As always rushing to judgment in the early hours of something like this is almost pure folly. I have read conflicting reports that he was dishonorable discharged and generally discharged. If he was dishonorably discharged you are correct, he can neither buy nor possess a firearm. The relevant verbiage from the GCA

      TD ATF-391
      Section 922(g) of the GCA prohibits certain persons from shipping
      or transporting any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce, or
      receiving any firearm which has been shipped or transported in
      interstate or foreign commerce, or possessing any firearm in or
      affecting commerce. These prohibitions apply to any person who–
      Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable
      conditions;

      If, on the other hand, he received a general discharge, he is not prevented from owning firearms federally nor am I aware of any states that prohibit those with a general discharge from owning or possessing a firearm. If the reports that he was a contractor are true it is, in my opinion, unlikely that he received a dishonorable discharge. Andy B. is right, by the way, dishonorable discharges are a very small percentage of discharges and actually somewhat difficult to get.

  7. divemedic says:

    It wasn’t the press this time. I have been stuck at home with an ear infection, and saw the press conference where the DC police chief said that they had multiple data points indicating that there were three shooters.

  8. Ben Moser says:

    It is with great caution that I view this, It has the potential to awaken the dun ban crowd. The thing that may curtail this is the fact of a military member attacked Fort Hood. Now a former military member attacked a naval base in the nations capital. Maj Hassans rampage was labeled ” work place violence “. I think that the powers that be, and the media may have to down play this so as to deflect from this shooting, to hide military security lapses and lack of help for troubled veterans.

  9. Gerald says:

    “Then maybe a double barreled AR? (OK, I didn’t see that one to be fair).”

    On CNN’s banner, the gun was referred to as an “AR-15 shotgun”. You were pretty close.

    • Bitter says:

      *facepalm* Wow, that’s bad. I guess what really irritates me about that stuff is that even the style guides they use get the overwhelming majority of basic gun facts right. So when you see these, they are instances where these producers and staff choose to make up their own interpretation of reality rather than using the professional knowledge at their fingertips. They are both lazy and working with an agenda.

  10. RAH says:

    Too many of us are saying that a universal background would not caught this man since he had federal background check and a ccw. Bad argument. This butresses the idea that people can not be trusted with guns since one person who passes these checks got a shotgun and murdered 12 people. The Navy Yard did have armed security . It failed. Finally the guy was shot but it took a while.
    Plus this was a smart guy enough to get a shotgun and he had id to get into the base and got another id to get into the building. Then got the handgun and rifle from security.

  11. Joe says:

    As a Navy vet I can tell you that dishonorable discharges are extremely rare and can only result from a felony conviction at a court martial. Below a court martial we have what’s known as NJP, or non-judicial punishment. In the Navy it’s referred to as Captain’s Mast or simply “Mast”. Most people who get into trouble while in usually go to mast and get something like a reduction in rank, some pay docked, or confined to base for a number of days.

    Just about everyone I knew of who got into trouble, whether it was DUI, a fight off-base, or anything else, went to mast. Those who really screwed up and get kicked out usually got what’s known as an “admin” or “general” discharge, sometimes under “less than honorable” conditions. Based on federal firearms laws none of those categories would deny you the right to own a firearm, since none of them resulted from a felony conviction (just like civilians).

    • J says:

      All of this is correct. The only thing I’ll add is that some states have prohibitions against veterans with Bad Conduct Discharges buying or possessing firearms. IIRC, characterization of service from good to very bad are: Honorable, General, Other than Honorable, Bad Conduct Discharge and Dishonorable.

      • Joe says:

        J, good catch. I knew it wasn’t Less than Honorable. Other than Honorable is the correct term.

        And I believe the process of being “administratively separated” still gets attached to one of the types of discharges you listed above. In some cases you can actually petition a board as a civilian to re-classify your discharge down the road.

        Plus you also have the whole Re-Enlistment code ball of wax, i.e. RE-1 through RE-4. Most honorable discharges get an RE-1 (can re-enlistment at any time) barring some physical issue. I believe the bad discharges get RE-3s and RE-4s, preventing any kind of re-enlistment, though I don’t recall the details of each one.

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