Join 3,524 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


teenager opening fire on two West Memphis police
June 30, 2010 9:06 PM   Subscribe

"At this point, his 16-year-old son Joseph Kane comes out shooting with an AK-47." A dashcam video from a police SUV shows a teenager opening fire on two West Memphis police officers before taking off in a van with his father. Subsequent helicopter footage reveals a third occupant of the van escaping unharmed. The Game and Fish Officer who rammed his truck into the van most likely saved the lives of two wounded officers. Full Text.

"With Busby and Wren under fire and wounded, Arkansas Game and Fish officer Michael K. Neal rammed his pickup into the Kanes' minivan.

The assailants then turned their attention and their weapons on Neal.

One of them sprayed the front of his truck and windshield with bullets from an AK-47, Game and Fish Col. Mike Knoedl said, prompting Neal to return fire, a step that was fundamental in "ending this shooting spree and attack on law enforcement."

.."All you have to do is look at that picture," the governor said, referring to an image of Neal's bullet-riddled truck that was projected on a screen in the commission's auditorium. "That's the fire he was taking." Neal, a father of three and the son of a coroner, was on duty in Lee County when he heard the radio traffic. He talked to his sergeant, then warned his wife that he was joining the cavalry two counties over.

Neal said fighting fires in Brinkley, patrolling the roads of Monroe County as a part-time deputy and cracking down on deer poachers and night hunters for the past three years had helped prepare him for what he did that day.

The expert marksman did exactly what he was taught to do in such a situation - fire through the windshield from the inside of his truck.

"My training kicked in, and I went into action," he said.
posted by thisisdrew (77 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gotta say, game wardens really do deal with guys with guns all the time, so it's no surprise to me that he had the mojo to handle this.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:11 PM on June 30, 2010


I got a chuckle when I saw the "third occupant," thanks.

It looked like a paparazzi scrum towards the end of that Liveleak link.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:31 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ. Check out this charming comment from the first Youtube link:

22 minutes ago Im glad such heros elimiated the human shit I would call police officers. they died heros.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:33 PM on June 30, 2010


Sad deal, but it really sounds like the game warden didn't have a choice.

I dealt with a game warden once, even though I've never hunted in my life. My friends and I obtained an old boat for free on Craigslist and spent several weekends of our fall semester fixing it up--we had to patch a fairly sizeable crack on the back and clean the weeds out of the inside of the boat. Fiberglass patching kits smell absolutely terrible.

Anyway, after probably a month of work on and off, we finally had it seaworthy, and cautiously floated it out on a nearby lake. Surprised that it actually stayed afloat, we mounted a trolling motor on it and a few of my friends took off in the water, towing a small inflatable dinghy we had also bought on Craigslist for about 25 bucks (can you tell yet that we refreshed Craigslist about every 5 minutes during the day?) Obligatory photo

Of course, in hindsight, this wasn't a great idea. I happened to be on the shore taking pictures with my DSLR and didn't notice the green truck parked nearby. The game warden watched for a while and then told me he needed to have a talk with "my sailor friends" so I signaled them and they came over to the dock (Second obligatory photo) and he went over to investigate.

"Do you guys have life vests for everyone on board? " (no, they only had 2)

"Do you have a fire extinguisher? A whistle? " (umm....no....)

"I think maybe you better just pull it out of the water right now. " (Yes sir...)

Turns out, the thing hadn't been registered since 1978 or so, and I think he could have written about 6 tickets for the ordeal. He only gave us one for about $200, and told us that the only reason he was doing it was so he didn't have to come drag our bodies out of the water later.

Very professional guy and I was pretty impressed. One of my friends had to go sit in the truck with the warden while he wrote the ticket, and he later said the guy pretty much had an armory in the back of the cab.

The owner of record for the boat turned out to be deceased, and after several days of tracing the boat through the years, we discovered that it was not stolen, but the deed had simply been lost in the shuffle some time after it was traded in at a car dealership (Side note: You can do that? Why do I never see boats parked next to Fords and Chevys?) We did some research and apparently the process of filing for a lost title takes two years, during which the rightful owner can come forward and claim the property.

We kind of gave up on it and it's actually still parked at an apartment complex that none of us live at, next to a very nice looking bass boat.
posted by DMan at 9:35 PM on June 30, 2010 [17 favorites]


Man, how will the West Memphis prosecutors blame this one on Satan Worship?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:36 PM on June 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Third obligatory photo, or how three engineers store an inflatable raft in a dorm room when they're too lazy to deflate it each time
posted by DMan at 9:37 PM on June 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Does this have anything to do with the recent SCOTUS ruling? /hamburger

Also, the video link is a bit scammy.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:40 PM on June 30, 2010


So another Christian Patriot vehicle stop shooting. This sort of thing will be increasing for the next nine months. The Patriots (one of the roots of the Tea Party madness) are in their typical trajectory: having stirred things up with the Tea Party for the last year, they are now getting frustrated and paranoid.

At the bottom, this is the same milieu as the Posse Comitatus, one of the offshoots of Christian Identity started by William Potter Gale. The loon who crashed his plane into the IRS building was also coming out of this background.

The Tea Party people think these folks are cool due to their anti-federal rhetoric, but don't seem to be able to suss out the hard core white supremacy and anti-Semitism that goes along with it. Same deal as all the NRA-Republicans who vocally supported the militias without understanding until the Oklahoma City and Atlanta bombings rubbed their noses in it.

Same toilet, new stain.

on preview: that obnoxious comment the hengeman noted is likely one of the Patriot ilk.

(nb: they call themselves Christian Patriots so idiots will defend them when criticized. eg: Are you anti-Christian? as one not very bright Christian Right pastor said to me when I tried to clue him in on his new-found friends...)
posted by warbaby at 9:41 PM on June 30, 2010 [15 favorites]


Holy shit. What on earth were they trying to get away from? Is this a case of the father telling the kid to open up, or the kid going nuts and then his father covering for him in a panic? What a waste of life. I'm just glad none of the police officers were killed. I don't think their body armour can stop an AK-47 round.
posted by Dasein at 9:45 PM on June 30, 2010


“This guy was the best friend I had on the planet,” says William Ligiu Ionescu, a California blogger and former host on the now defunct “We The People Radio Network”. “I’m telling you, those officers did something outside the ordinary where Jerry and Joe were practiced, because Jerry did everything by the book with paper. They had the paper to prove they were in the right.”

Ionescu says Jerry Kane kept the ashes of his deceased wife and their baby girl in his car. If West Memphis Police pulled Kane over and tried to search his car, Ionescu says Kane would have told the officers to get a warrant or give him a cash payment before allowing entry into his vehicle.


What the? "Cash payment"? Is this a law anywhere?

Ionescu goes on to say, ”He could understand everything I speak, the way I articulate myself, the things that I know…he could understand. His boy could, too. Joe was a brilliant boy. These were intellectuals.”

Americans have a right to carry guns,” says Ionsecu, “but police don’t. Having a gun is a privilege for the police. And these officers have not been properly trained on how to handle people like Jerry who did everything by the book. He knew more about being a police officer than police officers do.”


From here.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:47 PM on June 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm just glad none of the police officers were killed.

Two were killed.

I initially read the FPP as "none were killed" as well. Two cops were injured after two were killed.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:48 PM on June 30, 2010


In the "third occupant" link, what are we looking at at 1:19, when the camera zooms in on the occupants?
posted by Dasein at 9:49 PM on June 30, 2010


Two were killed.

Oh, fuck. I understood the news report to say that the guys who opened fire were the only ones killed. I hadn't seen the other links. That's terrible.

.
posted by Dasein at 9:51 PM on June 30, 2010


Guns don't spray the front of his truck and windshield with bullets from an AK-47, Game and Fish Col. Mike Knoedl said, prompting Neal to return fire... etc
posted by pompomtom at 9:52 PM on June 30, 2010


Kane claimed he was a "free man" and asked for $100,000 per day in gold or silver, Kelly said.

Oh, he's one of those: Freeman on the land (FMOL) - a special kind of idiocy where people believe that if the court doesn't print your name in all caps it isn't really you and other such groaners.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:01 PM on June 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


A sixteen-year-old kid came out of a van with a fucking AK-47 with the intent of murdering police officers.

Gun control laws are still controversial in this country.

Even better? Arkansas just recently had a debate -- a debate! -- over whether concealed weapons should be allowed in churches. Because, you know, WWJD.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:04 PM on June 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did this sort of Christian terrorism happen at all during the Bush administration?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:13 PM on June 30, 2010


Your second link was a laugh-fest, Rhomboid. I never knew.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:15 PM on June 30, 2010


From reading those godawful FMOL forums apparently part of their doctrine is also that if you never register your vehicle then you have not entered into commerce with the state and can maintain your freeman status as a sovereign entity who is not under the jurisdiction of any laws, so that explains the initial stop for having an unregistered vehicle.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:16 PM on June 30, 2010


The Arkansas Online link is archived and behind a paywall, FYI.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:20 PM on June 30, 2010


Speechless.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:23 PM on June 30, 2010


The Arkansas Online link is archived and behind a paywall, FYI.

The next link contains the fulltext.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:25 PM on June 30, 2010


Thanks. My bad.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:26 PM on June 30, 2010


Gun control laws are still controversial in this country. Even better? Arkansas just recently had a debate -- a debate! -- over whether concealed weapons should be allowed in churches. Because, you know, WWJD.

A 2007 church shooting in Colorado was stopped by a volunteer security guard with a concealed-carry handgun. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Also, it's more than unreasonable to assume that "gun control laws" are going to stop somebody like this. This guy jumped out of his van and went on a full-on cop-killing rampage, apparently because he thinks the government is invalid since the flag has gold fringe on it -- this is not a law-abiding (or sanity-abiding) fellow, to say the least. I suspect that gun control laws would've been just one more thing that only applied to his "strawman" in a "Court of Admiralty" or whatever...
posted by vorfeed at 10:39 PM on June 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


Did this sort of Christian terrorism happen at all during the Bush administration?

A very good question and the answer is "no". Or if it did it received practically no press which is close to the same thing. The larger paranoid political movement that this act came out of... these are quiescent during war-starting, economy-wrecking periods. They only rise up when when we're trying to put the howitzers away and rebuild the home front.

Read this and this and this.
posted by clarknova at 10:46 PM on June 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is there any info on what they did while inside the WalMart? My first thought was that they were purchasing more 7.62MM ammo.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:48 PM on June 30, 2010


The larger paranoid political movement that this act came out of... these are quiescent during war-starting, economy-wrecking periods.

I would say rather that they are quiescent during Republican administrations.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:56 PM on June 30, 2010


I would say rather that they are quiescent during Republican administrations.

Now we're talking in tautologies.
posted by clarknova at 10:58 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously, what the hell? I just can't even process this. In a world where there is real and legitimate oppression world wide, how can these goons even try to claim they are being oppressed? If where you live is so horrifically awful to you, leave. Americans, by and large, are able to do that. Something about freedom and such. Hundreds of millions of people don't have the freedom to escape from true tyranny, meanwhile, these gun toting loons won't stop talking about the evils of paying taxes (for, say, the roads they drive on to get to wal-mart to have their shoot outs).

I'm not a love it or leave it person, but these assholes, and their claim that America has been perverted, I doubt they'd have been happy in the colonies. Either way, America has changed (arguably for the better, seeing as women and minorities are actually human beings with rights now), and these guys are demanding something that isn't coming back, if it was ever here before. By all means, pack up and head off to greener pastures, seriously.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:06 PM on June 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


These guys were Sovereign Citizens.
posted by stbalbach at 11:16 PM on June 30, 2010


Burhanistan: Is there any info on what they did while inside the WalMart? My first thought was that they were purchasing more 7.62MM ammo.

Also: why didn't the police arrest them while they were split up? Why wait for them to finish their Wal-Mart shopping?
posted by paisley henosis at 11:28 PM on June 30, 2010


I can't tell if they were spotted before or after their shopping; if before, they may not have had backup and not wanted to go in while outnumbered or even, while if after, they may not have been able to move in fast enough.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:36 PM on June 30, 2010


Guess today wasn't a good day.
posted by fleacircus at 11:49 PM on June 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


This sort of thing will be increasing for the next nine months

Why nine months? (Just curious.)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:55 PM on June 30, 2010


Even better? Arkansas just recently had a debate -- a debate! -- over whether concealed weapons should be allowed in churches. Because, you know, WWJD.

Semtex the moneylenders out of the temple?
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:58 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apprehending two armed murderers in the middle of a store filled with people would also be a bad idea. If they're driving in the car, they are farther away from bystanders.
posted by meowzilla at 11:58 PM on June 30, 2010


Incomprehensible and sad as hell.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:10 AM on July 1, 2010


Did this sort of Christian terrorism happen at all during the Bush administration?

Yes. It was called the Bush administration.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:51 AM on July 1, 2010 [30 favorites]


maintain your freeman status as a sovereign entity who is not under the jurisdiction of any laws

This is like when my friends and I invented the game diplomatic immunity, which basically involved hitting each other and then immediately yelling "Diplomatic Immunity!" But if you got punched back before you could yell it the retaliatory pummeling was sanctioned.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:06 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


"The Tea Party people think these folks are cool due to their anti-federal rhetoric, but don't seem to be able to suss out the hard core white supremacy and anti-Semitism that goes along with it."

They can suss it out, I think, they mostly just pretend like they can't. Same with Glenn Beck.

If you go to Stormfront, you'll see that a lot of the people there think of them as naturally aligned with white supremacists to the point of being another facet of the same movement. Whether the feeling is mutual, I'm not sure, but I think it is.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:53 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bonus points for saying it like the guy at the end of Lethal Weapon 2.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:00 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, did the cops shoot them or their strawmen?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:43 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Disturbing: Jerry and Joe Kane Memorial:
Where's the patrol car cam video?
Where's the audio?
Where;s the traffic cam video?

All they are doing is SAYING what they think happened. Where's the evidence?
Have they buried it?

I will honorably accept the truth and apologize if the media is right, but first we need to see and hear the proof. Until then it's all speculation except for the proof that Jerry and Joe were massacred by law enforcement agencies that participated in the shootout.
Sheldon
These FMOTL guys are odd, from Rhomboid's link:
6) 'Registration' of anything transfers superior ownership to the entity accepting the registration. Once an item has been registered, you are no longer the OWNER (even though you will still be paying for the item), but instead you become the KEEPER. This includes cars, houses, children (who become 'wards of the state' by virtue of a birth registration), etc. ('regis ...' = handing ownership to The Crown ... which, by the way, is the British Crown in Temple Bar, and NOT Elizabeth II)
The "by the way" is bizarre. this Temple Bar?. Like the monarch derives admittance to London from the Lord Mayor there? I don't get it.

These FMOTL dudes are worse than the Objectivists in objecting to society. Altogether disturbing.
posted by artlung at 5:29 AM on July 1, 2010


Jerry and Joe were Angles (messengers) from Yahweh. Jerry never charged or asked for money for his service. He would say I'll except a donation but it is not necessary I'm here to help you. The house across the street was in foreclosure. Jerry gave of his wealth of knowledge freely to help our neighbors. Our neighbors lived in their home for five years without paying one cent on the mortgage or property taxes.

Our neighbors decided that they did not want to continue the battle for their home. Jerry still had several ideas to save the home.

Jerry and Joe were men of Yahweh and their spirits touched the...
[blah blah blah]

From the guestbook of artlung's link. The guestbook is a slice of Americana that had me shaking my head. I'd love to know what percentage of the USA's citizens think like this.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:08 AM on July 1, 2010


'Registration' of anything transfers superior ownership to the entity accepting the registration. Once an item has been registered, you are no longer the OWNER (even though you will still be paying for the item), but instead you become the KEEPER. This includes cars, houses, children (who become 'wards of the state' by virtue of a birth registration), etc. ('regis ...' = handing ownership to The Crown ... which, by the way, is the British Crown in Temple Bar, and NOT Elizabeth II)

thanks. this thread reminded me i have to renew the registration on my car.... or maybe not.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:38 AM on July 1, 2010


Kane claimed he was a "free man" and asked for $100,000 per day in gold or silver, Kelly said.

Note that the recent Idaho GOP platform advocates payments in gold:
"Let free Idahoans pay taxes, and other fees due to the State, County and City in silver and/or gold in any form: Payments to City, County or State employees requested to be paid in silver and or gold will be complied with ... "
Note also that Sharon Angle, the GOP's candidate for Senate in Nevada and Rick Barber, the GOP's congressional candidate in Alabama (AL-2), both openly campaign with the threat of armed rebellion. The transformation of the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Jeff Davis is nearly complete.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:41 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did this sort of Christian terrorism happen at all during the Bush administration?

Many of these groups germinated from or gained a lot of steam during the Reagan years, interestingly enough. I'd love to see some serious anthropological research on this, but I think you're right that their activities seem to increase during liberal administrations.

I have no idea how to begin to uproot this while respecting civil rights, but I think "regulations don't stop crazy people" is never a good reason not to pass legislation. Crazy people don't respect any laws. If we regard regulation as futile because someone, somewhere will likely ignore them, we may as well not pass any legislation at all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:04 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Deport 'em.
posted by wobh at 7:08 AM on July 1, 2010


The disturbing thing about the linked pages is how they demonstrate how easily people can get locked into a bad noise loop. Something feeds into some racist or paranoid assumptions they have, they start reading a couple of these conspiracy sites, and suddenly they're locking out everything but the things that confirm their worldview. From there, it's incremental -- you accept the things that tell you you're right and reject the things that tell you you're wrong.

Anecdotal: I got an chain e-mail a while ago from a relative with some crazy right-wing racist stuff in it; I replied with an e-mail spelling out why the crazy racist stuff was crazy, and racist. The relative in question replied to me to say that he was cutting me off: my e-mails would be blocked and calls would go unanswered. There was no room for discussion or reflection -- I didn't lump into the worldview, I was one of "them." I'd have been happy to debate the crazy right-wing racist points until I was blue in the face, but there was no room for debate. Opposing opinions aren't even wrong, they're anethema: not to be considered, something that will poison the precious bodily fluids.

And once you've stopped entertaining the notion that there are other opinions and ideas that just might be valid, it can be a pretty short walk from "the immigrants are stealing our country out from under us" to handing your 16-year-old son an AK-47 in case the liberal conspiracy tries to take away your Wal-Mart bullets. The relative in question isn't there yet, but how can I stop him from taking this short walk down that crazy pier? He lives 3000 miles away and won't listen to anything that doesn't feed back the same bad noise he likes to hear.

It's the flip side of the Internet, really -- the Web hosts great communities where people can discuss things and learn stuff, but it also gives people more opportunities than ever to niche themselves in enclaves that do nothing but encourage more and more bad noise. 30 years ago, somebody leaning towards white supremacist idiocy would have only a very small number of mail-order resources to accelerate his crazification. These days, somebody who wonders if there's something to all this "Freeman" stuff can find their worst fears affirmed and confirmed by an entire community of like-minded people, 24/7. There's nothing more powerful than being told you're right, and now we have an entire online world dedicated to nothing other than telling paranoid right-wing lunatics with a penchant for automatic weapons that all their darkest fears are true.
posted by Shepherd at 7:11 AM on July 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


why didn't the police arrest them while they were split up? Why wait for them to finish their Wal-Mart shopping?

My understanding (based on a conversation with the guy who took this picture) is that the cops didn't get to the scene until after the Kanes had returned to their van.

I got a chuckle when I saw the "third occupant," thanks.

There were two dogs in the van. One died with the Kanes, while the one that fled the van had been shot and died a couple of days later.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:32 AM on July 1, 2010


Teenagers with automatic weapons and boundless love.
posted by NortonDC at 8:37 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


'regis ...' = handing ownership to The Crown

Honestly, this kind of thing is exactly why etymology should be able to take out restraining orders against people. Two seconds of thought and ten seconds with an online dictionary shows that "registration" and "register" have the following origin:
1350–1400; ME registre <>registrum, regestrum, alter. of LL regesta catalog, list, n. use of neut. pl. of L regestus, ptp. of regerere to carry back, pile up, collect [...]
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm glad I live in a place where any civilian that owns or carries a handgun or a machine gun is considered a criminal.

I'm glad I live in a place where my local supermarket doesn't sell ammunition.

I'm glad I live in a place where paranoid, angry, vengeful, stupid and reckless people actually have to go some lengths to acquire a piece of kit capable of killing two humans in seconds.

Gun advocates are welcome to their views, just as they're welcome to a place where shooting other people isn't rare, and where ordinary people routinely consider the possibility they might one day shoot someone dead.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:08 AM on July 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, he's one of those: Freeman on the land (FMOL) - a special kind of idiocy where people believe that if the court doesn't print your name in all caps it isn't really you and other such groaners.

Wow. I just read through those links and just... wow.

'Registration' of anything transfers superior ownership to the entity accepting the registration. Once an item has been registered, you are no longer the OWNER (even though you will still be paying for the item), but instead you become the KEEPER. This includes cars, houses, children (who become 'wards of the state' by virtue of a birth registration), etc. ('regis ...' = handing ownership to The Crown ... which, by the way, is the British Crown in Temple Bar, and NOT Elizabeth II)


Facts really aren't something these people understand in relation to their personal geography, hmm?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2010


Gun advocates are ... welcome to a place where shooting other people isn't rare, and where ordinary people routinely consider the possibility they might one day shoot someone dead.

Unfortunately, sane Americans also have to live there.

I routinely consider the possibility that I might one day be shot dead (I've already had a gun put to my head once, during a mugging), but have no hope that it will ever change. When it comes to guns, childish and violent will always win here.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Something feeds into some racist or paranoid assumptions they have, they start reading a couple of these conspiracy sites, and suddenly they're locking out everything but the things that confirm their worldview. From there, it's incremental -- you accept the things that tell you you're right and reject the things that tell you you're wrong.

Confirmation bias!
posted by WalterMitty at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, sane Americans also have to live there

My sympathies, Sir. I hope one day that it becomes clearer that the solution to gun problems isn't more guns.

Also, England's quite nice at this time of year. The food's better than you've been led to believe. Orthodontistry is a growth market. Homes are pricy, but the beer tastes good.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:51 AM on July 1, 2010


Man, forgot the italics. Sorry, Shepherd.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:53 AM on July 1, 2010


My sympathies ... Also, England's quite nice at this time of year. The food's better than you've been led to believe. Orthodontistry is a growth market. Homes are pricy, but the beer tastes good.

Thanks.

I've been reading Roger Deakin and Colin Ward this week, admire the Real Ale campaign, and prefer things damp and overcast - if it weren't for family commitments and incompatible degrees, I would seriously consider relocating!
posted by ryanshepard at 10:05 AM on July 1, 2010


Wow. If you're reading Roger Deakin and like real ale, you're more English than the English. Is this the point that you reveal you're wearing a pair of St. George flag underpants and your favourite pastime is queuing in an orderly fashion?
posted by MuffinMan at 10:16 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did this sort of Christian terrorism happen at all during the Bush administration?

Many of these groups germinated from or gained a lot of steam during the Reagan years, interestingly enough.


Interesting indeed...
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this the point that you reveal you're wearing a pair of St. George flag underpants and your favourite pastime is queuing in an orderly fashion?

No, but I will cop to being a sucker for a sort of 2-dimensional, stereotypical "Britishness" ;)
posted by ryanshepard at 11:18 AM on July 1, 2010


I'm glad I live in a place where any civilian that owns or carries a handgun or a machine gun is considered a criminal.

Civilian ownership of machine guns is criminal here too (with certain exceptions for a small number that were owned before the National Firearms Act in 1934 and grandfathered in.) From what I could tell from watching the muzzle on the dashcam footage, the AK-47 was firing in semi auto mode which means it wasn't really an AK-47 but one of the many civilian versions of the gun that are made to look the same but still be legal to own (cf AR-15 - M16/M4).

I didn't watch through the entire aerial footage so if it shows full auto then you can ignore me.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:08 PM on July 1, 2010


The Patriot groups have gone through a considerable mutation since they began during the Depression. Some of Father Coughlin's followers were probably the earliest groups that looked like the current militia/freeman/constitutionalist/patriot groups. During the 1950's they assimilated a lot of Nazi race theory and linked up with white supremacy.

During the 1970's and 1980's, Christian Identity (aka Aryan Nations, among others) adopted the style as a way of mainstreaming. There is a basis dichotomy of Klan/Nazi vs Patriots on the violent right. The Patriots view the Klan/Nazi's as fools and posers. To an extent, they have a point: there are a lot of people who came out and renounced the Klan/Nazi culture, but there are almost no people who managed an exit from Patriot culture.

Tax resistance is a big thing for them and a major recruiting tool. Once you've been tricked or trapped into piling up a tax debt that you can't possibly repay, it's impossible to bail out. Since the whole "sovereign citizen" lifestyle consists of breaking a lot of tax and firearm laws, it's fairly common for them to get involved in vehicle-stop shootings like this one.

Gordon Kahl and the Posse Comitatus are a pretty good example.

Since the 1930's there has been a fairly stereotyped 10-year cycle of activity for Patriots. The last ten years have been a exception and they were abnormally quiet for two reasons: 1) many of them got caught up in the extreme forms of the Y2K survivalist panic and 2) they got very quiet with 9/11 and the outbreak of the global war on terror, homeland security, etc. Now they are making up for lost time.

Typically, they get really crazy in the spring following off year congressional elections: 1995 was the worst outbreak ever. Some believe that part of the Spring activity is related to the Identity religion and how it views the period around Easter; though this is mostly speculation. It is true the violence often has a lull during the late fall and winter.

I'm betting on next Spring being bad because they will have an opportunity to replay the cycle they went through in the 1990's, particularly the declaration of war that was supposed to break out on 4/19/95. Instead, the OKC bombing caused most of the loudmouths and braggarts to run for cover.

Currently, they are being stirred up by the Tea Party nonsense. The difference is the Patriots, unlike the Teabaggers, are not at all committed to the electoral process at all; they are guerrilla insurrectionists. They aren't revolutionaries because their extreme individualism amounts to every White Christian Male for himself.
posted by warbaby at 1:17 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Typically, they get really crazy in the spring following off year congressional elections: 1995 was the worst outbreak ever. Some believe that part of the Spring activity is related to the Identity religion and how it views the period around Easter; though this is mostly speculation.

There's also the fact that the period around Easter is also about 2 weeks away from the period around Tax Day, which seems to hit a little closer to their idealogical goalpost.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2010


Civilian ownership of machine guns is criminal here too (with certain exceptions for a small number that were owned before the National Firearms Act in 1934 and grandfathered in.) From what I could tell from watching the muzzle on the dashcam footage, the AK-47 was firing in semi auto mode which means it wasn't really an AK-47 but one of the many civilian versions of the gun that are made to look the same but still be legal to own (cf AR-15 - M16/M4).

The difference between semi-auto and full-auto/select-fire battle rifles is generally pretty slim. The civilian version of the AK-47 is a great example: it simply has a different receiver and sear which prevent full-auto. If you know what you're doing, it is possible (but a Federal felony without a class 2 Federal Firearms License and as dangerous as any other gunsmithing, so don't try this at home!) to modify a semi-auto AK to fire full-auto, or even select-fire. The same goes for the AR-15, and for many other semi-auto rifles. Full-auto Ruger 10/22s are a pretty common (but, again, illegal without the proper license) conversion, for instance. Besides, anyone who knows how to bump fire can get high rates of fire out of nearly any semi-auto battle rifle legally...

Also, there are plenty of legal machine guns newer than 1934 -- the last allowable date of import is 1968, and the last allowable date of domestic manufacture is 1986. Thus, you can legally own a fully-automatic AK-47 or M4/M16 in some states, assuming you can pass the rather stringent Federal licensing process. Many states ban civilian ownership of machine guns at the state level, though.
posted by vorfeed at 2:44 PM on July 1, 2010


Civilian ownership of machine guns is criminal here too [snip] one of the many civilian versions of the gun that are made to look the same but still be legal to own (cf AR-15 - M16/M4).

I didn't watch through the entire aerial footage so if it shows full auto then you can ignore me.


There is supposedly a single drop in part that will convert an AR-15 to full auto (may require additional part swaps or filing down by an expert). I'd suspect that converting an AK-47 is a similar process. More difficult is getting a selective fire version, but that too is possible. Although owning the parts to convert to full auto along with the civilian version of the gun is illegal (even when not assembled), I'm not sure how closely the ATF tracks the purchase of such parts, especially at gun shows rather than mail order.

Given that, we effectively have little control over fully automatic weapons being available to US citizens. Also, there are various states where full auto weapons are legal (I think you may need an FFL).
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:03 PM on July 1, 2010


Vorfeed beat me to it while I was looking stuff up.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:05 PM on July 1, 2010


Right, yeah, you can pay an exorbitant amount for things like registered drop-in auto sears and the like but that kind of thing is pretty rare and in the few jurisdictions (typically only the more rural states) where it's legal it requires a lot of money and paperwork and a very clean record which generally excludes these kind of anti-government loons. My overall point though is that in the vast majority of cases the US is "a place where a civilian that owns or carries a [...] machine gun is considered a criminal" and I think it's unfair to claim that somehow we're a savage nation because our laws allow machine guns. Obviously the rest of the world thinks that, but really, what do they expect us to do? Outlaw guns entirely? That's not politically feasible nor would it do anything practically speaking since there are so many in circulation already.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2010


On non-preview, in regards to the ATF tracking DIAS sales, it has long been rumored that they purposefully ran shady classified ads in the back of magazines selling unregistered DIASs and that anyone stupid enough to try to buy one got what they deserved. The reality is that you can machine a lightning link with hand tools so there's really no need to risk buying anything. It's still criminal though.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:15 PM on July 1, 2010


I think it's unfair to claim that somehow we're a savage nation because our laws allow machine guns.

Well, the Swiss are pretty much required to keep machine guns, and don't particularly have a reputation for savagery, whereas the US does have a reputation for savagery (possibly deserved) that I think has more to do with culture than firearm regulations.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:55 PM on July 1, 2010


I think it's unfair to claim that somehow we're a savage nation because our laws allow machine guns

On the contrary, I don't think the US is a particularly savage nation. My point is that when guns, and particularly guns that are easy to conceal, cheap to buy or which fire off rounds quickly, are so common all sorts of people who wouldn't ordinarily be threats become one.

The comparison with the UK is intentional. Go to the center of any number of towns over here when the nightclubs shut and the clientele spill onto the streets. Witness what might happen if guns were more available. I dread to think.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:09 AM on July 2, 2010


Oh, I think I see what you're saying now. Yeah, I sort of misinterpreted that -- sorry for the derail.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:11 AM on July 2, 2010


there are a lot of unanswered questions about the Patriot mindset.

Why is it so easy for people to get trapped in it and why is it so hard to get out?

One possibility is that the obsessive conspiratorialism they engage in becomes a self-reinforcing delusional state. I've wondered if the constant paranoia doesn't actually cause organic changes to the brain. This isn't idle speculation, I've discussed it with a couple of psychiatrists and neurologists and they tell me that there is possibly something to it. The frequency with which the Patriot mindset is associated with mass murders and vehicle stop shootings is unnerving.

Here's a news update that doesn't clarify much, but does have a video clip of the Kanes doing their pseudo-legal stuff. It refers to this FBI web page posted last month about the domestic terrorism aspect to the Patriots.

When Christian Identity uses the word "Christian" it's code for "Aryan Race" - so these guys aren't Christians, they are people who claim that Christian is a race designation and that Jesus was not a Jew, he was an Aryan and white people are God's chosen. The comments with "Yahweh" in them are by Identity people. "Praise Yahweh" is a common exclamation in Identity speech and writing. It gets confusing because they've appropriated the Bible, but their interpretation is very recent and highly deceptive.
posted by warbaby at 6:56 AM on July 2, 2010


Why is it so easy for people to get trapped in it and why is it so hard to get out?

I lost my first comment, but the short version is scapegoats + echo chambers.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2010


Yeah, it's generally very hard to break yourself out of anything that makes it easy for you to not think very hard.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:58 PM on July 2, 2010


Arkansas cop killers were ‘sovereign citizens,’ right-wing extremists who believe they are exempt from the law.
posted by homunculus at 2:13 PM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older Campus A Low Hum is an independent, 3-day, DIY mus...  |  Nabokov in Berlin.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments