Potential Domestic Terrorist Highlights Another Issue

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

Back in July, a Medford, Oregon man was arrested on a number of charges. The details of these allegations are quite harrowing and a flag really should be raised. According to a report, 24 year-old Kristopher Clay turned himself into the police stating he’d been planning some sort of “mass casualty” event. Clay, at the time, was a custodian at South Medford High School.

Police say on July 20th, 24 year-old Kristopher Clay arrived in the Medford Police lobby to request to speak with an officer. Officials say he told the officer he was having homicidal thoughts with plans to carry them out. The officer transported Clay to the Behavioral Health Unit of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Police say the following investigation resulted in several search warrants being served in various locations in Jackson County. Police seized ammunition, firearms, tactical gear and written material, and the investigation indicated Clay made significant steps to carry out a mass casualty event.

Whatever the contents of the locations searched, there was enough there to apprehend Clay. Simple possession of “ammunition, firearms, tactical gear…” is not always going to be cause for arrest, but pairing that with the “written material” and his alleged admission, sure.

On August 4th, Clay was taken into custody at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center just prior to his discharge, for several charges, including attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police want to note that Clay was in protective custody up to the point he was placed under arrest.

This is an incredibly peculiar and at the same time fortunate story. One, this individual that allegedly admitted to having “homicidal thoughts” recognized that prior to acting on any of them and turned himself in. The luck and boon of that cannot be overstated. What drives humans to do what they do, good or bad, is something that’ll leave many of us perplexed. But for whatever reason, Clay decided to not carry out any alleged plans. Second to this, the scary part, how many other people in a similar situation are out there? It’s important to note that at the time of hiring, Clay didn’t have anything in his “background”:

Rob Havniear, the facilities director for the Medford School District said the former staff member Kristopher Clay, was hired by the district in February 2021 after going through a thorough hiring process.

“We did the background check, we did our reference checks, and we did the drug test, but there were no red flags that were visible to us,” Havniear said.

Clay being formerly employed at the school, he essentially had the keys to the kingdom. My experience in school was no matter what the situation, the custodian was called to solve nearly everyone’s problems all the time. The big ring of keys, tool box, and cheerful smile from the workers at my schools seemed to always be there when you needed them. What about Clay though? It’s reported he worked the night shift, but I think this is an interesting bit of information to discuss:

Clay has no known prior criminal convictions, but is prohibited from possessing firearms, due to a court order. The investigation revealed he obtained firearms through various channels.

With more reporting of the same:

Medford police say he was prohibited from legally owning firearms because a judge had determined in 2019 that he was mentally ill. They did not provide specifics on how Clay allegedly obtained the weapons, which Budreau described as rifles.

The full content of the “court order” is not known. However, it’s really important to bring up that Clay was prohibited from owning firearms for the stated disqualifier. This is where some serious outside of the box thinking comes into play. This is not to say anything about his character, after all, he did turn himself in, and we can go roundy roundy for an hour discussing “but yes he was planning ‘something'” versus “yeah, but he turned himself in”…

Gun owners to many extents are subjected to incredible scrutiny. Some states infringe on the Second Amendment more than others. But at the end of the day, in order to own firearms there are a few things you need. A clean criminal background check. To not be an addicted user of an elicit substance. To not be a domestic abuser. Not subject to a final restraining order. You know the disqualifiers. The person must be a law abiding citizen with none of the disqualifiers set forth by law.

Maybe everyone is looking at things wrongly in society. Professions that require you to work closely with children, such as janitors and teachers, what checks and balances are there? How about our politicians who are responsible for making life altering decisions for us? These are groups of people that have a really large impact on society as a whole. Why on earth is someone that is barred from firearm ownership allowed to work around children? I think that’s a very good question. If someone’s too “dangerous” to have a firearm, why are they around kids?

The proposal which should be scooted around; all politicians, teachers, doctors, and people that work closely with children and the elderly should have to pass the NICS criminal background check. Why don’t we hold at a minimum our politicians to this standard? Would there be anything wrong with that? I’d think in the Utopian society that the progressives are trying to create, they would embrace such an idea. How many politicians would not qualify to hold office if they had to pass a NICS check? There’s really not much more of a commonsense proposal than that.

I’d like to see the likes of Pelosi and Schumer embrace this idea. People that make decisions and or work closely with our most valuable assets (children) should be firearm-ownership squeaky clean.

In this instance, the individual in question had some sort of lucid moment to not act upon whatever he may or may not have been thinking. We’re all fortunate for that. Whatever potential act of domestic terrorism that could have played out did not come to fruition. We are though left with an individual that was willing to seek help, which might offer insight on more of the inner workings of such situations. We’re also left with the question of what professions should people that are disqualified from firearm ownership be able to engage in? If anything, this goes to show you the entire system is flawed. A court order did not stop this individual from possessing firearms.