Back in April, a seemingly mentally unbalanced man sent a 160-page anti-government, anti-religious manifesto to President Trump. That same man also broke into a gun store and stole 14 firearms, including at least one capable of full-auto, and some suppressors. He was captured a short time later.
Now, the man has had his day in court.
A Wisconsin man who stole a cache of firearms from a gun shop and sent a rambling anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump before going on the run was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on Wednesday, after a profanity-laced back and forth with the judge where he asked to either be set free or killed.
Joseph Jakubowski, who was convicted in September on two weapons-related charges, told the judge he didn’t follow any rules or laws and had no intention of letting authorities know where to find 14 weapons, including a machine gun, that are still missing.
“Let me out, I’d do it again because I don’t respect lies,” Jakubowski told the judge as he sat next to his attorney at the sentencing hearing. “I don’t care about your damn laws.”
U.S. District Judge William Conley said the severity of the crime, which put southeastern Wisconsin on edge during a 10-day manhunt, combined with Jakubowski’s unwillingness to show remorse and the ongoing threat the missing weapons pose led to the 14-year prison sentence. Jakubowski faced up to 20 years behind bars.
Jakubowski reportedly threatened a lot of people and a lot of places, including raising the possibility of shooting up a school. Churches were also a potential target of his rage.
The guy doesn’t appear to be wound around the spool all that well. Evidence of that can be found in his reasoning for stealing the guns in the first place.
Jakubowski, 33, argued during the sentencing hearing that he had a constitutional right to purchase firearms, even though he was prohibited due to a prior conviction for domestic violence. Had he been able to buy them legally, Jakubowski said he would not have stolen them. Jakubowski argued that even though he stole the weapons and issued an anti-government manifesto that included violent threats, he’s not a terrorist.
So, because the law said he couldn’t buy guns, he figured he could just steal them and all would be well? Is that the logic here?
To be sure, that reasoning isn’t as unusual as you might think. Plenty of people feel that ignoring the law and obtaining firearms illegally is fine since they can’t purchase them through legal channels. They’re called criminals.
Jakubowski simply stole what he wanted. By arguing he had a right to buy firearms, he’s trying to justify his theft. However, the owner of the gun store he robbed at a right to his merchandise. You don’t get to exercise your rights by stealing from others and violating their rights. You just don’t.
I’m relieved that Jakubowski got a nice, long sentence. I hope he spends that time in prison recognizing the error of his way and maybe getting a little help.