When I was younger, I remember being told that motorcycle clubs–a.k.a. “biker gangs”–weren’t all they were described as being in television and movies. While those bad apples certainly existed, most people who could be described as bikers weren’t really bad people. They got together and rode motorcycles and then held regular jobs and spent time with their families like the rest of us.
As I’ve grown older, I like to think that understanding has worked out well for me.
However, it’s also important to remember that those bad apples really do exist, and sometimes, they can be kind of scary.
Authorities on Thursday found a weapons cache with over a dozen guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition and body armor during the arrest of a man suspected in a double homicide in Alabama.
Tyrone Johnson, 37, was wanted in connection to the fatal shooting of two men outside a motorcycle club in Huntsville, Alabama, on March 27.
A U.S. Marshal’s task force found 17 guns, two sets of body armor, and thousands of rounds ammunition when they arrested Johnson at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
The shooting, which injured two others, was one of three shootings outside the club within an 8-hour span, according to AL.com. The Huntsville police chief described the incident as a “culmination” of tensions between motorcycle gangs.
Yep. Sounds like something out of an episode of Sons of Anarchy, doesn’t it?
One has to wonder whether Johnson had a previous criminal record and, if he did, just how in the hell did he get his hands on so many firearms? These guns aren’t like so many other “arsenals” either where you’ve got an AR, a shotgun, a few handguns, and the rest are bolt-action rifles. No, this one includes a FAL and a number of ARs, a couple shotguns, some handguns, and what looks an awful lot like some MP-5 variant, though I might be wrong on that one.
It’s some fairly serious hardware.
And Johnson was wanted for murder. That could have been quite ugly, to be sure.
Regardless, there’s no information claiming that the weapons were stolen or anything and there’s no information suggesting Johnson is facing a weapons charge, which makes this quite interesting. Johnson is the second arrest in this case. The first arrest was of Albert Vinson and the only gun-related charge he’s facing is discharging a weapon at an unoccupied building.
In other words, there’s a good chance that neither of these guys were felons.
If that’s the case, the number of guns and the amount of ammo is irrelevant. After all, if you’re not a criminal, none of those guns appear to be illegal. Instead, it looks to be prejudicial; an attempt to paint Johnson as violent simply because he has a lot of guns.
Are Johnson and Vinson the bad apple type bikers or are they simply getting the blame? Who knows. That’s what trials are for. It should be an interesting case to watch, though.