Red flag laws, we are told, are absolutely essential to stop not just mass shootings, but suicides as well. After all, if we take guns from people who are a threat, that ends the danger completely, right? I’m sure no one would think to…oh, use a van to kill people or anything, right? No, people only use guns for that sort of thing.
Of course, we know that suicide rates seem to be going up in states with red flag laws, so that one gets blown out of the water.
We also have found a lot of potential mass shootings are being stopped without such orders as well. Now, we can potentially add one more to the list.
A U.S. airman assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base is in federal custody after military investigators searching his KAFB residence found a cache of 17 firearms, two silencers, large amounts of ammunition, bomb-making instructions and photos of rifle magazines with the names of mass shooters written on them.
Investigators said in a criminal complaint that Senior Airman Charles Brent Justice, 27, could be a “threat to the general public.”
Justice formally has been charged with possessing a silencer and unlawful importation of a firearm — the silencer he allegedly ordered from a Chinese company.
The photographs found on his cellphone showed the names of mass shooters written on white ink on AR-15 compatible magazines. Included among the names were [name redacted], who shot and killed several people at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, and [yet another name redacted], who targeted African migrants in Italy.
Other photographs were related to the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand.
In other words, like many other shooters, he violated other laws prior to carrying out any sort of attack.
To be clear, Justice doesn’t seem to have explicitly been planning anything. However, the inclusion of mass shooters’ names on AR magazines just doesn’t sound like someone who collected goodies for a day at the range, either.
What we do know for a fact is that he ordered a suppressor illegally. He also had a buttstock for attaching to a Glock firearm, something that’s also quite illegal to do. He also had instructions for building Molotov cocktails.
So while he may not have been planning a mass shooting, he was probably planning something. I’m inclined to believe he had a mass shooting plan in mind, likely some soft target that wouldn’t really require detailed planning. Either that or somewhere well-known to him, potentially somewhere on base.
Honestly, though, it doesn’t really matter. He was stopped and the threat he represented ended, all without a single red flag law being needed.
This isn’t unusual, either. Ever since El Paso, Dayton, and Odessa, people have been far more likely to report suspicious activity carried out by people they know. Investigators are following up and finding people in the midst of planning their atrocities and arresting them before anyone can be hurt. Others are likely investigated and found to represent no threat at all. Such is how it’s supposed to work.
I’m just glad this story isn’t a bigger story. That would have meant dead bodies. That’s something we can all do without.