Transgender Teen Busted For Mass Shooting Plot in Maryland

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File

When you have a mass murder like we saw in Nashville, Lewiston, Uvalde, or way too many other places, it makes national headlines. What doesn't tend to get the same degree of attention are the shootings that never happen.


I'm not talking about the ones that people plot in their minds, then never carry out. We know why we won't hear about those. There's no mystery.

I'm talking about the ones that go beyond a vague idea, where there's an actual plan in place, only to see the police stop it well before the first bullet flies. Why is that?

Well, part of it is the whole "if it bleeds, it leads," thing in journalism. For better or worse, audiences respond better to mass shootings than thwarted mass shootings.

But sometimes, it also undermines the entire narrative being pushed, which makes it even less likely you'll hear about it. Especially when it slaughters a few different sacred cows like a case out of Maryland.

Andrea Ye of Rockville, Maryland — who goes by the name “Alex” — authored a 129-page manifesto detailing her desire to attack an elementary school, writing that she wants to be famous and describing her strategy for carrying out the shooting, Montgomery County police announced in a Thursday press release. The statement of charges against Ye, which National Review obtained from the office of the Montgomery County state’s attorney, includes excerpts from her manifesto and glimpses into her internet history.

Several of Ye’s Google searches, in addition to instructions for making bombs and details about other school shootings, had to do with the March 2023 attack on the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, in which [Nashville killer's name redacted] — a biological woman identifying as a transgender man named “Aiden” — killed three nine-year-old children and three adults before being shot and killed by police. Ye viewed a behavioral threat assessment conducted of [the Covenant killer] and Googled the Nashville shooting, as well as other information about [that individual].


Interestingly, just like Ye's apparently idol, the Covenant School killer, she wrote a manifesto. However, this one doesn't seem to be quite the subject of debate that the one in Nashville is.

And, honestly, what we know is both disturbing and fascinating.

“I have also considered shooting up my former elementary school because little kids make easier targets,” Ye wrote. “And, I run the risk of getting attacked or tackled midway through with high schoolers. I also hated elementary school. The teachers were evil and the other students were little assholes. I always got in trouble and had to sit out during recess. The other kids would pretend to be my friends but make fun of me to my face. It would be the perfect revenge.”

Ye also wanted to kill more people than anyone, even going to far as to talk about decapitating injured people with a knife to make sure they died. 

This idea of killing the most people isn't uncommon. The Sandy Hook killer also wanted to achieve such infamy.

Yet this glimpse into a disturbed mind is also interesting because it's clear Ye had no interest in facing any kind of resisitence. She was afraid of being stopped, and this is in Maryland, a state that wouldn't dream of allowing a gun anywhere close to a school.

Somehow, this doesn't seem to suggest that armed staff would be a bad thing as a deterrent.

Even beyond that, Ye's arrest for a mass shooting shatters a few anti-gun shibboliths. 

One is that the problem is exclusively a straight white male problem. Ye is Asian, biologically female, but identifying and trying to present as male.


Another is that extensive gun control laws are essential to stopping mass shootings from happening. While Maryland has those, that's not what tripped Ye up. Somehow, the FBI got hold of this manifesto and passed it along to local law enforcement.

The truth is that over the years, I've reported on numerous cases where mass shootings were prevented. Absolutely none of them were stopped because of gun control. They were stopped because people did the right thing, law enforcement officers did their job well, and the would-be killer was arrested before hurting anyone at all.

That's a big chunk of what we need to be doing. We all need to be aware of the warning signs, what evidence one can find that someone is planning such an attack, then actually take steps to notify law enforcement when we see it. Law enforce then, in turn, needs to investigate and make an arrest.

You don't need red flag laws or universal background checks to prevent them. We have the tools to help stop these attacks. We just need to use them.

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