The Intellectual Dishonesty of The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post published a “list of ‘mass killings’ that you don’t know about” to attempt to illustrate the need for “gun control”. I wanted to take a look at each of the incidents and in every case; there are common themes – mental illness, prior violent crimes, drugs and early releases from prison.

I invite any commenter from the Huffington Post to explain how restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will stop the mentally ill, violent criminals and those convicted for crimes that have been released from prison early from committing these crimes.

Full disclosure: There is one case where a person with a legally obtained gun committed a murder and there was no hint of mental illness – but he also had already had the cops called on him for two domestic violence issues and was never charged.

Sept. 16, 2013 – Washington, D.C. – 13 dead (including gunman)

Defense contract employee and former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, 34, allegedly opened fire shortly after 8 a.m. inside building 197 in the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 people and wounding more than a dozen others. Alexis was slain in a gun battle with police.

We know that Alexis was mentally ill, had a criminal record and was a known malcontent and that he had security access that he never should have had.

Sept. 11, 2013 – Crab Orchard, Tenn. – 4 dead

Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, was arrested in the shooting deaths of a woman and three teenagers. Their bodies were found in a car about 50 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn.

Bennett was out on parole. The linked article notes:

Bennett was sentenced to six years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to a series of charges in Cumberland and Fentress counties, including being a convicted violent felon in possession of a firearm and theft, according to court records. He was released on parole from the Hardeman County Correctional Facility in March, according to the state Department of Correction.

Bennett had previously been incarcerated in Florida.

August 14, 2013 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – 4 dead

Green was known to be mentally ill. The HuffPo link to the article is broken but the local TV station reports:

Daniel Green’s father, admitted to police that his son was capable of killing his family. Raymond Green also told police that Daniel Green was diagnosed as being schizophrenic and had a violent past.

August 11, 2013 – Omaha, Neb. – 4 dead

Nikko Johnson was a known violent criminal who was on early release and based on the linked article, he never should have been out:

But he only served 10 and a half years in prison. That’s just half the 21-year sentence he got for two carjackings and the assaults that happened when he was in prison, according to the World-Herald.

Nebraska law gives inmates “good-time” credit of a day for every day they serve. While he lost 17 and a half months of his “good time” credit, a judge gave him about 17 months of credit for time served in a county jail.

Jenkins’ early release obviously calls into question the wisdom of “good-time” credit. It also calls into question the notion that prison has any power at all to rehabilitate criminals. Jenkins got locked up as a relatively young teenager and apparently just got more violent.

Aug. 7, 2013 – Dallas – 4 dead

  • Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, a former teacher and Dallas Mavericks hip-hop dancer, was charged with two counts of capital murder after police said he attacked the homes of his estranged wife and his girlfriend, killing both women and two of their children. Four additional people were wounded in the attacks.

Bowser had already been arrested and his ex-wife had taken out a protective order against him:

Zina Bowser obtained a protective order in February 2011 after an associate judge reported that “family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.” It barred her husband from coming within 200 yards of her and her children and from communicating with the children. He later was arrested for violating the order.

In seeking the order, Zina Bowser said her husband had threatened the lives of her and her sons after she asked for a separation. According to her, Erbie Bowser told her that if she tried to take any of their belongings, “I will bury you.” She said he took a pocketknife from a drawer, opened it and said, “Call the police and I will execute your kids.”

She called 911 anyway and fled with her sons, and Erbie Bowser was arrested.

July 26, 2013 – Hialeah, Fla. – 7 dead (including gunman)

Vargas was killed by a SWAT team after an eight-hour stand-off with police, during which he took two people hostage. The hostages were rescued when the SWAT team stormed the apartment.

Vargas was clearly mentally ill and nothing was done:

Authorities have not described a motive, but the 911 recording offered insight into Vargas’ behavior. An attorney also confirmed Wednesday that Vargas acknowledged in a deposition days before the shooting that he had harassed former colleagues by email.

The 911 call and deposition were first reported by The Miami Herald.

In the call, Vargas spoke briefly and vaguely about how he was being “victimized.”

“They’re doing witchcraft and things to me,” he said.

July 26, 2013 – Clarksburg, W. Va. – 4 dead

  • Sidney Muller, 27, was arrested on four counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing two individuals after a drug deal gone wrong. Muller allegedly then turned his weapon on two passersby, a father and his son who were delivering the local newspaper, killing them.

This was a killing in the commission of a crime. This was not a “mass killing” in the way that the author wants the reader to believe.

June 7, 2013 – Santa Monica, Calif. – 5 dead (including gunman)

Zawahri was confronted by police outside the school’s library. They traded fire and police officers ultimately shot him dead.

Another mentally ill individual:

The newspaper cited other anonymous law enforcement sources as saying the suspect, who was believed to have lived with his mother, had suffered from mental-health problems in the past and was angry over his parents’ divorce.

May 11, 2013 – Waynesville, Ind. – 4 dead

Another drug related crime. Two of the victims were stabbed and then shot by yet another person with a record of violent crime.

In a report out by affiliate WISH TV in Indianapolis, Sheriff Mark Gorbett says 55-year-old Samuel Sallee, who has been in jail since May 13 for failing to appear on a battery charge, is the prime and only suspect.

Gorbett says he released the information Monday night in order to relieve the fears of the community.

On May 11, Katheryn Burton, Thomas Smith, Aaron Cross and Shawn Burton were all found shot to death in their home.

Investigators believe the killings were drug-related, after finding meth in the home.

May 10, 2013 – Fernley, Nev. – 5 dead

Another crime perpetrated by a known criminal:

Bean has a previous felony conviction related to burglary and attempted grand larceny. He finished his parole in December. Authorities say he has also acknowledged gang ties.

April 24, 2013 – Manchester, Ill. – 5 dead

Another known criminal:

Scott County State’s Attorney Michael Hill said Smith, of rural Morgan County, had previous convictions for reckless homicide, drugs and bad checks. 

April 21, 2013 – Federal Way, Wash. – 4 dead (including gunman)

  • A domestic-violence homicide claimed three additional lives before the gunman was killed by responding officers. Police say Dennis Clark III, 27, shot and killed his girlfriend in their shared apartment before killing two witnesses in the building’s parking lot and a third victim in another apartment.

This one appears to have been the only incident that didn’t have a precursor – except that there were two earlier domestic violence incidents:

Wilson said the suspect, who had a valid concealed weapons permit, had no criminal history. However, he had been involved in two prior domestic violence calls in Federal Way and Seattle, Wilson said.

Both incidents were verbal in nature and no arrests were made, Wilson said.

April 18, 2013 – Akron, Ohio – 4 dead

  • Derrick Brantley and Deshanon Haywood, both 21, were each charged for the murder of four adults, two men and two women, who had been found shot in the head in a townhouse basement. Police say two guns were used.

These were murders committed during the commission of aggravated robbery.

March 13, 2013 – Herkimer County, N.Y. – 4 dead

  • In a shooting rampage that spanned two upstate New York villages, Kurt Meyers, 64, allegedly took the lives of four people.Police say Meyers first opened fire in a barber shop in Mohawk, killing two customers, one a retired corrections officer. The gunman then fled to an auto care business in neighboring Herkimer and fatally shot an employee and a customer who was a 23-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections. According to authorities, the gunman had no money, no job and was maxed out on his credit cards.

No clear motive but this has the earmarks of another case of mental illness:

Instead, police said, everybody seems to be repeating the same story – that Myers was a loner, a strange man who didn’t have much to say to anyone.

One man who worked for 20 years with Myers said the suspect was intelligent, quiet and a good worker who had gotten along well with colleagues.

But Steve Copperwheat, who hired Myers as a machine operator in the early 1980s at Waterbury Felt in Oriskany, a manufacturer of industrial textiles, said he encountered him in a Walmart parking lot three months ago after not seeing him in about 10 years.

“I yelled over to him and he looked at me, said my name, said he was retired, and just went booking away,” Copperwheat said. “It was almost like he didn’t want anybody to know where he was. He was trying to be very distant, which surprised me. The whole conversation was really spooky.”

Jan. 19, 2013 – Albuquerque, N.M. – 5 dead

  • Nehemiah Griego, 15, is accused of killing both his parents and three younger siblings. According to police documents, Griego shot his mother while she slept, then killed his brother and sisters after they woke up. Griego told authorities he ambushed his father, who was returning home from work, with a semi-automatic rifle that his parents owned. All victims appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head. New Mexico authorities also report that the teen had planned to go to Walmart and randomly shoot people.

Another case of mental illness:

“Clearly, there was some sort of break or psychotic break that happened that night,” said Nehemiah’s aunt, and now guardian, Regina Griego. 

Regina Griego is still grieving the death of her brother, Albuquerque pastor Greg Griego, and his family while trying to get the right mental health care for Nehemiah.

Jan. 7, 2013 – Tulsa, Okla. – 4 dead

  • Brothers Cedric Poore, 39, and James Poore, 32, are accused of killing four women, two of whom were twins. The victims, found in an apartment, were all mothers, and a 3-year-old boy was also found unharmed.

More murders committed in the commission of another crime – robbery:

James Poore and Cedric Poore have pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery charges stemming from the Fairmont Terrace killings on Jan. 7.

5 thoughts on “The Intellectual Dishonesty of The Huffington Post

  1. Utah – Your post is right on target and I agree with it 100%, but I’m going to add this;

    “Nebraska law gives inmates “good-time” credit of a day for every day they serve. While he lost 17 and a half months of his “good time” credit, a judge gave him about 17 months of credit for time served in a county jail.”

    You will see more and more of this as it has become politically incorrect and expensive to keep a criminal locked up. The pendulum has swung back toward lighter sentences and reentry programs, and away from mandatory sentencing because, according to Rand Paul statements yesterday;

    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday implored Senate colleagues to support a sweeping overhaul of federal sentencing guidelines, saying they disproportionately affect minorities and are reminiscent of Jim Crow laws.

    Paul said when he described the effects of mandatory minimum sentences, “you might think I was talking about Jim Crow laws. The war on drugs is disproportionately affecting black males.”

    The state of Florida is absolutely refusing to take gain-time (or good-time) credit from incarcerated inmates except for the worst cases. Under Florida’s mandatory 85% sentencing, a state criminal is required to serve 85% of his sentence. His gain time accounts for the other 15%. If he is a trouble-maker in prison and gets placed in confinement or has disciplinary problems, that time is supposed to come out of the 15% adding to the length of his sentence. Not happening anymore. With budget cuts to Dept. of Corrections and political pressure to reduce the number of inmates, the inmates basically do what they want to up to a point.

    If we go back to the 70’s and the old parole board, a criminal who is sentenced to 10 years in prison for manslaughter will be out in 4 or 5, which is why mandatory sentencing was instituted in the first place.

  2. The navy yard is a “gun-free zone”, just as all of our military bases and installations are.

    Judge Napolitano and John Lott on this matter: it appears in prior “times”, an officer was not fully dressed without a sidearm;

    The truth regarding “more guns=less crime” is so overwhelming; even Harvard published a (another) study supporting freedom of gun ownership. Harvard has consistently been a progressive indoctrination center … and would rather not publish such liberty and freedom truths.

    From my years of working in and with law enforcement officers, they recommend bearing arms at all times; also stated “don’t go out unless you are fully dressed”.

    Criminals sense when someone is prepared and choose defenseless sheep to prey upon ….

  3. Utah has done a fantastic job here, and his point is made.
    My question concerns not the availability of guns; I can get anything I want on the street; today! That is not going to change.
    But how far can we go towards identifying and treating people who are one frustration away from settling scores, real or imaginary? We already violate the rights of pederasts, keeping them in jail after their time has been served. Roman Polanski might have a problem with that, and I do as well, but only on the theoretical level; let the bastards rot while we sort this out.
    But do we want to start keeping people imprisoned because they might still have notions of revenge? Take a man’s hunting rifles from him because he flunked anger management? We are skidding down a slick hillside now.
    With strict gun control, we become more like pre-war Germany, or any number of dictatorships. With slipshod gun control, we get weekly atrocities, and there aren’t enough police, SWAT Teams, security guards, or legal carriers to stop them completely.
    I see only one answer, an armed citizenry; kids trained from grade school on up in the handling and use of weapons, Open carry on the streets and in public venues. Businesses would have the option of not allowing guns in their business, and the people would have the right to boycott any business that bans guns. Any shot fired would be investigated thoroughly, and perhaps gun-bearers should have insurance that covers stray bullets and friendly fire incidents.
    An armed society is a polite society. I forget who said that, but he/she was onto something. Of course, now I have an image of Miss Manners packing heat.

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