‘Joking’ about killing someone is deadly serious
An Oregon man is lucky his idea of testing the Second Amendment did not result in his death. Another man, in Ohio, may be about to learn amassing an arsenal, then talking about mass shootings, isn’t funny at all.
What on Earth is wrong with these people and, sad to say, what appears to be a number of other Americans like them?
Last week, in the wake of mass murders in Texas and Ohio, 20-year-old Dmitriy N. Andreychenko left his home in Oregon, drove to Missouri, and walked into a Walmart store carrying a rifle and another gun, and protected by body armor. While terrified shoppers scattered, he walked around recording video on his cellphone.
An off-duty firefighter with a gun stopped Andreychenko and held him until police arrived to make the arrest.
Andreychenko said he was just trying to determine whether Walmart “honored the Second Amendment.” Let us hope he spends the next few years behind bars, pondering the dangerous stupidity of his stunt.
In Youngstown, Ohio, prosecutors have charged Justin Olsen, 18 with making online threats against federal agents. Officials say he also wrote that he supported mass killings and attacks on Planned Parenthood facilities. When police went to his home, they found 15 rifles, 10 pistols and about 10,000 cartridges for the guns.
Olsen told FBI agents all his comments were just a joke.
Responsible gun owners do not behave as Andreychenko and Olsen did. They understand firearms are no laughing matter. Neither are comments about killing people.
Both men ought to be prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished severely.
Millions of Americans are on edge about the potential for violence in our communities. Millions more disagree vehemently about what, if anything, can be done to prevent massacres such as those in Ohio and Texas.
This is no time for claiming threats are jokes, or for dangerous stunts that put the public at risk. This is serious.