A teenager was arrested in Washington state on suspicion of attempted murder after his grandmother called 911 and alerted authorities about his alleged plan to shoot up a school.
Pat and Stu talked about this disturbing story on today’s show and wondered if encouraging “see something, say something” is an option to help prevent more shootings.
Yikes. How did Grandma find out?
Joshua Alexander O’Connor, 18, was arrested Tuesday when his grandmother showed police a journal allegedly detailing his scheme to shoot as many people as possible at a nearby school and to use DIY explosives to increase the death count.
What else do we know?
After serving a search warrant, detectives took the high school student’s journal, a rifle hidden inside a guitar case and inert grenades as evidence.
“I need to make this count,” O’Connor reportedly wrote in the journal, which detailed ways to make homemade explosives and an armed robbery that O’Connor is accused of participating in so he could fund his plot.
O’Connor allegedly wrote that he had decided which local school to target through a coin toss. He settled on ACES High School, where he was a student.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
STU: Thing number one, demand your city use data-driven strategies to reduce violence. More than 25 percent of gun homicides happened in neighborhoods that contained just 1.5 percent of the country’s total population. The Live Free campaign and a community justice reform coalition are working to organize communities most intensely impacted by violence. These activists believe that making neighborhoods safer, requires addressing gun violence, police shootings, and criminal justice reform at the same time, not as competing issues. So, again, that doesn’t necessarily mean gun control. But maybe there’s some element to that.
And they — the guardian says you can do that. Strengthen your state’s approach to guns and domestic violence. Again, this is something that I think a lot of people agree with even if you have Second Amendment beliefs. Tougher state and local gun laws.
PAT: What does that mean? If you’re convicted of domestic violence, you can’t have a gun.
STU: You can’t have a gun. All right. Support the effort to pass extreme risk protection orders. Advocates have launched a joint effort this year, over 20 states, to pass extreme risk protection order laws, which give family members and law enforcement officials a way to petition a court to temporarily bar at-risk people from possessing firearms.
California has a version of this.
PAT: Here’s the problem with that though: You’ve got an at-risk person at your house. That means you can’t have any guns in your house, right? That doesn’t just take it away from the person. It would also take away the parents or the siblings, or whoever has a legally purchased gun.
STU: Yeah. And these are not things that — some of this stuff you couldn’t get passed because they would restrict people’s rights to bear arms. And, you know, that’s the thing we never really talk about. Bottom line, most of the stuff that the left is proposing, winds up getting overturned in the Supreme Court anyway. So we fear these things because they’re going to try to take these guns away and they’re going to try to do all these things. They can pass all the stuff they want. Overwhelming possibility that it gets overturned by the Supreme Court anyway.
PAT: Right now. Yeah. As long as the Supreme Court is in its current configuration. That could change if a liberal ever packs the court.
STU: Of course. Learn how to identify when someone is at risk.
Sandy Hook Promise, an advocacy group founded by family members of the Sandy Hook shooting has trained more than 2 million students and adults to know their signs.
That sort of stuff, of course, you can do that. And have gun owners lead the way in preventing gun suicides. Again, this is the smart point. As we point out, 65 percent of gun deaths come from suicide. Not murder.
So can you do those? I don’t know. That might reduce it a little bit. I think to me, we talked about the whole media situation. I noticed another person. I think it was on CNN yesterday, not giving the name of the shooter. There was a shooter in — I don’t have it in front of me.
I wish I had the story. I’ll give you the baseline here. Grandma goes into kid’s room, opens up his journal, because she’s feeling kind of weird about what’s going on. He just seems a little bit off. Opens up his journal, just starts reading. Line by line plan on how he’s going to murder, do a school shooting in a specific school which he flipped a school to figure out which school it was going to be. Detailed plans. And his description about how he wanted to set a record and outdo all the other school shootings. He had read a lot about other school shootings.
PAT: Oh, my gosh.
STU: And wanted to make sure he did better than that. He learned from their mistakes. Again, this is media obsession with this stuff. He comes to it, he says, I want to beat these guys. Luckily, the grandma actually looked at the journal and then looked in his guitar case, which included the weapon that he was going to use in the particular school shooting. He had planned — he had all sorts of details about it.
STU: And think about this, what a moment it must be if you’re this — your grandson is doing this, you open it up, you have this knowledge. What do you do? Luckily, she called, like she would have, authorities. They arrested the kid.
And not only did she prevent dozens of deaths possibly at this school, also, she prevented most likely her grandson’s death, who either would have been shot or he would have shot himself.
PAT: It’s interesting. They did arrest him?
STU: They did.
PAT: On what charge? Terrorist threats or something?
STU: I don’t have the story in front of me. The defense was raising the point I think you’re raising, which is, he didn’t actually shoot anybody yet. He was just musing in a journal.
STU: Now, of course, he had grenades and he had a gun.
PAT: Okay. So she’s got — wow.
STU: He was pretty well-armed to do this.
STU: Although, there wasn’t necessarily a law that prevented him from having the gun. Right? He could have had the gun.
PAT: Where does a teenage kid get grenades?
STU: That’s a good question. That may have been explained —
PAT: In the story.
STU: I’m sure in the investigation, they will come to that conclusion.
But the point being that there are — if you can uncover these things beforehand, and we have caught a lot of them. Thank God. I mean, being more aware is a big part of that. And I think not encouraging these people to be these famous celebrities in their communities, I think that helps too.
STU: And that’s one that, again, the media can do without passing any legislation. They can’t blame Congress for it. They can’t blame anybody for it, except themselves.
PAT: Don’t make them famous.
STU: Don’t make them famous. Take every step that you can. What would that do? Would it reverse one out of every ten? Maybe.
STU: And then, you know what, really worth doing. Really worth doing.