Aspiring School Shooter in Washington Was Busted After His Grandma Found His Journal

What happened?

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.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

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.

PAT: Wow.

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.

PAT: Right.

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.

PAT: Wow.

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.

PAT: Definitely.

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.

PAT: Maybe.

STU: And then, you know what, really worth doing. Really worth doing.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

RELATED: Want to cure millennials' financial woes? Reform the payroll tax.

That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.