Yes. One can apparently buy a rocket propelled grenade launcher in America and keep it at home. That was the case in Minnesota this week as police seized a load of drugs and weapons from a rural home where they were stashed- just in case. From the story:
A search warrant Tuesday, Jan. 30, led to five arrests and uncovered drugs, nearly four dozen firearms and suspected explosives, including items found in a concrete bunker in the basement.
The items seized from the rural Willmar home included submachine guns, homemade silencers, night vision goggles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Weapons of war in a bunker. What the he%^? Seriously. This is America where homegrown terrorists stockpile weapons and ammunition to be ready for… for…. what? What was the plan here? More from the article:
According to the criminal complaint, Monson had told someone that he had the addresses of a judge, a prosecutor and another attorney and intended to use explosives in or near their homes and vehicles.
The five people arrested face a variety of felony and misdemeanor drug and weapons charges.
Monson faces felony counts of possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, possessing a machine gun and possessing a firearm suppressor. He also faces two felony counts of fifth-degree drug possession and a gross misdemeanor count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm.
Jacobson faces two felony counts of possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, one felony count of possessing a machine gun and another felony count of possessing a firearm suppressor. He faces gross misdemeanor charges of fifth-degree drug possession, being a drug user in possession of a firearm and negligent storage of firearms accessible to a child.
Johnson faces a felony charge for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a violent crime, a felony count of fifth-degree drug possession, and a gross misdemeanor count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm.
Quimby is charged with felony and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession and a gross misdemeanor count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm.
And so, people who cannot legally purchase or possess firearms, let alone sub machine guns or a rocket propelled grenade launcher, were found in possession of these weapons of war anyway.
And have I mentioned that drugs and guns just don’t go together well? But they are often intertwined making it all the more dangerous.
What could possibly go wrong?
There are Americans stockpiling guns and ammunition with an intent to use them to terrorize other Americans. It is #NotNormal. They are living right under our noses in communities near you.
Could the Minnesota folks from the above article undergo a Brady background check at a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer and walk away with these weapons legally? NO.
This is why we need to insist that all firearms and related paraphernalia require Brady background checks before they walk out of a store or gun show in the hands of someone who will not use them safely and legally.
We could do this. But we haven’t and we won’t as long as NRA and corporate gun lobby legislators control the country. Do these lawmakers think this is OK? They must. Otherwise why wouldn’t they agree to pass some common sense legislation to stop this lunacy?
It’s beyond explanation of any kind why our lawmakers continue to allow this culture of violence. The gun violence public health epidemic is real. It is taking the lives of an increasing number of Americans on a daily basis.
Let’s check in with the Gun Violence Archive for the body count just in January of this year: 1334 dead and 2404 injured. 23 mass shootings so far in 2018. Look at the chart on the web page and the map I have provided above. Can you see one state where a gun incident has not happened in January of 2018? One month in America.
This is #NotNormal or inevitable dear readers. Most, if not all, of these shootings are totally preventable.
But let me get back to the above story about rocket propelled grenade launchers and other insanity. Where can one buy some of this stuff anyway? Here. and Here. and Here ( “And anti-personnel weapon. And anti-helicopter weapon. And anti-anything-worth-shooting weapon. And we-Afghans-are-celebrating-a-wedding weapon. And… well, you get the point)”.
I guess this last one does not shoot grenades but some other kind of ordinance. That makes me feel so much better. People playing soldier at home in rural Minnesota should give us all pause. It is happening in every state actually.
The grenade launcher is legal to purchase after Congress let the assault weapons ban expire. There was a reason for not allowing the import, sale or possession of certain kinds of dangerous weapons under the Assault Weapons Ban. But the corporate gun lobby hated that some weapons were not available to the average citizen and so they bullied our politicians to get rid of legislation that could have saved some lives.
What in the world does a private citizen need with a rocket propelled grenade launcher? Is there an answer that makes any sense at all?
In other news of the #NotNormal, there was another school shooting this week in California involving a 12 year old shooter. Yes indeed- a 12 year old shot and injured 4 people :
A 12-year-old girl was booked on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm Thursday after a shooting at Sal Castro Middle School left four students injured, authorities said.
Los Angeles police do not believe that the shooting was intentional, spokesman Josh Rubenstein said Thursday evening.
“At this time, the information suggests that this was an isolated incident, involving the negligent discharge of a firearm, where innocent children and a staff member were unfortunately injured,” the LAPD said in a statement. (…)
“Someone decided to bring a gun, I guess someone was accidentally playing around with it,” said Benjamin, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, whose guardian asked that his last name not be used. “They thought it was a fake gun.”
What? “I guess someone was accidentally playing around with it.” There are no accidents with guns. No one should be accidentally playing around with a gun. Period. Let alone a 12 year old child in a school.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult. This is lunacy. Who thought it was a fake gun? This is total irresponsibility and preventable. This is #NotNormal not or inevitable.
Also in the news of the #NotNormal is the fact that an engineer sold altered armour piercing bullets to the Las Vegas shooter and is now charged for this sale to a madman who killed 58 people in just one shooting incident. From the article:
Tracer ammunition is built with a small pyrotechnic charge that produces a bright trail of light to allow a shooter to see the bullet’s trajectory during nighttime firing or other low visibility scenarios.
“At no time did I see anything suspicious or odd or any kind of a tell,” Haig told reporters.
The complaint says Haig told investigators that when Paddock bought the ammunition, he put on gloves before taking the box from Haig.
Nothing odd? Except for the fact that a man wanted to buy multiple rounds of tracer bullets that another man was not licensed to sell:
The 55-year-old aerospace engineer did not have a license to manufacture and sell the armor-piercing bullets he sold to Stephen Paddock in the weeks before the massacre that left 58 people dead.
Nothing to see here folks. Let’s move on to the next massacre.
Where is common sense?