Copycat theater shooter foiled by mom

| November 17, 2012

Ex-PH2 sends us a link from MSN News which reports that a dingus from Missouri had planned to shoot up a theater during the movie “Twilight”, similar to the shootings in the Aurora, Colorado theater, until his mom called the cops and relayed her suspicions;

Blaec Lammers, 20, of Bolivar, is charged with first-degree assault, making a terroristic threat and armed criminal action. He was jailed in Polk County on $500,000 bond.

“Thankfully we had a responsible family member or we might have had a different outcome,” Bolivar Police Chief Steve Hamilton told The Associated Press. He said Lammers is under a doctor’s care for mental illness, and court documents said he was “off of his medication.”

Yeaah, well, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. If you see something, say something.

Police said Lammers bought one firearm Monday and another Tuesday. He then went to the Missouri town of Aldrich to practice shooting because he “had never shot a gun before and wanted to make sure he knew how they shot and how they functioned,” the probable cause statement said.

Hamilton said it appeared that Lammers obtained the firearms legally but that police were continuing to investigate “to determine how in fact he was able to obtain a permit.”

They really need to plug that hole.

Category: Guns

Comments (15)

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  1. The Twinkie Apocalypse and Weekend Links! | November 18, 2012
  1. Thor says:

    It’s already punishable by law to lie on the 4473 form. Why isn’t he being charged for that? Perhaps if they start charging people for that violation and punishing them harshly, that might make a difference?

  2. Hondo says:

    He might not have lied on the 4473, Thor. Frankly, I doubt he did.

    Here’s the 4473:

    The pertinent question seems to be 11.f. That question doesn’t ask if you’re receiving mental health treatment – it asks if you’ve ever been formally declared (adjudicated) “mentally deficient” or committed. If the individual was merely under treatment but had never been “adjudicated mentally deficient” (as defined on the form) or committed, he could have truthfully answered the question “no” – and obtained the firearms lawfully.

    If that’s indeed the case – and I rather strongly suspect it is – I’m not sure how to handle this type of situation any differently without opening a real can of worms. The knee jerk response would be to prohibit anyone who’s ever been seen by a mental health professional from legally purchasing a firearm without a “doctor’s note”. I don’t think we want to go there.

  3. GoddamContractor says:

    Felony perjury in lying on a 4473 form was deemed insufficient grounds for the Dept. of Justice to make arrests in the Fast and Furious case.
    “Day after day, they visited local gun dealers and pored over forms called 4473s, which dealers must keep on file. These contain a buyer’s personal information, a record of purchased guns and their serial numbers, and a certification that the buyer is purchasing the guns for himself. (Lying on the forms is a felony, but with weak penalties attached.)”

  4. Hondo says:

    GC: my point is that the guy probably didn’t lie on the 4473. He used his own name, was a US citizen, and almost certainly had no felony or domestic violence arrests/convictions. Further, he also almost certainly had never been legally adjudged “mentally deficient” or committed – both are pretty difficult these days unless the person is cooperative.

    My guess is that he was under mental health treatment and had been prescribed meds, but had never been committed or judged mentally deficient/a danger to self and others. Under those circumstances, a “no” answer to the pertinent question on the 4473 is a truthful answer.

  5. GoddamContractor says:

    Hondo – I understood your point. My point was that even if he did lie, so what? Apparently lying on the forms is a felony but with only “weak penalties attached”, per the article about Fast and Furious.

  6. Guy says:

    I am still trying to figure out which ‘hole’ needs a plug and why everyone seems to be distracted by the guns… again. Personal Responsibility. Crazy-dude was going to do bad things. Guns are convenient due to his lack of a conviction. Without access he would have been looking at street Guns or explosives/chemicals.

    “Let’s go shoot-up an auditorium full of well-armed Citizens!” Said, no one ever.

  7. Hondo says:

    GC: “weak” is a subjective term and is open to interpretation. I personally don’t a potential sentence of 5 years in prison particularly “weak”. YMMV. In contrast, the author of the article you cited appears IMO to favor gun-control and regulation. I’d guess he probably thinks any crime relating to “evil guns” that doesn’t put someone in jail for life is “weak”.

    Getting back to facts vice opinion: many Federal firearms violations violate specific provisions of the US Code and carry a max sentence of 10 years or more. However, lying on the ATF 4473 appears to fall under the general “false statement” provision of 18 USC 1001. That “only” has a maximum sentence of 5 years.

    Any crime for which someone is convicted that has a possible maximum sentence of more than 1 year is, by definition, a felony. That is true regardless of the actual sentence imposed.

  8. GoddamContractor says:

    Hondo – I never said I agree with the author of the article or with their stance on guns. As a matter of fact, I don’t. I agree with you, 5 years is (to me) a long time. However, Federal Prosecutors were apparently unwilling to stop the illegal sale of firearms, their transport to Mexico, and subsequent use in the murders of numerous people (including at least one US Border Patrol Agent) based on lies attested to on the 4473 forms…. because of the “weak penalties” associated with lying on the 4473 form. To me, that begs the question, why in the hell have a 4473 form?

  9. Hondo says:

    GC: the article’s author is taking liberties with the truth in that assessment, either through ignorance or by design. IMO he’s doing that to push a gun-control agenda, and by design. But he could be doing it to push a gun-control agenda and also simply be an ignorant fool.

    Prosecutors want two things: a high conviction rate and good press. That’s how they get their next promotion/get elected/reelected. They get the former by having ironclad cases; they get the latter by the case being “spectacular”. It’s why you see so many marginal cases ignored, and why you see so many plea deals.

    In this case, local law allowed transfer of weapons via secondary sale. Proving that a buyer lied about being the owner in such a case is difficult. The buyer – even if acting as a “sock puppet” for someone else – can argue after the fact decision to sell a weapon he/she decided they didn’t need. Yes, you can theoretically get a conviction if you can establish a pattern. Most prosecutors care about their conviction rate and aren’t going to take that risk unless the potential payoff in terms of publicity is huge. They’ll simply prosecute someone else.

    The fact that F&F also had the JD’s “green light” also was a contributory factor. Folks in the field are always going to be leery of getting crossways with HQ, especially when it comes to HQ’s “pet projects”.

    In short: don’t buy the author’s assessment of the reason for lack of 4473 prosecutions as being due to “weak penalties”. It’s far more likely due to (1) relatively low prospects for success coupled with (2) unwillingness to tell HQ to get bent. And I personally think the author is intentionally distorting things here in order to further a gun-control agenda – though it’s also possible he’s just a dumbass.

  10. Nik says:

    “Yeaah, well, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. If you see something, say something.”

    Sadly, too few do that very thing. Even if they do admit to themselves that their little Precious really is intent on doing people harm, they might not say something because they’re concerned about harming their little Precious.

    Bravo to this mom for doing the right thing.

  11. DaveO says:

    Is he or his mom mentally challenged?

    “Blaec” ???




    Sheriff’s Prisoner #36912?

    And at a showing of Twilight? Isn’t the modus operandi to cover one’s self in glitter and try to bite folks?

  12. OWB says:

    As tough as it might be to turn your own kid in for something this serious it simply cannot be as bad as trying to live with the consequences of not doing so.

  13. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Off his meds. First name is Blaec. Mother turned him in. Bought tickets to the movie. So much wrong here I can’t figure any of it.

  14. Hondo Says: The knee jerk response would be to prohibit anyone who’s ever been seen by a mental health professional from legally purchasing a firearm without a “doctor’s note”. I don’t think we want to go there.

    Is is true that any military member who has been diagnosed as having PTSD cannot apply for a permit for a firearm? Saw this recently posted on Facebook, but there was no reference info.