Indiana Man Stopped By Police En Route to L.A. Gay Pride Parade with Car Full of Guns
Yesterday America saw its deadliest mass shooting in recent history when a homophobe with a history of violence and access to assault weapons murdered 50 people at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando. That attack was a devastating atrocity, and the U.S. may have narrowly avoided another one, because police say a man with a car full of weapons was arrested on his way to the L.A. Gay Pride parade yesterday afternoon.
According to The L.A. Times, the 20-year-old Indiana resident was stopped in Santa Monica after someone reported suspicious behavior. When police investigated, they foundÂ “three assault rifles, high-capacity ammunition, and a 5-gallon bucket containing ‘chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device.'” The suspect should not have had those things on him, because he was reportedly on probation for an incident in October when he was threatening people by pointing guns at them.
The parallels with the Orlando case are clear, but police say they’re still investigating the case. They say they are still not sure what the suspect was doing with all those guns or why he was heading to the Gay Pride event. (An earlier report said that he told officers he was going to cause harm at the event, but the police later said that was inaccurate and that he just said he was going to Pride. They are still investigating what the suspect was planning on doing at what should have been a happy, fun parade with a car full of assault rifles and camouflage clothing.)
According to the LA Times, the suspect’s Facebook page was full of posts about how Hillary Clinton was like Hitler, and conspiracy theories about how the U.S. government had staged the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and that the terrorist attacks in Paris were a hoax intended to bring about a “New World Order.”
There was talk of canceling the parade after the arrest was announced, but it went forward as planned. Security was tightened, and the parade went forward, though the news of the threat and the attack in Orlando obviously tempered the celebration.
We live in a world in which any random person can own a car full of AR-15s if they want to. How are we supposed to protect our children against every heavily armed man who is angry that a girl wouldn’t go out with him, or that he got a bad grade, or that two men were kissing? Sometimes it feels like life these days is just a series of short lulls between mass shootings. Whenever one happens, we can’t even pretend it will be the last.