Sick Man

The rundown on the WH shooter:

Federal authorities charged a 21-year-old Idaho man on Thursday with trying to assassinate President Obama. They said he had told friends that he believed the president was “the Antichrist” and that he “needed to kill him,” according to a complaint filed in federal court.

The man, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, of Idaho Falls, who is accused of firing a semiautomatic assault rifle at the residential floors of the White House last week, was also “convinced the federal government is conspiring against him” and had become “increasingly more agitated” before he disappeared from Idaho last month, the complaint said.

The court papers were filed in conjunction with a brief appearance by Mr. Ortega-Hernandez in a federal courthouse in Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon. Mr. Ortega-Hernandez was arrested Wednesday at a hotel near the town of Indiana, Pa., and officials intend to bring him back to the District of Columbia to face the assassination charge, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez — who is heavily tattooed, including the word “Israel” on his neck — spoke briefly during the appearance, replying “yes, ma’am” when asked by a magistrate judge if he understood that most of the legal proceedings would take place in Washington, according to The Associated Press.

***

It was not clear for several days that someone had deliberately fired at the White House. But the Secret Service has now found at least two bullets. The agency would not say where the White House had been struck, but workers on Wednesday were examining a window overlooking the Truman Balcony, an area outside the second-floor residential quarters where the first family sometimes relaxes or hosts guests. A second round was found outside.

The shooting came from roughly 750 yards south of the White House, just outside the outer security perimeter. The security perimeter extends to the south edge of the Ellipse, where the National Christmas Tree is displayed. It is across Constitution Avenue from the more distant Washington Monument.

The crazy thing is that nuts like this have access to guns at all. And what is in the water in Idaho?

Having said that, it sure seems like a reach to charge the guy with attempted assassination. Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt. Or was this a sniper rifle and not an assault weapon? Maybe there just isn’t anything else to charge him with other than attempted assassination.






174 replies
  1. 1

    The guy wanted to kill Obama, and is alleged to have shot a gun at the White House. The fact that the POTUS wasn’t there at the time doesn’t really factor into it – he was attempting to assassinate the president. It doesn’t really matter that his attempt was almost totally inept, that was what he was going for.

  2. 2
    jnc says:

    The crazy thing is that nuts like this have access to guns at all. And what is in the water in Idaho?

    Says someone living in West by God Virginia?

    Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt. Or was this a sniper rifle and not an assault weapon?

    These labels are meaningless. There are plenty of rifles that are “assault rifles” that can be used to accurately engage targets at that distance. Hell, some Barrett 50 cals are semi-auto, have pistol grip stocks, and can accept detachable magazines, which makes them “assault rifles” according to the law in some some states.

    You’re edging into “They don’t shoot turkeys at Turkey Shoots?” territory here.

  3. 3
    harlana says:

    OT, but more victims to come forward in Sandusky case. apologies if already posted.

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    Also… traveling from Idaho Falls to Washington DC in order to kill the Antichrist… Well, we’re doomed, but some of us are more doomed than others.

  5. 5
    DS says:

    Can’t wait to see how the TP comes down on this one. He is Messican (bad) and young (bad), but likes Israel (good), semi-automatic rifles (good) and shooting at the President (good?). Hmm. Decisions decisions.

  6. 6
    Brandon says:

    It is all about intent. His intent in shooting the weapon was to kill the President. Case closed.

    Am I the only though that has forgotten the last time someone fired an assault weapon (or any weapon) at the White House was during the Clinton Administration? Someone also flew a light plane into the WH then, a sort of presage to 911.

    Right wing violence has become so common against Democratic presidents that it becomes easily forgotten.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    it sure seems like a reach to charge the guy with attempted assassination. Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt.

    For reals, Cole? The guy states to numerous people that he wants to kill the president and then goes and attempts to do it (no matter that it was inept) and it’s no biggie? Seriously?

  8. 8
    batgirl says:

    Sounds like a textbook case of schizophrenia to me. I don’t think it would have mattered who was in the White House. My guess is that this kid needs psychological help and anti-psychotic drugs, not a lifetime in prison.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt.

    Jeez. Talk about splitting cross hairs.

    But this nutcase clearly intended to do harm to the president, perhaps even his family. He wasn’t just randomly shooting in the direction of the White House.

    And when you have morans like president of the College Republicans at the University of Texas doing Twitter jokes about it, I want to see this kind of thing stomped on hard.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    Not enough info, but it seems like this guy is likely mentally ill.

    Either way, he’s in jail and he’s not leaving, and that is where he needs to be.

  11. 11
    AnnaN says:

    Having said that, it sure seems like a reach to charge the guy with attempted assassination. Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt.

    It’s all about the intent.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt.

    Not your finest blogging moment, Cole. You might want to rethink this.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    @batgirl:

    Sorry, but you could probably say that about any presidential assassin. People who want to go around mass murdering people are probably schizophrenic, too. You could say the same about Richard Poplawski, too. Sorry, but I don’t want murderous schizos with guns running around while a therapist gives him/her talk therapy and some thorazine that we have to trust that he’ll actually take.

    And I say this as a sibling of someone with bipolar disorder for which he self-medicates (or not, as the mood strikes him) and who has guns.

  14. 14
    jheartney says:

    Given the record of presidents both targeted and assassinated, you can see that they don’t mess around on these things. Not to mention that there’s a large-well-funded Secret Service whose job is to think about this sort of stuff 24/7, and which is not known for having a sense of humor.

    The crazy thing is that nuts like this have access to guns at all.

    If we don’t let our nutsos have full access to hand artillery, then the terrorists have won.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    AK-47? Not the weapon of choice for snipers who have any pretension of hitting their target.

    Besides, Obama was elsewhere at the time. Charge him for taking pot shots at the White House, but attempted assassination? Only if he’s got a weapon with an effective range of several thousand miles.

    The guy is a mental case. Treat him as such.

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    And what is in the water in Idaho?

    Well, since you asked.

    http://environmental-defense-i.....ater.3.htm

    SE Idaho is a hotbed of wackos and, not coincidentally, more of a northern province of Utah than afixed to the rest of the state. Parts are purdy, though.

    Now the Panhandle is something else, again.

  17. 17
    cathyx says:

    I agree with John. The President wasn’t even in the White House at the time.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    It was easy for me to assume the guy was a wingnut and I personally think he is a Palin supporter. If he had read the paper, he might know that the President was on his way to Hawaii. Where were the daughters of the first lady and the President?

  19. 19
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt. Or was this a sniper rifle and not an assault weapon?

    I seem to recall reading last Friday that he attempted to fit the AK-47 with a scope. I don’t know if that’s held up as truth since then, but if it has, I guess it could kind of sort of count as at least attempting to snipe?

  20. 20
    Gex says:

    The wingnuts are really beating the Dems in the violent and mentally ill demographic. Sometimes it feels like that is the fastest growing demo in our country.

    ETA: Not that they are Republicans necessarily, but they are very anti-government.

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    @cathyx:

    So no one was there at all and it’s no big deal if people decide to shoot at the White House if the president isn’t there?

    What if Malia and Sasha had been standing on the Truman Balcony? What if someone from the housekeeping staff had been standing there?

    Jeebus.

  22. 22
    David Koch says:

    Free Mumia!

  23. 23
    pragmatism says:

    fox news has branded him the “Occupy shooter”. because hippie punching makes the world go round.

    http://wonkette.com/456567/fox.....py-shooter

  24. 24
    Knockabout says:

    Surely Obama could have made him disappear if that was the goal, he has that power apparently and we never would have known differently unless they came forward with news of the investigation as they did, yes. Sure helps his approval numbers if you have a public media spectacle and call it “attempted assassination” though, huh.

  25. 25

    @jnc:

    Says someone living in West by God Virginia?

    Hey, we know what’s in the water in West Virginia: fracking fluid. Now we aren’t allowed to know exactly what the chemical composition of fracking fluid is or we’d be able to sue Haliburton for polluting the water, but that’s another matter.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Soonergrunt informed us last Friday that the AK-47 with a laser sight might be fairly effective to 250m or so.

    Which is a third of the range this guy had on the WH.

    If you aim in the general direction at that range, you might hit something…which is what it seems happened. But as for accuracy? Certainly not in the hands of someone who is untrained, and this guy strikes me that way.

    He needs treatment and he needs to be confined/supervised to protect himself and others.

  27. 27
    Campionrules says:

    Same deal as Loughner. Mentally ill, obsessed with a particular politician but probably not politically motivated other than batshit mental illness.

    Only difference really, is that he tried to take out the most protected man in the world. Loughner just walked down to his local grocery store and took out a much easier target.

    Attempted assassination is a perfectly fine charge here.

    Of course, if you’re Occupy San Diego it’s probably not good to express a moment of solidarity with the shooter or at least don’t do it on video. To be fair, they also expressed a moment of solidarity with the White House too. Clearly, they are an equal opportunity movement.

  28. 28

    @cathyx: Were Michelle, Malia, and Sasha?

    Anyone who fires a weapon in what they believe to be the direction of the President needs to be put away for a long, long while. I would say that about Nixon.

  29. 29
    Knockabout says:

    Last time I checked USSS was an executive branch department.

  30. 30
    Mark S. says:

    I would think attempting to assassinate the president would get the death penalty, simply because we love the death penalty so much.

  31. 31
    RodeoBob says:

    The crazy thing is that nuts like this have access to guns at all.

    God damn it! Now you’re making me defend the NRA of all folks! “nuts like this” get to have access to guns for the same reason as everyone else: “nuts” is a snap judgement made by amateurs with no training or background. If this guy had been diagnosed with a mental illness that would make him a danger to himself or others and refused treatment, then yeah, you could say “it’s crazy that this guy could buy a gun”. But this guy? Not so much so.

    Having said that, it sure seems like a reach to charge the guy with attempted assassination.

    Yeah… just because he told numerous people he intended to kill the President, then drove from Idaho across most of the country to D.C., then fired a gun at the residential wing of the White House… I mean really? “Attempted assassination”? He was barely trying at all, right?

    It takes a special kind of stupidity to piss of the Right (NRA & gun rights) and the Left. (trying to defend attempted frikin’ assasination of the president? Who happens to be a Democrat, and black?)

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    @Knockabout:

    Oh, RC, you really are a card.

  33. 33
    Anoniminous says:

    what is in the water in Idaho?

    Idaho has been attracting Right Wing moon crazy loonies since the late 1960s. And I’m talking fer-real & actual Neo-Nazi, KKK, skinhead White Power Race-War loonies. They’ve all congregated and now they feed each other’s paranoid schizophrenia until – ‘ere now & again – they break-out into homicidal mania.

  34. 34
    batgirl says:

    @geg6: I don’t think anyone is saying that it isn’t a big deal or that this young man doesn’t need to be involuntarily committed, if mentally ill as I’m assuming, or imprisoned, maybe even for a long time.

    To be honest, we just don’t know enough and all this is speculation. But I am uncomfortable with connecting this man at this point with right-wing “craziness.” The little bit of details that have come out, for those familiar with mental illness, sounds very much like schizophrenia. And while most schizophrenics are not dangerous, some are. I’m sure we will learn more in the days and months to come.

  35. 35
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    This guy belongs in some sort of facility for the criminally insane, such as a prison, for life. And, as everyone here agrees, President Obama is not the anti-Christ.
    .
    .

  36. 36
    gelfling545 says:

    Say your neighbor is mentally ill and takes a paranoid dislike to you. S/he fires shots at your house and you are not injured. Perhaps s/he does it pretty ineptly, too. Do you just say “No harm, no foul” and go on your merry way? Of course you call the police who then, if there is evidence that s/he committed the act, arrest him. Most likely the court orders psychiatric testing to determine who the person should be dealt with but nobody just says “S/he’s nuts so forget it.”

  37. 37
    steve says:

    Villago, do we think it was an AK? they’re not accurate rifles.

    BTW is the text in the reply box painfully, stupidly tiny for anyone else, or just me?

  38. 38
    Chris says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Idaho has been attracting Right Wing moon crazy loonies since the late 1960s. And I’m talking fer-real & actual Neo-Nazi, KKK, skinhead White Power Race-War loonies. They’ve all congregated and now they feed each other’s paranoid schizophrenia until – ‘ere now & again – they break-out into homicidal mania.

    I read somewhere that those guys hatched some kind of plan back in the eighties to have all the hardcore White Power groups in the country move to Idaho/the Northwest, so that they’d have enough votes to become a political force to dominate the region, and then vote for secession.

    The plan fell through before it even began because too many White Power guys in the other parts of the country were all “no, why should we move to your area? YOU move to OUR area.”

  39. 39
    Granite Stater says:

    Can you see the WH from 750 yards?

    Also, fires shots at the WH and then arrested in western PA? Nice work SS.

  40. 40
    Mark B. says:

    I’m gonna pile on here. Just because this was an incompetent assassination attempt doesn’t make it not an assassination attempt. What are you gonna do? Give the guy drugs and counseling so he can get better organized for the next one? He needs to be put away for a good long spell.

  41. 41
    Martin says:

    Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt.

    Uh, wut?

    An assassination change suggests nothing about the ability to execute. If so, there’d be no such charge – there’d be ‘assassination’, and ‘shooting things that aren’t the President’.

    You shoot at the White House, there’s no other possible charge other than ‘assassination attempt’ unless you were shooting at some bad guy (how cool is it that I can’t think of a bad guys name that Obama hasn’t already killed or overthrown?) and missed? Of course it was an assassination attempt.

    Christ, you guys around guns all the time get way too desensitized to them.

  42. 42
    Tom Q says:

    @batgirl: Yet it seems (I’m certainly open to contrary evidence) that since the long-ago attempt on Reagan, all these clearly mentally ill/schizophrenic sorts have chosen prominent Democratic targets. So, maybe there’s something to the idea that propaganda organs on the right are more effectively demonizing their political opponents and offering subsconscious direction these mentally ill folk are apt to pick up on.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    @steve:
    Hint that you’ve spent way too much time working with ZIPs. Reading

    Villago, do we think it was an AK? they’re not accurate rifles.

    and thinking that might explain why the Divine Miss Starbursts wasn’t able to take down her caribou.

    ETA: Seriously, getting from AK to Alaska though loading an entire state to the above is a bit scary. I’m entering my grey matter into the Olympic mental broad jumps 2012.

  44. 44
    Anoniminous says:

    Use the dictionary, Luke!¹

    “A person can be charged with an attempted crime (such as “attempted robbery” or “attempted murder”) even though not all the elements of the underlying crime were completed in order to be found guilty of the actual crime.

    The following must occur for a person to be guilty of an attempted crime.

    1.Criminal shows intent to commit a crime, and

    2.the criminal comes dangerously close to successfully completing the crime but somehow does not complete all of the required elements.”

    (Being aware of All Internet Traditions© I’d use blockquote except FYWP is incapable of multi-paragraph quoting & I’m too lazy to look-up the proper dongle.)

    ¹ The generic Luke. No infringement of the Intellectual Property of the StarWars™ and LucasFilm® corporations, their heirs and assignees, antecedents, descendants, spin-offs, marketing, branding, toys, bath towels, rubber “WELCOME!” mats, or anything, everything, and their little dog, too is intended and/or wanted. (Please don’t sue me.)

  45. 45
    cathyx says:

    @geg6: Wow, you’re such an extremist. Of course that’s not what I’m saying.

    I agree with John that what he did was a seriously crime, but it’s a stretch to charge him with attempted assassination. You can come up with a million what ifs but that doesn’t change what was. What if the president was standing outside and the guy kills him? Then it would be an assassination, but that wasn’t what happened and the president wasn’t even there.

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    Why do these nuts always shoot at democrats?

    these days, since Reagan of course.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    Who’s going to be first out of the gate to suggest this guy has to be a liberal and got his ‘antichrist’ talking points from someone on the left?

  48. 48
    John Cole says:

    I’m not condoning the actions of the guy, and I think he should be in a mental hospital for a long, long time, and I understand he said he wanted to kill the President, but I just didn’t understand how shooting at the WH when Obama isn’t even it counts as a fucking assassination attempt. Add to it that the maximum effective range of the weapon of choice is not even near 750 yards. But I don’t know what he could be charged with, which is also why I pointed out that maybe there just isn’t anything else to charge him with.

    The hyper-sensitivity and willingness to distort everything I say into something nefarious in the comments section here is really starting to piss me off.

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @General Stuck: hmmm…Ronald Reagan might not agree with you.

  50. 50
    John Cole says:

    Not my proudest blogging moment. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @John Cole: Are you calling us whiners?

  52. 52
    AxelFoley says:

    Having said that, it sure seems like a reach to charge the guy with attempted assassination. Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt. Or was this a sniper rifle and not an assault weapon? Maybe there just isn’t anything else to charge him with other than attempted assassination.

    Huh? A reach, John?

    I’ll bet if someone was shooting at your house, no matter how far away they were or what kind of gun it was, I’ll bet you’d think someone was trying to off you.

  53. 53
    RSA says:

    They said he had told friends that he believed the president was “the Antichrist” and that he “needed to kill him,” according to a complaint filed in federal court.

    Where’s the disclaimer stating that all terrorists are not Christians?

  54. 54
    lamh35 says:

    I’m sorry, but dude wasn’t shooting at some random “white” house it was the “White House”. If a disgruntled husband who is on record as making threatening statements to his estranged wife then goes and shoots a gun at his estranged wife’s house, you mean to tell me he wouldn’t be charged with “Attempted” murder of his wife, regardless if she wasn’t there.

    Plus, to my understanding yes, POTUS and FLOTUS were in Hawaii, but the WeeMichelles and grandmomma Robinson were in residence.

  55. 55
    Anoniminous says:

    @Chris:

    LOL. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

    Fortunately, they are 99% fuck-ups although some of them have been linked, pursued, and arrested for bank robbery, murder, intimidation, and other sprightly practices of the violently deranged.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @steve:

    AK 47 with a scope was found near the scene on Friday, along with a vehicle with Idaho plates.

    That’s from the initial reports. I do not know if they’ve positively identified the weapon found on Friday with the round found in the glass of the WH earlier this week, however.

    You DO NOT just say “no harm, no foul”. Discharging a weapon in the direction of ANY inhabited building is a crime. That it happens to be the Executive Mansion compounds things. But given that Obama was on the other side of the continent at the time, “attempted assassination” seems a reach. Perhaps, as John indicates, it’s the most serious thing to charge him with. But the guy is not operating, as the Germans say, “mit alle Tassen im Schrank”. He’s a fries, burger, and drink short of a happy meal.

    That needs to be taken into consideration. He certainly needs to be confined, and if ever released after treatment, monitored.

  57. 57
    Paris says:

    water in Idaho?

    fracking fluid?

  58. 58
    stickler says:

    @Chris: Not quite. There was, indeed, a movement to get all the White-Power types to settle up by Sandpoint, but it fizzled pretty hard when the locals teamed up with one of the national Civil Rights organizations and started suing the crap out of them. Aryan Nations lost its compound, even.

    Sandpoint has hippies and yuppies; the folks living in the countryside aren’t racists — they hate everybody. Even Nazis.

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    I think rest assured, anyone taking pot shots at the the WH, with a presidential grudge, mentally ill or not. It is not likely he will ever walk free again, in these times. Provided the evidence matches up with guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Not these days. He may end up as Hinkley’s room mate at the prison psych ward. Or maybe some other locked down facility. Whether that is right or wrong, I don’t really know. But I think that is the world we are in, having enough problems without people taking pot shots at a potus.

  60. 60
    dr. bloor says:

    After reading this thread, I can safely announce that critical thinking and due process are dead. Of course he’s going to be charged with attempted assassination at this poin, although we don’t know anything reliable yet about his state of mind, how the charges might be modified, his competency at the time of the shooting, his competency to stand trial, what he might actually be convicted of someday, and what his disposition will be.

    Y’all need to chill.

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    JPL

    Yes, I just sat down at the computer and churned out a half ass comment. Not the first time, nor last, praise be FSM.

  62. 62

    Hey, Demi said she’s going to divorce Ashton.

  63. 63
    Paris says:

    @Martin: Glenn Beck had this loon as an Occupy DC participant yesterday. (I got stuck driving my 16 year old back up vehicle yesterday – it has an AM radio that only gets the one 50kWatt wingnut station in the araea).

  64. 64
    Michael says:

    Legally speaking, “impossibility” is almost never a defense for an attempt crime. If I think my cheating wife is in her lover’s house, and I fire a gun into the house from the street, and it turns out neither of them are home, it is without a doubt attempted murder. Without getting into too much detail, for a crime like murder, generally the question is whether, if the facts of the situation were actually as the criminal believed them to be at the time, would the crime have been possible? So long as the guy (a) thought Obama was in the White House and (b) thought he could hit the White House from where he was firing, he’s without a doubt guilty of attempted assassination/murder/whatever.

    Question: if the guy was only 15 feet from Obama’s motorcade, and Obama was in the motorcade, and he fired at the motorcade…but Obama’s car is so heavily armored that there was literally zero chance that his bullets could ever pierce its body and get through to the President…wouldn’t that be attempted assassination?

  65. 65
    Aet says:

    Just because an assassin was wildly incompetant doesn’t make him any less an assassin. I’m pretty sure the legal defense of “My client is too big an idiot to succeed” is not a good one.

    Watch for the insanity defense on this one. This guy sounds less like some fringe ideologue on a mission and more like someone with untreated mental problems. If you follow the news, you know a little about his state of mind based on family interviews: he was hearing voices, thought the world was ending on 11/11/11, had been reported missing by his family, and said god told him to do it.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    About time. Idiot was cheating on her.

    Cripes. You’re married to Demi Moore, and you’ve got to chase other tail? WTF?

  67. 67
    Seebach says:

    @Michael: Heh, it’s actually kind of a silly thought experiment. How inept an assassination attempt could actually be before it would no longer be considered a crime.

  68. 68
    gelfling545 says:

    @John Cole: You don;t just get to say “You should be in a mental hospital; go there now.” A court, like the one he will be in after having been charged with a crime, will have to make that determination.

  69. 69
    batgirl says:

    @Tom Q: I just don’t know. Here is what the former chair of the DSM IV Task Force and the Dept of Psychiatry at Duke wrote in Psychology Today after the Giffords tragedy: Mental Illness and Political Violence

    I guess what I find more frightening than the possibility that mentally ill people may be influenced by the increasingly paranoid, violent and crazy political discourse of the right is the opposite — that the political right (and an influential and vocal minority of its supporters) are sounding and behaving more like paranoid schizophrenics–and no one is calling them out for it. Though sometimes I wonder if this is really that new in American politics and history. We seem to go through cycles.

  70. 70
    Knockabout says:

    And we’re reminded of Cole’s bad old days as a right wing reactionary responding to the security state.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Fortunately, they are 99% fuck-ups although some of them have been linked, pursued, and arrested for bank robbery, murder, intimidation, and other sprightly practices of the violently deranged.

    If you’re including the Aryan Brotherhood, also organized crime e.g. drug trafficking and prison gangs.

  72. 72
    Anoniminous says:

    @gelfling545:

    Oh, I don’t know.

    Judge John “Lock That Loon in the Nuthatch” Cole has … intriguing possibilities.

  73. 73
    General Stuck says:

    I forgot, Hinkley was found not guilty due to insanity, though still confined to a mental hospital. All the outrage from wingnuts over that verdict, has made it more likely those with mental illness committing violent crimes will end up in general prison pop, or at least not get the medical help they need.

  74. 74
    Chris says:

    @stickler:

    Ah, thanks for the clarification. Also,

    the folks living in the countryside aren’t racists—they hate everybody. Even Nazis.

    I LOL’d at this.

  75. 75
    Citizen_X says:

    the maximum effective range of the weapon of choice is not even near 750 yards

    It wasn’t necessarily an AK, it was described as a Romanian Cugir SA semi-automatic, which could be the PSL, a designated marksman rifle (a step shy of a sniper rifle) with an effective range of 1000 m, and a maximum range of 3 km.

  76. 76
    Michael says:

    @Seebach: I’m trying (and failing) to find a clip on youtube of Woody Allen in Take the Money and Run, when he tries to use a stolen pistol in a gun fight, only to find that its actually a novelty lighter…

  77. 77

    @Villago Delenda Est: One report I saw called it a Cugir, which could be any number of AK-ish rifles – including the PSL, which is definitely capable of 750m.

  78. 78
    AxelFoley says:

    @geg6:

    So no one was there at all and it’s no big deal if people decide to shoot at the White House if the president isn’t there?
    What if Malia and Sasha had been standing on the Truman Balcony? What if someone from the housekeeping staff had been standing there?
    Jeebus.

    Thank you. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with some of ya’ll today?

    “Oh, the President wasn’t there anyways.”

    And? That’s supposed to make it Ok?

    “Go easy on him. He’s a nut.”

    Man, fuck that noise. All it takes is one nut to destroy all the progress we’ve made as a nation and society, and all the progress and change that President Obama has made in overturning 40+ years of GOP policies.

    Tell ya’ll folks what–let something happen to President Obama or his family. Lots of white folks in this country are gonna get seriously hurt or killed. You think the LA riots in ’92 were bad? Harm this President or his family and you’ll see how bad it would get. That’s one genie you DO NOT want to let out of the bottle.

    I’m warning you–don’t take this shit lightly.

  79. 79

    …and Citizen X clearly read the same report I did.

  80. 80
    Mark B. says:

    @Seebach: I suppose trying to kill the president with the power of your mind might be one of those, but people might never know you were doing it, except they might get suspicious when you close your eyes and clench all of the muscles in your face everytime the President is in range, whatever the range might be.

  81. 81
    4tehlulz says:

    Mr. Ortega-Hernandez — who is heavily tattooed, including the word “Israel” on his neck —

    I bet Steve Israel really regrets spamming that e-mail right now.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Cripes. You’re married to Demi Moore, and you’ve got to chase other tail? WTF?

    Well, I won’t defend the chasing other tail, because I’m unyielding on that part, but relationships are two-way streets. Just because you’re married to Demi Moore doesn’t mean that she’s still into you. Landing the hot chick is only a victory so long as the hot chick is into you. Once that relationship starts to go sideways, it’s sideways no matter how hot he/she is.

  83. 83
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Jeez, calling Obama the Antichrist is SOOOOO 2008.

    Was this yayhoo wearing a white top hat?

  84. 84
    KevinNYC says:

    Washington post reporting it was NOT an AK-57

    The affidavit alleges that Ortega-Hernandez stopped his black, 1998 Honda near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW and opened fire through the passenger-side window, using a Romanian-made Cugir SA semiautomatic rifle equipped with a telescopic sight.


    Which Wikipedia says is fairly accurate

    With some simple instruction an average individual can be issued a PSL and successfully engage targets at ranges that far exceed the accurate capabilities of non-scoped assault rifles like the AKM, AK-47, etc.

  85. 85
    mikeyes says:

    Here is a good precis regarding this case. Under federal law the Secret Service has extra-ordinary powers when it comes to protecting the President and a host of others. The charge against him is simply a device to hold him without bail until the rest of the investigation is finished.

    By the way, Reagan’s (attempted) assasin is still incarcerated under the not guilty by insanity defense.

  86. 86

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    RT @JamesUrbaniak: Dude, where’s my no-fault dissolution with equal distribution of community property?

  87. 87
    Michael says:

    @Michael: Here it is:

    Youtube

  88. 88
    Martin says:

    Oooh, I smell the next ‘Al Gore invented the internet’:

    “I was just presented with the most unique gift I have ever received as president — crocodile insurance,”

    ZOMG, Nobama bought crocodile insurance on his trip to Europe!

  89. 89

    The arrest warrant and criminal complaint all mention 7.62x39mm bullets and casings, not the PSL’s 7.62x54mm ammunition. It’d be hard to confuse the two cases.

  90. 90
    Redshift says:

    @Granite Stater:

    Can you see the WH from 750 yards?

    Yes, it’s easily visible from Constitution Avenue. It’s back across the Ellipse, so it’s a fair distance (unlike Pennsylvania Avenue, which it fronts directly onto), but it’s still obvious.

  91. 91
    AxelFoley says:

    Oh, and for those who say that because the President was out of town when this asshole shot at the White House–who’s to say this fucker knew that? Hell, I bet most of the country that doesn’t follow politics as much as bloggers do didn’t even know PBO was out of town, especially since the media hardly reported on it.

    So, who’s to say this jackass knew the President’s itinerary?

  92. 92
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I don’t have a problem with the Secret Service busting this guy’s chops. At all.

    The kind of fucknuts that would go for “Second Amendment Remedies” need to understand that if they get caught, then shit is getting real. If they think that the Secret Service is going to let them off easy, I would expect incidents like this to happen a LOT more often. Not just the piles of death threats that Obama is reported to get, but actual shots fired.

    Call me a squidgy liberal, but I’d have said the same thing if this happened 4 years ago, and Bush was still the occupant. Some lines aren’t worth crossing.

  93. 93
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The p@KevinNYC:

    Which Wikipedia says is fairly accurate

    Interesting, because deliberately choosing an sniper rifle kind of under cuts the whole “he’s nutters and doesn’t know what he is doing” defense.

  94. 94
    JC says:

    I know this is off-topic, but anything about the actions of OWS today? I keep having to go to GOS, for the news, or to the Gaurdian.

  95. 95
    Redshift says:

    @dr. bloor:

    After reading this thread, I can safely announce that critical thinking and due process are dead.

    Is it time for another round of holding opinions expressed on a blog to the standards of professional legal opinions? We just got done with that yesterday!

    I’m glad we didn’t have that standard during the Bush Administration, since most of those guys were never even charged, much less convicted. We would have had almost nothing to talk about.

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    Landing the hot chick is only a victory so long as the hot chick is into you.

    Doesn’t always work that way. I’m also unclear how Ashton being unfaithful connects to Demi not being into him. Either way, it’s a bit of too bad.

  97. 97
    MikeJ says:

    He wasn’t trying to assassinate Obama. He was hunting the Sasquatch Israel.

  98. 98
    RareSanity says:

    Randomly shooting at the WH is a very serious crime, but taking potshots from 750 yards is hardly an assassination attempt.

    LOLWUT?!?

    He must have been protesting the decor that the First Lady chose for the residence.

  99. 99
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @John Cole:

    The hyper-sensitivity and willingness to distort everything I say into something nefarious in the comments section here is really starting to piss me off.

    I blame the prolonged Tunch deprivation.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @protected static:

    All I had to go on was “AK 47” in the initial reports. Which, for the record, are notoriously inaccurate. Initial reports, but stock “dragged through the mud by a 10 year old impressed child soldier” AK 47s aren’t terribly accurate, either.

    Didn’t see more through explanations.

  101. 101
    CaliCat says:

    @CaptainFwiffo:

    The guy wanted to kill Obama, and is alleged to have shot a gun at the White House. The fact that the POTUS wasn’t there at the time doesn’t really factor into it – he was attempting to assassinate the president. It doesn’t really matter that his attempt was almost totally inept, that was what he was going for.

    Thank you. My thoughts exactly. This guy’s intent was to kill the president and he tried to the best of his ability to do just that.

    John, please, wake the hell up.

  102. 102
    Elliecat says:

    @AxelFoley:

    So, who’s to say this jackass knew the President’s itinerary?

    I was going to make this point but from the “so he’s seriously mentally ill but he’s on top of the President’s itinerary” angle.

    @Jay in Oregon:

    If they think that the Secret Service is going to let them off easy, I would expect incidents like this to happen a LOT more often.

    Exactly.

  103. 103
    John Cole says:

    I know this makes me a horrible human being, but I continue to think that the President should at least have the be in Continental US before shooting at the WH is considered an assassination attempt.

  104. 104
    steve says:

    there’s little ambiguity here. attempted murder requires only two elements, legally:

    1) proof of intent

    2) substantial effort was made to commit the act

    check and check.

  105. 105
    Raven says:

    @Granite Stater: Ever hear of indirect fire?

  106. 106
    Raven says:

    @John Cole: I think you are a great person but I don’t think you are correct on that.

  107. 107
    velouria says:

    @trollhattan:

    SE Idaho isn’t great, but it’s not as bad as you’re saying. Idaho Falls, where Ortega-Hernandez is from, is pretty decent as far as small (around 50k) towns go. A lot of the people who live there are transplants who work for the Idaho National Laboratory in some capacity. Still overwhelmingly conservative and mormon, but that’s par for the course in Idaho/Utah.

  108. 108
    El Cid says:

    I really think that these psycho-mystic warnings of who’s the Anti-Christ need to get much clearer, because apparently they’re getting all sorts of people in trouble — can’t all the anti-Anti-Christ psycho-magic messaging systems get synchronized or something?

  109. 109
    AxelFoley says:

    @John Cole:

    I know this makes me a horrible human being, but I continue to think that the President should at least have the be in Continental US before shooting at the WH is considered an assassination attempt.

    Digging in your heels, John? Again, who’s to say this dude knew the President was out of town?

    And again, if someone shot up my house, whether I was home or not, I’m taking it as a sign that someone is trying to kill me.

  110. 110
    Raven says:

    @velouria:

    I’ll drop the baby off at school at nine,
    And bust the lights to get to work on time.
    Where I’ll be staring at the clock just waiting to knock off another day.
    When supper’s done we’ll watch some TV show,
    Of a bunch of folks who’ve never heard of Idaho,
    Where easy’s gettin’ harder every day.

  111. 111
    General Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    I know this makes me a horrible human being,

    The kids get squirrely, when daddy thinks too much.

  112. 112
    Raven says:

    @AxelFoley: If someone sets off a bomb on a route they know an official is going to take it’s an assassination attempt whether the target is there or not.

  113. 113
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Hey, maybe if we had a sane point of view on mental health and mental health coverage in Western society someone might have actually DONE something when this guy started weirding out about the President being the Antichrist

  114. 114
    AxelFoley says:

    @Raven:

    Thank you. I don’t know what’s in the water today on this blog where some here can say someone shooting at the White House, regardless of whether or not the President is home–and not being sure whether the shooter knew the President’s schedule–doesn’t necessarily constitute an assassination attempt.

  115. 115
    steve says:

    @John Cole: let’s try a thought experiment. say that the circs were exactly the same, but that whenever the prez was out of the country, the secret service set up a decoy dummy in the oval office, and the kook was aiming at the decoy. would it still not be an assassination attempt, since the prez is abroad?

  116. 116
    RareSanity says:

    @John Cole:

    Don’t go playing the victim on us Cole.

    The point people are making is that all that matters, is the intent of the person, not the feasibility of the act succeeding.

    I guess one could say that his intent may have been to merely “scare” the President. But, that argument will fall short because a bullet was actually fired.

  117. 117
    Zandar says:

    It’s political to charge this guy with attempted assassination.

    It’s also political to shoot at the White House.

  118. 118
    CaliCat says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    The kind of fucknuts that would go for “Second Amendment Remedies” need to understand that if they get caught, then shit is getting real.

    This. Exactly this.

  119. 119
    John Cole says:

    @steve: That would be a different situation, and I would think differently about it.

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    @velouria:

    A buddy of mine landed himself in Pocatello back in the ’90s and I’ve visited him and the area several times, so just sharing my observations. One aspect that cracked me up were the five-bedroom “starter” homes.

    Washington’s Tri-Cities has a similar vibe, with Hanford scientists comingled with…whatever the hell else they do for a living there.

  121. 121
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Any chance of a conversation here about mental health services?

  122. 122
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    I know this makes me a horrible human being, but I continue to think that the President should at least have the be in Continental US before shooting at the WH is considered an assassination attempt.

    Because nutcases are presumed to know the presidential itinerary?

    And if they shoot up the East Wing, but the president is in the West Wing?

    It’s not about your being a horrible human being. It’s about thinking the thing through.

  123. 123
    The Sailor says:

    John Cole, prosecutors ALWAYS overreach with the charges. A cop hits you, you get charged with battery on a cop. You yell back? You’re charged with assault on a cop. It makes getting plea bargains easier because few defendants have the will or $$ to fight that in court with a jury.

    It’s the 1st step in their gaming the system.

    Also, too, he hit windows in the WH. 750 yards is not that far away, less than a 1/2 mile, for a trained sniper.

    I think the guy is probably nuts, but so was Hinckely, and so was Fromme, for that matter.

  124. 124
    cathyx says:

    How far away can a shooter be from the intended target and still call it an assassination attempt?

  125. 125
    Zandar says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Yes.

    Zandardad is a state family/preschool psychologist and mental health counselor, Zandarmom was a psych ward head nurse before she retired. I’ve seen first hand what America’s mental health professionals have to deal with on a regular basis.

    Yes, the mental health system that we’ve made untold cuts to in state after state, county after county, should have picked this guy up much sooner.

  126. 126
    RareSanity says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The mental health of the suspect is something for the courts.

    If his lawyer can prove, that he did not possess the mental faculties to form the intent, then he would be not guilty by reason of mental defect.

    However, it would still be that the suspect was not capable of forming the intent…to attempt assassination.

  127. 127
    General Stuck says:

    I don’t think you could, or they, federal prosecutors, would claim an assassination attempt as a matter of legal indictment. UNLESS, they had other evidence the dude had specific intent to do the POTUS harm, or even an idle grudge. Put those two things together, shooting at the WH, and evidence of a fixation on the POTUS , then assassination attempt can be, and should be leveled at this guy. But with the very tight laws protecting the presnit from violence, this individual has likely drawn his last free breath.

  128. 128
    Raven says:

    Presidential assassination attempts and plots:

    “February 22, 1974: Samuel Byck apparently planned to kill Nixon by crashing a commercial airliner into the White House.[13] Once he had hijacked the plane on the ground, he was informed that it could not take off with the wheel blocks still in place. He shot the pilot and copilot, then was shot by an officer through the plane’s door window before killing himself. The events surrounding this assassination attempt were depicted in the film The Assassination of Richard Nixon.”

    “September 12, 1994: Frank Eugene Corder flew a single-engine Cessna into the White House lawn, allegedly trying to hit the White House. The President and First Family were not home at the time, thus the actual motive behind the crash landing is inconclusive. Corder was the only casualty.[21]

  129. 129
    handy says:

    @cathyx:

    How about at least as far away so as not to be able to send bullets into his house.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @cathyx:

    How far away can a shooter be from the intended target and still call it an assassination attempt?

    The shooter wanted to harm the president. Bullets hit the White House. Why does a distance test matter?

  131. 131

    The crazy thing is that nuts like this have access to guns at all

    Well, you know it is pretty simple – unless you do something pretty damn public and pretty damn crazy it doesn’t get real notice. There is a hell of a lot of crazy that doesn’t rise to official notice.

    You can say the same thing about access to the two ton bullets we call cars. Next time you’re on a two lane highway give a thought to that oncoming driver that’s closing with you at 120 mph three feet away.

    BTW, I have hit 4/5 metal man sized targets at 200 yds with an SKS off hand and open sights. That is about it for that gun with those sights. That bullet will kill you at considerably farther than that. This is actually a pretty good one. I haven’t tried long range fine accuracy with the thing – the round is too big and slow and the sights suck for such a thing.

    All that said, an AK with good fit and ammo and optics should be capable of hitting a man sized target at 750 yds. The ordinary production standards for AKs means you can pretty much figure one won’t be much good for accuracy shooting – but that doesn’t mean all are.

    BYW, most guns are more capable than most shooters…

  132. 132
    CaliCat says:

    @John Cole:

    I know this makes me a horrible human being, but

    First, stop right there. You are a wonderful human being…and a cuddly one at that. Second, I think you are seeing this from a different perspective than some of us here. I’m focusing on the intent of this person. To me, it doesn’t matter whether it was a feeble attempt or not. There has to be zero tolerance when it comes to this sort of behavior. It is the president after all.

  133. 133
    Mr Furious says:

    My only objection to the charge of attempted assassination is if it is an overreach that can’t be prosecuted effectively and he walks. If this is a holding charge by the SS until the case shakes out, fine. I don’t care what the hell the indictment ends up reading, as long as they are throwing the book at him.

    Btw, John’s line about Obama being out of the continental U.S. is sure to be the go-to minimization phrase of the Rushes and FOXes.

  134. 134
    trollhattan says:

    @cathyx:

    If I take my [imaginary, but for this discussion let’s presume it’s real] rifle out on my California front porch and aim it generally towards D.C., yelling “No Bammy” while firing, they’re probably limited to illegal discharge of a weapon and disturbing the peace or somesuch, and certainly a 48-hour psych hold. I doubt I’ve done anything federal.

    In this case, a guy actually hits the W.H. using a rifle that’s considered innacurate at that distance, I’m guessing they can throw the book at him. Assasination attempt? Perhaps not, but attempted murder, assault on numerous federal employees and assault w/a deadly weapon, I’d guess yeah.

  135. 135
    Raven says:

    @Mr Furious: He ain’t goin nowhere, take that to the bank.

  136. 136
    cathyx says:

    @trollhattan: Yes, that’s my point and I think John’s too, but I don’t want to speak for him.

  137. 137
    middlewest says:

    I do find it fascinating sometimes that Christians are far more well-versed in fanfiction concepts such as Lucifer and the Antichrist than they are in anything that actually appears in the Bible.

  138. 138
    Raven says:

    According to three acquaintances cited in the complaint document, Ortega-Hernandez considered Obama the cause of his problems and referred to him at times as the “anti-Christ” and the devil.

    One witness — identified only as “W-4” — told investigators that Ortega-Hernandez “has increasingly become more agitated against the federal government, and is convinced that the federal government is conspiring against him,” the FBI agent’s affidavit said.

    He “wanted to ‘hurt’ President Obama and referred to him as ‘the anti-Christ,'” the witness said.

    Another witness — identified as “W-6” — also quoted Ortega-Hernandez calling Obama “the anti-Christ.” This witness told agents Ortega-Hernandez told him he “needed to kill him.”

    A third witness, known as “W-7,” told investigators Ortega-Hernandez owned an “AK-47 like gun.” His “opinions and comments regarding the government and President Obama have gotten worse” over the past year, the witness told agents.

    “W-7 stated that Ortega-Hernandez believed President Obama is ‘the devil,’ and that Ortega-Hernandez ‘will not stop until it’s done.'” the affidavit said. “W-7 also reported that Ortega-Hernandez stated President Obama ‘needed to be taken care of.'”

    Why in the hell would they charge this guy with attempted assassination of the President??

  139. 139
    Ed Drone says:

    @pragmatism:

    “Occupy shooter”

    The Feds looked among the Occupy DC encampment before they had much to go on, so, since they looked there, he must have been there.

    QED

    Ed

  140. 140
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @RareSanity:

    Yeah, that’s absolutely not what I’m talking about

  141. 141
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Christ let’s blab more about sights and bullets like this is some sort of TV sports match instead of talking about how we’re so terrified of acknowledging mental health issues in this country that this guy’s acquaintances shrugged off repeated announcements that the President was the Antichrist and had to be killed

  142. 142
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Zandar:

    Zandardad is a state family/preschool psychologist and mental health counselor, Zandarmom was a psych ward head nurse before she retired. I’ve seen first hand what America’s mental health professionals have to deal with on a regular basis. Yes, the mental health system that we’ve made untold cuts to in state after state, county after county, should have picked this guy up much sooner.

    Thank you so much for posting this.

    So many Americans don’t even want to talk about it and how it affects people they know.

  143. 143
    KevinNYC says:

    The arrest warrant and criminal complaint all mention 7.62×39mm bullets and casings, not the PSL’s 7.62×54mm ammunition. It’d be hard to confuse the two cases.

    Looks like I’m wrong. Probably a Roumanian variant of the AK47

  144. 144
    jazzgurl says:

    Look John, stop trying to be totally ridiculous. Whether the Prez is/was/can’t be/ought to have been, this is not the principle. The principle is that some-one took up a rifle and shot into the White House, whether it was 10 yards, 100 yards,7000 yards. So what if he had managed to hurt some-one, what would the next defence be? Oh he was nuts. Well, most of America seems to be,therefore it is time for countrywide therapy and rehabilitation.
    Don’t be ludicrous John. You are much more than this!

  145. 145
    AxelFoley says:

    @jazzgurl:

    John’s gotta be trolling us. He’s gotta be pulling a DougJ.

  146. 146
    Kola Noscopy says:

    It is amusing and enlightening to read the usual suspects here attempting to disagree with Cole while at the same time maintaining their firm liplocks on his taint.

    Don’t squabble, kids. Papa’s ass is plenty big for all…or so he tells us. :D

  147. 147
    Raven says:

    @Kola Noscopy: Fuck you dork.

  148. 148
    Lojasmo says:

    @Kola Noscopy:
    Piss up a rope.

    I think the guy needs a psych evaluation…

    As I said up-blog…an assault weapon at that range would be almost impossibly likely to injure, much less kill anybody.

  149. 149
    debbie says:

    @ Paris:

    Doubtless it was the long hair that convinced Beck the shooter was an OWS leftie. Beck totally relies on stone-cold logic. He asserts that the red background on the N@zi flag is proof that Nazis and Communists are one and the same.

  150. 150
    steve says:

    If I take my [imaginary, but for this discussion let’s presume it’s real] rifle out on my California front porch and aim it generally towards D.C., yelling “No Bammy” while firing, they’re probably limited to illegal discharge of a weapon and disturbing the peace or somesuch, and certainly a 48-hour psych hold. I doubt I’ve done anything federal.

    No because you haven’t taken ‘substantial’ effort. This guy did, so attempted murder applies.

  151. 151
    Admiral_Komack says:

    “And if they shoot up the East Wing, but the president is in the West Wing?”

    Well, then it can’t be an assassination attempt, silly.
    The President was in the West Wing when the East Wing was shot up./snark
    I’m glad the shooter was charged with attempted assassination, and it wouldn’t break my heart if they shot the bastard.

  152. 152
    Michael says:

    I don’t know if DC is a Model Penal Code jurisdiction or not, but just FWIW, the MPC says in relevant part about attempt crimes of this type:

    § 5.01 (1) A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for the commission of the crime, he:

    (b) when causing a particular result is an element of the crime [in this case, the death of Obama is an element], does…anything with the purpose of causing or with the belief that it will cause such result without further conduct on his part
    ————–

    Setting aside the mental health issues, he clearly as the requisite culpability. Firing at the White House was arguably (clearly?) “with the purpose of causing” the result (Obama’s death), and achieving that would require “no further conduct on his part”.

    At least for the MPC, its open-and-shut, save the mental health issue.

    As someone else noted, if its a “substantial step” jurisdiction, he clearly meets that standard. Just about every other common-law definition of attempt will also find him guilty. The “equivocality” test basically requires that the acts themselves speak to his intent. In this case, shooting at the White House speaks for itself. Even if DC is a “dangerous proximity” jurisdiction, he’s STILL going to get nailed for attempted assassination. Because its “proximity” in the abstract, requiring conduct “which tends to effect the commission” of the crime (that’s NY statutory language).

    Basically, he’s guilty of attempt in just about any definition of attempt.

  153. 153
    Insomniac says:

    Posted without comment…Cain Asks for and Receives Secret Service Protection: http://www.time.com/time/natio.....83,00.html

  154. 154
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Michael: I agree that charging him with attempted murder is a no-brainer. The question of assassination is somewhat more open.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    I see John is using the Sideshow Bob defense:

    Convicted of a crime I didn’t even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?

  156. 156
    Michael says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t know the specific elements of assassination, so I can’t speak to it specifically, but I’d be surprised if this guy’s conduct doesn’t meet them.

  157. 157
    ruemara says:

    @John Cole:

    Oh John. You’re a-dorable. If I went and attacked the white house with a deadly macrobiotic key lime pie, fully intending and announcing my intention to kill the president, I am guilty of attempted assassination. Doesn’t matter if it’s swizzle sticks, rabid horde of hungry supermodels, or unproven mental powers. The intent to commit a crime, compounded by an action to do so, counts. Add to that the fact that the kids and gran are in residence, it’s simply a crime and his mental state-while important-will not prevent him from being charged with a crime.

  158. 158
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Michael: 18 USC Sec 1751. My real question is whether the fact that Obama was not there is enough to make assassination impossible, but I don’t feel like diving into Westlaw for it.

  159. 159
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    And what is in the water in Idaho?

    Mine tailings; lead, zinc and the like.

  160. 160
    PurpleGirl says:

    Did anyone mention that a felon can in many places buy a gun after getting out of jail, but they can’t vote?

  161. 161
    MikeJ says:

    If he knew the president was out of town, he should be allowed to present evidence of that at his trial. If somebody shoots at the White House, it’s a fair assumption they wanted to violate 18 USC § 115.

  162. 162

    @Lojasmo:

    As I said up-blog…an assault weapon at that range would be almost impossibly likely to injure, much less kill anybody.

    Your ignorance is astonishing, an AK round at 750m will very surely kill you. Very dead, very easily. Not to mention at double that range.

    Maybe you should leave alone things alone that you know absolutely not one iota about.

    When the effective range of a firearm is memtioned it is talking about the ability to aquire and hit a target which is entirely different from lethal range or maximum bullet carry which also are different.

  163. 163
    Raven says:

    @Chuck Butcher: These are the kind of dopes that would fire a weapon into the air on new years eve because they couldn’t hurt anyone.

  164. 164

    @Raven:
    Shoot without backdrops…

    think a .22 is nothing – lethal range 1 mile…

    think a civilian assault rifle is a machine gun…

  165. 165
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @Raven:

    Fuck you dork.

    Ah, Raven, always so well spoken.

  166. 166

    @Kola Noscopy:
    You are reliably a head up its ass

  167. 167
    Pamoya says:

    Defendant may be convicted of attempted assassination of President under 18 USCS § 1751( c), where there was sufficient evidence that he had specific intent to kill President and that his intent was corroborated by steps he took in preparation of actual shooting, even though he mistakenly shot at individual who was not President, because defendant may be convicted of attempt where his objective conduct, taken as whole, corroborates requisite criminal intent. United States v Duran (1995, DC Dist Col) 884 F Supp 577

    From Lexis.

    Legally, the definition of an attempted crime does not require that the crime actually be possible to commit, just that the defendant wanted to commit it and his/her actions show that by some substantial step taken to commit it. Several other people have pointed this out already.

  168. 168
    priscianusjr says:

    @cathyx:

    I agree with John. The President wasn’t even in the White House at the time.

    Hmmm … somehow I don’t see a law career in your future.

  169. 169
    priscianusjr says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My real question is whether the fact that Obama was not there is enough to make assassination impossible, but I don’t feel like diving into Westlaw for it.

    You can’t assassinate someone who isn’t there. But that isn’t the point. The point is, he assumed he was there. If not, why do you think he came all the way from Idaho — for target practice?

  170. 170
    fcc says:

    A simple charge of discharge of a firearm within x feet of a residence would be a sensible way to proceed. Plenty of time to examine motive and circumstance while that works through the system. The assassination stuff is prosecutorial grandstanding.

  171. 171
    CaliCat says:

    I’m very concerned for the safety of the president. Right now, it’s almost exactly the same amount of time into the Obama Administration as it was into the Kennedy Administration when JFK was hit. The more the president’s chances of re-election appear imminent, the more vulnerable he becomes, imo. I do believe the Secret Service will protect him…but I take nothing for granted. I pray that nothing terrible happens to PBO. I can’t even imagine the horror if it did.

  172. 172
    Parmenides says:

    Edit: Completely misread a comment’s comma’s and commented.

  173. 173
    Nemesis says:

    The shooter represents the base of the gop. One could expect when polled a near majority of goopers would support firing rounds into the blackity black black White House. This is what we have become.

    Ive not been terribly impressed with out president, although the gop obstruction has tarred all of gummit.

    What I yearn for is a 2012 Dem victory for the sole reason of watching the gop do as they alway do-reconstitute farther to the right and come back at us. The post 2012 election gop will be exercizing their 2nd ammendement rights on a consistent basis. One wonders if such a party will be taken seriously.

  174. 174
    szatmar says:

    It’s called a “Cugir” because PSL rifles are manufactured in Alba county Transylvania, a place named Cugir

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