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.