Gun store owner stops planned mass shooting
In stunning contrast to the failure of Broward County and Parkland, Florida authorities to do anything about a mentally disturbed student acquiring the instruments of mayhem, a gun store owner in Syracuse, New York stepped up and did the right thing when a clear and present danger presented itself. Syracuse.com reports on the threat everted:
A Syracuse University student, who had stockpiled ammunition and gun accessories in his downtown apartment, was stopped before carrying out threats of a mass shooting, city police revealed today.
Xiaoteng Zhan, 22, was deported back to China by federal agents March 20 as he returned to Syracuse from spring break in Mexico, Syracuse Deputy Police Chief Derek McGork said.
Zhan told a friend that the "dark side" had pushed him to buy a gun, bulletproof vest and other items, McGork said, reading from an English translation of their messages.
"I might use the gun to cause trouble," Zhan said, adding, "I have been preparing."
When his alarmed friend begged him not to shoot children or kill her, Zhan responded: "You're the only one I don't want to kill."
Later in the story, we learn that it was someone dependent on the Second Amendment for his livelihood who saw the danger sign and called the cops in:
It all started with a tip March 12 from The Gun Store, in Nelson, which said Zhan wanted to buy an AR-15 rifle -- the weapon of choice in many recent mass shootings.
The owner called police, noting that Zhan was not a U.S. citizen but was here legally on a student visa. Zhan had a valid hunting license -- which he picked up the day before -- which allowed him to possess a gun as a non-citizen, McGork said. Zhan had taken gun safety courses in Verona.
Zhan also asked the gun store about high capacity shotguns, McGork said.
The store owner followed Zhan into the parking lot after refusing to sell him firearms. He copied down the license plate number.
The tip started the investigation that led to Zhan’s apprehension and deportation.
The gun shop owner, John Laubscher, told Syracuse.com:
"He had a desire to buy a certain thing," said Laubscher, the owner of The Gun Shop and AJ's Archery. "As we got into the conversation, nothing was lining up. All of his answers to questions were different than the guns he was looking at." (snip)
The warning signs started piling up for Laubscher:
A high-capacity shotgun isn't needed for hunting.
Zhan had just got his hunting license, which as a non-U.S. citizen he need to buy a gun in New York state.
Zhan didn't know how to use the gun.
Zhan said Syracuse University offered a class on how to use the weapon. Laubscher, who earned his master's degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, knew SU didn't offer such a class.
"Later on, when we asked him where his training was going to occur, it probably wasn't realistic that he was gonna learn to shoot a gun at college, and in the classroom," Laubscher said. "That just made no sense and set off all the alarms."
Here is video of the hero explaining his thinking:
The striking sense of civic duty from someone who gave up the opportunity to make a sale sharply contrasts with the laxity of the Broward County Sheriff and the Parkland public schools. I am sure that the people sponsoring David Hogg's celebrity moment think of gun shop owners as merchants of death and think the Sheriff Israel's forces should be the only ones with guns. But look how reliance on them has worked out.
Hat tiup: The Right Scoop