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Old February 11, 2013, 09:28 PM   #1
jimpeel
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Kid threatens to kill 23 students and a teacher

So the kid threatens the school in an e-mail which they traced back to him. They then went to his house and searched and confiscated several firearms of various type.

SOURCE

Here is the relevant part that I found curious:

Quote:
"Once the student was identified, they searched his house and confiscated rifles, handguns and several computers."

...

"... the weapons were locked up when they searched his house and were under the supervision of his father.

“The student did not have access to the weapons. They were in the care and custody of the father,” Donahue said."
The conundrum:

WHY DID THEY CONFISCATE THE FIREARMS???
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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More puzzling, under what authority did they confiscate them?
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Since the threatening email describes the specific weapon types the kid said he planned to use, as well as "3,000 rounds of ammo", the guns (and likely the ammo, as well) would be collected as evidence against him, specifically evidence of the legitimacy of his threat.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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The authority is an interesting question, the reason is pretty simple... The weapons were under the "care and custody" of the Newtown killers mother too.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:39 PM   #5
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But according to the article, these were locked up, and the student did not have access. Perhaps the father simply handed them over, but I'm not sure that LE could have gotten them without a warrant, and the next question would (of course) be whether the warrant would have to specifically include the contents of the safe.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:40 PM   #6
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Scary that someone can hack into your email account and sic the SWAT team on your family and take your possessions.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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How do we know that the student didn't have access? He could have known the combination or the location of the key, and his father might have had no idea.

Also, if you read other articles on the subject, the police *were* serving a search warrant, and it would be unbelievable that the guns mentioned in the threatening email wouldn't be included in the search warrant.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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All speculation, but if I'm those cops, I'd be wanting 1 of 2 things... either any firearms in the house listed on the warrant or the kid in custody until the issue is resolved. "Locked up" doesn't mean much when the key is on the dad's keychain and he takes a nap, or a baseball bat to the head.

Ala Newtown.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:50 PM   #9
jimpeel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris in va View Post
Scary that someone can hack into your email account and sic the SWAT team on your family and take your possessions.
Confusion: Are you say this is what happened; or are you saying that this is a possibility in the future that someone could perform to harass someone outside of their household?
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:55 PM   #10
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
and the next question would (of course) be whether the warrant would have to specifically include the contents of the safe.
If the warrant was for items that could possibly be found in the safe, then the police have the right to search the safe. But if the police were looking solely for a stolen big-screen TV, they couldn't go looking through night-stand drawers or inside the microwave oven.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger View Post
"Locked up" doesn't mean much when the key is on the dad's keychain and he takes a nap, or a baseball bat to the head.
You are assuming there is a key. What if the safe has a combination lock? A ball bat to the head would simply send that knowledge off to Glory.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
-- former Northwest Airlines pilot Stephen Luckey
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:58 PM   #12
ScottRiqui
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Kids can be inquisitive. If the combination was written down *anywhere*, there's a good chance the kid knows it. Regardless, the point is that there's no way to know for certain that the kid didn't have access.
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Old February 11, 2013, 10:28 PM   #13
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Well, I didn't read any other articles, so I wasn't aware that there was a warrant in play. ScottRiqui, I think you're right about inclusion in the warrant. It's been a while since I had to really get down on the nitty-gritty of a home search involving a warrant.
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Old February 12, 2013, 07:49 AM   #14
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If there is a warrant, the cops may seize the firearms regardless of whose control imthey were under. If I were the father I'd be angry at the son.
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Old February 12, 2013, 08:16 AM   #15
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Threatening schools is a crime. These guns were used in the commission of this crime. Therefore, they were taken. Progunners complain that existing laws aren't enforced and that it leads to new laws. Well, this is an instance where the old laws were enforced and a tragedy possibly prevented. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Saying they were in the father's care doesn't say anything other than the dad had the key and was "pretty sure" the kid didn't know where it was.

We should be promoting this story
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:01 AM   #16
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Even though they "confiscated" them, the dad might have given them up willingly. I'm sure he was pretty freaked out.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:03 AM   #17
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Hardworker:
Quote:
Threatening schools is a crime. These guns were used in the commission of this crime. Therefore, they were taken.
So, if the kid made the same threats, but planned to use his uncles guns and ammo (from across the street) that were also locked up in a safe, then they were used in the commission of a crime? Would they be confiscated? What if he planned to steal guns from a local pawn shop and use them? Would they be confiscated because they were used in the commission of a crime?

Locked in a safe, no matter where they are, if proven to be "not accessible" to the kid, means they were NOT used in the commission of a crime, and are not subject to confiscation. To be confiscated, the dad must have let the kid have access to them, know the safe combo, or have access to the key, etc.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:13 AM   #18
hardworker
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There is no way to make a gun completely non-accessible to a kid unless it's a combo lock with no key. Just because the dad says he kept the key with him doesn't mean the kid couldn't get the key.

Being that it is a kid, the dad will probably get the guns back. But assuming that a safe automatically makes a gun inaccessible is wrong.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Scary that someone can hack into your email account and sic the SWAT team on your family and take your possessions.
No, what is scarey is that some people don't seem to know that this can happen, does happen, and happens easily.

As soon as the kid made the threat a crime was committed. At that point the cops subpena the ISP that the email came through and that tracks the email back to the source in most cases. Then they get the warrant and come knocking and it can happen very fast given the current climate.

But you knew this so it's not that scarey right
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:22 AM   #20
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The people who actually shoot up schools don't email and let them know first. This is just some sad kid crying out for attention...

that is however reguardless of the point, I'm not legally informed enough to speculate on the legality of this seizure... I can only hope those effected take a good long hard look at the law and be sure they were not wronged by the PD/county/state.

Leaving a home/family defenseless is no trifling matter, specially when word gets out to the community about what was threatened and emotions run high. I personally would take my family to another residence for a week or 2 until things died down.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:29 AM   #21
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The email might have been to another student and was brought to the school staff's attention.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
More puzzling, under what authority did they confiscate them?
I worked a similar case at a local school recently that I can't go into to much detail on. However during such cases lots of folks cooperate with police. We had a voluntary permission for search and seizure from the guardians.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:58 AM   #23
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This as a fairly short article, and did not include any quotes from the father. It is entirely possible that the father is cooperating with the police and consented to having the guns out of the house until after the situation is more stable; in that case, the word "confiscated" may be less appropriate than to say that the guns are in the custody of the police.

I don't have any more insight into the situation than is given in the article, but I also don't place much trust in the media's willingness to report such incidents in a complete and unbiased manner. At this point, I don't think I really have a reason to be upset. If the father has a secure means of storing his guns and tries unsuccessfully to get them back, I will have a problem with it. If he is focusing on his kid's mental health and doesn't want the guns in the house at the moment, the police could well be helping him and the community out a great deal, and the media reports are twisting it. Just can't tell.
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Old February 12, 2013, 12:31 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBowTies88
The people who actually shoot up schools don't email and let them know first.
You wanna bet 24 lives on that theory?

That kind of thinking is exactly what allows these things to happen. Almost invariably, after an event, there is a great outcry that there were so many warning signs, so many comments ignored, so many people "knew" and did nothing.

We can't take those chances. People will learn to stop making stupid comments. The ones who "mean it" will continue to give warning signs.
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Old February 12, 2013, 12:32 PM   #25
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I am very happy to hear that a disaster was avoided, lives were saved. I would also like to hear that the father did cooperate with the police and after everything is sorted out he gets his guns back.
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