On the same day Ethan Crumbley was pleading guilty to four counts of murder and terrorism, someone else was planning on imitating his actions. Maybe not directly, but as I’ve said, almost all school shootings are descended from Columbine.
On that day, 19-year-old Orlando Harris was entering his former high school, the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri. Harris was armed with an AR-15-style rifle, ‘the preferred weapon of mass shooters ™’.
Harris was determined to gain access to the school, as CVPA had several security guards posted at all normal entry points of the school.
It only took police four minutes to arrive on the scene and another ten minutes before Harris was subdued by police. While the St. Louis police should be commended on their response time, it was enough time for Harris to commit murder inside the school. Harris shot and killed 15-year-old student Alexzandria Bell and 61-year-old teacher Jean Kuczka. Seven other students were wounded, some by gunfire, while others sustained injuries trying to escape.
It’s believed Harris would have killed even more victims if his gun didn’t jam. He barricaded himself in a room, where he exchanged gunfire with police. Harris died in the exchange.
After the scene was secured, police found a note in Harris’ car that somewhat explained why Harris wanted to commit a school shooting.
“I don’t have any friends, I don’t have any family, I’ve never had a girlfriend, I’ve never had a social life.” St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack said Harris called himself an “isolated loner,” which was a “perfect storm for a mass shooter.”
So, much like most school shooters that came before him, he blamed others for his failings and decided the only way he could cope was to pick up the coward’s weapon.
He is also said to have had a list of other school shootings with the names of the shooters and the number of people they killed. So, he was just another copycat as well.
Here’s the thing, though. He did have a family. He had a family that cared about him very much and tried to help him. According to his family, Harris had mental health issues the family was trying to help him with. According to reports, his family was trying to keep him going to therapy and on his meds.
His family even tried to have the gun removed from the home once his mother discovered it. Nine days before the shooting, police were called to the home to have the gun removed since the family was concerned about Harris’ mental state. Unfortunately, Missouri does not have any red flag laws. We’ll get to that soon enough.
The gun was instead given to a relative who did not live in the home, who could legally hold on to the gun. Somehow, Harris was able to regain possession of the weapon.
Speaking of the gun, like I said, it was an AR-15-style rifle. However, Harris was also equipped with fifteen 30-round capacity magazines along with 600 rounds of ammunition. Seven of the magazines were worn across his chest in a chest-rig, while the remaining eight were in a field bag he carried.
Harris tried purchasing an AR-15 from a licensed dealer, but failed the background check. Instead, Harris bought the AR-15 used in the shooting from a private dealer. Private dealers are not required to run background checks. This is known as the gun show loophole and has been allowing people who are legally banned from owning a gun to buy them.
I guess now is a good time to get into the Missouri gun laws that allowed this shooting to happen. Missouri is a lot like my beloved Kansas, the gun laws in the Show Me State would make Texas jealous. Missouri doesn’t require background checks on unlicensed gun sales. All you need to either open carry or conceal carry is to be at least 19-years-old.
Worst of all, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who we’ll get to in a little bit, signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act into law. The law states…
…all federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders… and regulations, whether past, present or future that infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution… of the Missouri Constitution must be invalid in this state.
This essentially means that Missouri law takes precedence over federal law when it comes to guns. If a police officer were to enforce federal gun laws in Missouri, they would be fined $50,000. Did they change the Missouri State Motto to “It’s better to stick it to the libs than prevent mass shootings.”? For you Latin nerds, that would be “Melius est liberales infestare quam prohibere homicidium”.
And since we brought up politicians, let’s see what some of Missouri’s best and brightest had to say about the shooting.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-unning Away) said…
“Devastating news in St. Louis. I’m grateful for the swift response of local law enforcement. My office is in contact with local authorities, and we stand ready to offer all assistance possible.”
Meanwhile, Senator Roy Blunt (nRa) had this to say…
“Tragic news from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis. Thank you to law enforcement officers who quickly responded.”
I hate using clichés, but this is nothing more than ‘thoughts and prayers’. As a matter of fact, this is less than that. As is typical with today’s Republicans, they’re only backing the blue when it suits them.
But the Missouri politician who really takes the cake is Missouri Governor Mike Parson. He said that more mental health resources are needed instead of gun control laws. Even though a recent study from Columbia University says otherwise.
Let’s hear from his Governorness…
“Bad people doing bad things are going to find ways to do those things,” Parson said. “You can make all the guns illegal that you want, but the bottom line is someone is going to go get one, and they’re not law-abiding citizens anyhow.”
You do know that the guns that end up in the hands of bad guys once belonged to some so-called law-abiding citizen, right? Harris didn’t even break any laws when purchasing his gun. He was a law-abiding citizen right up until he broke into the school, at least according to Missouri law.
“Mental health has got to be a part of stopping these things,” Parson said. “I would make a case that anybody that takes other people’s lives, there’s a mental health issue going on there because it’s not normal to do that.”
Instead of passing more laws, Parson said the state should spend more on mental health solutions, and he wants judges and prosecutors involved.
Yes, because that’s who needs to be involved with mental health treatment, judges and prosecutors.
For his highly tone-deaf response to the tragedy, Mike Parson joins such luminaries like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Former NRA President Oliver North, Senator Mitch McConnell, and former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin as being named an assclown by yours truly.
Does anyone actually think that this assclown is going to provide affordable and obtainable mental healthcare to Missouri residents? Republicans today don’t provide anything unless it’s designed to suppress the rights of already marginalized groups, and they usually do that under the guise of ‘states rights’.
- St Louis school shooting suspect had gun confiscated days before attack
- School gunman had AR-15-style weapon, 600 rounds of ammo
- St. Louis school shooting suspect had AR-15-style rifle, 600 rounds of ammunition: Police
- Student, teacher killed in south St. Louis school shooting; suspect identified
- 2 killed, including teacher, in shooting at St. Louis high school; gunman also killed
- Missouri politicians react to St. Louis school shooting
- St Louis school shooting – latest: Orlando Harris had AR-15, 600 rounds and manifesto praising mass shooters
- Police Said The St. Louis School Shooter Left Behind A Handwritten Note Saying He Had No Friends, Family, Or Girlfriend
- Family tried to take gun from St. Louis school shooting suspect: Police
- St. Louis school shooter had his rifle taken away from him days before attack, officials say
- A look at Missouri’s gun laws in wake of St. Louis school shooting
- St. Louis school shooter bought gun from private seller after dealer sale was blocked, police say
- St. Louis school shooter failed a background check. Why didn’t police take his gun?
- Missouri governor says more mental health resources needed following deadly school shooting, not gun laws
3 thoughts on “The St. Louis school shooter had 600 bullets”
Thank you for your thoughts. I suggest that if a volunteer staff member, teacher, or parent of that school were armed, it’s probable that the arriving police would just be setting up crime scene tape. Here in Texas, our School Marshal and Guardian programs are set up for that kind of outcome, or to have the prospective murderer surrender to the armed citizen or flee the school. You can now probably guess some of my responses to our Uvalde Robb Elementary mass murder.
If the private seller knows or should reasonably believe that the prospective buyer is a prohibited person for firearms ownership, that private seller can be charged with a federal crime (GCA at 18 U.S.C. § 922(d))
I think we can agree that mass murderers can be mentally healthy but behaviorally anti-social (I like Dr. Todd Grande on YouTube to help me with this distinction), and so won’t be involuntarily committed, and afterwards followed with strong restrictions and management. So when a politician reflexively spouts “more mental health!”, I react the same way as when an anti-gunner shouts “more gun control! do something!”. I then refer back to Paul Markel’s ‘Student of The Gun’ websites’ article “Smashing the Gun Control Argument in 3 Easy Steps”. Please read it, if you haven’t. It’ll give you insight into what some of us in the 2A Community believe in and try to follow.
If that viewpoint turns you off, maybe Prof. David Yamane’s “Gun Culture 2.0” blog and “Light over Heat” YouTube vids might help you see and hear us better. And please review Bill English’s latest national gun owners survey, which strongly highlights that not only does defensive gun use exist, but it is quite prevalent.
Anyway, since you made it this far, thank you for your time, and again for your insight. May we all slow down, think about problems, consider tradeoffs, be flexible enough to change our minds. Be well[namaste]
According to one of his friends, he joked about shooting up a school since middle school
Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, this is not surprising at all.