On the same day a man attacked the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, another man who was headed to a gay pride event in Los Angeles was arrested for possession of weapons and explosives.
The complete arsenal in his possession at the time of his arrest was detailed in court yesterday and it's frankly frightening.
Among other things, he had two fully loaded magazines taped together for rapid reloading.
James Wesley Howell, 20, of Charlestown, also had two other loaded rifles, ammunition, a stun gun, a buck knife and a security badge when he was arrested early Sunday in Santa Monica, authorities said Tuesday. [...]
When he was picked up in Santa Monica, there was an assault rifle in his car's passenger seat and 15 pounds of "Shoc-Shot," two chemicals that explode when mixed and shot. The assault rifle was loaded with a 30-round magazine, which had another inverted 30-round magazine taped to it, according to police.
It's not entirely clear what his exact plans were but, in the words of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz, I "cannot in good conscience think of any reasonable reason that somebody would be traveling across the country with all of these things."
No shit. Why would someone need to carry three rifles with rigged magazines and explosives if not to kill people? Howell is currently only facing charges for possession of his grotesque arsenal, but an FBI investigation is ongoing.
There's nothing funny about his but I'd be lying if I said Howell's defense attorney did not make me chuckle with this:
Howell's attorney, Pamela Jones, told the judge there was no evidence Howell planned to detonate the chemicals. She said a black hood found in his car was "just a clothing item," and nothing indicated Howell planned to use it as a mask, as police contended was a possibility.
That might be more plausible if he wasn't carrying the three rifles, explosives, and an improvised 60-round magazine.