A Potential Massacre May Have Been Narrowly Avoided Near the LA Gay Pride Event

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.

  • Draxiar

    Holy Crystal Meth…Jesse what happened?!

  • muselet

    Holy cats.

    Friends in Indiana described Howell as a gun enthusiast with a short temper. In October, he twice was accused of pulling a gun and making threats, once against a boyfriend and once against a neighbor.

    Howell was convicted in April of misdemeanor intimidation for the incident with his neighbor. Under the terms of his probation, he was not allowed to have weapons or leave Indiana.

    Not to mention James Wesley Howell is under investigation in Indiana on child molestation charges, so he’s just an all-round swell guy.

    Someone remind me again why we’re not supposed to be terrified of pale boys with arsenals, anger issues and a history of violence.


    • Victor the Crab

      Because, AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!!!

      • muselet

        Oh. Right. I forgot.


  • Aynwrong

    Since he didn’t actually get to carry out his plans (Thank God!) I have to ask, does he still currently fit Wayne Lapierre’s definition of “a good guy with a gun?”

    • Badgerite

      Oh no. I’m sure he was only armed with an entire anti personnel arsenal for the purpose of self defense.