Thursday, April 19, 2007

Copycat or Idiotic Jackass?

A student of the Rochester Institute of Technology has been arrested with 2 assault rifles, which were in his dorm room, and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, which were in his car. By his own admission, he had just assembled the rifles.

The circumstances surrounding this crime? (Yes, crime. It is illegal to have firearms on school grounds in New York. It's also illegal to own assault rifles there.) Obviously, it's the day after the worst school shooting in American history, so colleges around the country are on high alert. Bonus: It's the day after a school shooting that began in a university dorm in the early morning.

So, amidst these circumstances, this guy decides to assemble two assault rifles in his college dorm room in the early morning. Jonathan Hackenburg is either a wannabe copycat killer who got caught before, thankfully, he could carry out his plans. Or he is the dumbest sumbitch on the PLANET.

Well, maybe the second dumbest. Picture it. The day after Columbine. The University of New Orleans. The tables outside the Cove, everyone's favorite dining hall, during the most busy time of the day. A group of trenchcoat-wearing goths decide it's a great idea to discuss LOUDLY how they can show the Columbine boys how to do it right.

I was in a friend's dorm room that afternoon when her roommate came in, obviously disturbed about the whole affair. Naturally, we were all discussing the previous day's events. "Sally the Roommate" and "Sherry" jumped in with a blow by blow of the "threats" being blurted out at the Cove and asked whether they should go to the police.

I told them I only knew one of the guys. (We'll call him "Mickey Mouse" just for fun.) Personally, I explained, I thought "Mickey Mouse" was just a pathetic little 17-year-old boy trying to be much "cooler" and "edgier" than he ever could be. Just ignore it. Like a big mouth, I mention how he used to brag rather loudly about having access to explosives and wanting to blow something up on campus. All talk no action.

By the by, I ended up being summoned to the police department to put in a statement. I called my brother, the cop, for legal advice. My big bro instructed me in no uncertain terms to go straight to the station and tell them everything I knew because a.) I wasn't qualified to determine if this guy was just a blowhard rather than someone who would actually do it. b.) I could be prosecuted if I refused to speak to the police and something happened. c.) Standard procedure meant that the ATF and FBI would probably be brought in and I REALLY didn't want to make them mad. AND d.) Just threatening terrorist attacks in public was a federal crime. Of course, the campus police never actually followed standard police procedure or the law, so the ATF and FBI were kept out of it.

Anyway, I went, gave my statement (which included referring to him as just a blowhard little kid trying to impress somebody), and tried to move on UNTIL certain people who shall remain nameless (not the "perpetrators) got really ticked off about my agreeing to give a statement. Not that THEY were in danger of going to the federal penitentiary. So, I got a few weeks of how much of a jerk I was for doing it.

Then, I got a threat from Mickey Mouse himself, because once the police searched his room and decided he didn't do anything, they released a full copy of my statement with all of my personal info on it, including my social security number and my permanent non-dorm address. Let's just say that even when I was 17 myself, I was never scared of d*ck-swinging little boys. So, I pretty much laughed at him and moved on.

Months later, his life was just barely saved by my friends dragging me away. Why? The d*ck-swinging moron thought it was "cool" to announce the death of my best friend by asking "Sally" if she knew Chris. Sure, she answered. His response? Well, you don't now. "Sally" came running to me to find out if it was true. That's how I found out my best friend was dead.

Hours later, he had the nerve to come within 500 yards of me. Fortunately or unfortunately, my friends dragged me away when they saw that I was quite obviously about to kill him or at least make the rest of his short life a living torment. But that's another story, isn't it?

UPDATE: This post has been edited for grammar, sentence order, etc. since the original posting. Why? Because I'm beginning to think that the net is making me dyslexic and partially illiterate if that's possible. (Why dyslexic? Because all those little verification things always take me at least two tries.)

UPDATE: Strange how time changes memories. I just realized that Chris's death and Columbine happened around the same time in 1999. So, there would have been only a short time between them. It's strange how the two events are so separate and distinct in my mind that I thought they'd occurred much farther apart.


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