How Is Awful Kid In Alaska Different From Coast Guard Terrorist Guy?
A federal judge in Anchorage, Alaska, has decided to keep a 19-year-old in detention after prosecutors presented evidence that the lad may have been intending to commit an act of mass murder. Michael Graves is charged with buying and building illegal weapons, and an FBI agent testified Graves had posted numerous comments to social media calling for violence against minorities and referring to stockpiling guns and ammunition. But wait, how is this all that difference from Christopher Hasson, that Coast Guard Nazi guy who stockpiled weapons, and beyond that, wrote about wanting to commit mass violence to bring about a white homeland, and even had a target list of enemies he wanted to shoot? Another federal judge said that was disturbing and all, but planned to let Hasson out on bail because federal prosecutors never charged him with anything more serious than drug and gun possession crimes, never mind a court document asserting he was a domestic terrorist. (Domestic terrorism is not a "crime.") Fortunately, a higher court ruled Monday that Hasson will remain in jail until his trial, too.
No, we're not arguing Michael Graves should be released. Just that there seems to be a hell of a lot more evidence that Hasson had violent intentions and how the hell could any judge have even considered freeing him?
The Anchorage Daily Newsreports Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith decided Graves was too dangerous to be allowed out on bail before trial, no, not even under family supervision with a GPS monitor. He's charged with possession of a "machine gun" (a selector switch allowing a semiautomatic pistol to fire automatically, which counts as a machine gun under federal law), and of possession of illegal firearms in the form of two home-made silencers. Despite its best efforts, the NRA still hasn't made those legal yet. Also, if you call them "silencers," you will upset a lot of gun humpers who'll fill your comments section telling you the proper name is "suppressor" and you didn't use the right word magic. Silencer, silencer, silencer.
The FBI had been alerted in late April to violent social media posts by Graves, in which he expressed extreme racist views, according to an affidavit unsealed yesterday.
FBI Special Agent Josh Rongitsch, who wrote the affidavit, read several of those posts on the witness stand Tuesday. Several contained racial slurs and violent imagery targeting Jews and Muslims, and others contained references to high-power rifles and extended capacity magazines, Rongitsch said.
The tweets included statements like "Let's beat Hitler's kill count," "A synagogue to shoot up tbh," and a picture Rongitsch described as depicting a person with a traumatic head injury, posted alongside the caption, "The perfect treatment for Muslims. Fixes them up good and new."
Rongitsch said Graves said in an interview that he was only joking, but that "He couldn't articulate a good response as to why that would ever be funny to anyone," which just proves that the FBI has no sense of humor. You can't analyze humor, man.
As it happens, on the very same day the anonymous tip about Graves's social media came in, US Customs and Border Control alerted the FBI about a package it had intercepted containing that selector switch, to convert a Glock handgun to automatic fire.
Investigators delivered the package to Graves via an undercover postal worker, and when agents knocked on his door to confront him, he came out with a Glock 19 in his waistband and the full auto selector in his pocket, Rongitsch testified.
A search of the apartment turned up 11 firearms and the two silencers, which like fully automatic weapons require a federal license. One of the silencers carried an image of a swastika and the secret neo-Nazi code "1488," and isn't THAT special, mister baby Nazi scum?
Assistant US Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay argued that the combination of illegal arms and Graves's social media posts suggested he might be planning violence.
"We have a lot of people in our community who he has avowed he wants to shoot up or kill," Sayers-Fay told the court.
Defense lawyer Allen Dayan insisted there's no reason to think Graves's racist comments and possession of illegal weapons could possibly be connected. "As far as you know, he's just a loudmouthed kid who likes guns and spouts off on social media," Dayan said, previewing what's certain to be his defense strategy going forward.
And honestly, if you went after every loudmouthed Nazi gun humper who spouts off on social media, wouldn't you have to arrest Donald Trump? (We are kidding, of course. Donald Trump has no mechanical aptitude and wouldn't know the first thing about building an illegal weapon. He'd order them wholesale anyway.)
Judge Smith decided to err on the side of caution, saying "I think the court has to consider people mean what they say," and could we please have that crocheted into a nice sampler and sent to every federal judge in the country?
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.