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Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Possession of dangerous knowledge?

A charter school student in Lakeland, Florida sparked quite a reaction when he wore body armor to school.

Newberry was arrested Oct. 6 after he went to school wearing a bulletproof vest over a T-shirt Oct. 3. An officer questioned him about the vest at the charter school, Life Skills Center, 407 E. Memorial Blvd.

Life Skills administrator Curtis Thomas said Newberry walked into a class of about two dozen students wearing the vest. A teacher told Thomas, who in turn told a school resource officer about the student's unusual attire.
OK--granted, that's a bit odd, but it's not a crime, and not dangerous in itself.

Still, the police were called, and apparently did not like what Newberry had to say.
"Newberry displayed a great knowledge of assault weapons, police body armor, and knowledge of defeating body armor for the purpose of killing human beings," an officer said in a police report.
Are we to understand that merely knowing about firearms and body armor is enough to cast suspicion on us? Perhaps the authorities should subpoena the Guns and Ammo subscription list--any regular reader of such literature must be up to no good.
The officer wrote that he "... believes Newberry is training and arming himself for some future illegal event."
Well that explains the arrest--if an officer believes that someone is acquiring skills, knowledge, and equipment that may be used "for some future illegal event," he needs to be locked up--and don't bother me with talk of "Bill of Rights" crap.

The actual arrest (and suspension from school) was apparently triggered by the fact that when searching his car, the police found an empty canister of a "tear gas-like" substance.
When Shawn Newberry consented to a search of his car, police charged him after they found a can of Clear Out, a nonlethal tear gas-like spray. Newberry was suspended from school.

Jessie Newberry explained that the Clear Out bottle was empty and his son kept it for protection during his delivery job at Pizza Hut on routes in bad neighborhoods.
I am not familiar with Florida law regarding tear gas (and the like), but mere possession of it (or in this case, possession of a canister that no longer contains it) seems rather non-threatening.

It was then that Newberry revealed his possession of "assault knowledge."
After the search, more red flags were raised when Newberry talked about bulletproof vests with officers questioning him, police records state.

"Newberry explained ... that the only way to defeat the body armor is with a head shot or shooting someone's legs hitting the arterial vein so that they would 'bleed out.'"

Officers said in documents they thought it was unusual that Newberry would talk about killing people "in such a calculated way" with three officers present.
The car apparently also contained a piece of paper with "10-19" written on it. Scary stuff (I guess).

The arrest led to a search of his home that turned up firearms, ammunition (both of which were acquired legally, apparently), a small amount of marijuana, and a video camera with footage of Newberry and others doing some target practice. Obviously, the marijuana is illegal, and the target practice included a newspaper box (which apparently wasn't his), so it does seem that Newberry has broken some laws (he has been charged with "armed trespassing, grand theft for stealing the box and criminal mischief for damaging the box."). Not particularly monstrous crimes, it would seem.
He is in the Polk County Jail in lieu of $605,000 bail.
Rather a lot, don't you think?

The owner of the shop where Newberry bought his first AK-47 clone was also interviewed for the article.
An LPD officer in the store when Newberry purchased the gun asked him why he was buying it. Newberry could not provide a good reason, Dunn [the shop owner] said.

"Right about that time interest peaked in him," Dunn said.
Well of course interest peaked in him--if you can't provide a curious "only one" with a good reason for buying a gun (especially a politically incorrect one like a semi-auto copy of an AK-47), you need to be watched.

Luckily, Big Brother seems to be on top of it.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure its legal to wear body armor? I think, maybe just in IL, that it is not.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

DW, my understanding is that it is legal, even for us lowly, regular ol' citizens, in all fifty states. Connecticut apparently does impose the rather odd requirement that it can only be sold in face to face transactions.

Federal law prohibits it for felons, and I think possessing armor while committing certain crimes enhances the penalty (I'm not sure if that's a federal or state law).

Yuri Orlov said...

Wow! PSH of the highest caliber there in that article.

Because I know about body armor and guns, I must be up to no good too right? Part of me shudders to think what's going to happen with the "empty holster" protesters if the police are going to freak out over body armor. Speaking of which, I'd take it as a protest, or social commentary, not that he was planning to kill everyone in the school.

Anonymous said...

Some states restrict its sale to non-LEO's. I think Ne. is one such state where it is illegal for a private citizen to possess body armor. Unless that has changed since I left there.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Frankly, Yuri, I have no idea what the guy was up to.

Maybe he was up to no good--but I certainly don't see enough evidence of that to support locking him up, with a bail of well over half a million dollars.

Anonymous said...

Since he was in a victim supply zone the school should probably issue them to all students.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Hmm--maybe you're right, SA. I researched that question a long time ago, and had the impression that body armor sales were legal in all states to all non-felons--but I guess I had better check again.


Anonymous said...

police have body armor and guns and pepper spray and tazers...they must be planning to go on (another) murderous rampage.

45 if you remember the bail for snoop's latest arrest and contrast that with Fincher you'll understand the difference and why this is so high.

As for his knowledge of "defeating armor" uh, the phrase "so simple a child can figure it out" comes to mind. Maybe he watched that hollywood shootout movie where the bad guys really DID have assault rifles and nearly full body armor.

Love the attack on homschooling at the end too.

straightarrow said...

Just think what a shit fit they would throw if they ran across somebody who had really dangerous knowledge. Like maybe an understanding of the Bill of Rights.