A Rapid City man is charged with threatening to shoot Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore during the July 3 fireworks show.
Please don’t misunderstand me—I do not advocate murder, I only seek the removal of our current dictator by the swiftest possible legal means, and I do not want a visit from the Secret Service.
But on September 5, one of my neighbors, Patrick McHugh, wrote a letter to my local paper claiming that terrible political leaders like Joe Biden and other Democrats are why we have a Second Amendment:
Get rid of these swamp rats and never, never, never give up your guns!
People like these are the reason the men who wrote the Constitution put in the Second Amendment [Patrick McHugh, letter to the editor, Aberdeen American News, 2020.09.05].
What good is the Second Amendment as a bulwark against tyranny if the tyrants can simply roll in and arrest anyone who invokes that Second Amendment right?
But hey, maybe the argument isn’t worth having. Patrick McHugh is now dead… and Lucian Celestine, the guy who’s charged with threatening to shoot Trump is schizophrenic, probably didn’t intend to shoot anyone, and, as Arielle Zionts discerns from the police reports, wouldn’t have had the gun cops found in his trunk in the first place if some knucklehead in Box Elder had followed the law, done the background check, and found it was illegal to sell that guy a gun:
Like most of the other defendants in those cases, Celestine has a mental health illness, schizophrenia.
…The agents then spoke with Celestine, who acknowledged his past statements to the Secret Service and FBI, and said he had a gun in the trunk of his car. Celestine said he recently bought the gun for nearly $2,000 from a man in Box Elder and planned to use it for target practice. He said he didn’t have plans to harm Trump.
…The federal charges came after agents found that Celestine was on a national gun background check list and had been involuntarily committed in October 2019 to Yankton after a mental health professional found he was a danger to others. Celestine was sent to the hospital after his call to the FBI but before the one to the Secret Service.
Celestine was on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which said he can’t own a gun until 2022. People or stores with Federal Firearms Licensee are required to contact NICS before selling weapons.
Federal law makes it illegal for anyone who has been committed to a mental health facility to have firearms or ammunition that were involved in interstate commerce. Celestine’s rifle was produced outside of South Dakota [Arielle Zionts, “Rapid City Man Charged in State, Federal Court with Threatening to Shoot Trump at Mount Rushmore,” Rapid City Journal, updated 2020.09.25].
The Founders intended a well-regulated militia. Part of that good regulation means doing your part to make sure guns don’t end up in the wrong hands. While the feds keep Celestine in jail on $1,000,000 bond, they should also track down the lawbreaking gun dealer in Box Elder who facilitated this “terrorist threat.”
Related Risks: Rapid City’s ill-regulated militia is packing more heat this weekend, as three young men are still at large with about 40 handguns stolen from First Stop Gun and Coin in the wee hours Wednesday. Huh—guns not only didn’t stop that crime; guns invited that crime.
But don’t worry—those fellas are just burglars, not terrorists.