Sunday, September 21, 2014

That is not a "Deadly or Dangerous Weapon", it is an Ordinary Pocket Knife

Well I just have to blurt this out in defense of cutlery and apple peelers everywhere:

Hey Reuters: This man was not "carrying a deadly weapon" - he had a pocketknife in his pocket. The blade was only 3 1/2", about usual size for a Veteran to be carrying. About 1" longer than the first knife a child would have been given for their own at age 6 in any sane society. About 1" longer than the pocketknife in my purse that my grandfather gave me as a little girl. Every man in the State of Texas probably carries a knife like this.

No Omar Gonzales should not have run onto the White House grounds, but it sounds like he has been suffering as a homeless American Veteran, one of many who need help that doesn't rely on psychotropic drugs but instead on real therapy, personal love, and a genuine sense of purpose.  From a better report by Betsy Blaney and Josh Lederman :

" An Iraq war veteran accused of scaling a fence and making it into the White House before the Secret Service stopped him posed no threat to anyone and needs counseling instead of prosecution, members of his family said Sunday.
"Omar Gonzalez, 42, was arrested Friday and is expected in federal court Monday to face charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon — a small folding knife in this case.
"Jerry Murphy, whose mother was married to Gonzalez for several years, said Gonzalez suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and that he needs treatment. He said Gonzalez has been driving around the country and living out of his truck for the past couple of years, and that he always carries his knife.
"I know he's got heavy artillery, you know?" Murphy added. "He's got all kinds of weapons and he was trained to use them. I believe if he wanted to make a scene or cause problems, he very well could have. But it's clear that he didn't." "
In fact, the reports also make clear that his intent was not harm, but a misguided need to warn.

Most veterans return to normal life and make the transition, but Mr Gonzales is a War Hero who needs help not prison, and I hope the people prosecuting this event will have the compassion necessary to set him on the right track.

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