Debate Magazine

Killer Santa Claus: Don't Judge a Book by It

Posted on the 12 August 2013 by Doggone

Rockne Newell looks like an off-season Santa Claus, but that only illustrates that killers can come in all sizes and shapes and ages. Newell is another gun nut, an old, white, flabby and crabby man who believes that having a weapon provides the only necessary authority to use it, given his apparent actions earlier this month in Pennsylvania. While the NRA, who's primary constituency is old, white, flabby and crabby men with a hankering to shoot someone for some pretext that makes sense to them, but is not necessarily lawful, claims we need good guys with guns, they neglect the better logic that argues we should have fewer guns, resulting in fewer incidents like this mass shooting.
Newell was a guy who had a gun, who prior to (allegedly) going on a shooting rampage, was the kind of person to whom the NRA appeals, whom the NRA seeks out for support.
But having a gun turned Newell into a bad guy with a gun, a bad guy who was NOT stopped by another gun wielding man, but by an unarmed man who stopped him. 
Newell NOT having a gun in the first place would have stopped him sooner, as might universal background checks, limits on ammunition and certain weapons, like assault style weapons.  The mini-14 used by Newell was the same weapon that was used by Anders Breivik in the Norway mass shooting, referred to as the poor man's assault rifle, modeled after a military weapon.  It is a favorite of mass shooters.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for a week from today.

From the Sentinel:This photo taken May 22, 2013 shows Rockne Newell talking about his trials and tribulations with Ross Township, Pa., over junk on his property. State police identified 59-year-old Newell as the suspect in a shooting Monday, Aug, 5, 2013 in which three people were killed and at least two others injured in Ross Township. Witnesses say he barged into a municipal meeting room and began shooting before being tackled by a local official and possibly another person. (AP Photo/Pocono Record, Keith R. Stevenson)

Pa. man charged with killing 3: Town stole my home

A disabled junk dealer feuding with local officials over his debris-strewn property packed a rental car with guns and ammunition before opening fire at a town meeting and killing three men, authorities said Tuesday.
Rockne Newell, 59, had lost his property this year in a court fight over complaints that he lived in a storage shed, built an illegal culvert and used a bucket outside as a toilet.
At his arraignment on homicide charges Tuesday morning, a judge asked Newell if he owned any real estate.
"They stole it from me. That's what started all this," he replied.
Newell allegedly used a Ruger Mini-14 rifle to blast a barrage of gunfire through a wall into the meeting room Monday night in Ross Township, about 85 miles north of Philadelphia, before entering the room and shooting a supervisor and four residents, two of whom survived.
Newell then retreated to the car and picked up a revolver, authorities said. When he returned to the meeting room, the 5-foot-10, 240-pound suspect was tackled by two men and shot in the leg during the scuffle, officials said.

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