How does a person convicted of manslaughter obtain 18 assault weapons and other firearms, along with 40,000 rounds of ammunition? Well, according to NBC News, a White Supremacist from Ohio who also happens to be a convicted felon did just that.
The arsenal was discovered during a completely separate arrest of 47-year old Richard Schmidt, who owns a sporting goods store called Spindletop Sports Zone where he was selling counterfeit jerseys and other sports goods from China. Initially, it was simply a check up on a thriving counterfeit goods market, but then search warrants were unveiled and Schmidt was indicted on charges of illegal possession of firearms.
Even more disturbing is what the search warrants unveiled, which was four trailers out back with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, bullet-proof body armor, high capacity magazines, and ammunition. Further, evidence of ties to the Neo-Nazi movement was discovered, as well as a “Jewish 500” list, which is supposedly a roster of Jewish-owned businesses. Further, there was paraphernalia from “Waffen SS,” Adolph Hitler’s Nazi military force through World War II.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we need gun control. This guy is a nut not only for guns, but for Nazi ideology to boot. According to the report, he was possibly planning attacks against Jewish people and civil rights groups in the area. If he hadn’t been arrested for selling counterfeit sports goods, who knows how far this would have gone?
Well, at least for now, it is being treated as an “active investigation” according to a Federal law enforcement official who spoke to NBC News under condition of anonymity.
Schmidt was charged with murder and felonious assault in 1989 for shooting a Hispanic man with a semi-automatic pistol during a traffic dispute. He later pleaded down to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison. Despite Federal laws prohibiting firearm sales to felons, Schmidt sure did get a hefty number of them, didn’t he? Also, the Feds still don’t know where they came from. He could have bought them at gun shows, or even the black market, due to loopholes that need to be closed with new gun legislation.
Here is what Steven M. Dettlebach, US Attorney for Cleveland, had to say:
“It is deeply troubling that law enforcement found this man, with a prior homicide conviction, in possession of an arsenal.”
I concur. A clearly hateful gun nut in possession of that kind of heat should scare the living hell out of every sane person in America. Unfortunately, every nut in the country is stockpiling weapons in anticipation of some or all of their paranoid conspiracy theories coming true. We are the ones who need to be on the lookout, because when the apocalypse doesn’t come on its own, they will create one.