Monday, January 2, 2012

Update on Mt. Rainier Park Shootist

There is breaking news that the person believed to be the shooter in the Mt. Rainier Park Ranger killing has been found dead.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET: A body believed to be that of Benjamin Colton Barnes has been found, the Washington State Patrol tweets.
 Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET: Pierce County officials say the Iraq War vet being sought in the killing of a Mount Rainier National Park ranger has been found dead in a ditch near his car at the crime scene, KING5 TV reports.

That remains - as of this writing - unconfirmed.  The most recent news that I've found so far is the following, although it would not be unusual for the shooter / shootist to kill himself after a mass shooting.

Once again - a good reason to keep people with mental illness issues from being a danger to others and to themselves, with firearms.  Because despite the fact that some of our readers would rather see people who are dangerously mentally ill have guns than have a single questionable person denied a firearm, that is a bad position to hold, a position which results in people being killed, families disrupted, and needless death and injury.


Police Closing In on Mt. Rainier Shooting Suspect

Authorities in pursuit of the man suspected of killing a Washington State ranger in Mount Rainier National Park said they are closing in on him because they have snow shoes and he doesn't.
"The more he is unprepared, the more it will help us," one official said, adding that Benjamin Colton Barnes has a "couple of hours lead" on the ground teams chasing him.
Barnes is suspected of shooting and killing 34-year-old park ranger Margaret Anderson, who blocked Barnes' path after he entered the park Sunday morning and sped past a checkpoint, Pierce County Sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer said. Barnes is also suspected of shooting four other individuals that morning, at a house party in Skyway, Wash., before entering the park. He has been on the lam since Sunday morning.
Despite having a "couple of hours lead" on the ground crews, police said that searchers with snow equipment, including snow shoes, are making quick progress honing in on Barnes, who they believe is in an area of the park where he is in chest-deep snow and is wading in and out of stream beds. Police are also using helicopters and infrared radar technology to locate the suspect.
Pierce County Sheriff's 
Barnes is a military veteran who has a history of criminal violence, including threatening the mother of his child with guns during a bitter custody battle, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.
The park remains closed today after 125 visitors were evacuated under the cover of dark early this morning. They had spent the night in the police-protected visitor's center, which had food and water but no cots, pillows or sleeping bags. They were taken to a fire house outside of the park upon their evacuation.
Three small groups of hikers who are making an ascent of the mountain remain in the park.
Anderson was a married mother of two daughters, ages 2 and 4.
Police have been searching the snowy park since early Sunday, using infrared radar, aircraft and ground units to try and track the suspect. Lee Taylor, a spokeswoman for the park, said 111 law enforcement officers from the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Washington State Patrol, FBI, and Pierce and Louis counties are assisting in the search.


  1. Well there you go. As I speculated in an earlier comment, he has a criminal record. He should not have guns. For threatening violence against an innocent person, his guns should have been taken away.

    But he is not a reason that those of us who follow the law and have concealed carry licenses should not be allowed to carry in a national park.

  2. Clearly this shows that anyone who has served in the military should be barred from owning weapons and never be allowed to serve in Law Enforcement.

  3. "The most recent news that I've found so far is the following, although it would not be unusual for the shooter / shootist to kill himself after a mass shooting."

    A mass shooting? I guess killing one person could be considered the smallest mass shooting possible.

  4. "The most recent news that I've found so far is the following, although it would not be unusual for the shooter / shootist to kill himself after a mass shooting."

    A mass shooting? I guess killing one person could be considered the smallest mass shooting possible.

    That would be because you don't read well for comprehension apparently then MAgunner.

    This guy appears to have been involved in shooting 4 people before he shot the Park Ranger.

    Isn't 4 people enough for you to consider a 'mass shooting'?

    The Bureau of Justice Stats uses the figure of 2 or more people shot at one time for their definition of mass shooting aka spree killings.

  5. Greg is all for taking his guns away. He should not have them. But Greg also favors allowing him to buy guns privately with no background check.

    Another example of unreasonableness and lack of consistency (honesty).

  6. Mikeb302000,

    There's no dishonesty in my position. Actually, this man apparently needed the kind of help that the Army has been unwilling to give to its soldiers. We have a lot of good people coming back hurting from war, and we aren't doing anything about it. That's what this story really appears to be about.

    I have no knowledge about how he got his guns. I'm more concerned that someone like this who clearly needs help was allowed to fall through the cracks.

  7. The military has been trying to improve what it does for Post Traumatic Stress, but at this point we only have the wife's guess as to what occurred.

    He could also be a returning vet who was simply an asshole and a nut job. We don't know how stressful - or not - his tour was, nor does it seem to have been a particularly long deployment or a repeated deployment.

    When he fucked up in the military, in the way he did, he should have lost his guns.

    We can't force people to accept treatment. We CAN and should take away their guns when restraining orders are issued against them for the kind of conduct this guy demonstrated.

  8. Dog Gone,

    And did you note that I agreed with taking his guns away? Given his behavior, he should have had his guns removed. But how does that make my ownership or carry in a national park a bad act? You're conflating one messed up wacko with legal and responsible handgun carry licensees.

  9. "We can't force people to accept treatment."

    Not true. If someone is deemed a threat to society due to a mental illness, then we can have them locked up in an institution.


  10. Not true. If someone is deemed a threat to society due to a mental illness, then we can have them locked up in an institution.

    The standard for forcing people to accept treatment has to be consistent with the patient's bill of rights.

    There is a pretty high threshold of threat that has to be met for involuntary commitment - and rightly so.

  11. No, I'm noticing that you seem to share the same gun lunatic fantasy about the delusional power you get from your firearm fetish.

    You Greg, in your personal carry habits, in your lack of secure storage habits, your lack of a factual grounding in historic gun carry and use, but most of all, your apparent utter failure to properly distinguish what is and is NOT safe occasions for civilian intervention with a firearm all mean that not only I but my colleagues deeply distrust your judgment with a firearm.

  12. Dog Gone,

    1. Good luck getting legislators to agree that to get a license, a person must pass a history quiz, graded by you. Whatever position I take on historical matters is irrelevant to carrying a handgun.

    2. I do not have a firearms fetish. I do not treat them as religious or sexual objects. I respect them as mechanical devices and as weapons. If you want to claim otherwise, you must provide proof to be credible.

    3. I carry my handguns in a manner that is taught by experts in the field. I do not make them available to irresponsible people or to children.

    If you insist that I'm in any way like the person featured in this article, I invite you to prove it. Otherwise, you're just pissing into the wind.

  13. Whatever position I take on historical matters is irrelevant to carrying a handgun.

    No it isn't.

    There is no real difference between the photo of this guy with his guns and your photo, with your finger on the trigger, and the gun in your belt.

    Well - one difference. This guy had military training, and an assignment to a dangerous place; we don't know if he saw any combat or not.

    You both look at weapons as a source of power; you Greg clearly feel weak and a loss of power (mostly imaginary) without your fetish item within reach at all times.

    I haven't suggested a history quiz should be a prerequisite to a carry permit. I've argued that a real and imminent threat - not just some speculative, maybe-it-could-happen justification should be one of the criteria for carry, either open or concealed.

    The history point is made to underline that you don't know what you are doing or what the history really is you claim for your silly photo; rather, you embrace a gun fantasy, past and present.

  14. Dog Gone,

    Finger on the trigger--and just why do you keep claiming that, even though you're wrong? Do you know anything about the function of a single-action revolver? Are you aware that the top chamber of an antique-style gun such as that is kept empty? Do you realize that the gun cannot fire unless the hammer is cocked over a live chamber?

    You claim that I feel weak without a gun. Prove that. I say that I do not. I have said all along that a gun provides a measure of security. For the purposes of self defense, that's all. It is not magical, nor can it do anything that I am unable to make it do. What you are doing here is speculating on the basis of your own skewed judgement. Fortunately, we both live in states that don't give a damn about your opinion.

  15. Greg, you cannot say you agree he should have his guns removed and in the same breath maintain your ridiculous position that private sales should continue to be unregulated. That's dishonest.

  16. Mikeb302000,

    You can call me silly or irrational or ignorant, but dishonest is just plain wrong. To be dishonest, I'd have to hide something. What am I hiding?

    I want private sales to be free precisely because it's something for your side to pick on. Don't you get it? As long as your side is unwilling to make any compromises, my side has to hang on to everything that we currently have. We can't let you have anything; we have to make every gain of yours a fight. We know that if we just give you anything, you'll take that and demand more. When you're willing to discuss what you'll give us, we'll be more willing to give something to you.

  17. GC writes:but dishonest is just plain wrong.

    No, it is an accurate statement. You have misrepresented any number of items as fact that are not factual at all.

    An example would be your claim that Billy the Kid was killed with a belt carried revolver, when in fact there is nothing but speculation, the most credible of which posits he may have had a knife, and nothing reliable or credible about gun carry at all,

    You haven't admitted that you cited bullshit fantasy to support your claim.

    Now, as to the Earps et al, and their experience, to support belt carry, it appears pretty clearly from this testimony that a gun might on an emergency basis be shoved in someone's belt while they were unable to gain access to their holsters, AND while carrying some other weapon or weapons - notably long barreled weapons. An example of this would be someone who disarmed another person not having a holster in which to put the additional firearm momentarily.

    And yes - I am familiar with sources like this:

    I doubt you are. In fact I'd bet someone else in your little circle of silly gun nuts supplied you with the few inadequate sources you have used.

    It is a long way from being a practice of the 'old west'. It IS consistent with the stupid and dangerous myth in the pro-gun community of what is meant by the historically inaccurate and racist term, 'mexican carry', which is as bogus a bunch of nonsense as the Billy the Kid bullshit.

    You are dishonest Greg, because you won't and don't admit when you are factually inaccurate. You are incapable here of admitting when you are wrong.

    That makes you dishonest; you still claim something is factual or applicable long after it has been debunked.


  18. Dog Gone,

    As a matter of fact, the website that you named is one of the places that I looked. You may disagree with my conclusions. You may tell me that my sources are inadequate. But you cannot call me dishonest merely because I don't fall into line with your beliefs. You really are incapable of understanding how anyone could disagree with you.