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Springfield Walmart Open Carry of Rifle Becomes Panic Driven by Media Contagion

Second Amendment


Opinion

Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, IMG Green County website, 8 August, 2019, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- At about 4:10 p.m. on 8 August 2019, Dmitriy Andreychenco walked into the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Springfield, Missouri. He had a slung AR-type rifle and was wearing a T-shirt and tactical vest. He obtained a shopping cart and was videoing himself on a cell phone while pushing the cart through the store. He did not threaten anyone, point the rifle at anyone, or make any threats that are known at this time.

A manager at the store pulled the store alarm, causing a panic while customers evacuated the store. Dmitriy evacuated with the other customers. As he left the store, a firefighter with a concealed carry permit, who was armed, drew his pistol and held Dmitriy for police. In the video from outside the store, you can see that Dmitri was calmly complying with police orders. Look at his black t-shirt. I do not see any evidence of body armor being worn.

He is wearing some sort of web gear, which it appears, the media denoted as “body armor.” Identification of web gear as body armor has been common in the media.

Open carry is legal in Missouri. It has been hard fought for. Opponents of an armed population have worked hard to characterize open carry as threatening. The last few days of a media blitz on the rampage murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have put the country on edge. The message has been that every young white male is a deadly threat. The manager at Walmart seems to have bought into the message.

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In the video, Dmitriy quickly and calmly follows the police orders. There is no indication, from the video, that he was wearing body armor. From the T-shirt he is wearing, it does not look as if he is wearing body armor.

From  ky3.com:

Officers booked Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, on suspicion of first-degree making a terroristic threat. Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson has yet to file formal charges in the case.

The Springfield Police Department arrived on scene within three minutes of the call. Police stated Andreychenko pulled up to the Walmart, where he donned body armor and military fatigues. Police say the man had tactical weapons.

Police then say Andreychenko walked into the Walmart Neighborhood Market where he grabbed a cart and began pushing it around the store. Police say the man was recording himself walking through the store via a cell phone.

The store manager at the Neighborhood Market pulled a fire alarm, urging people to escape the store.

Police say Andreychenko then made his way out an emergency exit where a former firefighter held the man at gunpoint. At that moment Springfield Police arrived on scene and detained the man.

No video from inside the store has been released at this point. When it is, I suspect it will show Dmitriy calmly pushing a cart through Walmart while recording himself on a cell phone. I suspect the cell phone images will show the same thing. That is what is indicated when you consider the calm way that Dmitriy followed police orders. The police are already saying Dmitriy had no intention of shooting anyone.  The police have said the initial arrest charge will be a terrorist threat in the first degree. Here is the definition in Missouri statutes. Terrorist threat – 1st Degree 574.115-004Y From law.justia.com:

574.115. 1. A person commits the offense of making a terrorist threat in the first degree if such person, with the purpose of frightening ten or more people or causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation, knowingly:

(1) Communicates an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

(2) Communicates a false report of an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

(3) Causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life.

2. The offense of making a terrorist threat in the first degree is a class D felony.

3. No offense is committed under this section by a person acting in good faith with the purpose to prevent harm.

The Green County Prosecutor has not filed formal charges at the time of this writing, according to the Springfield Police Department. I doubt the terrorist threat charge will be filed. It is not warranted by the facts. The Walmart manager might be guilty of a terrorist threat, but section 3 specifically exempts threats made in good faith.

We have not heard anything from Dmitriy. I suspect his side of the events will help calm down the current media frenzy.  It is worth noting that even when confronted by another armed citizen, neither of them felt the need to fire any shots.

Rights are not very useful if they can be taken from you when you need them the most. The public is fearful because two mass murders have been given so much press in the last week. It is not unreasonable for people to wish to be armed in public places.

The right to carry is not worth much if simply carrying legal weapons in a public place, while videoing yourself, can be charged as a terrorist threat.  If that is the standard, the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms mean little.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.



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