Update at the bottom.
A Virginia man was arrested in New Jersey yesterday on weapons charges. The NBC 4 Washington article goes well out of its way to paint this in the most harrowing light possible, but something smells fishy; notably, the absence of any important details, and the overwhelming amount of journalistic accoutrements.
OK, so this guy is wearing body armor and runs from the cops, who then tackle him and find a rifle on him? Were these uniformed cops? If they were plain cloths, I can see how someone would run from them. How many cops have you met that would tackle a guy with a rifle? They had to have seen it on him. More likely they would surround him with weapons drawn, and then shoot him if he grabbed the rifle. These are New Jersey cops we're talking about, and the article says that the guy was acting suspicious, whatever that means these days.
The central part of the story is that the guy had a map of a military installation on him. Whoopty do. Perhaps he had an AAFES map, of even worse, a Google satellite image. I mean, this could mean just about anything; that he had an easily acquired map of a military base doesn't automatically make him Al-Qaeda, despite how desperate the media would like it to be so. If I turn out to be wrong, well, I've eaten plenty of crow in my day.
Next, we have positive confirmation that the onslaught of emails correcting news monkeys on the differences between semi-auto and full-auto weapons seems to be sinking in, but we still have some work to do with that childish "assault thingy" term that they sit around all day waiting to use. And apparently it now only takes two weapons to equal a "cache," or otherwise known as a "host" of weapons. One of these dreaded beasts is what's reported to be a M240 grenade launcher, but that can't be verified right now because a) it's being reported by a goon who works in a news organization that is using a picture of a M240 found on the internet, and b) because cops in New Jersey generally don't know the make and model of any firearm that is not issued to them.
Man arrested in possession of Winchester Model 70, and Ruger 10/22. What the cops report - "Man, I'm tellin' youse right now that this is the same gun used in dat movie Eraser!"
How the news reports it - "Cops tonight report that they caught a dangerous, sex offending, transvestite "teabagger" with a massively large cache of what appears to be two of those R2D2 lazer thingies used in the movie Under Siege 2. Here's Tom with the weather."
Also of interest, our esteemed bad guy had "high power ammunition," which probably means WWB ammo from Wal-Mart. Let's hope he didn't have any of that super deadly Extreme Shock ammo, because things could have really gotten out of hand. Note that he was charged with having "armor penetrating bullets," which I'm guessing that in NJ means that it was ball ammo, but I could be wrong. It really doesn't matter, as any .223 Remington ammunition, or centerfire rifle cartridges for that matter, can penetrate a bullet resistant vest. That's a fact.
The only thing that points to him being a possible scumbag is the defaced serial number. I'm sure that there's still more to that than meets the eye.
Again, he may turn out to be a bona fide scumbag, but I'm just not seeing it. That cops in general, and reporters specifically, don't know jack about what type of firearm is which, and adding the fact that both parties are well known for pouring on USDA Grade A+ awesomesauce onto anything they do, I have to have doubt. When there is a documented effort to accurately report the facts as they really are, then I will start to give merit to stories like this.
I'll post more on this if I can get it.
Update: The FBI is saying that the guy is not a terrorist. The press goes into full blown BS mode and is saying the guy had an anti-tank rifle because it was chambered in .50 caliber - meaning it was chambered in the .50 Beowulf cartridge from Alexander Arms. The other rifle is a 308, and the grenade launcher is a Cobray 37mm, which to my knowledge only launches flares. So much for that. Also, tremble in your boots knowing that this guy had a "middle eastern head scarf." Hopefully the cops don't find any more of his deadly stash.