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Monday, March 27, 2006

Kyle Huff’s Weapons

Posted by on March 27 at 11:04 AM

Kyle Huff spent much of his youth in Whitefish, Montana, a small town in a former logging valley that now caters to outdoor recreation. In 2000, as has been widely reported, Huff was involved in a strange incident in Whitefish: He shot up a fiberglass moose that had been placed on display in the town as part of a “Moose on the Loose” art project (similar in concept to Chicago’s “Cow Parade” or Seattle’s “Pigs on Parade”).

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial says that Huff used a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun to shoot the moose, and also had a Ruger 40-caliber handgun with him at the time. Using the serial numbers on the guns, Chief Dial says he and Seattle authorities have now determined that Huff used that same 12-gauge shotgun to kill six people at a Capitol Hill house party early Saturday morning, and also had the same Ruger 40-caliber handgun with him.

How did Huff get his guns back after the 2000 incident, which earned him a felony criminal mischief charge? Chief Dial says that by surrendering and agreeing to do community service, Huff was able to plea-bargain his felony down to a misdemeanor. That allowed him to get the guns back—and keep buying more.

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Hello, Montana.

Good people own guns.
Bad people own guns too.

bad people get away with prior crimes cause tard police practice goold ol' boy small town justice allowing bad people to upgrade to mass murderers.

No, good people do not own this kind of gun.

No one should be allowed to own guns, period.

Sadly for "good" gun owners, "bad" gun owners only reveal themselve to be unfit to own guns after a bunch of people are dead.

No one should be allowed to own guns, period.

Perhaps. Maybe. It's sure one way to null gun violence.

How you get there is the question.

call me crazy, but if you dont have guns, nobody gets shot.

Small town hicks with guns scare me. I really think only educated people who live in cities should be allowed to own a gun.

The best would be all guns banned of course. But it's usually dumb small town people who go nuts and shoot everyone so at least make an educational requirement for gun ownership.

But, as the gun shop owner quoted in the Times says, "what if I killed you with this calculator?". Which gives you some insight into the Dwight Schrute mentality of the gun lovers.

The hidden subtext behind a lot of gun propaganda is "if guns are outlawed, only Negroes will have guns". And we wouldn't want that, would we? Our helpless wives and babies wouldn't be safe at home.

I guarantee that as a result of this crime, there are thousands of sweaty-forehead white guys checking and cleaning their firearms, planning out angles of fire, counting the cases of bottled water in the basement, and feeling the familiar tingle in the loins as they polish their barrels.

I am pro-gun control, but let's knock off the extremism. The problem with guns is not just that we need more laws, it's that we need to enforce the ones we have and watch for signs of insanity and then do something about it. Huff took his guns and slaughtered a public art project. The courts then allowed him to have his guns back. None of the gun control laws anyone is proposing would have changed anything, sentencing reform would. He aquired the guns legally, he was allowed to keep them after a court allowed him to plea down. Looks like no one did anything to help this guy. Where are his parents? Where is the community to help this guy and ourselves?

More laws, whether to regulate guns or all ages dancing, is not the answer. Smarter enforcement of current laws, criminal justice reform and community is. We need to look inward. It is more difficult than proposing new laws and regulating people we don't like (ie, gun owners or rave kids), but it is where the answer is.

We're not going to have NO guns. And I for one am not willing to have a law saying so as long as the crazy police have them.

We're all smarter than this. This event isn't about gun control, it's not about raves. It's about one fucked up dude who wanted to kill himself and take others out with him. Why didn't his friends and family have an inkling this could happen and do something to help him? Could we as a community provide better tools for people to get help and for others to help people?

It's true Negros with guns scare a lot of people as much as uneducated people with guns.

If we can't ban all guns, at least can we keep them out of the hands of uneducated white people and the Negro criminals? Start the gun ban there since most Americans would support it.

The fact is college educated people are not as dangerous as poor blacks and uneducated whites.

guns are too accessible

guns are not going away

mental health care in this country is not in good standing

mental health care can not be forced on to someone who shows no symptoms outwardly (until they kill someone with their stock pile of weapons)

making teenagers have a 10pm curfew does not solve any of these problems

"Small town hicks with guns scare me. I really think only educated people who live in cities should be allowed to own a gun."

i sooooo hope you're joking. or ironic. or whatever.

kyle huff was educated. and last i checked, northgate was in a, well, city.

class has little to do with psychosis. so does education. it wasn't montana, or small towns in montana, that killed these kids. it was kyle huff, who obviously had something very very wrong and didn't feel like he could cope with it any other way than killing some really wonderful people.

Kerlikowski was right. The only reason that handguns exist is to shoot people. that's what they were made for. The absolutely ONLY other reason for a handgun is if you're out in bear or cougar country and you need something to pull out quick. we are not, as you may have noticed, in bear or cougar country.

if more people had had guns at the party, more people would have been killed or hurt.

Here here Meinert. Hey people of Seattle, don't let someone down that needs your help getting help. Don't be afraid to ask.

This city's prolific propensity for soul-searching has got to stop. Simple as that.

But what Huff did back in Whitefish wasn't all that unusual or telling. There are MILLIONS of rowdy dudes in small towns across the US. Are you going to lock them all up because you think they're "mentally ill"? If you start from that angle, everything starts to look like a symptom.

The real symptom is the desire to own large quantities of non-hunting weapons.

What Kyle did in Montana was a felony and had he been held to that would not have been able to own the very gun he used.

He plea bargained it down to a lesser offense and got community service.

Erin, thing is, we already know Huff showed some mighty large outward signs. And that's without knowing the guy. I can imagine that people who knew him had some more clues as to his potential.

Who was the judge and prosecutor who let this guy have his guns back? And where was the community - and I mean us - and this guys family to help him out?

We also need to look deeper. Was Huff on psychiatric drugs. There are studies showing a link between the use of SSRI psychiatric drugs: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, Wellbutrin - plus Ritalin - and shootings.

And then even deeper. There is a drug culture around the scene this happened in. Is there a connection? What was Huff doing at the house? I lived in Tacoma in the early 90's, and there is a huge correlation between the use of meth and violence (duh). It was 7 fucking am. Most people aren't up at 7 am partying all night without some assistance. We all know meth is growing in popularity in the scene. Was Huff at the house getting meth? Who knows, let's really look at everything before we come to a conclusion. We don't have all the facts and yet people want to use this event as a platform to push their own political agendas. Let's back off from that, look at all sides of this, get the facts and then think about what can be done, if anything, to prevent this in the future. This is a more difficult process than just spouting off solutions, accusations and shallow rhetoric on a slog. But it might actually make our society a better place to live.

Some interesting stats, no conclusion on my part, just something to add to the debate:

The following data were prepared in the wake of the shooting in Erfurt, Germany, 26 April 2002.

In the 14 deadliest mass shootings committed in wealthy nations during the past 35 years:


79% of the victims were shot with lawfully held firearms (185 of 233 victims)

86% of these mass shooting (12 of 14) were committed by lawful gun owners

Many killers, like the 19-year-old who shot 16 people dead at his school in Germany, were previously law-abiding sporting shooters or pistol club members - men whose legal ownership of guns was not questioned by authorities until after the tragedy.

Deadliest Mass Shooting (10 or more dead) in Western Democracies, 1966-2002

Place Dead Legal status

26 Apr 2002 Erfurt, Germany 16 + 1 Legal guns, pistol club member
27 Sep 2001 Zug, Switzerland 14 + 1 Legal guns, licensed pistol owner
29 Jul 1999 Atlanta, GA, USA 12 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required
20 Apr 1999 Littleton, CO, USA 13 + 2 Not legal guns
28 Apr 1996 Port Arthur, Australia 35 Not legal guns
13 Mar 1996 Dunblane, Scotland 17 + 1 Legal guns, pistol club member
16 Oct 1991 Killeen, TX, USA 23 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required
13 Nov 1990 Aramoana, New Zealand 13 + 1 Legal guns, licensed gun owner
18 Jun 1990 Jacksonville, FL, USA 9 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required
06 Dec 1989 Montreal, Canada 14 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required
19 Aug 1987 Hungerford, England 16 + 1 Legal guns, pistol club member
20 Aug 1986 Edmond, OK, USA 14 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required
18 Jul 1984 San Ysidro, CA, USA 21 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required
01 Aug 1966 Austin, TX, USA 16 + 1 Legal guns, no licence required

Philip Alpers, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

In a study of 65 high-profile multiple-victim shooting in the United States during 40 years, 62% of handgun shootings and 71% of long gun shootings were committed with legally acquired firearms (> Violence Policy Center, 2001)

when i was in college in california a friend of mine and his partner were murdered in the middle of the night in their bed. the killers were two right wing christian nutcases. they believed they were doing god's work. they too had stockpiles of weaponry. in the weeks leading up to my friend's murder they had firebomber three synagogues.

i am still enraged that WE thinks it's not only okay but a RIGHT for average citizens [even those with questionable backgrounds] to legally purchase stockpiles of weapons that are designed for maiming and murdering human beings.

fuck us for being assholes who think that our culture of weaponry is okay.
[i include myself in this because i am a citizen of this country with its frightening worldview - and what have i done to change it?]

Right on, Stacy.

Meinert, if you can dial back the Scientology a little bit, you'll see that we didn't have "mighty large signs" about Huff. We had a drunk asshole blowing off a shotgun in a small town in Montana six years ago. Bad, but not by any stretch a "mighty large sign" that something like this was going to happen six years later.

I'm not minimizing the vandalism, but that's what it was: vandalism, by a yee-haw in the West. It happens all the time. There's probably some guy in Montana digging up what's left of his mailbox right now. If that's your standard for "my god, lock these lunatics up!" then you're going to have to build a lot more jails.

As for the possibility of it being the meds' fault: are you POSITIVE it wasn't Thetans?

Oh, and Bosman: thanks for confirming my worst suspicions about gun kooks.

People are going to snap and do impulsive and violent things no matter what society, drugs, or mental illness care have to do with it. There aren't going to be many mass murders with baseball bats or machetes or calculators, though. It's not even feasible to mass murder with an SUV, as has been shown by recent nutballs.

It's the guns, and only the guns, that cause tragedies like this.

... but there will be mass murders committed with airplanes as weapons. Should we ban those?

There are hundreds of millions of cars in the US -- more than there are people, I think. Yet death by deliberate car assault is rare enough that it makes national news -- much like a gun murder does in civilized countries. Gun murders here are a dime a dozen.

Hey Fnarf
"if guns are outlawed, only Negroes will have guns"

That's a bunch of bullshit. If you studied history, you would see that the modern incarnation of gun control stems from the government not wanting the Black Panthers and other minority activist groups to be armed. I'm a fucking hardcore lefty, but I don't think people should be disarmed. Then only the military, cops and criminals have arms. That's a pretty lousy scenario, cowering from tyrants of all sorts in your daily existence.

"Cowering" - is that what you think we're doing? We, meaning normal people? The only thing we're cowering from is the fear of gun nuts like you blowing away your imaginary villains.

I hope your aim down at the shooting range is better than it is here. My point flew right past you. And for the record, I don't want "the Black Panthers and other minority activist groups" to be armed, either.

That airplane comment is a red herring. Unlike airplanes, guns have no other purpose but to kill people. That's what they are designed to do. (Target practice, marksmanship and other "sportsman" skills could be practiced without the use of a deadly weapon.)

Generally bad laws are created when something like this happens (Patriot Act after September 11 is a good example) I'm hoping no knee-jerk legislation comes out of this.

No, what I'm trying to tell you is that not all gun owners are racist hicks. Its the fucking state who is racist. You missed the point. The state wants to disarm minorities so as to better oppress them.

And yes, cower. I have a friend who grew up in Ukraine who was subject to the daily predations of crooked cops and other criminals. Why don't you change your skin to black? See what its like to not be able to call the police. They probably won't believe you when someone committed a crime against you, let alone respond in the first place.

Just another reason why the government and criminals should have a monopoly on violence.

I really think the focus on this has become skewed beyond belief. Beyond the fact that no one will take away my 2nd amendment rights (the right to keep and bear case you don't know), gun control laws only keep honest people honest. Think about you think a criminal is going to worry about breaking one more law? "Oh my, I can't use this's ILLEGAL!! Guess I'll have to rob this person with a knife instead." I personally feel quite a bit safer knowing how to properly use a firearm. Not all gun owners are "hick-town, redneck racists", some of us are educated, cultured historians. The point, as I see it, is that this young man was able to finagle the legal system and retain his weapons. AND that this young man may have had some serious mental issues that were not resolved. Neither of these has anything to do with gun control. After all, without a person behind it, a gun is simply a piece of cold metal. As far as I'm concerned, if more people were armed, Mr. Huff wouldn't have been able to do as much damage.

OK, Mister Cultured Historian: are you in a well-regulated militia?

FNARF, you have few points and you make them poorly, you need to comment when you have something constuctive to say, after reading everything above you have painted yourself as the most ignorant, by far!

have to disagree with you there, david. fnarf is the shit and can write the hell out of a slog comment.

Thank you, Wags. As for David, I'm at a bit of a loss here. I don't know how to respond because I can't understand what you mean. Perhaps if you wrote your post in English.

The question that set you off is a pretty easy one: are you a member of a well-regulated militia? Are you?

Even for a crime obsessed nut, like me, this one is a kick in the balls. I still haven't made it to the scene of the slaughter. However, I know I will. Let's face it, murder is always interesting.

i would also like to add that, oddly enough, I was near Paducah, KY. when there was a horrible school shooting there. I was able to attend several press conferences and public vigils/ etc. after that horrible event.
Anyway, in that case it came out that the shooter (Michael Carneal) was obsessed with 'smurfs' (THIS IS NOT A JOKE). He was teased relentlesly as the school 'nerd', and, quite obviously, couldn't deal with it.
The part I found most odd was that he aimed most of his aggresion (shots) at girls, not the older males who had endlessly bullied him. That was the one fact about the case that boggled my mind.
I think I will withhold my over-all opinion on this crazed massacre until the toxoligy report comes in. Call it a knee-jerk reaction, but this one reaks of chrystal meth.

In response to Fnarf's question:

A. I am not a man, I am a woman.
B. No, I do not belong to a "well-regulated" militia, per se. However, when one consideres that the history of the militia was actually that of groups of armed citizens who answered the emergency call to arms of thier country, then you could actually say "yes".

Staff at the Stranger,

Ii just wanted to say that the recent issue was well done. The cover was perfect. I think it did a great job of summing up the feelings of the majority of the population of Seattle (stunned,zoned-out, blue)
Thanks for not resorting to sensationalism to catch the eye of the general public!


I went to school with Kyle Huff and his brother Kane. They were both very quiet and never caused any problems at school. I would see him at a couple of parties but, for the most part they both stayed to themselves. They always dressed in black and combat boots. Most people I knew just disregarded them in one way or another. I still cannot believe that he would do such a thing, but he always has been a loner. Sometimes the quiet ones are the ones you have to watch out for.

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