On the afternoon on August 8th, 2019 Dmitriy N. Andreychenko walked from the parking lot into a Walmart in Springfield Missouri, while wearing a tactical vest with magazine pouches, and an AR style rifle attached to a sling hanging barrel down in front of him. He recorded himself on his own cellphone walking through the store, while pushing a shopping cart.
News reports from various sources say that people seeing this began to panic and run from the store. The store manager pulled the fire alarm in an attempt to get people to leave the store itself. After the alarm was pulled Dmitriy N. Andreychenko left the store and was confronted by a armed citizen who held him at gun point until police arrived and took him into custody.
On August 9th the County Prosecutor charged Dmitriy N. Andreychenko with felony for making a “terrorist threat”:
“Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announces that Dimitriy N. Andreychenko, 20 years old, of Springfield, Missouri, has been charged today with making a terrorist threat in the second degree for events which occurred yesterday, August 8, 2019, at the Walmart Neighborhood Market located at 3150 W. Republic St., Springfield, Missouri.“
You can read the entire Press Release and charging document here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/165aTb5POOhehqqrSEjfWiyu_jDwi7iV8/view
Now this of course happened just after the El Paso Texas Walmart mass murder. And Dmitriy N. Andreychenko told police investigators that he was arming himself because he wanted to be safe at the Walmart. Maybe in fear of a copy cat mass murderer, or like he also said, to see if Walmart honored his 2nd Amendment right.
Now this is where things get a bit sticky for many people. What this young man did is legal in Missouri. The following is from USCCA law summary for Missouri: “Open carry and concealed carry are legal in Missouri for anyone 19 years or older who can legally possess a firearm, with or without a concealed carry permit (CCP). However local authorities, such as the city of Blair, can restrict open carry, but a concealed carry permit holder is not restricted from open carry in any location where concealed carry is permitted.”
Now is where I would like the input from the firearms community and especially those who are staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment. While what this man did was legal and within his rights, was it something that you support or would have done yourself? Was it within his rights, but poor timing? Was he just stupid? Was he well within his rights and should have been left alone? Did the previous mass murder in another state and location warrant the reaction that he got from the Walmart in Missouri?
I have to be honest that I am still trying to figure out how I feel about this one. First what he did was legal in his state. Plus I support the 2nd Amendment. How would I have reacted had I seen this happening? Should he have been charged with a felony like he was? Should the “good citizen” who held him at gun point be charged for doing so since no crime was being committed?
This event also strikes up a really good topic of conversation that I have seen talked about before and needs discussion again. While something may be legal and you may be entitled to do it at the time and place, is it a good idea to do so? Can doing something that is within your rights and legal be a poor idea?
I honestly am torn by this one. On one hand I think that if it is legal and within your rights, you should be allowed to do it without fear of arrest of reprisal from others. On the other hand I do not want to cause others to panic out of ignorance or fear.
So I ask you, the reader what do you think? What do you think should have happened or should happen to this young man?
Personally I do not think the charge they used will stand up in court and think charges will either be dropped before trial or he will be found not guilty. But then again stranger things have happened. Would I have done what he did? No of course not, I do not want to cause people to panic out of ignorance, nor do I want to chance being shot by another armed citizen or police officer out of mistake. But if I was trying to prove a point and raise public awareness I might do something like it in Florida by taking part in a open carry fishing march or such.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Stupid thing to do? Poor Timing? Well within his rights and OK to do so? What are your thoughts?