The Left generally believes that only the government should be allowed access to firearms. Only trained government employees can be trusted with such powerful implements of coercion and chaos. They cloak the argument in nuance, claiming that bolt-action .22 rifles are good while “assault weapons,” whatever they actually might be, are bad. However, even that isn’t true. Most dedicated Leftists look to our disarmed brethren in places like the UK and Australia and sigh wistfully.
I have a lot of cop buddies. They are without exception dedicated, altruistic, and selfless. I also once got paid by Uncle Sam to carry a gun myself. Trust me, our public servants in uniform are not fundamentally different from their civilian counterparts. No amount of training or indoctrination can excise the innately fallen nature of man. In no place is that axiom made more clearly manifest than in the dark inky heart of Chris Dorner.
Christopher Dorner was born on June 4, 1979, in New York but grew up in Southern California. On the surface, Dorner was the All-American hero. The only African-American kid in his elementary school, Dorner aspired from a young age to become a police officer. He eventually attended Southern Utah University and studied political science and psychology. Dorner was a running back on his college football team.
Dorner earned a commission in the US Navy Reserve and served with a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit. He deployed operationally to Bahrain before being discharged in 2013. In 2002 Dorner happened upon a bag containing $8,000 that had been lost by a local church. He returned the cash saying, “The military stresses integrity…if people are willing to give that to a church, it must be pretty important to them.”
Trouble in Paradise
In 2005 Dorner fulfilled a dream and joined the LAPD. On his first operational day out of the Law Enforcement Academy, he admitted to his training officer, Teresa Evans, that he intended to sue the LAPD. Dorner was unhappy with the way the Department had responded to complaints he had lodged against his academy classmates.
Evans ultimately gave Dorner a suboptimal performance review. The following day Dorner filed a report against Evans accusing her of using excessive force during a particularly chaotic arrest. An extensive investigation ultimately found that Dorner had lied about the allegation. In 2008 Chris Dorner was fired from the LAPD.
Dorner appealed his firing and grew ever more morose and angry during his many legal hearings. In 2013 Dorner published an 11,000-word manifesto on Facebook detailing an exhaustive litany of the purportedly unfair actions against him, his motivations, and his plans. This expansive list reached all the way back to high school, accusing an administrator of failing to properly adjudicate the theft of a watch. In this meandering screed, he also listed 40 different Law Enforcement personnel he planned to kill.
His rambling diatribe included, “Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD…”
Dorner’s sole demand was that the LAPD publicly admit that his termination was in retaliation for reporting excessive force.
On February 1, 2013, CNN’s Anderson Cooper received a parcel from Dorner that included an LAPD challenge coin sporting four bullet holes. There was an accompanying note stating simply, “1 MOA.” The implication for anyone with any degree of firearms acumen is obvious.
Two days later 28-year-old Monica Quan and her fiancé were shot to death while in a parked car. Monica was the innocent daughter of Randal Quan, a former LAPD Captain and attorney who had represented Dorner at his dismissal hearing. Law Enforcement quickly tied these murders to the Dorner manifesto and launched an epic manhunt.
On February 7 a man presumed to be Dorner fired upon a pair of police officers with a rifle, grazing one of them in the head. Twenty minutes later Dorner ambushed a pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a traffic light, killing one and grievously injuring the other. Later that afternoon Dorner attempted unsuccessfully to steal a boat ostensibly to flee to Mexico. Two days after that the LAPD reopened its case on Chris Dorner’s firing based upon the allegations in his manifesto.
There was a million-dollar reward for Dorner’s capture. The cops employed extensive surveillance assets, including UAVs. Officers ultimately cornered Dorner in an unoccupied cabin near Big Bear Lake, California. Dorner then opened fire on a pair of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies, killing one and badly wounding the other.
Interestingly, Dorner and the cops both exchanged tear gas and smoke canisters. Police then deployed a demolition vehicle that knocked down most of the structure’s walls followed by pyrotechnic tear gas canisters. The cabin conflagrated.
Dorner’s body was found in the basement of the cabin along with several firearms and his wallet. He was positively identified via dental records. The cause of death was ruled a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Chris Dorner’s Guns
The final count was one sound-suppressed Remington 700 bolt gun, a tricked-out suppressed Bushmaster AR SBR (Short-Barreled Rifle), at least two Glock pistols, and a suppressed Walther P22. Dorner had both CS and smoke grenades apparently pilfered during his Law Enforcement service. He had a total of ten registered sound suppressors.
After WW2 Remington engineers were looking for a way to produce a rugged and accurate bolt action rifle using efficient production techniques gleaned during the war. In 1962 Big Green debuted the Model 700. Unlike previous bolt guns that demanded complicated machining processes, the 700 receiver was turned on a lathe from a solid piece of round steel stock. The world of precision shooting would never be the same.
Bushmaster Firearms actually dates back to the 1970’s and a former Vietnam-era Special Forces veteran named Mack Gwinn. Gwinn developed, among other things, the remarkable Bushmaster Arm Pistol. His company was eventually sold to Cerberus Group and became one of the largest producers of black rifles in America.
Gaston Glock produced his first polymer-framed, striker-fired combat handgun for the Austrian Army in 1982. Glock had never before designed a firearm, so he brought few preconceptions to the table. The gun he crafted set a new standard for reliability and producibility. Today some two-thirds of American cops carry Glock handguns as do many of America’s most rarefied military Special Operators.
The Walther P22 is a hammer-fired blowback single-action/double-action .22-caliber utility pistol. The gun feeds from a 10-round magazine and is particularly amenable to a sound suppressor. The P22’s tactical attributes make it a superb low-cost training tool.
California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Most of the guns and all of the magazines and suppressors Dorner had on him were illegal under California law. As near as I could tell Dorner bought the suppressors and SBR out of state via a trust. Regardless, as a Law Enforcement Officer, despite being fired by the LAPD, Dorner was apparently not subject to these rules. There is something deeply disturbing about that. No matter, as a committed criminal he naturally just ignored all those ludicrous California gun control laws anyway.
The Rest of the Story
Dorner’s manifesto made it patently clear that he knew the LAPD playbook well. He also apparently falsely claimed to have a Barret M82 .50-caliber rifle. The cumulative result was some simply epic freaking out on the part of California Law Enforcement.
The cops pulled over three pickup trucks during the manhunt. They sort-of matched the description of Chris Dorner’s ride in that they were all three technically pickup trucks. The officers then proceeded to shoot the vehicles absolutely to pieces. None of these trucks matched the make, model, or color of Dorner’s vehicle.
Chris Dorner was a 270-pound black man. These three trucks were occupied by a middle-aged white guy, another white guy with a surfboard, and a pair of Hispanic women out delivering newspapers. The ladies’ truck was hit 102 times.
Miraculously no one was killed. However, all four innocent citizens were injured. None of the eight police officers involved were criminally charged.
There are those today who view Chris Dorner as both a role model and a victim. A subsequent first-person shooter video game was titled “Chris Dorner’s Last Stand: A True American Hero.” I read a great deal of such stuff preparing this article. I’m probably on some kind of watch list now. The gist was that Chris Dorner was unfairly persecuted, and this somehow justified his rampage.
Dorner offered some interesting advice from beyond the grave. Buried within his profoundly verbose manifesto I found this–“In the end, I hope that you will realize that the small arms I utilize should not be accessed with the ease that I obtained them. Who in [their] right mind needs a f…..g silencer!!! who needs a freaking SBR AR15? No one. No more Virginia Tech, Columbine HS, Wisconsin temple, Aurora theatre, Portland malls, Tucson rally, Newtown Sandy Hook. Whether by executive order or thru a bi-partisan congress an assault weapons ban needs to be reinstituted. Period!!!”
No offense, Chris, but you were a psychopath nutjob. I’m not terribly moved by a suicidal murderer’s post-mortem suggestions concerning gun control laws. Chris Dorner is the precise reason the Founders proclaimed that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.