James Howell was arrested on his way to LA Pride 2016 when police officers found assault rifles, ammunition and tannerite, an explosive that can be used to create pipe bombs in his car
James Howell was arrested while travelling to the LA Pride 2016 parade on Sunday 12 June 2016. Howell had an arsenal of weaponry in his car including “three assault rifles, high capacity magazines, ammunition, and a 5 gallon bucket with chemicals to make a bomb,” when he was arrested by police.
The twenty year old man originally from Indiana was on a one year probation for pointing a gun at a man threateningly during an argument.
Howell was arrested in Santa Monica after neighbours spotted the young man lurking around outside at 5am and he claimed that he was waiting for a friend before he would head to LA Pride 2016 in WeHo (West Hollywood).
The local and federal law enforcement decided not to cancel the Pride parade, instead bolstering security which included undercover police.
While there is currently no evidence that the two are connected, this incident occurs on the same day as the Orlando massacre for which a vigil will be held tonight, Monday 13 June 2016, in Dublin.
The attack saw forty-nine people killed and fifty three others injured by US born Omar Mateen at gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida.
The investigation into James Howell and LA Pride is still ongoing, with the FBI taking over from local law enforcement to determine what James Howell might have been doing and confirm that there was no association with any other organisations
The two separate incidents do however highlight the issue of lax gun control laws in the US as well as serving as a sickening reminder that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia still exists in the Western world and needs to be tackled.
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