Gunman holding people hostage in Discovery Channel building; Update: Gunman in custody, hostages safe

posted at 2:40 pm on September 1, 2010 by Allahpundit

WUSA, a local station in D.C., threw a jolt through Twitter by claiming that the guy is a nutjob on an environmental crusade and that this is his manifesto/list of demands. Now they’re saying that that’s unconfirmed. Way to toss a political hot potato into a story that may be completely unrelated, guys.

Here’s what we know, sort of:

ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington, DC is reporting that the gunman is an Asian man and may be a former Discovery employee.

“A man entered the lobby and may have fired a weapon and declared, ‘Nobody is going anywhere,'” Montgomery County police told WJLA. Witnesses said they

Police are trying to establish contact with the suspect. A person inside the building tells The Associated Press the man had something strapped to his chest and has hostages.

It was, apparently, an Asian man who wrote the manifesto, and a cop on the scene says the suspect has “concerns” about the Discovery Channel, but that’s the closest thing to “confirmation” that anyone has that it’s the same guy. I actually don’t care if it is; I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists. I will, however, be sure to remind them of this the next time they pull that on the right. Which they do, merrily, at every conceivable opportunity.

Stand by for updates.

Update: NBC says the gunman has been identified as James Lee. “Lee” is the name given at the end of the manifesto. The page appears to be down since it’s getting slammed with traffic, but here’s a taste. It’s basically a long rant about overpopulation and pollution and finding solutions to global warming, etc etc. One of the nuttier parts:

Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture.

For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human’s lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease!

It is the responsiblity of everyone to preserve the planet they live on by not breeding any more children who will continue their filthy practices. Children represent FUTURE catastrophic pollution whereas their parents are current pollution. NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis. Even one child born in the US will use 30 to a thousand times more resources than a Third World child. It’s like a couple are having 30 babies even though it’s just one! If the US goes in this direction maybe other countries will too!

Also, war must be halted. Not because it’s morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. FIND SOLUTIONS JUST LIKE THE BOOK SAYS! Humans are supposed to be inventive. INVENT, DAMN YOU!!

The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans.

Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.

Update: TMZ says it’s the same guy and has a PDF version of more of his rantings about global warming, animal extinction, etc.

Update: Here’s Lee’s MySpace page, which apparently hasn’t been updated in a few years. Note the references to Daniel Quinn, who’s also mentioned at the beginning of the manifesto.

Update: Via MKH, some relevant message-board postings from Lee. He’s been working up to the point of going off for awhile, it seems:

Discovery is the enemy. They must be protested into saving the planet and reducing their propaganda. But if you feel that this is wrong, then don’t show up. You’re welcome to stay at home and watch TV or do whatever it is you do.

And if I look like an idiot, so what? But I won’t fail in this. This is going to happen and Discovery is going to change their course and start saving the planet. I will never personally feel like an idiot for trying.

Update: How nutty is he?

At the time of his conviction in March 2008, Lee was identified as a 40-year-old man from San Diego. Court records said he was arrested Feb. 21, 2008, on the sixth day of a protest at the Discovery building. Police were called when a crowd that had gathered began growing “unruly” as Lee threw thousands of dollars of cash into the air, some of it still in shrink-wrapped packages, police said at the time.

Update: Enjoy this tweet from lefty blogger Atrios because, like I say, the narrative shall be a-changin’ the next time some nut on the right does something nutty.

Update: Speaking of lefty bloggers, Think Progress blames Lee’s madness partly on rhetoric from … groups opposed to illegal immigration. Even liberal Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is embarrassed by their post.

Update: A bad day ends on a good note:

Suspect in Discovery Channel standoff shot and in custody; all three hostages are safe, police chief says.

That’s all CNN has right now, but keep trying that link. Updates should be coming momentarily.

Update: The shots were fatal. Lee is dead.

Update: Max Fisher of the Atlantic somehow read this post to mean that I think (a) Lee was a liberal and (b) because liberals relentlessly politicize “lone nut” incidents involving right-wingers, conservatives should do the same to them. (His tagline in summarizing this post at the Atlantic is “Hang This Attack Around Liberals’ Necks.”) On the first point, I don’t know if Lee was a down-the-line doctrinaire liberal or not; my point was simply that the green concerns that motivated him are typically identified with the left and therefore many people will conclude that he’s some species of liberal. By the same token, when someone bombs an abortion clinic, no one waits to find out the bomber’s opinion on, say, Iraq and federal spending before identifying him with the right. It’s the motive that defines the suspect politically in incidents like these. As for the second point — and I’m frankly amazed that anyone might have misunderstood it — what I’m saying is that liberals and environmentalists shouldn’t be blamed for this. Don’t politicize the incident by hanging the actions of a lunatic around their neck. What I meant up top about reminding them of this the next time they politicize something done by a right-wing nut was merely how this proves that there are crazies of all stripes and that I didn’t try to score a cheap political point against them today when the opportunity presented itself. Is this really that complicated?

The boss emeritus puts it more clearly than I can, apparently:

The gunman was reportedly motivated by Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth eco-propaganda. Guess what? I’m not playing that opportunistic blame game here. It’s not Al Gore’s fault when an enviro-nut goes off unhinged (and I’ve said that before). The blame in this case lies with the crazy man who terrorized the Discovery Channel employees. Period.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Which is wrong, but becomes a really, really dumb argument when you argue it the way he does in his declaration.

Sharr on September 1, 2010 at 8:25 PM

I read his declaration and it’s that of a completely incoherent and rambling mind. I woudn’t think that he really read Malthus, he probably just associated Malthus’s name with ‘overpopulation’, without having any idea of the Mathusian theory. the rest is the making of his own deranged mind…

jimver on September 1, 2010 at 9:16 PM

This appears to be one of those cases.

John on September 1, 2010 at 7:35 PM

One distinction I suppose are those who plan their viciousness with with the help and coordination of others and those who seem to be on a lone crusade and share their stupidity with only their own demons in their head. Neither is any less responsible for their own actions. But the lone nut does not send you to bed at night wondering when and where the next attack will be.

NotCoach on September 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Pretty safe bet he had squirrels in his attic.

Aviator on September 1, 2010 at 6:29 PM

He certainly had bats in his belfry.

DrAllecon on September 1, 2010 at 9:22 PM

It’s not Al Gore’s fault when an enviro-nut goes off unhinged (and I’ve said that before).

I disagreed with her then, and I disagree with her now. No, it obviously isn’t completely Al Gore’s fault, this nut bought a gun, bullets, formed a plan, etc. But when a person like Gore makes speeches about how the world will end (not the country will change, not people will make less money than they used to, the WORLD WILL END) if people don’t “do something about it.”

Then yes, it is a LITTLE his fault when someone who is mentally unhinged takes him at his word and tries to “do something about it.”

FWIW, if Rush or Beck told their audience that “unless Obama is stopped, by any means necessary, the world will come to an end” I WOULD hold them partially responsible if some nut tried to harm the president.

DrAllecon on September 1, 2010 at 9:28 PM

I actually don’t care if it is; I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists. I will, however, be sure to remind them of this the next time they pull that on the right.

The gunman was reportedly motivated by Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth eco-propaganda. Guess what? I’m not playing that opportunistic blame game here. It’s not Al Gore’s fault when an enviro-nut goes off unhinged (and I’ve said that before). The blame in this case lies with the crazy man who terrorized the Discovery Channel employees. Period.

A quibble if I may. Blame the crazy individual, yes, I also wouldn’t hesitate to hang the “guilt by association” label to leaders like Gore who inflame the followers, particularily those predisposed to hating God already. I lost a good friend to Goracle’s Earth In The Balance.

Since he read (polluted his logic) the book, he went into a downward spiral…
Shortly after the book came out, a group of good friends were sitting around chatting when the conversation came around to some attempt to take Rush off AFN. A girl mentioned he was a dittohead. My friend launched into a tirade calling her every name in under the sun and then some. This was to a supposed co-worker & friend that we all hung out with often. what the heck was that?

A year or so later, my friend & I were taking a walk in the park and all of a sudden he got obsessed with picking up cigarette butts. Partly amused, I asked if he was going to clean the whole park. He launched into a tirade how there outta be a law against smoking – he had just quit smoking for a while. And that anyone caught smoking should be forced to eat the butts. Surely he was jesting? No, dead serious, although upon seeing the butt in my hand he said anyone caught throwing a butt ought to be forced to eat it. I tossed it and he said nothing. But the friendship was nearing the end.

Sometime after that a group of us were eating out and something ticked him off about the waitress and he had the bright idea that we all should just cut and run w/o paying the tab. Most started to run, I stayed and they came back – acting as if they came back from having a smoke. Later on he angrily asked why i wouldn’t run. I said that the girl was entitled to get paid for services rendered – skip the tip if you want, but I wasn’t about to steal. Afterall, he was a bartender and had also waited tables, he should have known better. he went off into some spiel trying to rationalize why it was right to stiff the restaurant. Whatever.

That was pretty much the end. last i heard of him, he was in some dorf in upper New York running on the green party for POTUS 2000. Talk about delusional.

So yes, tree huggers are all birds of a feather – lunatic. At least they do it, while all the other liberals just wish they could act as the hand of Gaia and smite the unwashed, polluting masses.

What’s God got to do with it? My friend lost his dad as a child and blamed God for it. Tragicaly funny to hear him declare his mother a SAINt for raising 6 boys all alone and in the same breath damn God, if He exists. Hello? If God didn’t exist, then how does a devout Catholic mother become a “saint”. Gore and his fellow travelers provided my friend something to fill the personal vacuum and his raison d’etre. Likewise this Lee needed a spark to light off.

The difference between leftist loonies going off is that liberal ideology entertains and condones the notion of violence on behalf of the cause. Compared to right-wingers going off and killing abortionists – there is nothing in Christendom that sanctions the action. Only that their internal anger rationalized the notion of taking vengenance for God. Often times, we find that the killer was so deranged that there was nothing coherent in their “christian” faith.

AH_C on September 1, 2010 at 9:30 PM

How long before we see some leftist dim bulb blog something like,
“Lee may have been a nut, but he had a point…”? “Mr. Lee may have been wrong in his methods, but he was right about the problem.”

NotCoach on September 1, 2010 at 6:40 PM

there are tonnes of such comments on the left blogs and websites…. This is just one from the CNN website:
Quickwit: ‘Actually, the man does make some good points. We are destroying our environment. His method, however, was a bit extreme…’


my favourite is this though:
‘anyone remember the good ol days when someone could just be crazy without it having anything to do with politics?…man…those were good times’

jimver on September 1, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Nope, gotta disagree with you and Michelle on the final point.

They can deliver Lee’s remains right to Gore’s front door. Gore’s and every other charlatan running around trying to scare people to death so they can make a buck off of carbon credits and govt grants.

You don’t really think Al Gore has a net worth north of 100 million from his govt paycheck and pension do ya?

Jim708 on September 1, 2010 at 9:50 PM

I’m thinking that I heard through drudge and hannity that the perp here is d.e.a.d?? am i wrong?

ted c on September 1, 2010 at 9:52 PM

ohh ok, I see AP’s update. May want to update the headline to indicate that the ghost has been given up.

ted c on September 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM

I have a more important question: Who cares what the left thinks?

SirGawain on September 1, 2010 at 9:56 PM

They haven’t shown Future Weapons in years,=.

Glad that sob was shot. He didn’t deserve the air.

Cr4sh Dummy on September 1, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Al Gore preyed on his fears and it cost him his life.

viking01 on September 1, 2010 at 7:12 PM


First the Unabomber, Dr. Theodore John “Ted” Kaczynski.

Now the Discovery Shooter, James Lee.

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action.

No more ‘free passes’ for the ‘we must save the planet at all costs’ BS coming from the Greenies.

Quit whining about how UNFAIR we’re being as we connect the dots.

You OWN it.

Be prepared for the consequences.

CPT. Charles on September 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM


@ Allahpundit

How many times have liberals gone off the reservation? How many times have members of the Tea Party been attacked? How many *leftist* nutcases have committed violence?

And has that once, just f**king once, ever stopped the liberal left from smearing conservatives?


How about it AP? Cough up a few examples of where the liberal left refrained from smearing conservatives. How about it?

You and the rest of your ilk can choose to not play their game but the liberal left won’t stop playing it just because you don’t want to. All you’re doing is pulling your punches and doing a President Bush. Being a useless target worth nothing at all in politics.

That’s all you’re worth AP. Nothing. Because a person who isn’t willing to fight is someone who isn’t willing to win.

You useless windbag.

memomachine on September 2, 2010 at 12:25 AM

AH_C on September 1, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Eery story, reminds me of something that happened with one of my friends years ago. With that friend it was race. She was a smart Asian woman from a rich family living comfortably in suburbia, who discovered the Internet and started re-publishing every anti-white, social justice, racial solidarity thing she could find on her blog. I tried to rebut and she started recruiting “internet friends” to gang up on me, a real-life college friend, in these surreal “debates”. The Left turns good people into kooks.

joe_doufu on September 2, 2010 at 1:43 AM

With few exceptions (Oklahoma City comes to mind), western political violence is driven by one ideology — leftism. Odious progressives are the spiritual mentors of lunatics everywhere, doing violence for The Cause.

On a mass scale, righties simply do not inflict organized violence, property destruction, or even inconvenience against our lefty-besieged population. Violence from elements in the anti-abortion movement comes closest to a cohesive source of non-leftist violence. Even then, there is no comparison in scale and number of leftist groups demanding “direct action.”

One thing I noticed about non-leftist political violence is that often it comes in reaction to grotesque injustices engineered by liberals. It is an infrequent event compared to the depraved injustices, destruction of livelihoods, and loosing of criminals on the innocent, all at the behest of liberals.

Feedie on September 2, 2010 at 2:02 AM

joe_doufu on September 2, 2010 at 1:43 AM

Yep, Leftism is a verifiable disease where the weak-kneed lose their minds and are consumed with rage.

AH_C on September 2, 2010 at 2:08 AM

The guy was crazy. But the likes of Gore allowed him to legitimize his craziness. How could he be wrong if Al Gore agrees?

Gore can’t be held singularly responsible for the tragedy, but he is responsible for the lies he proffers and the harm they do to society and individuals.

paul1149 on September 2, 2010 at 5:22 AM

That Think Progress post is disgusting, but even more vile are the comments:

Russ Weiss says:
” find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that.”

So why didn’t he go to Michelle Malkin’s house?

September 1st, 2010 at 9:44 pm

zxbe says:
The right sows hate. This is the result.

September 1st, 2010 at 3:49 pm
eyeswideopen1 says:
Add one more to the body count produced by Faux Noise. Either as brainwashed believers or victims.

September 1st, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Tired Of It All says:
He’s clearly an undercover teabagger.

September 1st, 2010 at 3:50 pm

10. tom says:
Add one more to the body count produced by Faux Noise. Either as brainwashed believers or victims.

I’m sure that Little Seanie Vannity, Limpballs and BeckyBoy are hard at work now to characterize this fruitcake as an “environmentalist”.

September 1st, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Funny how they completely ignored that he was “motivated by Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth eco-propaganda”, but hang all their hate on his use of “anchor babies”. Think Progress is a hate site! Smear, smear, smear.

sarainitaly on September 2, 2010 at 5:45 AM

Because a person who isn’t willing to fight is someone who isn’t willing to win.

You useless windbag.

memomachine on September 2, 2010 at 12:25 AM

There’s a difference between fighting back, and acting just like them. We can’t very well stand on the high ground, and accuse them of acting unhinged if we act unhinged, back. We win by being sane, rational, and right. Look at what the kooks at MSNBC are doing – they are becoming unglued! Read that Think Progress post, and the comments! Let them bring themselves down! They are proving themselves to be nothing but unhinged lunatic haters.

sarainitaly on September 2, 2010 at 5:49 AM

“Gunman in Custody”

Yeah. In custody of some DC funeral home.

BigAlSouth on September 2, 2010 at 6:18 AM

Nothing wrong with rubbing the noses of these shamless idiots in a puddle of their own hypocrisy and illustrating for them how stupid they sound when they make generalizations. This is the only language they understand – their own.

You should visit Think Regress Progress on this topic and read the comment threads. Seriously – they’re blaming Fox News, Glenn Beck, Republicans and “anti-immigration” rhetoric.

Denial. Ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Not all econut leftists are terrorists. But all econut terrorists are leftists.

Correlation. Not causation.

Good Lt on September 2, 2010 at 8:04 AM

You should visit Think Regress Progress on this topic and read the comment threads.

Good Lt on September 2, 2010 at 8:04 AM

I agree. It’s really good for a laugh – like watching someone make a complete idiot out of themself.

I especially like the way they “vote down” comments they don’t like. When I saw the first one I thought,”Hmm … this must be something that’s especially vile and disgusting and so, of course, I click on it with great anticipation and it’s some mundane, fact-based comment like, “Eco-terrorists tend to be liberal.” OMG! How dare you! Voted Down!

They’re like elementary school kids sticking their fingers in their ears and going, “Na, na, na, na, I can’t hear you!”

Rod on September 2, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Clearly, Lee hadn’t come to terms with the fact that we now have a black president.

WarEagle01 on September 2, 2010 at 10:17 AM

So who gets stuck in the office with the stupid shark head blocking the windows?

reaganaut on September 2, 2010 at 12:32 PM

This is interesting; I just reviewed a book on my blog entitled, Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence which argues for a similar view to the gunman. It’s called anti-natalism: people should not have children, and we should let the human race go extinct. However, most anti-natalists maintain that once someone is brought into existence it’s a greater harm to kill them (beyond a certain stage of fetal development) than it is to continue living.

Here’s the link if anyone’s interested.

JS on September 2, 2010 at 2:50 PM

It’s sad that pundits and media types on the right of the aisle feel it oh so important to express just how above political attacks they are because they think it somehow serves to point out some Truth to Leftists and the way their “journalistic” coverage is NOT “objective”. They keep repeating the mantra, “Look, see how it’s done? (BTW– don’t you ADMIRE how honorable and respectable we are in being “objective” about YOUR useful idiots that we pat ourselves on the back for giving them a pass every time, LIKE YOU SHOULD!?!)” That this mantra in someway makes them oh so holier than thou, big, humble, and enlightened.

Then the NEXT person who may or MAY NOT be a Conservative or “right wing nut” because he attend some political function or espoused some political idea that SEEMS Conservative, all those same media types on the Left that the Right side of the Media tried to impress STILL peg the person as the SHINING EXAMPLE of EVERY SINGLE TEA PARTY CONSERVATIVE ON THE PLANET like they always do.

Such a freaking waste of time.

BTW–I blame Al Gore. ;)

Sultry Beauty on September 2, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Peter Singer ethics coming home to roost.

Inanemergencydial on September 2, 2010 at 6:08 PM