When the crazies come out, they come out in full force. A man named Neil Prescott has been arrested in Maryland for calling himself "a joker" and threatening a mass shooting at his employer, Pitney Bowes. Nor was he making idle threats. Reportedly the 28-year-old had 20 guns in his home, including assault rifles, and 400 rounds of ammunition. Isn't it great to know that people can order this stuff up as easily as a book or bar of soap?
Apparently Prescott was either about to be fired or has just been fired, depending on reports. Like James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colorado shootings, Harris seems to have been having a coo coo reaction to failure. Reports say that Holmes had failed a key graduate school exam before the Dark Knight shootings. Many mass shootings in the past have been linked to people who were just fired or who had just suffered some other kind of rejection.
Two years ago, Omar Thornton went on a killing spree at his Connecticut place of employment after being fired for stealing beer. He killed nine people (including the guy who was trying to SAVE his job) before turning the gun on himself.
Workplace shootings are incredibly common. So common that, having been through various mass layoffs over the years, at some point some coworkers and I would sit around nervously joking about who will come back to try and take us all out. It can be scary!
So did Prescott tell police he was "a joker" because he was copying James Holmes, who allegedly said he was The Joker from the Batman series? Or did he mean his threats were just "jokes"?
Either way, "jokes" about killing people must be taken seriously -- especially from someone who has an arsenal at home.
Have you ever been scared at work?
Image via Michael Melchiorre/Flickr