Is David Lenio a Canary in the Coal Mine?

by William Skink

Tomorrow David Lenio is being arraigned on felony charges for his hate-filled, threatening escalation online. It will be an interesting case to follow. My first reaction was one of weariness at the 9/11 conspiracist angle national media outlets, like Salon, were using.

Locally, the Cowgirl is making use of this case to bash the habitual push by Montana Republicans to put guns everywhere:

As the fight to nullify federal gun laws, force guns into college campuses and workplaces and encourage the proliferation of concealed weapons and ammunition stockpiles rages in in the Montana legislature, the Missoulian is reporting today that a man who threatened to kill hundreds of school kids and Jewish leaders will be arraigned in district court in Missoula this Thursday for “felony charges of intimidation and criminal defamation.”

David Lenio is the white -supremacist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and holocaust denier who tweeted comments saying he wants to execute “grade school students” and “shoot up a school” and a synagogue, and put “two in the head” of a rabbi or Jewish leader. He also said he hoped to go on a killing rampage until “cops take me out.”

What hasn’t been acknowledged so far is the economic angle. This is a grouping of tweets Salon highlights because the time and frequency of the tweets indicates an increased level of agitation:

2:55 a.m. – 12 Feb. 2015: “Talk mental health all you want but if I must work for piss poor #homeless slave #wages & can’t get property in my homeland..I may kill kids”

2:57 a.m. – 12 Feb. 2015: “I bet I could get at least 12 unarmed sitting ducks if I decide to go on a killing spree in a #school Sounds better than being a wage slave”

3:38 a.m. – 12 Feb. 2015: “USA needs a Hitler to rise to power and fix our #economy and i’m about ready to give my life to the cause or just shoot a bunch of #kikes…”

3:50 a.m. – 12 Feb. 2015: “If I had to pick between being homeless or shooting up a school and becoming dead, I’d say shooting up the school… Social security my ass”

Lenio can be prosecuted and imprisoned for whatever length of time the court deems appropriate, but that won’t change the core economic reality guaranteed to exacerbate social unrest. I’ll say it again, what we are seeing play out in Helena and across the nation is class warfare. David Lenio is a symptom of a larger sickness, a canary in the coal mine warning the air is too toxic to breathe.

Will we listen?

  1. evdebs

    No. Not more than someone who is getting messages through the fillings in his teeth is a canary in a mine. He’s clearly mentally ill. It doesn’t matter if a focus of his obsession is or isn’t real.

  2. Steve W

    So you don’t think he will be convicted, eh EV?

    After all, convicting the mentally ill would, in itself, be mentally ill, wouldn’t it?

    Somebody would have to be crazy to kill thousands of school kids in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Guatemala. Not to mention Vietnam.

    That would be nuts.

    Yeah, nuts.

  3. This just in.

    “Sounds to me like somebody is still locked in the mindset of creating “Gun Free Zones” around all public educational properties. Sadly, history should have shown them that there are two major flaws with that thinking. First, there have been enough shootings in such zones – which might be better named “Safe Shooting Zones for Maniacs” – to show you that the concept doesn’t work. And second, as has been repeatedly stated, you’re passing a law which will only affect people who tend to worry about things like following the law. That’s generally not a description which applies to folks who are inclined to shoot up a school.”-Jazz Shaw.

  4. JC

    Liz: “so you don’t think class war exacerbates social unrest?”

    The stress that individuals undergo (particularly young ones) as a result of class warfare has been shown to correlate with mental illness and addiction.

    People/governments/corporations ignore this, because if we acknowledge that mental illness and addiction can arise out of stress-inducing social conditions, then we become obligated to do something about those conditions, as to treat the symptoms (the Lenio’s of the world) is to leave the root causes alone, hence to breed more illness and addiction.

    The usual crowd will chime in that mental illness and addiction is a personal, moral issue. To them I just say stfu. We’ll be hearing a lot more about the role of ACE’s (adverse childhood experiences) in the prevalence of mental illness, addiction, other stress-related diseases, and homelessness.

    There even was a piece on it on NPR last week. Not that NPR is a great purveyor of breaking news, or deep investigation. To the contrary it was a fluff piece about it (one doctor beginning to screen for ACE’s in his symptom diagnosis and treatment recommendations), but the fact that the masses are beginning to accidentally be exposed to what the impacts of class warfare are doing to the populace, health-wise, can only serve to help illuminate the problem.

    And once enough people determine that it is a problem that we all share a responsibility to address, then maybe the current and upcoming generations won’t suffer like that last several have.

  5. Mark Anderlik

    I think this piece is spot on. If anyone took the time to read the news articles about this guy and the tweets quoted above, the economic pain is certainly a major part of his anger. I see other signs of this anger every day. The question is will most of low-wage workers lash out in violence or threats of violence like Lenio, or will they channel their frustration into organizing and building real power.

  6. steve kelly

    TPTB are usually one step ahead of “…organizing and building real power.” Want to organize and raise the minimum wage in your community? Check this out:

  7. Maybe there wouldn’t these increased levels of agitation if we all could spend time at a government sponsored Adult Fun Camp.

    All abord the train to Fun Camp!

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