Saturday, June 14, 2014

WAS THE OREGON SCHOOL SHOOTER'S MORMON "HOME TEACHER" A WELL-KNOWN GUNMAKER?

You might have seen this story:
The 15-year-old freshman who opened fire on his Oregon high school Tuesday wanted to kill "sinners," the teen wrote in his diary.

Jared Padgett, an active member of an Gresham, Ore., Mormon church, shot and killed a student and injured a teacher during the attack on Reynolds High School before turning the gun on himself, police said.

While searching through the teen's home, officers found his journal, Portland's KGW reported.

In the diary, Padgett detailed plans to kill the "sinners" at his school, police said....

Church elder Earl Milliron told the TV station that the 15-year-old was "highly regarded for his spirituality."
Here's a bit more about Earl Milliron and his relationship to Padgett's family:
... Earl Milliron, 86, [is] a member of the same Mormon church ward as the family. They all attended the Hartley Park Ward in Gresham.

Milliron knew the entire family, in part because he performs monthly home visits with church members to talk about spiritual and family issues. He said Jared Padgett was a deacon in the church and "was a quiet young man who was very involved in the church."
Elsewhere in that story, Milliron is called the Padgetts' "home teacher."

If you go to this ad for a used rifle at the website of Cabela's, the sporting goods chain, you'll be told that "The stock was made by famous stockmaker Earl Milliron of Portland, OR." (Gresham is a city just east of Portland.) Here's an reference to Earl Milliron of Portland, Oregon, bore-sighting a Remington rifle, from the 1974 volume Outdoor Life's Deer Hunting Book. Here's a 1971 book depicting a "spiffy" rifle with a stock made by Earl Milliron.

I'm not 100% that this is the same Earl Milliron, but he's old enough (86) to have been working forty-plus years ago, and the location seems right. (Here's a PeekYou listing for 86-year-old Earl Milliron, who's lived in both Portland and Gresham.)

Gunmaking is an honest craft, and it seems as if Milliron did fine work in his day. It's just striking to me that the shooter had a spiritual counselor who was a gunmaker, if that's the case.

A story in The Oregonian quotes a classmate who say Padgett loved guns:
Kaylah Ensign, 15, a freshman at Reynolds High School, was close friends with Emilio Hoffman, the boy who died in Tuesday's shooting. She had known Hoffman since middle school. She also knew Jared Padgett, although they weren't close, she said....

[Padgett] ... seemed most engaged when talking about guns, Ensign said, adding that he would talk about hunting rabbits and could talk in detail about firearms.

"It was insane how much he knew," she said. "He would say all the types of guns and could name anything."
What was not to love? If it's true that a spiritual adviser was intimately involved with guns, how could Padgett see them as anything other than a good thing?

5 comments:

peabody nobis said...

Although I am truly horrified by the amount of gun violence we have in our society, I cannot blame the guns themselves. Instead, I blame the marketers and shills who glamorize the gun culture.
Hunting rifles have a place in our society. AK-47s and Saturday Night Specials do not. And these people don't know the difference.

Victor said...

Some mighty fine research, Steve.

TO pick-up on what @peabody nobis said - also, too, shotguns, for home defense.

The only people who need assault weapons, are soldiers attacking, or defending.

Jules said...

I'm not 100% that this is the same Earl Milliron, but he's old enough (86)

Then why not confirm this before tying him to this kid? Leave the "Irresponsible not to speculate" crap to the right.

It's just striking to me that the shooter had a spiritual counselor who was a gunmaker, if that's the case.

Seriously? Why? These events are tragic enough without people running around playing Connect the Dots.

If it's true that a spiritual adviser was intimately involved with guns, how could Padgett see them as anything other than a good thing?

Wow. This is just really sloppy.

You have an 86 year old man whom you think once made gun stocks who has a connection to the family.

And you think a teenager paid enough attention to some old fart who came to the house once a month said to decide "Wow, I really like old fart and since he made guns, I think Guns Are Good."

Or something. I honestly have no idea what you're trying to do here.

mtar925 said...

I will again concern-troll my favorite blogger on the gun issue. A Google of "Earl Milliron stockmaker" turns up 27,000 hits, so he (if it's the same person) is well known in this field. However, he's apparently famous for finely crafted wooden stocks fitted to traditional long arms. A quick perusal turns up no associations with modern assault weapons, concealable handguns, or other weapons designed for killing people. Maybe some people find it creepy to attach aesthetic value to killing tools, but I'd rather focus on the guys who want to stockpile plain-looking military weapons.

Based on what we know, trying to place any blame for Padgett's crime on someone like Milliron is the kind of thing that motivates otherwise responsible sporting gun owners to pay their NRA dues.

Joey Blau said...

If someone wants to dress up in cammo and ride his quad on his 100 acres and shoot up fake deer and gallon jugs of water.. with his AK-74 and his AR-15...

well he should be allowed to. People like different things and if he likes blasting things with his arsenal that is his right.

somehow we have to get from there to stopping kids and others from bringing guns into school. it is mostly kids though.. seems like guns need to be locked up.. maybe in an armory setup for the parents..

something.