It’s either part of a nefarious plan, or mental illness, or both

Police raided a home near Los Angeles and uncovered a stash of thousands of guns. They’re currently sorting through them trying to figure out why this house needed that kind of armament.

My first thought: cat ladies. There is a kind of well known obsession where individuals collect cats, they overrun their homes, the person is unable to keep up with the filth they produce, and the animals are neglected and suffer, while the person insists that they love their animals and don’t want to be parted with them, all while their home becomes an unliveable hazard. This is not to imply that having cats is a mental health issue, but compulsive and excessive hoarding might be.

Maybe there should be a recognized problem like “crazy gun hoarder syndrome”. Affects mainly older men. Leads to houses cluttered with rifles and handguns everywhere, so many that they aren’t properly maintained and constitute a danger to the resident and the neighborhood. Makes everyone wonder why they can’t control their obsessions. Needs to be dealt with with sympathy and social treatment.

What reinforces that idea are some of the comments on that video.

‘Adam & Ramona’ are clearly in the early stages of the syndrome. No, you don’t need 20 rifles and 10 handguns. You certainly are within the allowed limits of the law, but you’ve got a problem. Before you defend yourself by saying you’re a “collector”, well, that’s not an escape clause. Collect things that don’t kill people, OK? Or maybe he removes the firing pins from his historical archive of period self-defense tools, which are all neatly stored with labels in locked cabinets.

‘P G’ might have a problem, too. The police find a house packed to the rafters with murder sticks, and you’re concerned that the murder sticks might get scratched? Your priorities are kind of messed up, guy.

They don’t even have feline toxoplasmosis to blame.

Alternatively, of course, maybe the house owner will turn out to be a far-right wannabe terrorist with grand plans to take over LA with a hodge-podge of guns. That’s not good either. Or he was a petty crook running an illegal gun store to sell to people who couldn’t even pass the minimal gun checks in our law. Also bad.

There’s nothing good about any of this!


  1. says

    The article, and a KTLA article I read last night, indicate the BATFE are investigating this as an illegal gun selling scheme. The KTLA article also mentions that the house is owned by a Cynthia Beck, who is the mother of 3 of J. Paul Getty’s grandkids. TMZ is reporting she hasn’t lived in the house in several years, and may be in Europe.

  2. whywhywhy says

    What law was being broken that permitted the gun seizure? Was a it a gun law or simply community endangerment since the own of the house was most likely not storing all these in a gun safe.
    I was of the understanding that our gun laws are so weak that situations like this are legal.

    P.S. we need to control all semi-automatic weapons in the same way machine guns are controlled. A person needs a license to purchase one and can only get it by explaining why they need a machine gun. They fire too quickly for public safety and are too easily converted to fully automatic.

  3. nomuse says

    Makes me wonder about the health and safety effects of other collecting. I mean, aside from financial and the ability to derail conversations. Rarely hear of someone getting devoured by the coin collection when they forgot to feed them, or was cleaning a bugle and blew their foot off. I suppose books could always get mold or catch fire…

  4. Snarki, child of Loki says

    If cats could work guns, humanity would be in big, big trouble.
    …and don’t get me started on arming bears, either.

  5. says

    Yeah, this was an illegal business, not a nutcase, apparently.

    I’m willing to bet that one goes with the other.

  6. KG says

    This is not to imply that having cats is a mental health issue

    But it is probably a risk factor: contact with cat feces is one of the main causes of infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which forms cysts in the brain, and has been linked to increased risk of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, suicidal behaviour, explosive anger, and perhaps worst of all majoring in business studies!

  7. zetopan says

    “Adam & Ramona”

    Two more ammosexuals who are likely rabid supporters of the NRA.

  8. numerobis says

    ‘P G’ might have a problem, too. The police find a house packed to the rafters with murder sticks, and you’re concerned that the murder sticks might get scratched? Your priorities are kind of messed up, guy.

    I read it as their calling bullshit on this being a collection of guns by a collector. If you don’t curate you aren’t really collecting, you’re just hoarding.

  9. says

    A nice earner for the police department?

    Naah, I’m sure the guns will be disposed of responsibly.

  10. pipefighter says

    I’m canadian so I know the classifications are different, and I’m a gun owner, so nobody can pull the “you just don’t understand because you’ve never been around guns” or some such argument. If it meets three criteria simultaneously it ought to be restricted or prohibited. I’m not including hand guns because those can be filed under the “duh” category, then again so should these. Semi automatic, centre fire, detachable magazine. Any gun the meets those three categories at the same time is indistinguishable from a weapon of war in terms of performance (there, I solved the assault weapon argument, fuck off) and likely represents 99 percent of non handgun weapons used in mass shootings.

  11. leerudolph says

    They don’t even have feline toxoplasmosis to blame.

    They have carbinetoxoplasmosis, instead.

  12. leerudolph says

    numerobis@11: ” If you don’t curate you aren’t really collecting, you’re just hoarding.”

    I take some offense at that. There are many authors whose books I really like. In some cases I have successfully, over a long period of years, acquired copies of all their books. But I don’t “curate” them in any sense (most of them are cheap paperbacks, often several to many decades old, and are beginning to flake away or separate from their covers; I let them, and occasionally pick up a replacement if I see it somewhere, possibly a newer printing). I keep them because I reread them. How am I not “really collecting” them? I might agree that I’m not a collector as the word is often used. But I am not “hoarding”, much less “just hoarding”.

  13. chrislawson says

    numerorbis@11: I agree. I took PG’s comment not as an endorsement of gun collecting but as an observation that this is not how gun collectors treat their collection.

    leerudolph@15: I think you’re reading too much into the word “curate”. I doubt numerorbis meant you have to treat your books to high-level museum standard. The point is that you still presumably care for your books in some way. Sure you read them and they get a little worn in the process because you collect them to read rather than display. In this sense, it’s no different to a gun collector who uses their guns at a shooting range, which means they get worn. But are you leaving your books scattered about the floor of your house in no discernible order? Do you leave them to mildew? I’m guessing not.

  14. cvoinescu says

    leerudolph@15: You are discerning and focused in what you buy, and when you buy a duplicate, it’s to replace one of your books with a better version, not to add to the pile. Presumably, you keep them on shelves, in some logical order. I would argue that that’s more than enough curating to pass numerobis’s bar.

    I would also argue that objects that serve a purpose (other than satisfying the need to own that object) don’t necessarily need to be either a collection or a hoard. You simply have them because you use them.

    Plus, pace Marie Kondo, you can never have too many books.

  15. Ed Peters says

    #2 @whywhywhy. Apparently, this law:

    “Girard Saenz, who was in the home at the time, was arrested on suspicion of violating California’s law regarding assault weapons and .50-caliber Browning machine guns. The law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, transportation, importation and sale of any assault rifle or .50-caliber weapon, except in specific circumstances.”

  16. fishy says

    I was just wondering how many hobbies, collections, or other recreational activities anyone can name that come with an ever increasing body-count?

  17. indianajones says

    I wonder how this would be treated were it a cache of (insert drug here)?

  18. simonhadley says

    Where’s the dividing line between being an avid collector of something and being a hoarder? True, this guy was running an illegal operation selling firearms but judging from the sheer variety of guns and the description of how they were scattered throughout the house it also seems clear that he has a hoarding issue. Hoarders can have all kinds of fetishes such as bottles, Beanie Babies, paper towels (I’ve seen this), radios, books, pencils, porn, etc. This guy found his comfort in guns. So far he doesn’t strike me as the type of person to go on a shooting spree. The people you want to be wary of are the ones who collect several of the same type of high capacity, rapid reloading firearms with plenty of extra magazines and ammunition.

  19. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Dunc @ 6: Oh no, that’s terrible…

    …are the records okay?

    (I might have a record/CD collecting problem.)