S.C. woman went to school ‘to kill people’

SC New Democrats President Phil NobleBY PHIL NOBLE, SCND PRESIDENT

On Monday, February 4, 2013, 28 year old Alice Boland stood at the main gate of the Ashley Hall School. She pointed her Taurus PT22, a semi-automatic .22 caliber pistol loaded with eight rounds, at a school administrator and a teacher – with 50 students milling around nearby – and repeatedly pulled the trigger.

Boland has a long record of mental illness. Her mother told a judge that she had power of attorney regarding her daughter because of her mental illness. “She is considered an incompetent child,” she said.

In 2003, she was placed in the care of the Medical University of South Carolina for three weeks, where 10 doctors treated her and she received 25 different prescription medications.

In July of 2005, she was indicted for threatening the life of former President George Bush and the entire US Congress. As a result of these threats, Boland was interviewed in her home by the Secret Service and a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputy, where she again made threats to kill various national political leaders. She was sent to Federal Medical Center Carswell in Texas, a prison facility for mentally ill women. Boland pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and the charges were dropped.

In August 2010 in Beaufort, Boland was arrested on a misdemeanor assault and battery charge and this was filed with State Law Enforcement Division of Records. A month later, in September of 2010 she was issued a criminal trespass notice when she stood in front of the Ashley Hall School muttering and harassing students such that her behavior caused school officials to call police.

This week, she returned and for thirty minutes paced the sidewalk in front of the school. When confronted, she reached into her red and black bag and pulled out the handgun that she had recently purchased — legally — in a local gun store. (A copy of the transaction record was found in Boland’s nearby sport utility vehicle.)

She pointed the gun, loaded with eight bullets, first at a school administrator and then at a teacher – and started repeatedly pulling the trigger. Eight people were shot.*

Every word of this story, except the last four, is true.

Thankfully, Boland had failed to load one of the eight bullets in the gun into the chamber. Thus, when she repeatedly aimed and fired, the gun just clicked.

“There’s no doubt in our minds, based on our investigation, that the woman went there to kill people,” said Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen.

So, let’s summarize: Boland had been treated by over 10 doctors for mental illness; she repeatedly threatened to kill the President of the United States and numerous government officials; she was in a federal prison for the mentally ill; she had been arrested for threatening children at a school; she had been interviewed by federal and county law enforcement agencies; the State Law Enforcement Division had her records; the courts had declared her mentally incompetent. And she walked into a local gun store and legally bought a gun. And then went to a school and tried to kill people.

Is there any sane person in the state of South Carolina that does not believe we need better gun laws?

Is there a politician in the state of South Carolina that has even a single measure of the political courage necessary to stand up to the NRA and propose tighter gun laws?

This time we were lucky.

Next time, when we aren’t, the blood of the innocents will be on the hands of our gutless politicians.

Phil Noble is a businessman in Charleston and President of the SC New Democrats, an independent group started by former Gov. Richard Riley to bring big change and real reform in politics and government. phil@scnewdemocrats.org www.SCNewDemocrats.org

Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

5 Responses to “S.C. woman went to school ‘to kill people’”

  1. Daingerfield Ashton February 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Fortunately for the NRA she didn’t even understand how to properly load the weapon, and most fortunately she also didn’t go after Lindsay Graham who ardently supports the second amendment rights of people like Ted Nuggent, batshit crazy not withstanding!

  2. John F. Abess, MD February 19, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    I’ve included some information that you may not be aware of. There already exist adequate gun laws. The answer is not new stricter gun laws – it’s complying with the current law. Please read below (and especially the part dealing with mental health) which includes information from the US Department of Justice. President Obama himself in his Friday speech in Chicago identified a root cause of violence as being lack of fathers and intact families.

    NRA and NICS
    The National Rifle Association supported the establishment of the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) [1], and we support it to this day. At its creation, we advocated that NICS checks be accurate; fair; and truly instant. The reason for this is that 99% of those who go through NICS checks are law-abiding citizens, who are simply trying to exercise their fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Dealers
    Since 1986, those engaged in the business of selling firearms for livelihood and profit have been required to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). All retail sales of firearms currently require a NICS check, no matter where they occur.

    Private Sales
    Regarding the issue of private firearms sales, it is important to note that since 1968, it has been a federal felony for any private person to sell, trade, give, lend, rent or transfer a gun to a person he either knows or reasonably should know is not legally allowed to purchase or possess a firearm.

    Mental Health Records and NICS
    According to a recent General Accounting Office study, as of 2011 23 states and the District of Columbia submitted less than 100 mental health records to NICS; 17 states submitted less than ten mental health records to NICS; and four states submitted no mental health records to NICS.[2]

    Gun Shows
    A common misrepresentation is that criminals obtain firearms through sales at gun shows.

    A 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state prison inmates who had used or possessed firearms in the course of their crimes found that 79 percent acquired their firearms from “street/illegal sources” or “friends or family.”
    Only 1.7 percent obtained firearms from anyone (dealer or non-dealer) at a gun show or flea market.[3]

    Prosecutions
    In 2010, the FBI denied 72,659 NICS checks out of a total of 14,409,616. But only 62 of these cases were actually prosecuted, and only 13 resulted in a conviction.[4]

    “Universal Background Checks”
    While the term “universal background checks” may sound reasonable on its face, the details of what such a system would entail reveal something quite different. A mandate for truly “universal” background checks would require every transfer, sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental, or loan of a firearm between all private individuals to be pre-approved by the federal government. In other words, it would criminalize all private firearms transfers, even between family members or friends who have known each other all of their lives.

    According to a January 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice, the effectiveness of “universal background checks” depends on requiring gun registration.[5] In other words, the only way that the government could fully enforce such a requirement would be to mandate the registration of all firearms in private possession – a requirement that has been prohibited by federal law since 1986.

  3. Adakin Valorem February 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    “Boland had been treated by over 10 doctors for mental illness; she repeatedly threatened to kill the President of the United States and numerous government officials; she was in a federal prison for the mentally ill; she had been arrested for threatening children at a school; she had been interviewed by federal and county law enforcement agencies; the State Law Enforcement Division had her records; the courts had declared her mentally incompetent. And she walked into a local gun store and legally bought a gun. And then went to a school and tried to kill people.”

    Phil, all of the doctors and most of the other items you listed above would violate various existing federal legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) that prevent the Federal NICS (National Instant Check System) from having the required information needed to make an informed decision.

    That said, I agree that such measures need to be considered in how NICS obtains the information it needs so as to be able to grant permission to the gun dealer to allow that purchase to be consummated. Our often conflicting federal laws need to be addressed so as to account for this type of situation. But that is a Federal discussion.

    I would also suggest that on a state level, we should reconsider South Carolina’s mandatory “Gun Free” Zones for our schools. These prohibited zones prevent our state’s LAW ABIDING citizens that have gone through the intensive FBI and SLED background checks, detailed safety training and paid their fees to obtain their CWP license, to have a firearm available to defend themselves in places where most mass shootings have historically occurred, i.e. Gun Free Zones.

    As a legal carry permit holder, had I witnessed Ms. Boland’s actions as you have described, I would have drawn my firearm and shot her dead. But then, as I would have been on a public school campus, I wouldn’t have been carrying my firearm with me because our government says it’s against the law.

    Obviously, the mistakes we currently have in our FEDERAL NICS system shouldn’t be compounded by our own state disarming of the vary people that have proven themselves to be legally able to protect ourselves and others.
    Thanks, AV

  4. Eileen D February 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I am a sane SC resident and we absolutely do NOT need to change the rights that law abiding citizens have. I do agree that the background check should include mental health background checks. This will solve a small part of the problem. Unfortunately there is always going to be the thugs who can easily get their hands on any guns they want regardless of any laws, new or old. Perhaps we need to stiffen the sentence for crimes committed with handguns. No more slaps on the hand and out in a short period of time. Again, this will only solve another small part of the problem. The majority of honest law abiding people should not have to be punished for the sins of the few. By limiting the places a person with a CWP can actually have their handgun on their person sends a clear and dangerous message to the thugs. It tells them where they can go and not have anyone there to defend themselves. It sets up innocent people to be defenseless against the criminals. That is a change we need to have written into law.

  5. Rose-Marie Williams February 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Thank you for this post! We need more factual reporting such as this!

Leave a Reply