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‘Where’s the White House?’ – Man Transporting Three Guns, Propane Tank

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A man from the Smoky Mountains was arrested earlier this week when he drove up to a Washington DC police officer at 2:30am with a truck stocked with weapons and then asked, “Where’s the White House?”

White House

“Did a terrorist just ask me for directions?” – that officer’s thoughts, presumably
Image: Tom Lohdan

When the man, 59-year-old Steve Randall Oley, approached the officer, the policeman noticed that, ominously, there appeared to be a propane tank and an ammunition box sticking out of the truck’s bed. When asked if he had weapons, Oley told the officer that yes, he did – two guns in the front and one in the back, as well as ammunition (although he said that the weapons weren’t loaded).

After getting permission to search the vehicle, police found one revolver, two rifles, an 11¾-inch saber knife, over 300 rounds in the ammunition box, muzzle-loading propellant, 100 boxes of ball ammunition, and 100 percussion caps.

Police arrested Oney and charged him with carrying a gun without a license (although, really, it was probably holding him until they were reasonably sure he wouldn’t go try to bomb a national landmark). They held him until he could see a judge on Wednesday, who ordered Oney to keep away from all Congressional buildings.

Oney’s lawyer said that Oney just wanted to see the sights, adding that Oney also wanted to visit the Washington Monument.

It seems to not have occurred to Oney or his lawyer that, whether or not he actually meant to be threatening, telling people that, ‘it’s OK because that wasn’t his only intended stop’ doesn’t really help Oney’s case. A well-armed man visiting either the president’s house or any other national monument tends to throw up more red flags than a Swiss Pride parade.