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The mentally ill and guns
January 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

'The monster want out': Mentally ill killer amassed huge arsenal, police say


Police say they found Christian Oberender with 13 guns, despite the fact he couldn't legally purchase any.

By Matthew DeLuca, Staff Writer, NBC News

A Minnesota man who killed his mother with a shotgun and who has a history of mental illness managed to amass a personal arsenal in recent years, according to court documents.

In early January, police arrived at the home of Christian Philip Oberender to find the 32 year old in possession of 13 guns, including an AK-47, shotguns, and a Tommy gun, according to a complaint filed in Carver County's 1st Judicial District Court on January 9.

Police say they also found a note from Oberender addressed to his deceased mother in his house, according to the court document.

"I feel the good part of me fade away. I don't know how long I can hold it in for," the note read, according to the court document. "The monster want out. I know what happens when he comes out. He only been out one time and someone die."

Oberender had been adjudicated a delinquent in 1996 for killing his mother, according to the document. He was civilly committed as a "mentally ill and dangerous person" in 1998.

The Carver County Sheriff became interested in Oberender after receiving a tip that he had posted Facebook pictures of himself toting assault weapons and expressed sympathy for the shooters at Columbine High School and in Newtown, Conn., according to the document.

For one community leader, the move by police to seize Oberender's firearms came none too soon.

"The neighbors said they made numerous calls to the sheriff's department that a young man is out shooting a gun in the back yard," local school superintendent David Marlette told NBC affiliate KARE. "I just think it took too long for someone to come and take his guns away."

Oberender was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms, and booked into Carver County jail. He remained there Monday night with bail set at $100,000, according to a Carver County Jail inmate roster.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oberender obtained a permit in May that allowed him to buy guns through Minnesota dealers.

Custer County Deputy Jason Kamerud told KAREthat Oberender might have been able to buy the guns himself. The convicted killer's name did not show up in a background check through the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension database, according to Kamerud.

"When we ran his criminal history, it wasn't indicated that he should not be able to have firearms," Kamerud said.

There was no record because the BCA was never given any information on Oberender, according to officials.

"The BCA relies on entities in the criminal justice system to provide data on an individual which then populates the individual's criminal history," BCA officials said in a statement, according to KARE-TV. "There were no data submitted to the BCA about this individual. Without it there can be no record."

Oberender lived in treatment centers until he was 21, according to a 2003 article by the Associated Press. He then spent a year in a halfway house before being released, according to the article. At the time of his interview with the AP, Oberender said he was working in an auto parts store.

"I saw all kinds of psychologists and got all kinds of treatment," Oberender told the AP. They helped him "manage my behavior and not get angry over stupid stuff," Oberender said at the time.



This debate stills goes on... Well for me it's more of a fact now... things need to change. We have guns in our house. I don't want/think the government should or will take our guns away, but it's obvious that the way we are handling gun rights and who gets them isn't working so great right now. I know criminals will always find away, this guy did the legal way. I just don't understand how he got them I know it didn't show up on his record or whatever but good lord I think that's a problem.


  • Erinelizz
    January 25, 2013 at 9:02 AM
    I know, that's crazy! This article was posted on another board, and one of the ladies there thought maybe it was just a semi-automatic knock-off.

    Quoting IntactivistMama:

    A TOMMY gun?! O.0
  • survivorinohio
    January 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Quoting stormcris:

    It seems the breakdown in this case was in the records keeping of laws already present. Perhaps the best step is in enforcing the laws that are already on the books. However, one does not just get a Tommy Gun through normal means.

    I really detest that they are calling 13 guns a huge arsenal.

    I know 13 ? Not an arsenal at all.

  • meriana
    by meriana
    January 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Ok, this guy killed his mother, was considered dangerous at that time and committed until he was 21. Nothing showed up on a background check. The thing is, he was about 15-16 when he killed his mother, as a juvenile, his records would have likely been sealed and since he was in a treatment facility until age 21 he committed no further violent acts. If his juvenile record had shown up on his adult record it's likely he would not have been able to purchase weapons. Perhaps we need to stop sealing the records of violent juvenile offenders, after all killing someone is a far cry from, for instance, shoplifting a pack of gum or a few clothing items.

    I've heard, don't know if it's actually true, that often those that are mentally ill and on medication start feeling so well due to the medication that they believe they no longer need it and stop taking it. If even a very few do that, then that's also a problem that can have dire consequences but how can anyone force them to continue their medication?

  • KreatingMe
    January 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Quoting lancet98:

    Quoting KreatingMe:

    You seem to be confused about the case but anyway if you want to repeat old cliches, fine. So guns don't kill people. So what, we still have to look at the options lock up all the mentally ill or decrease their availability to guns. Which is more feasible? 

    Locking up everyone who is mentally ill is a ridiculous idea and no one is ever going to want to pay for such an unnecessary thing.   We have laws that restrict access of persons at risk (NOT all mentally ill people, but those found to be a threat/danger), we just don't happen to be following them.

    Precisely my point. 

  • TranquilMind
    January 25, 2013 at 5:11 PM
    Can you cite one?
    Quoting lancet98:

     Research, thousands of studies I've read over the last 40 years on mental illness and violence and medications and how they work, university courses in biology, chemistry, genetics, psychology, anatomy and neurological development, research from the Treatment Advocacy Center, lots of experience over many decades, and the documentation of what REALLY happened with the mass shooters like the VA tech shooter(I'll bet you any amount of cash you didn't read that report from cover to cover), instead of guesses, innuendos and anti-treatment agendas.

    Quoting TranquilMind:


    Source for this assertion? 

    Quoting lancet98:



    But by far, the most common problem with the severely ill violent offender is that he or she is not on ANY medication, has refused ANY treatment, and is deteriorating to a very dangerous level, and refusing any care.

    Quoting TranquilMind:


    This does fit here is definitely an avenue to consider when dealing with people who just go whacko and start shooting.:





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