January 04, 2010

Vegas Courthouse Gunman Upset Over Social Security Cut

It looks like we have a motive for today's shooting at a Las Vegas courthouse.

A 66-year-old Las Vegas retiree, disgruntled over cuts in his Social Security benefits, opened fire this morning in the lobby of the federal courthouse here, killing a court security officer and wounding a deputy U.S. marshal, authorities said.

The gunman, identified as Johnny Lee Wicks, 66, was shot in the head and died on the scene, according to law enforcement sources. The deputy marshal was in stable condition at a local hospital. The names of the marshal and court security officer have not been released, though the security officer was a 65-year-old retired policeman, according to local media outlets.

Wicks was a recent retiree who was suing the U.S. government because his Social Security benefits were apparently denied or reduced, a law enforcement official said. He was living in a Las Vegas-area retirement home.

According to Fox News, the case was filed in 2008 but formally thrown out in September of 2009.

What he perceived as an unfair reduction in benefits was enough to send this retiree over the edge. I can only imagine the furor that will erupt when the entire Social Security system collapses under the weight of millions of Baby Boomers.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 4, 2010 09:32 PM

There's an angle here that the MSM seems to be avoiding - imagine that.

In a couple of the other stories I found about the incident, it was noted that it wasn't just a retiree mad about not getting benefits - little more depth to it.

Yes, Wicks was pissed about a reduction of benefits - but according to this article, the reason for his outrage is multifold - he was convinced he was denied because of his race (i.e. they did it to him because he was black), and that part of the reduction came not because of who he was, but what he did (moved to Nevada, which doesn't include a State supplement, as was the case where he moved from - California)

Interesting to see that the author of the article I'm citing hopes that nobody will make political hay out of the case - I mean, what's to make hay about here? Just someone who's become convinced he's been victimized because of his race, and lost access to additional wealth redistribution. Nothing to see here, move along.

Don't make any comment about the twisted system and mindset that truly victimized the guy to the point he thought his only recourse was to torch the retirement home he was living in then go on a shooting rampage. That would be impolitik.

Posted by: Wind Rider at January 4, 2010 10:45 PM

Wait until all those aarp members find out how badly their wonderful organization has screwed them in the coming health care bill.

Posted by: emdfl at January 4, 2010 11:13 PM

Now people are killing because they're not getting enough free money? Oh boy!

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at January 5, 2010 01:38 PM

Social Security payments are not "free money".

But you knew that didn't you?

As for the concern about what happens at the complete collapse of the Ponzi scheme--not to worry. The improvements in "health" care will be coordinated to make sure none of us are still alive to make a fuss.

Posted by: Larry Sheldon at January 5, 2010 03:55 PM