See something, say something.
The United States doesn’t have an epidemic of mass shootings because of “gun culture” alone. Too often young (and sometimes older), overmedicated men with mental health issues end up killing large amounts of people despite publicly displaying the warning signs on social media. Too many people see and hear disturbing threats from unhinged men with access to firearms like Robert Crimo III, and don’t take them seriously. Sometimes it’s easier to move on with your day and mind your own business. But this needs to end if we’re ever going to hope to see an end to mass shootings and suicide.
The other night my former cohost Bret Killoran went on a drunken 3 hour rant on his YouTube channel. (I haven’t publicly written about what happened to cause this separation 8 months ago because it’s just not worth my time, but maybe I will someday.)
Bret lashed out his “producer” and “best friend” Amanda, accusing her of sending sexually provocative pictures to other male YouTubers. Many commented during the stream about how his behavior towards her was controlling and abusive, which it certainly was. We will be listening to parts of it on Turtle Club tonight at 9:30, and you can click here to join.
During Bret’s emotionally fueled rant directed at Amanda he was displaying a range of emotions including anger, sadness, and depression. At one point he said “I swear to God, I got a f***ing gun in my mouth,” followed by what sounded like a dry fire from a handgun.
Bret has previously spoken about times when he wanted to kill himself, and specifically told our audience about how he once put a shotgun in his mouth. Now he was publicly displaying for the world to see all of the signs of someone who should be red flagged:
- He owns guns, frequently talks about shooting them off with friends while drinking, and has shown them during live streams
- He was going through an emotional meltdown
- He was acting belligerent towards a woman who he viewed as disloyal because she went on other YouTube channels and sent pictures to other men
- He was drunk and it was 2 in the morning when he was streaming
- He collects SSI due to his mental health issues that prevent him from working
- He posted this picture of himself holding a gun on his YouTube channel 6 days ago
For years I kept Bret on as a cohost because I believed that given the right amount of structure and freedom he could get his life together. Unfortunately his mental issues prevent him from having adult relationships for too long, and should disqualify him from owning a firearm.
He did his stream on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning), but I did not hear this specific comment about the gun in his mouth until later Wednesday afternoon. When I heard it I thought about calling the police but decided to reach out to him first to see if he was lying about being suicidal and pretending to dry fire his gun. He wouldn’t deny or confirm, but did threaten that he would “reciprocate” if I did a wellness check, and suggested it was a crime for me to do so.
Reporting “fake things” is a crime, but I had no idea if he was faking it or not. A suicidal person would say or do anything to prevent a wellness check. I would like to think that Bret wouldn’t lie about wanting to kill himself for attention so I tried again to get him to confirm if he was being serious or lying. He refused to tell me he was kidding or lying, which left me no choice.
After this conversation I contacted the Lewiston Police Department (Maine), told them about his history, comments, and access to guns, and they said they were going to do a wellness check. It was the right thing to do and I’d do it 100 times out of 100. We need to take people seriously when they tell us they’re going to hurt other people or themselves.
Unfortunately Bret’s unhinged behavior is being egged on and supported by his small group of followers, including Leicester residents Rochanna Buckley and Tammy Gow. These people pretend to be his friend, but then they “leave him alone” when he’s suicidal.
To people like Amber, Bret is nothing but entertainment, so they accused me of “swatting” Bret by sending the police to his house for a wellness check and said that he was just kidding. I addressed these criticisms in an impromptu live stream earlier today:
Click here to join turtle club and listen to what an abusive relationship sounds like at 9:30 tonight on the turtle club premium stream