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Gun Nut Murdered
Someone, somewhere must be making somewhat snarky comments.
Gun Enthusiast With Popular Online Videos Is Shot to Death in Georgia
By ROBBIE BROWN
Published: January 10, 2013
CARNESVILLE, Ga. — Keith Ratliff loved guns. He built his own rifles. He kept bullets in his car’s cup holder. And on the rear window he slapped a sticker of the Starbucks Coffee mermaid firing two pistols.
“I ♥ Guns and Coffee,” it read.
Mr. Ratliff’s passion for firearms made him something of a celebrity on the Internet, where he helped make scores of videos about high-powered and exotic guns and explosives. His YouTube channel, called FPSRussia, became the site’s ninth largest, with nearly 3.5 million subscribers and more than 500 million views.
But last week, the authorities said, Mr. Ratliff, 32, ended up on the wrong end of a gun. The police in northeast Georgia found him dead at his office on Jan. 3, shot once in the head. He was surrounded by several guns, but not the one that killed him. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is treating it as a homicide.
“We are interviewing people of interest, but we have not named a suspect,” said the Franklin County sheriff, Stevie Thomas. “We are not ruling out any options.”
The news, coming amid a national debate about gun control, rippled across the blogs and social networking sites where his videos were popular. Tributes on Facebook and Twitter came from fans stunned that such a well-armed expert had not been able to defend himself.
“For him not to pull out that gun and try to defend himself, he had to feel comfortable around somebody,” his wife, Amanda, told a television channel in Lexington, Ky., where he used to live. "Either that or he was ambushed."
Mr. Ratliff’s videos, which starred a friend, Kyle Myers, are popular for their homegrown brand of zaniness — three minutes of Mr. Myers’s casual banter as he rakes targets or blows things up with extreme displays of firepower. Most are made outdoors, where Mr. Myers fires at targets like hay bales or photographs of Justin Bieber, while explaining the merits of various weapons. The videos always end the same way: with a boom.
“We couldn’t make a video about such a high-powered rifle without blowing up a truck,” Mr. Myers says in one video before opening fire on an empty pickup truck. “So let’s get a nice, big explosion and maybe a little shrapnel.”
F.P.S. is slang among video game players for “first-person shooter.” “Russia” refers to the thick accent used by Mr. Myers’s online persona.
Mr. Ratliff recently moved from Kentucky to Carnesville, a city of 540 people that is 80 miles from Atlanta. He opened a business that made and repaired firearms, and was licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the authorities said.
He was last seen alive at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2, the police said. The next night, the police found him dead inside the business, FPS Industries.
Neighbors in this small community said Mr. Ratliff kept to himself. His wife and 2-year-old son lived in Kentucky. Until last week, Sheriff Thomas said he was called to the property only once, after neighbors heard gunfire.
“As many of you already know I lost a close friend this week,” Mr. Myers wrote to his 1.1 million Facebook followers. “I ask only that you show respect to the situation for the family’s sake.”
- On the Atlanta Journal Constitution site, the comments are all about how the title of the AJC article ("Private arsenal doesn’t protect gun dealer") shows the anti-gun bias of the liberal media. And how they hate freedom or something.
- Ha ha!
- Sometimes people get what they deserve.
- If only he had...ah fuck it.
- He was fat. I'm surprised it didn't take 2 bullets to penetrate that bulbous head.
- Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon.
- [quote]“For him not to pull out that gun and try to defend himself, he had to feel comfortable around somebody,” his wife, Amanda, told a television channel in Lexington, Ky., where he used to live. "Either that or he was ambushed."
That's the point, you dumb fuck. That's why simply being armed isn't going to protect people.
Unless you're a god damned sniper always on alert, you cannot anticipate being attacked. Someone sitting in a movie theater is not expecting someone to walk in with an assault rifle. Someone sitting in an elementary school in an upper middle class town in CT is not anticipating being attacked. Simply having a gun will not mean you anticipate an attack at the moment you least expect.
Also, people's insctincts are to run when they hear gun shots, not go after the person or people shooting. You have no idea what's going on, so even if you have a gun, you're supposed to know the exact position of the person and if they're alone? And then aim?
- This would not have happened if he'd had a nuclear warhead.
- Militias are still around:
Fulton's first assignment was to attend a gun and military surplus sale intended as a fundraiser for the Interior Alaska Conservative Coalition, which Cox had helped establish in Fairbanks. Cox had been trying to get in touch with Fulton, who had ignored him "because I thought he was an idiot." The night before the event in August 2010, Fulton invited Cox to meet him at his hotel. The militiaman arrived with Les Zerbe, a retired missionary ranked as a captain, and another associate.
Cox had been accused of assaulting his wife, and worried that state authorities were trying to take his son away. He talked about Fulton serving what he called common-law warrants on the officials he thought were out to get him.
"He said these guys need to be arrested and brought to trial," Fulton recalled. "I said, 'What are you going to do with them?' He said, 'We'll either fine them, or we'll hang them.'"
Cox and company discussed how they were going to go to the homes of selected enemies, cut the electricity to the house, and make enough noise to lure their main target onto the front porch, where he could be shot. Then the windows and doors would be boarded up, and the house, with the rest of the family inside, would be set on fire. "Collateral damage" is the way Fulton said they described it.
After Cox left, Fulton phoned Klein. "I'm like, 'Help! What am I supposed to do? Do I need to get my family out of here?' And she's like, 'We'll handle it. Just try to figure out as much as you can.' She was really good at calming me down, but even for her, I could tell it was stressing her out."
- Love that these gun killings keep making the news. America, be bone-tired of war and shooting, gun-worship and giving in to paranoics.
- The GBI will solve it. They're good.
- One down, million to go. But it is a start.
- This is why gun nuts should have armed guards!
- At least he died from something he liked.
- This needs to happen much more often
- Probably the first time something occurred in his brain in at least 30 years.
- That would be me getting killed by a dick. Heaven.
- W&W for R8.
I don't think a mass shooting in NRA Headquarters is out of the question either - sure they'd all be going out in a 'blaze of glory' but dozens would probably be killed or wounded in the crossfire.
And they want PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS to be armed?? Absolute madness that people going about their normal lives should have to be worried about hair-trigger nutters taking pot-shots at them.
- [quote] "Either that or he was ambushed."
As opposed to getting the ten minute courtesy call that most murderers provide.
- Why all the gloating and frivolity over this man's death? Really, I'd like to know why some of you evidently feel this man deserved to be murdered.
- I was wondering when the Sanctimony Troll would show up in this thread.
- R21 - we're not gloating over his death. However, this pro-gun asshole typifies all of the NRA types that think owning a gun will allow them to defend themselves.
Of anyone who knew, had and loved guns, this guy should have proven that viewpoint - but the opposite was true.
- Any guesses as to who the killer is?
I'm casting suspicion on the business partner. Have his whereabouts been accounted for?
- It was the wife.
- [quote] [R21] - we're not gloating over his death
Speak for yourself.
- He moved to Meatville? I hope he thought it a step up.
I'll bet his YouTube channel will go through the roof
- Live by tre sword, die by the sword
- Where was Dr Amy Bishop at the time?
- Who wants to show up on the wife's doorstep with a Precious Moments figurine?
- r30 cracked me up.
- I hate guns but if not for that, I would buy a gun and shoot some gun nut. They would never see it coming. If enough of them are killed, perhaps people would understand that guns are pretty worthless for defense...
- R23, are you really unaware of all the instances there have been in which people have rightfully defended their lives and/or the lives of other innocent people by the use of a legally owned firearm?
Keith Ratliff murdered nobody. In fact, I'd say it's quite likely that if he were to unexpectedly come upon a situation in which any of you were experiencing a life-threatening attack, he would do whatever it took to stop those assaulting you.
Seriously, some of you need to take a good hard look into your souls and honestly determine why you find pleasure in the news that this man was murdered. Then ask yourselves what that says about [italic]you.[/italic]
- Groß schadenfreude!
- R33 - Get lost. Then I guess everyone should carry a gun? Just because there have been some instances where people have successfully defended themselves doesn't prove that the outrageous gun culture and gun laws in this country shouldn't be changed.
Proof - this guy's own death. Do you honestly not see the irony in this?
God you're stupid.
- [quote]Proof - this guy's own death. Do you honestly not see the irony in this?
About as much irony as there would be in a car enthusiast getting killed by a drunk driver as he was crossing the street.
- No r36, you goddamn gunloving bastard.
- R36 - a false equivalency, thanks for proving the idiot that you are.
- I love you, r30
- Such a dumb analogy, R36. So dumb.
Did you actually think that made sense?
A gun is made for shooting. A car is made for driving, not drinking alcohol.
This guy is a gun enthusiast and yet owning guns didn't protect him. Why? Isn't that the idiotic logic of the NRA? If someone owns a gun, they automatically turn into some highly-trained military sniper? And he didn't even encounter someone who shot him up 11 times like those little kids, but a teacher was supposed to take Lanza out? Give me a break.
- Fuck! I LOVE this thread!
- I'd look at the wife too. There's a reason he was living in Georgia and she was in Kentucky.
- Dyslexic me read that as Nun Got Murdered. I felt pity for a nanosecond.
- [quote]A gun is made for shooting. A car is made for driving, not drinking alcohol.
Guns and cars both serve good and useful purposes when properly utilized. Both can prove deadly when used improperly. Think about it.
[quote]This guy is a gun enthusiast and yet owning guns didn't protect him. Why?
Anyone who can make a statement such as this with a straight face really ought not to be accusing others of being "dumb."
[quote]Isn't that the idiotic logic of the NRA? If someone owns a gun, they automatically turn into some highly-trained military sniper?
No. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. The NRA advocates the safe and ethical use of firearms by people trained in their proper use. If you were to bother checking in order to at least have a clue as to what you're talking about, you would know that the NRA provides a wide range of training courses geared towards gun owners of many different experience levels.
[quote]And he didn't even encounter someone who shot him up 11 times like those little kids, but a teacher was supposed to take Lanza out?
What's that you were saying about dumb analogies? If there's a Precious Moments figurine meant especially for confused people, you're quite deserving of one.
- R44 - Oh god, the liberterian asshole is back.
- I'm with you R25. The wife has something to do with it.
I know a few people whose lives have been touched by gun accidents. In two cases it was children who found their parents gun.
People who used guns to defend themselves...I cannot think of a single instance.
- R44 has been drinking NRA Koolade.
- R44, please go shoot yourself
- Just read the full story in the AJC newspaper. The guy had a makeshift shooting range and let a neighbor shoot an Uzi on New Year's Eve. No one noticed the gunfire at the time of his death because it was so common coming from the business. Just amazing.
- Oh well.
- Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all the… little emotions. In… you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are.
- I prefer a knife.
- [quote]Guns and cars both serve good and useful purposes when properly utilized. Both can prove deadly when used improperly.
No, guns prove deadly when used [italic]properly[/italic].
- Who is the fucking ignorant ass gunlover here?
Don't ever bother trying to use facts or logic when speaking to an NRA member.
- He shot photos of Justin Beiber? Who would do such a thing...
- If it was a family member who shot him, they'll never know who shot him. The way those southerners marry, every possible family relation is possible.
- He probably had a "no refunds" policy.
- You make a valid point, R56, because I didn't express myself well initially in my response at R44. What I should have written to accurately put across the point I was attempting make is, "Guns and cars both serve good and useful purposes when properly utilized. Both can prove deadly [italic]to innocent people[/italic] when used improperly."
- if that guy had a nuclear war head he would be alive today.
- Fascinating story there at R10 (the FBI informant in Alaska who helped put away a dangerous nutcase)
I always laughed at those who argued that owning guns meant being able to defend yourself 24/7. For this exact reason. To own a gun is one thing; to have it always loaded, on/near you and ready to fire, is another.
I forget the exact data point but it's something like this: Guns kept in a home are (X) times more likely to hill an inhabitant of the home, than to kill an intruder. I think (X) is 20 or 33 or something like that.
- I know there were times I'd like to have had a poster of Hank Williams Jr., Sarah Palin or Ted Nugent to target practice.