Gary Bornman, the career felon whose letter to the Courant has gone viral, has a long history of attracting attention to his pathetic self. In the letter, he thanks the NRA for protecting his ability to go to a gun show to buy a firearm without a background check.
A Slate writer loved the letter. So did numerous other liberal bloggers. But Bornman is hardly a heroic figure. A judge once told the chronic bank robber that “it does not appear you can be rehabilitated, nor does it appear you can be deterred.”
Bornman, currently residing in a federal maximum security prison in Colorado after robbing a string of banks in 2000. He is due for release in about 2022. A lifelong criminal, he’s made a habit of sending provocative letters to newspapers, telling the Los Angeles Times in 1999 that he had “constant thoughts of harming others or that I fantasize about such things as assassinating the president or killing a bunch of [prison officials] as they leave work .”
Back in 2001, Mark Pazniokas wrote for the Courant:
``Gary Bornman is a peculiar and tragic figure,” Public Defender Gary Weinberger wrote in a sentencing memorandum. He spoke from authority, having represented Bornman in three decades, in 1986, 1994 and now in 2001.
Bornman is the son of William Bornman Sr., who was in prison when Gary, the second of two sons, was born. Gary, whose family lived in the New Haven area, saw his father only once. When he was 6, his father escaped from prison and stopped by the house.
The elder Bornman, who made the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 1968, killed himself during a shootout with police and FBI agents
The son’s record is grim: locked up at 9, after setting fires. A suicide attempt at 14. He was sexually molested by an older inmate while in state custody. Freed at 17, he took up heroin.