Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick-or-Treater Shot Dead

CNN reports on the tragic shooting of a 12-year-old trick-or-treater.

An ex-convict who said he thought he was being robbed gunned down a 12-year-old trick-or-treater, spraying nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside his home after hearing a knock on the door, police said Saturday.

Quentin Patrick, 22, is accused of killing 12-year-old T.J. Darrisaw on Friday night. T.J.'s 9-year-old brother, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and their father, Freddie Grinnell, were injured but were released after being treated at a hospital.

What should we take from this sad story? Is this just another case of there being 100 gazillion guns out there and rare occasional incidents that always receive national attention in the liberal press? Is this similar to the case last week of Christopher Bizilj, who was killed in a tragic shooting range accident? Even I agreed that the percentage of such incidents is so low that no gun control proponent should use it in his argument.

This time we've got an assault weapon, and AK-47, in the hands of a 22-year-old ex-convict, supposedly for the purpose of self-defense and home protection.

I have several questions which in all our discussions have not been sufficiently answered:

Is an AK-47 really necessary for home defense? Did young Quentin have a reasonable fear of a small army storming his house? Or was he coked up and so paranoid that, as soon as someone knocked, he fired the weapon through the door until it was empty?

Who's to blame for the fact that a weapon like that was in the hands of someone who probably had lost the right to own any guns and who obviously was not psychologically fit to do so? Do gun rights activists bear some of this responsibility? How can people who insist on the widest interpretation possible of the 2nd Amendment divorce themselves from people like this one? We've seen it time and again that from the large group of legitimate gun owners, there a seepage of weapons and individuals towards the "dark side" as I call it. Just like the road rage guy, Quentin Patrick was one of your number until he transferred over. Is that really so rare?

And what about compassion, what about empathy? I'm overflowing. I can only guess at the wonderful life Quentin Patrick has enjoyed up until this Halloween. I'm sure there are mitigating circumstances enough to choke a horse. I'm into all that, which is why I'd like to take the gun advocates to task on this one.

The victims include a 12-year-old dead, his brother and father wounded, a family destroyed, in other words. What a waste.


  1. Mike,

    How about a different story for you to comment on. Weer'd mentioned that you only seem to highlight the cases that support your position.

    Let's count the crimes and probable crimes involved in the story besides the obvious murder.

    1. Ex convict in possession of a firearm. Now he may not be a felon but I'll lay odds that he is and therefore not legible by law to possess a firearm.

    2. His girlfriend ran out with $7.500 in cash, think they were running a charity bingo or dealing drugs.

    I dare you to pick up any news paper and find the crimes in it that don't involve firearms. Do you bear any responsibility toward any of them? After all, each of them was just like you, a non-gunowner/user.

    Are you responsible for the high number of tragic drunk driving deaths? After all, there is a seepage of cars to the dark side, people misusing them.

    Isn't it the same if a person was stabbing, strangled, pushed in front of traffic?
    A Bronx woman twice pushed her 6-year-old daughter into traffic on the Grand Concourse on Wednesday evening, forcing drivers to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting the child, the police said yesterday, announcing her arrest.

    You have kids, do you share some of the blame for this happening? Was it the easy availability of kids that caused this to happen?

    Mike the biggest problem that nobody wants to accept the risk that comes with freedom. In any crime, there is a problem with someone not doing the right thing but that is no reason to take away liberty. Remove/restrict access to guns and then stories like this turn out differently.

    An intended rape victim shot and killed her attacker this morning in Cape Girardeau when he broke into her home to rape her a second time, police said.

    The 57-year-old woman shot Ronnie W. Preyer, 47, a registered sex offender, in the chest with a shotgun when he broke through her locked basement door.

    The woman told police he was the same man who raped her several days earlier. Officials do not intend to seek charges against her...
    She tried to call 911, but couldn't because the power was off. She got a shotgun and waited as the man began banging on the basement door. She fired when Preyer came crashing through the door. When Preyer collapsed, the woman escaped and went to a neighbor's home, where she called police. Officers, who arrived within a minute, found a bleeding Preyer stumbling away from the house.

    Start looking for the positive uses of firearms and you'll be surprised at how many there are. The truth is that someone will also abuse the freedoms we have.

    Is that fact enough justification to remove my freedom?

  2. +1, to Bob. Again your hand-picked stories, as well as hand-picked details.

    A convicted felon likely engaging in illigal activities (Did he think he was being robbed, or did he think a rival gang was making a move on him? Or was he just drugged out of his skull)

    No word on what Patrick did for a crime, but Felons are prohibited from possession of ANY firearms, and frankly for this guy a kitchen knife was too much.

    Where is the empathy? It appears to be with YOU mike towards this asshole Patrick. You mention him CONSTANTLY through your post, but the names of T.J. Darrisaw, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and Freddie Grinnell went unmentioned in your post and are only referenced in the quote of the CNN report.

    "Quentin Patrick was one of your number until he transferred over."

    Ummm, he's 22! You realize he was likely a convicted felon and in jail before he was 18, which is the minimum age to own a rifle in South Carolina.

    Mike, that accusation IS insulting. We have again and again pointed out that we have no sympathy for those who posses or handle firearms illegally....but you somehow opening overlook that CONSTANT reference to liken us to somebody who acquired a black-market firearm for protection for his illegal activities.

    That is OVER THE LINE, Mike.

  3. Mike,

    I've mentioned cars repeatedly for a reason. There are more cars then firearms, they are misused more often then firearms, more crimes committed with and in cars etc.
    Drunk driving is one of the most infractions anyone makes. I know I made more then a few mistakes getting behind the wheel impaired in my misspent youth.

    HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — Five people died in a fiery car crash, including four high school cheerleaders who had hours earlier been cheering on their football team.

    A sport utility vehicle carrying the cheerleaders collided with an oncoming car late Friday night on a wet, foggy highway in Scott County, northwest of Knoxville, authorities said. A passenger in the car also was killed.

    Investigators believe the crash was caused in part by the slick and foggy conditions, and a preliminary report indicated none of the girls in the SUV was wearing a seat belt, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

    The car's driver and a 10-month-old child, Aiden Wilson, also were injured and taken to a hospital. A passenger in the car lost her unborn child from injuries in the crash.

    Investigators believe the SUV hydroplaned on a curve on the two-lane highway, flipped on its side and crossed the center lane, slamming into the oncoming car. The SUV erupted into flames.

    Incidents like this one won't receive national attention but aren't they repeated more often then tragic firearm incidents but what are you doing about them?

    We trust kids with 2,000 pound weapons and the newspapers barely cover when those weapons are misused. The newspapers don't cover the many times cars are used to kill deliberately. There are no calls to ban cars when some child is accidentally ran over by their parents but let a child suffer a firearm accident and what happens.

    I've mentioned it before, but freedom is risky. We can't safety proof the world. As we accept the risks involved having cars, shouldn't we accept the risks associated with firearms?

    How about a challenge; please continue to post stories like this one for us to discuss but include in the post a story where a firearm was used to stop a crime, save a life. Game?

  4. OK, I admit this guy is a poor example of what I've been saying. He probably never was a lawful gun owner. The question remains, how many of you guys end up on the wrong side of the law, and how many of your guns end up there? I'd guess it's more than you want to admit. Let's say it's 1%, because I'm afraid this is one of those stats that would be hard to come by. I can hear you balking at that, so let's make it .1%, I think that's how you write one tenth of one percent. Of all the legal guns in America and all the legal gun owners in America, that .1%, or whatever the actual figure is, is not insignificant. That's how you are part of the problem.

    Bob said, "As we accept the risks involved having cars, shouldn't we accept the risks associated with firearms?" Well, I don't honestly know. But it's a good question for you to answer if you ever admit to my above conclusions.

  5. Mike,

    Let's say that every crime committed with a firearm was committed by a lawful owner. That is a tremendous stretch....fantastically impossible but for the sake of argument, let's give it a try.

    From the Bureau of Justice Statistics
    After 1996, less than 10% of nonfatal violent crimes involved firearm.
    The Bureau shows 419,640 violent non fatal crimes in 2005. Let's call it 500K for 2006.

    There were a11,566 murders with firearms in 2006.

    Approximately 65 million firearm owners...520,000 divided by 65,000,000 times 100 for percentage equals a grand total of 0.8%.

    Now go back to the original assumption and ask if that can possible be true...that all crimes were committed by lawful owners. Guess what we have a very, very small percentage of people using firearms to commit crimes. It is still too much, but less then the number of people driving drunk, speeding,etc, right?

    Mike, gun owners have answered the question of accepting the risks. Just as you have accepted the risks of owning and driving a car, owning knives, having poisonous cleaners in your home.

    What we want is for civic minded folks like you to stop calling for greater restrictions on our rights. I noticed you didn't comment on the 81 year old lady initially denied a purchase permit or the lady who borrowed a shotgun to kill a rapist that had returned. I

    n all honesty, can't you see how greater restrictions would prevent people from using firearms to stop criminals?

  6. Note, Mike, Bob Included his data.

    While Bob DOES have an agenda, as do you and I and everybody else, Those numbers are scientifically good data.

    Avoiding it can be seen as nothing but running from the truth.

    And the old woman who killed the rapist is a VERY good story to cover.

    So we have a drug dealer who kills a trick-or-treater, and and old woman (who obviously doesn't feel enugh "like a man" *Ha!*) kills a man who had raped her previously, and was comming back for seconds.

    One had a gun under 100% illigal circumstances, and used it for an illigal deed (murder).

    The other Legally borrowed and posessed a shotgun, and used it only after police had declared her safe, and was used for a 100% lawful purpose. Personal defence against grave bodily harm.

    What restrictions could be proposed that would have stopped #1, but allowed #2 to still happen?

    I suspect the answer lies in your insistance to ignore these stories.

  7. I dont know if the family of the poor dead child and the wounded ones really care if the gun was used by an illegal or legal gun owner.

    Fact is, one child is dead

    But, i dont think in this instance that tighter gun laws would have made any difference at all as the gun must have been illegally obtained by Quentin. I have to agree with the guys that it was an unfortunate incidient, a crime committed by some crazy drugged up loonie.That could have happened anywhere.
    In the case of the woman who shot the rapist i have to admit defeat as well .. i am glad she had a gun to defend herself. I am not sure about the gun laws in the US at all, can anyone without a criminal history obtain one?
    Maybe for victims of violent crimes they could make an exception here, probably just to ease their minds and make them feel safer. come the rapist wasnt inside???

    Btw Mike i did the meme for you, rabbit is still not back on the net but will complete it in due course, i reminded him today!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. M,

    The rapist was inside the house, he broke in through the basement door.

    She got a shotgun and waited as the man began banging on the basement door. She fired when Preyer came crashing through the door. When Preyer collapsed, the woman escaped and went to a neighbor's home, where she called police.

    The question shouldn't be if people who have already been attacked should get a firearm but would firearms prevent people from being attacked. Note this was the second attack by the rapist; how differently would it have turned out if she had the shotgun prior to the first attack?

    Gun laws vary considerable in the United States. Washington D.C. had until recently a complete handgun ban. Rifles and shotguns were required to be disassembled or locked up or otherwise locked. Not a very reassuring requirement when someone is in a house about to attack. Many other cities have draconian gun laws.

    Here is something to consider; compare Chicago and Miami in recent months
    Midnight Friday marked the end of October and the news from Miami's homicide office was what didn't happen.

    No one was murdered.

    October passed without a homicide -- meaning for the first time since May 1966, an entire month went by in the city of Miami without someone succumbing violently.

    ''That's an amazing thing,'' said Miami Lt. John Buhrmaster, a longtime homicide investigator. ``It's a great record when people are not killing each other.''

    The total actually stood at 35 days and counting. The last homicide: Sept. 26, the Overtown shooting death of Demetrius Sherman, 26.Overall, Miami has notched 55 homicides in 2008. Last year, the overall number was 87.

    As police Supt. Jody Weis returns to the hot seat during a City Council budget hearing today, Chicago is outpacing New York and Los Angeles in 2008 murders.

    Chicago, whose population is dwarfed by those cities, posted 426 killings through Tuesday, compared with 417 in New York and 302 in L.A

    Is the gun control laws in Chicago the only reason, probably not but Miami has Concealed Carry laws and Chicago doesn't.

  10. I am not sure about the gun laws in the US at all, can anyone without a criminal history obtain one?

    as Bob mentioned, it depends greatly on just where in the U.S. you are. but in general, anybody who's over 18 years old and without a criminal record can get a long gun --- shotgun or rifle. in most places, anybody who's over 21 and has no criminal record can get a pistol, but all this is for purchase and ownership. if you want to carry a handgun concealed with you, that's a different story and usually involves more paperwork; in some locations, it's effectively (or explicitly) impossible.

    (trying to carry a long gun around with you wherever you go would be a bad idea, needless to say. in a rural area during hunting season, you might get away with that; anywhere else, you'll be asked some pointed questions by mr. Friendly Policeman. in a big city, the questions are more likely to come from mr. Very Unfriendly Policeman, even.

    the same goes for carrying any weapon unconcealed, except in a few areas, typically very rural ones. even though carrying pistols openly on your hip is technically legal almost everywhere --- few places ever got around to making laws against it --- that's more of a technicality than any lived reality. you'd be arrested on some charge or other if you tried it where i live, and i live in the boonies.)

  11. The only reason I didn't post about that story of the lady killing her rapist is because I didn't see it. I've only heard of it from your comments. I love that story, which reminds me of the Pennslyvania Granny. I posted about that one, because I liked it. I have to say, even though I realize it's not a statistic, the criminal shootings outnumber the crime thwarting ones by a big margin in the news. Make what you want of it, but it does speak to one of my persistent questions. Do all of the guns out there do more harm than good or more good than harm?

  12. Mike,

    I learned to make explosives from a book in the public library. I learned to detect cheating at cards while trying to learn how to cheat at card from a book. I would have gladly fleeced a few friends if I had the dexterity.

    I even remember using my books to even the odds in a fight or two with my older brother. Literature books worked well, good hand grip, thick enough even a glancing blow hurt.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Modified - A well educated Population, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and books, shall not be infringed.

    Feel free to substitute in Religion, Freedom of the Press, Right to Assemble in place of books.

    Because I misused my books, should we place restrictions on other people using books?
    Do all of the {guns}Books out there do more harm than good or more good than harm?

  13. Modified version should keep and read books....


  14. thanks bob and nomen for the clarifications on that.
    Bob, i understand what you are saying but from what you guys on here told me responsible gun owners should keep ammo and the gun sepaerate and locked away..
    now.. how are you gonna get to your stuff if an intruder bursts into your house or you hear a strange noise at night? by the time you get to it and sort it all out you might be as dead as a dodo. or you do not adhere to the safety rules and keep it in your bedroom in the drawer?
    when i said that maybe victims of crime should be able to own a defensive weapon i meant over here in the UK, still same scenario would apply, getting to the locked cupboard etc etc.
    But you can see that in my umm liberal opinion the gun situation isnt quite as clear cut as i always thought. thanks for making me think about the complexitiy of the issue!

  15. M,

    Weer'd or Tom might be a better source but this is the philosophy that I use. I think some of the confusion comes from terminology.

    First, for firearms that I am using or may need; I keep/store them loaded. The definition of "using", for me, includes a firearm that I can instantly pick up and use to defend myself or my family. It wouldn't make sense to me to keep a shotgun in the closet and the ammunition in the gun safe if that is what I need in the middle of the night to stop a rapist.

    Rule #1 All guns are always loaded applies in all cases. That is why it exists and it is taught.

    Second are firearms that may not be used for a while or will not be needed instantly. Hunting rifles, collector pistols, guns only shot occasional; it makes sense to store these unloaded but with ammunition nearby.

    when i said that maybe victims of crime should be able to own a defensive weapon i meant over here in the UK, still same scenario would apply, getting to the locked cupboard etc etc.

    Why should people have to wait to be victims before they are allowed to defend themselves and their properties?

    I think that everyone should be able to own a defensive weapon. The laws aren't stopping the crooks, why should they stop the law abiding, right?

    As the numbers I've posted show, it is not the "average joe/jane home owner" that is involved in firearm related crime for the most part. It's gang related, it's drug related.

    Here is a good site to check out Civilian Gun Self Defense Blog, it shows how often firearms are used against criminals.

  16. it's not that guns should be locked away at all times, necessarily; they should be controlled at all times. you can do this by having them directly at hand, or by locking them up; the latter allows you to walk away from them, at least temporarily, so it's handy that way.

    having them locked up is still second best to having them in your hand or on your body. the latter way, you've got an actual human being who can be held directly responsible for what happens to and with the guns. the former way you can only call some metal plate and lockwork responsible, and that cuts no mustard anywhere.

    the question of how to keep your guns under adequate control yet still accessible enough to be useful in a self-defense or home-defense situation in a hurry is one of those neverending debates in gun owner circles. no end of technological gadgets have been invented to help with this, but in the end, each gun owner has to decide on their own answer to it by their own standards of what's "safe enough". there is no one right way to solve this problem.

    personally, i tend to think it mostly hinges on whether or not one has children in the house. if not, i think you have a lot more leeway to leave firearms out and unlocked than if you do. (assuming you're present in the house, that is. when you're away, the guns should be locked up --- in my opinion, anyway.)

    still, children have to be gun-proofed; gun owners raising kids have to teach them what guns are, that they're not toys, and how to deal with them responsibly and age appropriately. take your offspring to the shooting range, when they're old enough to learn from the experience. don't make guns into that irresistible forbidden fruit, just make sure they are clearly not to be played with, either.

    (on that last question, too, gun owners' opinions vary widely and no one right answer will ever be found.)

  17. Bob and Nomen said it best.

    The wife and I don't yet have children, on a few occasions I've simply tossed my carry gun in a sock drawer, cocked-and-locked. I would not do this if I had guests or kids, but the wife knows how to safely handle guns, and the doors of the house were locked. Most of the time I'm carrying a gun on my person.

    Also one might want to note the inherent safety of some firearms. If you can pick up my full-size stainless 1911 (about 30 oz) insert a magazine properly, and then chamber the round by drawing back the 18 pound recoil spring, you're old enough to know better. So all people who live under my roof know how to safely handing and use firearms.

    All other guns are locked up, as I won't be going for them when seconds count.

    Oh and for Mike besides the citizen's defense blog, these blogs are very good at covering self defense stories

  18. Thanks guys for the comments!
    Made sense to me.
    My problem is guns as such is ..well how can i put it, some sort of deep rooted aversion? May it be fear, maybe it be that i watched too many western as a child. Maybe it doesnt make sense at all.
    But talking with you and finding more out about it makes me a bit more comfortable with the whole issue.
    Thanks again for the enlightening discussion.

  19. M,

    I understand your feelings about firearms even if they can't be articulated clearly.

    I have talked to several people in depth about their anti-firearm feelings. I noticed several similarities.

    First, knowledge of someone who was hurt by firearms. Often it was a family member who committed suicide or person that was hurt by their spouse. Having knowledge of someone being injured can cast a negative perception. What usually surprised the people I talked to was how many friends and family members who owned firearms. Nobody ever hears of the firearms that are kept in the sock drawer or the back of the closet, never hurting anyone.

    Second, most of the people could point out story after story of criminal use of firearms. The papers are full of them so the firearms must be the biggest problem out there. What isn't reported is two things: the vast majority of non-firearm crimes and the crimes that are stopped by firearms. I believe the main stream media (usually liberal/left leaning) does have an agenda to cast firearms in a negative light.I think this negative slant does a great disservice by not showing how firearms are able to equalize physical differences between criminals and the law abiding.

    Last thing I've noticed is the old saying from every mother; "How do you know if you don't like them if you've never tried them?"
    Like broccoli, many people form their perception before having any experience. One of the first thing noticed when I started reading pro-gun blogs was how aware most of them were of this issue.

    I am not saying any of this apply to you or anyone else on the board, just this are the most common issues I've seen.

    I'm enjoying the conversation, thanks.