Thursday, July 30, 2009

Off-Duty Fireman Shoots Cyclist in Head

Thanks to our friend Microdot over at the Brain Police. reports on the story of a trigger happy fireman in Asheville NC.

Police said that Alan Simons and his wife, along with their 3-year-old son, were riding their bikes along Tunnel Road. Simons’ son was riding in a seat attached to Simons’ bike.

Simons was stopped by 42-year-old Charles Diez, of Swannanoa, who began arguing with Simons about the boy being on the bike in high-traffic area. Diez then pulled out a handgun and fired.

Does this perfectly illustrate the 10% that I'm always saying about, or what?

Miraculously, the bike helmet stopped the bullet so the fireman is in jail for attempted murder instead of plain old 1st-degree murder.

The way it is, I don't have too much compassion for him. I suppose if he'd killed Simons and was suddenly facing the death penalty, I might be tempted to think of the mitigating circumstances, the fact that he has obvious mental problems, etc.

What's your opinion? What kind of man can get so angry so fast that he shoots someone in the head who has a three-year-old child clinging to him? That's got to be someone completely unhinged, completely incapable of making decisions of any kind, let alone those which involve life or death.

How many are there like him? Do you think this is such an anomaly that we needn't worry about it? Do you think it's fair to count up all the incidents like this and divide them by the total number of gun owners to prove how rare they really are?

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you have to say.


  1. MikeB,

    The 10% is a figment of your imagination. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
    Get over it.

    How can there be so many stories that aren't making the news, how many crimes that aren't being reported?

    The official statistic shows how small of a problem this is. less than 20,000 murders a year, closer to 12,000. Less than 500,000 total firearm related crimes.
    That under no circumstance comes close to 10%.

    Put up or shut up time -- Show the EVIDENCE for your 10%, show the data that can support your opinion.

    Do you think it's fair to count up all the incidents like this and divide them by the total number of gun owners to prove how rare they really are?

    Yes, I think it is fair. What I don't think is fair is for you to pull numbers out of your anal cavity and then try to use them to deprive us of rights.

    Show the evidence that the problem is as high, is anywhere near 10% or admit you are wrong.

  2. You know, this story resonated with me. I am a passionate bike rider. Long distance cycling since I was a teen and I have used a bike for commuting every time I can.
    25 years in NYC on the streets of Manhattan and never a nasty incident.

    In April, I visited Toledo, Ohio and used my Brother-in-laws bike for a week. Toledo supposedly has bike lanes which are marked on a lot of streets, but I have never encountered such mindlesss agression...pointless agression from people in cars who were compelled to yell threats and tell me to get off of the road as they sped by.

    Nobody shot at me, but the kind of free floating anger, the dumb rage that lurks below the surface can come to a head pretty fast when there is an anonymous target...

    The Asheville case is a pretty good example of how fast people lose it and flip out.
    I heard the firefighter was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, poor guy!

  3. Micro, Sorry I forgot to link it back to you. I just added that. I like everything you have to say.

    Bob, The 10% is pretty well explained in my post about it that I keep linking to. The problem for you is it requires some intellectual honesty and the ability to think outside the box. The fact that everything is not "black and white" poses a serious problem for you. Some things cannot be proven with stats, or evidence, therefore we must use our best common sense by applying reasonable guesswork to it. What you do is deny these things exist unless you can see them or prove them.

  4. Microdot, Toledo is not exactly the best example of an Ohio city, not that you will probably find much better I suppose in relation to bikes. But since you are a bicycle fan, I ran across this and thought you might be interested. It is a picture from the 1940 Tour De France.

  5. If the facts are indeed as presented in this article, then he deserves to go to jail.

    There are certainly people out there who legally have guns that either don't have the temperament or maturity to own guns. But I think those people are much rarer than ten percent. We have 600,000 people with license to carry in Pennsylvania, and 4 million or so gun owners. If 10% of them were irresponsible, that would mean 60,000 people out there are walking around with loaded firearms that fit that category. For as few problems as we actually have with LTC holders, I think the vast majority of them are probably fairly responsible and reasonable. There will be exceptions to the rule, and I won't defend the actions of those exceptions, but the vast majority of lawful gun owners in this country aren't a problem. If they were, there literally would be blood running in the streets.

  6. Sebastian, Thanks for your comment and for always being so reasonable in the way you express your ideas.

    Do you really think the 60,000 figure is too high? I think it works something like this. 1%, or about 6,000, is actually going to do something seriously wrong. These are guys who could probably be identified as too risky to own guns. The other 54,000 are the ones who will commit less grave offenses which often go unreported, any one of which could turn tragic. These guys are the wife beaters, the depressives, the alcoholics and addicts, the suicidal and the rageful. I don't think anyone denies that gun owners are susceptible to these problems just like everybody else. Many of these people could be identified as unfit to own guns too.

    You said, "the vast majority of lawful gun owners in this country aren't a problem."

    I agree wholeheartedly, but I call that vast majority 90% not 99%.