Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year - Gun-Lover Style

CBS Atlanta reports on the stray bullet which crashed through a church roof and killed a 4-year-old.
A 4-year-old boy who was struck by a stray bullet while at church died Friday.

The incident happened around midnight Friday during a New Year’s Eve watch service at the Covington Drive Church Of God of Prophecy in Decatur.

It was not immediately clear who fired the shot that came through the roof of the church and struck the child, who was identified as Marquel Peters.

I'm sure the gun folks will say responsible gun owners who adhere to the tenets of the 4 Rules would never do something as stupid as firing a round into the air in celebration, which is what they think this was. I agree wholeheartedly that responsible gun owners who adhere to the tenets of the 4 Rules never would. But my question is what percentage of them is that responsible. Who hasn't fired a shot or two off where they shouldn't have? Who shoots all those rural road signs?

I'll tell you who, the vast majority of gun owners. Most folks are not concerned with the rules, not to the point of becoming out-and-out criminals, but definitely to the point of doing stupid things that get innocent people hurt.

What's your opinion? Is this 4-year-old killing in Decatur Georgia just another of those rare accidents? Please leave a comment.


  1. A "vast majority" of gunowners do these things?! You are telling me that over 45 MILLION people spray celibratory fire around?

    This incident was a trajedy, yet you wish to openly claim that tens of millions randomly fire bullets everywhere?!

    That is madness.
    If you were even remotely correct, then why, pray tell, was there no gunfire heard nation-wide? why wasn't there national breaking news coverage of millions of rounds senclessly discharged?

  2. As tragic as this is, what would have stopped this from happening? Another law? The people who are shooting into the air are already breaking the law. And in that part of Georgia, i'm willing to bet a large number of people who were shooting into the air are prohibited from even owning a firearm in the first place.

    That's two laws right there that didn't stop this.

  3. Kevin, Your trick of distorting what I say in order to pretend outrage is silly. My contention is the great majority of gun owners do not scrupulously adhere to the 4 rules. This great majority includes the folks who recklessly shoot into the air and includes the ones who shoot up road signs, as well as the ones who violate the safety rules in other ways.

    This is a far cry from saying tens of millions are shooting into the air, which are the words you put in my mouth.

  4. Mikeb302000, Kevin uses feigned outrage but makes a point nonetheless. You state that a "vast majority" of gunowners act this way. Yet you offer no proof of your statement. A "vast majority" should be easily provable.

  5. No one put words in your mouth. YOU used those words. "Vast Majority."

    I suggest you learn the definitions of the terms you use.

  6. Kevin is using a dishonest rhetorical dodge. He's basically saying that everytime a gun owner violates basic safety tenets--someone gets hurt or killed. By this illogic, Kevin can point to the relatively small number of gun accidents and claim that gunowners are super safe.

    Consider the drunk driver. Police will tell you they apprehend only a very small fraction of the people driving drunk. And not all instances of drunk driving result in an accident or fatality. But, if we use Kevin's logic, drunk drivers are safe drivers.


  7. I've talked to several thousand gun owners and a lot more guys who just borrowed the ones they used from Uncle Sam for a couple of years. A fairly large number of them would sheepishlessy relate some story about an unsecured weapon or a stray round. And some of them were actually quite proud of their signage tallies.

    I have a really great photo of a stop sign. It is, of course, red and white. The background of the photo is a brilliant blue Nebraska sky. The stop sign is in relatively good condition with it's paint still bright and I like the red, white and blue motif. But what makes the photo really striking is the hole in the sign. It's approximately one inch in diameter and is as nearly perfectly round as if it were made by a Greenlee chassis punch.

    I've shown that photo to a number of gun owners. Most of them look at it and say, "Deer Slug". I'm guessing that a lot of them know that from experience, especially since they usually laugh about it.

  8. So, Mike, am I correct in surmising that you're claiming that the "vast majority of gun owners" practice unsafe and/or irresponsible gun handling? Am I, in other words, avoiding "putting words in your mouth" in stating your position that way?

    Hmm--that's odd, considering the fact that unintentional shootings make up such a small (dare I say "tiny"?) percentage of shooting injuries and deaths. Guns must be even safer than I had thought (in that they must be more forgiving of foolish, careless, irresponsible behavior than I have always believed).

    Thanks for that insight--I might give my little nephews their first guns a bit sooner than I had originally planned.

    Never too early to expand the gun culture.

  9. Jade, what am I trying to dodge? I was expressing my opinion on the use of the term "Vast majority" as if 50 million or so Americans are negligently firing bullets. Text-only forms of media don't convey tone well, I am offended at Mike B.'s choice of words and my post apparently suffered for it.
    Are gunowners super-safe? No, but they are not as super-unsafe as the "vast majority" statement implies.

  10. Kevin, The "vast majority" statement does not imply anything. It says something very clear, which the first time around you exaggerated beyond reason, now you say it's because you were so offended.

    Zorro characterized my remarks quite well and went on to dispute them like this: "unintentional shootings make up such a small (dare I say "tiny"?) percentage of shooting injuries and deaths."

    So, after describing what I'd said, he pretty much aligned himself with your mistaken argument.

    The "vast majority" is that group of gun owners who are not passionate like you bloggers and who are not all that scrupulous about the 4 Rules or the laws of the land. These are basically good guys who at times act badly.

    When you refine it to the worst of them who actually do the shooting and the other behaviors that make them dangerous, you've got a smaller percentage.

    I say the first percentage, the "vast majority" is about 70%, and the second group I've described in the Famous 10%.

  11. "I say the first percentage, the "vast majority" is about 70%, and the second group I've described in the Famous 10%."

    And these figures are based on what?

  12. Alright, MikeB, I can buy your 10% theory. Can we say that it's a start to an agreement?

  13. Kevin said, "Alright, MikeB, I can buy your 10% theory. Can we say that it's a start to an agreement?"

    You have the honor of being the first. Does this mean you're changing sides completely? Have you told you readers on your own blog yet? Man, are they gonna be shocked.

  14. C'mon Mike, Define "Vast Majority"

    It should be easy, unless you're pulling figures and definitions out of your ass again.

  15. Mike W. said, "C'mon Mike, Define "Vast Majority"

    It should be easy, unless you're pulling figures and definitions out of your ass again."

    Here's what I said a few comments ago, you must have missed it in your haste to use your "out of your ass" remark.

    "I say the first percentage, the "vast majority" is about 70%, and the second group I've described in the Famous 10%."

  16. So, Mikeb, now that you've given an explicit definition of what constitutes, for your purposes, a "vast majority," (70%) I have no doubt you'll be happy to acknowledge that the "vast majority" of gunshot victims survive, right?

  17. Zorro, I don't know if 70% or more of gunshot victims survive, I'd have to look it up.

    But, what's the point. I'm all for including wounded people in the stats of gun violence. When added to the murders and suicides, those wounded really bring it up to a significant number. Hell, I even like to include incidents in which no one was wounded but gun misuse was operative.

    What was your point?

  18. Mikeb says: "What was your point?"

    That's a question at least as sensibly directed at you, I would think. What's your point, in focusing on so-called "gun violence," to the near exclusion of all other forms of violence, if not for the Brady Campaign-endorsed position that:

    Citing studies by Frank Zimring of UC Berkeley, Henigan shows that Americans are not more violent than people in other countries but our violence is more lethal because our crimes—such as robbery and assault—more often involve guns. This is another way that, contrary to the slogan, guns do kill people.

    So go ahead and bring survivable wounds into the discussion, and bring, as you apparently want to, every time some bed-wetting crybaby is frightened and emotionally scarred by the sight of a gun being borne by someone not bedecked in the trappings of government power (i.e., uniform and badge).

    In doing so, though, aren't you undermining the argument that the reason so-called "gun violence" is so much ickier than other forms of violence is that it's (supposedly) so much more lethal?

    Is it unfair to ask you why gunshot wounds, or people traumatized by the sight of a gun, are a bigger issue than knife wounds, brutal beatings, rapes, and the threat of same?

    That's why I think it's useful to establish that the vast majority of people wounded by gunfire survive.