Monday, August 16, 2010

Shooting Range Suicide - This Tme in Florida

The Orlando Sentinal reports on another tragic incident at a gun range. I guess this is a coast to coast phenomenon.

A man found dead Saturday at an Orange County gun range apparently shot himself and may also be connected to another killing, deputies said.

Investigators think the 24-year-old white male victim they found at the range died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

It's certainly interesting that the shooter may have been involved in another incident. Orange County Capt. Angelo Nieves is on the job trying to put the pieces together. But it makes you wonder how often this kind of thing happens.

If the shooting at the Shooting Gallery is determined to be a suicide, it would only be the latest in a string of similar incidents at local shooting ranges.

In April 2009, an Altamonte Springs woman killed her son and herself at Shoot Straight in Casselberry. Another man killed himself at the same range later that month.

In July 2009, Valentin Pepelea, 43, rented a gun and shot himself at Rieg's Gun Shop on South Orange Blossom Trail. Later that month, a woman at East Orange Shooting Sports on Gardner Street also tried to kill herself with a rented gun, authorities say.

According to several television reports, the gun used in the shooting at the Shooting Gallery on Saturday was rented from the store, although Nieves said he couldn't confirm that information.

What should we do? Should we play the old percentage game on this like we do on so much else when it comes to gun violence? The vast majority of good folks who use gun ranges do not kill themselves, why make a big deal out of a tiny percentage?

This article contains a list of incidents which took place in one small geographic area in Florida, the one covered by the local news. Yesterday we saw the same thing in Los Angeles, a list. I'm going out on a limb here and presuming that it's happening everywhere there are shooting ranges, which would make the numbers quite significant indeed.

I'll make another deduction too, because of the self-serving denial on the part of gun owners and their fear of being inconvenienced, everything that can be done to prevent this is not being done. Instead there's denial that the problem even exists.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. There were zero suicides at thousands of shooting ranges that day.

  2. "...everything that can be done to prevent this is not being done.

    Let us know when you come up with a solution to stop people from wanting to commit suicide.

  3. Suicide is a separate issue from guns.

  4. "Suicide is a separate issue from guns."

    Huh? Ya wanna come again?

    The suicidal person who picks up a gun to do the deed instead of pills or a razor blade is not necessarily more determined. He could be in the same temporary depression as anyone else in that position. But unfortunately he has the most lethal and most-likely-to-succeed tool available. Those who don't have a gun at hand, are more likely to survive the attempt and live past the crisis.

    That's what guns have to do with suicide.

  5. Or, they are just as likely to find a tall building, or a bus to step in front of, or try it again and again, until they get it "right," rather than seek help for their depression/suicidal tendencies.

    Guns happen to be an effective method. It is not the only effective method. People who use pills and razors are doing so for attention. People who use the more effective and fast-acting methods are doing it to end their life. It isn't an accident that they choose the gun.

    It really couldn't be more clear. IT IS A SEPARATE ISSUE.

  6. Those who don't have a gun at hand, are more likely to survive the attempt and live past the crisis."

    Evidence please.

    I'll bet the mortality rates of folks jumping off of tall buildings is as high (if not higher) than those who shoot themselves.

    Or are you suggesting that I'm more likely to survive a 200 foot leap onto concrete than I am a bullet wound?

    I could mix chlorine and ammonia and be dead in a matter of minutes. How do you propose we stop that? More bans and "reasonable regulations?"

    Good luck with that.

  7. Hey, Mike--I know how much of a kick you get out of these gun range suicides, so thought you'd be interested in this odd story:

    A man is in critical condition after shooting himself in the head five or six times at a Panama City gun range.

    The Bay County sheriff's office says the shooting was self-inflicted but doesn't know yet if it was accidental or on purpose.

    Imagine a person whose cranial contents are so unimportant that he can shoot himself in the head "five or six times," and still not die.

    Just curious--have you heard from Democommie, Laci, and your co-blogger lately?

  8. I don't getcha about the other guys and if I'd heard from them lately.