Saturday, September 1, 2012

Conservative Republicans Hate Women

What Would the Founders Do (WWFD)

Here's the first of four ideas:

Limiting Firearm Ownership
The Founding Fathers, though idealists, were also fierce pragmatists and knew that freedom could not be maintained without law and order. In this spirit, I believe they would have used common sense as their guide to limit the number of firearms that civilians could own, perhaps to the tune of a single gun for every adult in the household, with children automatically becoming eligible when they reached a certain age, and with certain exceptions for hunting.
I never put much stock in what the Founding Fathers said or might have said, being misogynist slave-owners and all. I certainly don't put them on the pedestal that many gun-rights folks do, but maybe I've been looking at it all wrong. Maybe Sanjay has the right idea.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

New Jersey Pathmark Shooting - 3 Dead

The New York Times reports

A supermarket worker left his overnight shift here then returned with an AK-47 assault rifle and killed two co-workers before fatally shooting himself, officials said on Friday. 

The gunman, a former Marine, re-entered the Pathmark Super Center on Route 9 about 4 a.m., firing the rifle wildly and shattering the store’s windows, the authorities said. The co-workers he killed appeared to be random victims, said Bruce Kaplan, the Middlesex County prosecutor. One was an 18-year-old woman, and the other was a 24-year-old man, officials said. 

Local authorities identified the gunman as Terence Tyler, 23. He was discharged from the Marines in 2010. The victims were identified as Christina LoBrutto, 18, and Bryan Breen, 24. 

Mr. Kaplan said the police did not know what precipitated the shooting in this community about 30 miles south of Manhattan. He said the gunman, who lived in an apartment building just behind the Pathmark, had been working the overnight shift with more than a dozen other employees before he left and returned with the rifle and a handgun.
This one is a mass shooting in all but the body count. And that was only an accident.

The shooter, like they usually do, chose the place of his grievance regardless of whether that place might allow guns or not. There was no  attempt to select a carefully chosen gun free zone in order to have the advantage of sitting ducks.

Of course there are those who will argue that New Jersey is one big gun free zone.  But, the truth is random spree killers don't care about that one way or another. 

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting Death - A Strange One

When officers entered the home, they found a man lying face down on a fan with a pool of blood around his head and a black revolver next to his right hand, the report said. The victim was identified as James Gagum, 43, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said the victim was in the recliner and had been watching a movie, then picked up his gun, held it to his head and stated, “That’s not how its done,” the report said. He began pulling the trigger when, on the third pull, the gun went off. 

Sgt. Robert Kegler, public information officer with Horry County police, said the shooting was accidental.
Gagum was in the news last spring when he shot and killed one of three suspects who broke into his home, threatening him and his wife at gunpoint and demanding money and valuables, Kegler said. Gagum did not face charges in the incident.
Strange accident, wouldn't you say? Did they figure he thought the gun was empty, or that he thought he'd get away with three Russian roulette attempts?

I suppose it's just an interesting coincidence that he'd been the author of a successful DGU in the past. You don't think that has anything to do with this, do you?

What about alcohol or drugs, do you think he was under the influence?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting by National Guardsman at the Republican National Convention - No Charges

via The Huffington Post

Authorities say a member of a Florida National Guard unit assisting at the Republican National Convention has been accidentally shot while examining his personal revolver in a hotel room with another guard member.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said 21-year-old Michael Wdowiak was showing his handgun to Jeffrey A. Spurr when it discharged a single round while in Spurr's possession. The sheriff's statement said Wdowiak was hit in the upper body and left hand and required surgery. There was no immediate report on his condition.

The sheriff's statement said alcohol did not appear to be a factor and there were no charges. It added at least three others in the room were not hurt. Wdowiak and Spurr are with a guard contingent from Ocala staying at the hotel, it said.
This is a perfect example of the way it works. If you shoot someone "by accident" you can generally expect no consequences at all, as long as you don't lie about it or try to cover it up.

Even if you're a trained professional who should know the basic rules of gun safety, there are usually no charges, since it was only an accident.

This is wrong.  Anytime a gun is negligently handled the responsible person should be held accountable.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

PA Mom Arrested for Covering up Shooting

Local news reports

It's natural for a mother to want to protect her young son. But obviously Angelina Deabreu hasn't been reading the gun blogs. If she had, she would have known the only sure way to get in trouble after an accidental shooting is to lie to the cops. Tampering with evidence gets their attention too.

What usually doesn't bother anybody too much is leaving guns around for kids to play with.  And when something terrible happens, it can always be explained as "just an accident." 

But if you try to make it look like a drive-by, you're asking for trouble.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Stephen Colbert on the Ryan Speech

Mitt Romney - He Built That

August 2012 Visits and Page Views

(click to make bigger)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Georgia Wants to Loosen its Gun Control Laws

AJC reports

Georgians would be allowed to carry concealed weapons in bars, public schools, most government buildings, college campuses and other locations under a sweeping gun bill filed in the House.

In addition to banishing many current restrictions, House Bill 981 would prevent police or the National Guard from disarming people during states of emergency, and it would allow citizens to sue if that occurred.

Rep. Sean Jerguson, R-Woodstock, one of the bill's co-sponsors, said Thursday that it strikes a balance between the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms, and personal property rights. For instance, any church or business, such as a restaurant or bar, would be able to decide whether to allow concealed weapons, he said, and regulations that limit the right to carry, such as when consuming alcohol, are still in place.
I'm sure the Congressman knows that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with concealed carry, and surely he remembers that the recent Heller and McDonald decisions spoke about home defense only, yet he's making this push.

The gun-rights crowd is like that.  They pretend that their proposals make sense and align with the Constitution when they don't.  Then they try to tell us how much better off we'll all be, another lie.

What's your opinion?  Please let us know.

Irresponsible SC Gun Shop Owner Robbed Again - This Time He Kills One Wounds Two

The Blaze reports

This is another type of DGU, the preventable or avoidable one. Once the action begins, it may be justified and legitimate, but it never should have happened.

The last time his store was robbed, he installed iron bars. This time, I suppose he'll finish work on that "unfinished wall" which was easily breached.

Of course the pro-gun crowd won't want to look at any of those elements.  All they want to know is if they were bad guys and if they needed shootin'.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Stolen Guns in the U.K.

 via The BBC

Nearly 3,000 guns were lost by or stolen from people registered to hold them in the past five years, according to figures obtained by the BBC. More than half of these weapons were shotguns.

The data, which was published for the first time on Wednesday, revealed that 1,448 shotguns and 294 rifles have been stolen since 2007.

The guns lost during the period included 730 shotguns, 86 rifles and 14 revolvers. 

Chrissie Hall, spokesperson for the Gun Control Network, said public safety was being compromised "by individuals who have shown themselves to be irresponsible".

"These figures are probably the tip of the iceberg. If gun owners lose their weapons and are in breach of their registration and conditions, their licence should be revoked," she told BBC News. 

"But whether this happens is at the discretion of the chief constable and the firearms department. It's not always rigorously applied." She added: "People lose their glasses and they lose their umbrella but to lose their gun is unbelievably irresponsible.

"It's part of their conditions that the shotgun is safely stored at all times... obviously if it's lost it isn't safely stored, they're in breach of their licence, they're putting members of the public at risk."
What do you think? How does the situation in the U.K. compare to our own?

Please leave a comment.

Romeny's Secret Service Team

The Huffington Post reports

A gun belonging to a Secret Service agent traveling with Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was mistakenly left in the restroom of the candidate's charter plane Wednesday afternoon.

Romney used the charter plane to travel from the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida to Indianapolis, Indiana for a campaign event. CBS News reports the weapon was found by a CBS News/National Journal reporter, who alerted a flight attendant about the gun. 

A member of the Secret Service who was on board the plane reportedly retrieved the gun from the restroom. Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan told the AP the agency is aware of the incident and that the matter will be handled internally. No details have been released on who misplaced the weapon.
Yeah, it'll be handled internally, wink-wink. The only problem with that is a reporter found it and it's made the national news. The "internal" handling may be a bit more appropriate as a result.

What's your opinion?  Is there any excuse for this kind of negligence?  I'm sure it will surprise no one that I would apply the one strike you're out rule.  A potentially dramatic incident like that should not be treated lightly.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

The Homelife of Robert Wayne Gladden Jr.

The Washington Post reports on the young man we talked about the other day.

The teenager accused of shooting an intellectually disabled classmate at a suburban Maryland high school was accustomed to firearms in the home and had endured his parents’ contentious divorce, court documents show.

After 15-year-old Robert Wayne Gladden Jr. was taken into custody Monday, police executed a search warrant at the Kingsville home where he lives with his mother and stepfather. What they found, according to court documents: 11 guns, including shotguns, rifles, a 9mm handgun and two antique pistols.

Gladden’s 41-year-old father, Robert W. Gladden, also has a history of trouble with the law. In 2010, the younger Gladden answered the door when police executed a search warrant at his father’s home, looking for drugs and guns, documents show. Police seized a 12-gauge shotgun during that search along with marijuana, and prosecutors later sought the forfeiture of the shotgun and a .45-caliber handgun.

Meanwhile, Gladden’s stepfather, 43-year-old Andrew Piper, faces new charges of illegal gun possession and drug possession stemming from Monday’s search. Piper was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a previous conviction for grand theft, documents show.
Do you think it matters to a troubled teenager if his step dad is a legal gun owner or a criminal? I don't.  The only thing that matters is that guns are available and the gun-loving mentality is prevalent.

Guns are the answer, aren't they? Isn't this what connects lawful and unlawful gun owners together? They both understand this.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Drunken Vermont Gun Owner gets a Slap on the Wrist - Keeps Guns

Local news reports

A drunk and disorderly 54-year-old man was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after members of the Vermont State Police were dispatched to a home along Peggy’s Lane for a report of numerous gun shots and a man threatening violence towards a neighbor. 

Police responded to the area at about 4:20 p.m., where Roger E. Decato, of West Townshend, continued to fire rounds of ammunition outside of his home.

One neighbor said she’s been hearing loud gunshots coming from the direction of Decato’s home for nearly six weeks.

Decato was processed at the Brattleboro Barracks and transported to Southern State Correctional Facility where he was ordered held until sober. 

Police also cited Decato for disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and possession of marijuana.
We don't have to guess if this guy had a concealed carry permit. In the great state of Vermont, they enjoy Constitutional Carry, any one who owns a gun can carry concealed.  And it doesn't matter how unfit they are.

When they arrest one of them for misbehaving, they get to sleep it off and then get a slap on the wrist.  The one thing they don't do is take the guns away.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The American Taliban

Arms Manufacturers - Another First for the US

via Mother Jones

In 2011, the United States experienced its biggest year ever in weapons exports: According to an annual study by the Congressional Research Service [PDF] released earlier this week, the US overseas weapons sales jumped to $66.3 billion last year (77.7 percent of the $85.3 billion global market in 2011), from $21.4 billion in deals in 2010. 

In just one year, the US more than tripled its revenue in arms deals with foreign countries. The $66.3 billion also sets a new cash total record, easily surpassing the previous record of $31 billion in sales in fiscal year 2009.
Add the domestic sales of handguns and rifles and you've got all the motivation you need to justify almost anything.  Certainly a bit of bribery and corruption disguised as the lobbying system can be expected.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Ohio Concealed Carry Permit Holder Shoots Himself by Accident - No Charges

Local news reports
A Clinton County man suffered a gunshot wound Monday night to his right leg when the handgun he was using to target practice allegedly discharged as he was replacing it in its holster.

The injured man, Terry C. Stephens, 53, told the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office he had been target practicing at a private shooting range when he accidentally shot himself in the leg.
“He stated that he had accidentally shot himself in the right leg while attempting to re-holster his .38 caliber handgun,” said Deputy Timothy Smith of the sheriff’s office.

“The EMS (emergency medical squad) on scene stated that the bullet did not go through his leg but had tore a significant chunk of flesh from his leg,” Smith said.

Stephens has a concealed carry permit and also had permission to target shoot on Beam’s property, according to the sheriff’s office which is continuing the investigation as an accidental gunshot.

You see, this is the way you do it. Admit your mistake, call it what it is even when the news reporters try to soft-sell it as a handgun having "allegedly discharged" all by itself. 

When you do that and don't lie to the police, you don't even get a slap on the wrist.  Of course, you should lose (originally "love") your right to own and use guns, but by playing your cards right, you can keep your precious guns and your precious CCW permit and go on your merry way.

What's your opinion?  Is this acceptable?  Is there really any way something like this can be excused?

Tragedy for a Philadelphia Heroin Dealer

CBS Philly reports

A 26-year-old drug dealing dad from Kensington has pleaded guilty to offenses that led to the accidental shooting death of his four-year-old son in July of last year.

Defendant Javier Merle, a previously convicted drug dealer, admitted today that he was selling drugs from his house when he stashed some heroin and a nine-millimeter gun in the couch before going outside during a disturbance.

His son and namesake, little Javier, was left inside with the gun and accidentally shot himself in the face. When police arrived, the boy was dead.

Philadelphia prosecutor Lorraine Donnelly says the family not only didn’t cooperate, they tampered with evidence.

“The family got rid of the loaded gun before the police arrived so they would not get in trouble,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “Police and detectives worked very diligently to recover that gun. They received an anonymous tip the following day at about 9pm and found that gun in an abandoned car.”
You see, it's not enough to just let your kid find a gun and shoot himself in order for proper charges to be brought, you also need to be a heroin dealer and tamper with the evidence.

Every day we see cases in which parental negligence is overlooked because it was "just an accident."  But when you mess with the police, then you're sure to be held accountable.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of Georgia 4-year-old - She's Critical - No Charges

A mother and her four young children were traveling in a minivan on Jonesboro Road. The woman tells police she heard a loud “pop” and turned around.

“Definitely, this is an awful tragedy,” says Clayton County Police Lieutenant Chris Windley.

"Her four-year old daughter was slumped over in her car seat with a gunshot wound.” 

The little girl was airlifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston with life-threatening injuries.

Investigators are now trying to figure out where the gun was in the car and who pulled the trigger. Above all, he said, this sad event is further proof that kids and guns can be a tragic combination.
What's your opinion? Is it possible that the negligent owner of a gun which ends up in the hands of kids can claim ignorance, shrug the shoulders, and all anyone does is call it a tragic accident?

Haven't we had enough "proof that kids and guns can be a tragic combination?" Aren't we sick of hearing that?

Anytime a kid get's ahold of a gun, an adult should be held responsible.

Please leave a comment.

Negligent Discharge of a Firearm and a False Police Report

Dusty Moore, 30, called police Saturday claiming that a man had entered his corn stand and demanded money. Moore told police he was later shot while the alleged robber fled on foot.

Police determined after an investigation that Moore accidentally discharged his firearm, with the bullet hitting him in the lower back. Police also concluded that the corn stand had not been robbed.

Police said Moore told them he reported the robbery to save himself the embarrassment of shooting himself. Moore was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital.

Instead of an aggravated robbery, police now are investigating the case as an accidental discharge of a firearm. Moore also could be charged with making a false report to police.
The police don't like it when you lie to them. They get so upset at it that you could even be charged for "accidental discharge of a firearm," which is rarely done.

What's your opinion? Shouldn't "accidental discharge of a firearm" be charged in every negligent discharge?  Why does it take also filing a false police report to bring it out of the moth balls?

Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2 Dead, 3 Wounded in West Virginia Shootout

 Local news reports

Two West Virginia State Police troopers were involved in a deadly shootout Tuesday night.

The West Virginia State Police confirms that two troopers were involved in a shootout that killed one trooper, left another in critical condition, and left the shooter dead. A Roane County deputy and a tow trucker driver were also injured by gunfire.

The troopers stopped the suspect, whose name has not been released, at the Wallback park-and-ride on Interstate 79 in Clay County. When they approached the vehicle, the suspect started shooting, injuring one trooper and a tow truck driver and killing the other trooper.

A Roane County deputy tracked the suspect to a nearby barn, killing the suspect and taking a shot to the arm. The deputy's name has not been released.
Does this count as a mass shooting? It probably does, but since it didn't happen in a school, most lists of "mass shootings" will not include it.

One thing it has in common with most incidents we readily recognize as mass shootings is the people involved do not consider whether the locale of their action is a gun-free zone or not. They just act.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Revolving Door

Negligent Discharge by a Judge who Approved his own CCW Permit

The New York Times reports

On second thought, Judge Vincent A. Sgueglia admitted to state judicial officials, the landmark courthouse in Owego, N.Y., was probably not the best place to repair a revolver with a faulty firing mechanism. 

That was what he was doing, alone in his chambers on the first floor of the 140-year-old courthouse, during a recess on the morning of Jan. 21, 2010. 

The gun, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson that he said he did not realize was loaded, went off. The bullet dug into a wall. No one was injured.
I don't believe the supposed "faulty firing mechanism" has anything to do with it. Nor does the fact that he had the gun pointed in a safe direction, which the article pointed out.

HE DIDN'T KNOW THE GUN WAS LOADED. He put his finger on the trigger.  He negligently fired the gun. 

Inexcusable behavior for a man with a concealed carry permit, which he himself authorized. 

What's your opinion?  Should someone like that lose his right to own guns?

Please leave a comment.

Maryland School Shooting

The Associated Press reports

At 6:27 a.m. on his first day as a sophomore at Perry Hall High School in the Baltimore suburbs, Robert Wayne Gladden Jr. updated his Facebook status.

"First day of school, last day of my life," he wrote. He then typed a symbol resembling a person with two middle fingers extended before adding "f--- the world."

Gladden, a pale youth with long, dark hair who turned 15 just three weeks ago, has been charged as an adult in the shooting of a 17-year-old classmate, who was hit in the back with a shotgun blast in the school's cafeteria Monday morning. The victim, Daniel Borowy, remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon.

While authorities did not discuss a motive for the shooting, Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson said Gladden planned the attack and fired a shot at random before school staff rushed him. A second shot hit the ceiling during the struggle, police said.
This one had all the markings of another school mass shooting. Luck and timing and quick intervention on the part of the staff averted a much worse situation.

It offers a good example to discuss one of the most popular pro-gun arguments, that mass shootings usually happen in gun-free zones.

On the surface, this is a fact that cannot be refuted.  Our commenter Frail Liberty recently took the trouble to prove it using Google.  Fair enough.  Although there are many cases in which mass shootings, those involving 4 or more victims, take place at various locations in which guns are not prohibited, the major incidents have happened on school campuses where guns are not allowed.

But, it's the implication that I would like to refute.  The argument seems to be that mass shooters choose these locations for their "target rich" environment and because no resistance would be expected. If only we did away with gun-free zones these deranged shooters wouldn't act, or if they did they'd be stopped in their tracks by a johnny-on-the-spot gun owner.

Gun-rights activists love to blame the gun-free zone for the problem of mass shootings.

I submit that this is false reasoning.  Look at the details of today's story.  The young man was suicidally depressed. He wrote "last day of my life," and "fuck the world" on Facebook. He, like most of the school shooters, was not concerned with selecting just the right place to unleash his murderous rage.  He was going to the place of his troubles, whether they were about bullying or inadequacy or perceived romantic rejection.

The same is true of the fairly common mass shootings that take place at the work place.  Some of them prohibit guns, others do not, but that fact is irrelevant.  When someone decides to kill a bunch of people they are not thinking about gun-free zones.

This brings up another question, if the argument that most mass shootings happen in gun free zones and therefore gun-free zones have to go is false, why do the pro-gun folks keep pushing it.

It's simple.  This is one of the smoke-screen attempts at obfuscation in order to avoid the real issue which is gun availability.

Gun availability to unfit people is the true gun control issue involved in these cases.  Run-rights activists fear this issue because they realize the remedy, although it would save countless lives, would also inconvenience them a bit. Putting up with such regulations as licensing and registration is unacceptable to the biased gun lovers even though it would result in nothing more than a minor inconvenience.  Such incredible levels of self-centeredness is embarrassing, further increasing the need to keep the focus on gun-free zones and other nonsense instead of where it belongs, on gun availability.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

New Mexico Man Acquitted of Manslaughter in Gun Accident

 Las Cruces Sun News reports

Lowe was trying to unload a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun when he shot Torres, the driver, in the lower back, prosecutors said.

Torres had asked Lowe to check out the shotgun, which was kept in the vehicle's center console, because it was not ejecting shells properly, according to court documents.

Torres' last words were, "I've got to grease this mother..." before the shotgun went off in front of a bank at the intersection of Telshor Boulevard and Missouri Avenue, according to a third teen who was also riding in the car.
I was trying to understand how this could have happened. He's the wrong color, he's had other convictions, he'd even done time before, yet they acquitted him.

 A comment that Lowe told police about how the shooting would not have happened if it was not for marijuana led to him facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter while intoxicated, which was dropped after evidence showed that he had not smoked marijuana before the shooting, said Shattock, who was pleased with the verdict.
Now, that sounds like a technicality. The charge wasn't simply "involuntary manslaughter," it was "involuntary manslaughter while intoxicated." Lucky guy.

I hope that's the explanation.  What I don't like to see is cases like this won because it was "only an accident."  When people violate one or more of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety, like Lowe did when he aimed the shotgun at his friend when trying to clear it, they should be held responsible.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The United States - Greatest Country in the World in Prison Population

Another Scottsdale Gun Club Suicide

AZ Central reports

A man died of a self-inflicted gunshot Saturday at the Scottsdale Gun Club, according to police.

The suicide at the popular club on 14860 North Northsight Blvd. took place at 2:30 p.m.

It is the third self-inflicted shooting there since 2007, according to records. Two were intentional and fatal.

In May, a 52-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the chest at the club, which bills itself as America's largest indoor range. He was conscious and talking while en route to a hospital.

In October 2007, a 20-year-old Scottsdale man fatally shot himself in the head. He had written a suicide note.
That works out to about one a year, more or less. Is that average for a gun range, do you think?

Please leave a comment.

A Legitimate DGU (Defensive Gun Use)

Opposing Views reports

An unidentified man purchased a knife inside a Salt Lake City Smith’s store, and then began randomly stabbing people in the store.

Smith’s employee Dorothy Espinoza told ABC News: “He pulled it out and stood outside the Smiths in the foyer. And just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people. There is blood all over. One got stabbed in the stomach and got stabbed in the head and held his hands and got stabbed all over the arms.”

Smith described how a gun-wielding citizen stopped the man: “A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith’s grabbed him.”

Lt. Brian Purvis told ABC News that the gun owner did the right thing: “This was a volatile situation that could have gotten worse. We can only assume from what we saw it could have gotten worse. He was definitely in the right place at the right time.”
This is a wonderful example of the proper use of a gun. The man displayed a willingness to get involved as well as restraint in not shooting the bad guy.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Hard Road Cafe Bartender Shot Over Bill

Local news reports

Police said that a Robin Rocky was shot on Aug. 18 after two men became "enraged" over their $75 bar tab.

According to police, Rocky, 39, was serving as a bartender at the Hard Road Café, located at 1880 Hard Road, around 2 a.m. when glasses were thrown at her and she was punched.

When Rocky walked outside the bar to call 911, one of the men fired several shots at her, striking her once in the leg.

Police arrested George Anthony Gulledge, who was accused of firing shots at Rocky, early Sunday morning. Gulledge, 38, was charged with felonious assault.
I suppose this guy was a lawful gun owner, otherwise there would have been charges about illegal possession of the gun. But, I wonder if anyone checked to see if he had a concealed carry permit? 

It seems to me that owning a gun, carrying one for protection, and using it to settle disputes too often go together. These are problems caused by so-called legitimate gun owners.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Why Do Some Accidental Shootings Result in Heavy Charges?

Local news reports

A Weaverville man is fighting for his life after a friend shot him in the head overnight.

John Kurt Rufus Tipton was transported to Mission Hospital with a bullet still lodged in his brain following the 1 a.m. shooting, authorities said. The shooting happened at the home of James Kyle Brown.

Buncombe sheriff’s detectives believe the shooting was accidental as the men were examining a .22 caliber pistol.

Brown was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and possession of a weapon of mass destruction, according to warrants at the Buncombe County magistrate’s office. 

The weapon of mass destruction charge was for a sawed-off .20 gauge shotgun found in the home, according to warrants.
First of all, are you kidding me with that charge of "possession of a weapon of mass destruction?" Is that true? A sawed off shotgun is a weapon of mass destruction?

Secondly, why the disparity in charging this guy with "assault with a deadly weapon," but not charging the Texas man who shot his wife in bed at all?

Don't you think we need to regularize the application of gun control laws?  Shouldn't that be done on the federal level?

What do your think? Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of San Antonio Woman by her Husband - No Charges

San Antonio police responded to the couple's home in the 7400 block of Pipers Bluff, off Loop 410 and Culebra, just before 3 a.m.

The husband told officers that he usually keeps a gun on his nightstand but that it somehow made it into the bed. He allegedly rolled over on the gun and, not knowing what it was, grabbed it.

The gun discharged, police said, shooting the man's sleeping wife once in the stomach.  Police said the victim was talking and alert while she was being taken to the hospital.

Investigators said they do not suspect foul play and are treating it as an accidental shooting.
Some really prepared gun owners feel the nightstand is not close enough and keep the gun under the pillow. Naturally, they might demur when explaining that to the police.

Other folks who are obsessed with guns might take it from the nightstand in their sleep, creating a dangerous situation.

Whatever happened in this case, the police and the author of the article should understand the gun did not discharge.  Guns don't do that because they're inanimate objects.  This was a negligent, unacceptable action.

The day should come when "treating it as an accidental shooting," has an entirely new meaning.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lawful Oregon Gun Owner Fires Shotgun During Argument over Gun Safety

Local news reports

She was obviously a lawful gun owner, based on the charges, but I'll bet she was also an NRA member, a conservative, a Republican, and possibly a CCW permit holder.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

8.5 Million New Guns in 2010 - 16.5 Million Background Checks

ABC reports

There are more than 129,817 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States, according to the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives numbers (as of Aug. 1) .  Of those, 51,438 are retail gun stores, 7,356 are pawn shops and 61,562 are collectors, with the balance of the licenses belonging mostly to manufacturers and importers of firearms and destructive devices.
For comparison, here are some numbers of other ubiquitous elements of American life:
  • Gas Stations in the U.S. (2011):  143,839 (source TD LINX/Nielsen via National Associations of Convenience Stores, Association for Convenience for Convenience and Fuel Retailing)
  • Grocery Stores in the U.S. (2011) 36,569 (source:  Food Marketing Institute)
  • McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. (2011): 14,098 (Source:  McDonald’s Corporation Annual Report 2011)
That's a lot of gun dealers. But what about individual guns?

According to ATF reports, in 2010 there were 5,459,240 new firearms manufactured in the United States, nearly all (95 percent) for the U.S. market.   An additional 3,252,404 firearms were imported to the United States.

Right now if you don’t have a criminal record and you have not been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, you can buy guns.  In 2010 the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) ran 16,454,951 background checks for firearms purchases.

The numbers are mind-boggling. Let me try to understand. There were 8.5 million new guns, between manufacture and import, in 2010.  Yet there were twice that many background checks?

Many places a guy with a concealed carry license can buy a new gun without doing another background check, which makes the disparity even more difficult to understand.

Can we assume the 8.5 million new firearms in 2010 includes rifles and shotguns, for which no background check is required in most states? Even worse.  Handguns to background checks is about a 1 to 4 ratio.

How can there be 4 times as many background checks as there are guns to purchase? Some of them may be done in pawn shops where the gun involved is not one of the 2010 vintage.  But can that explain the tremendous disparity?

One conclusion: whenever the pro-gun crowd use background checks as an indicator of gun sales, we can't take it too seriously.  There's some explaining to do.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Wife Shoots Husband While Attempting to Shoot Skunk

Local news reports The action took place not far from Houston, Texas where women carry guns just in case of varmint attack.

The Background Check System Needs to be Fixed

 The Denver Post reports

More than 2 million qualifying mental-illness records are missing from the NICS index, according to the National Center for State Courts and SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics.

Judges who find a defendant mentally defective under the law are required to add that person's name to the index.

"Part of the reason they don't report is lack of funding, and part is they just don't make this system a priority," said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
This is disgraceful and something should be done.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Execution by Elephant

Execution by elephant was a common method of capital punishment in South and Southeast Asia, and particularly in India. Asian Elephants were used to crush, dismember, or torture captives in public executions. The animals were trained and versatile, both able to kill victims immediately or to torture them slowly over a prolonged period. Employed by royalty, the elephants were used to signify both the ruler’s absolute power and his ability to control wild animals.

Colorado Man Loses Fingers in Shotgun Shell Accident

via Steamboat Today from Outta the Cornfield

A 21-year-old Clark man suffered severe hand injuries Tuesday after the shotgun shell he was taking apart exploded, according to the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.

Keith West told deputies that he was working in his shed in the 56000 block of Lupine Drive off Seedhouse Road when the accident occurred. West reported he was using a Dremel power tool to take apart the shell, which he thought no longer was a live round. The tool hit the round’s primer, igniting the round.
One Fly expressed a nice sentiment, "Hope this guy heals fast and becomes much better for it."

This brings up one of the recurring themes around here.  Do people who have "accidents" learn from their mistakes and become even more careful afterwards.

I would imagine the answer is in some cases, yes, in some cases they learn for a while and then slip back into their improper behavior, whatever it was, and in some cases, no.

That's why I preach the one strike you're out rule.  When it comes to guns and ammo, we cannot take any chances.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Disgraceful Negligence by Carlisle Police Chief Stephen Margeson

Someone stole a loaded gun from a police chief's car in central Pennsylvania. 

Carlisle police Chief Stephen Margeson's .40-caliber Glock was taken from his unmarked police SUV, which was parked in front of his home. Police said it happened between 1 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday. There were no signs of forced entry. Police said it's unclear whether the vehicle was unlocked or someone knew the combination to open the keyless entry door.
Yeah, sure, someone knew the combination. Or, maybe the aliens did it.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Neil Armstrong R.I.P.

Arming the Good Guys is the Answer - Not

New York Times op-ed by Gail Collins

We had a shooting near the Empire State Building. An aggrieved ex-employee of an apparel company killed his former co-worker, and was himself killed by police. Except for the famous-landmark location, it was not actually a very big story. Remember the mass shooting at the lumberyard in North Carolina earlier this year, or the one last October at the California cement plant? No? Neither does anybody else except the grieving families. 

Nine passers-by were also wounded, and it seems almost certain that some or all were accidentally hit by the police. This isn’t surprising; it’s only in movies that people are good shots during a violent encounter. In 2008, Al Baker reported in The Times that the accuracy rate for New York City officers firing in the line of duty was 34 percent. 

And these are people trained for this kind of crisis. The moral is that if a lunatic starts shooting, you will not be made safer if your fellow average citizens are carrying concealed weapons.
The pro-gun crowd will quickly point out how much better they are than the cops at hitting their targets. SOME of them are, for sure, but some cops are well-trained marksmen too.

The average gun owner is not better trained and better equipped to handle an emergency than the average law enforcement officer, in spite of what the tiny fringe element of extremists says.

Good guys carrying guns in public does not make us safer. The proof is in examples like Tucson, where the armed civilians DID NOT STOP IT, and in the most recent Empire State Building incident, in which the shooters made matters worse.  Both of those, interestingly, were not gun-free zones.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.