This raises the obvious concern about people who know next to nothing about guns buying them and going on their merry way with no training or qualifications other than not being a felon, domestic abuser, adjudicated mentally ill or a drug addict. Anyone else- step right up and buy your guns. What if the bullet had ended up somewhere else, say, in the body of an innocent person who happened by as the gun discharged? Guns are dangerous. They should be treated as such. People who buy them should be trained in how to use them. Perhaps some sort of test of ability to operate a dangerous weapon should be added to the purchase of the gun. Basic competency, both of the person purchasing, and how to shoot a dangerous weapon, should be requirements. But they aren't of course. The gun lobby wants anyone to have any kind of gun they want. The gun industry wants to sell guns to as many people as they can. Consequences and accountability aren't part of the plan when making money is the bottom line. I digress. Let's get to the second incident of this post:A Bend man who bought a handgun at Fred Meyer Tuesday morning went back inside just minutes later -- not to return it or ask a question, but to seek medical help, having shot himself in the hand while loading it, police said.Officers say the man, in his late 20s, went back into the store just before noon and told employees he'd just shot himself.They said he had just bought the .22 Magnum Derringer and was in his pickup, loading it when it went off. The round went through his left hand and into the truck's door, officers said.Police said no one was around the truck when it happened, and it's unlikely any charges will be filed. He was taken to the hospital to be checked out, but officers said the injury did not appear to be serious.
A Pennsylvania father shot his 7 year old son while in the parking lot of a gun store, thinking the chamber was empty:
I would say that last question is the question of the day. Is there negligence or recklessness here? You decide. Whenever someone is shot accidentally in this manner, there is recklessness, carelessness, stupidity and danger involved. And a little boy is dead as a result. Tragic, senseless and avoidable.A seven-year-old boy was shot to death when his father’s handgun went off in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store. The boy, Craig Loughrey, was settling into his safety seat in the back of his father’s car when the gun accidentally went off and pierced his chest, reports the Associated Press. The boy died at the scene. Joseph Loughrey, 44, had gone to the gun store to sell a rifle and his 9mm handgun but the owner wasn’t interested, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Although he had unloaded the gun at home, Loughrey failed to realize there was still a bullet in the chamber.Police are describing the case as an accident and say it’s unlikely there will be charges, although that’s up to the district attorney. “It’s obviously negligent and reckless to some degree,” a law enforcement official said. “It’s obviously in that gray area, where it’s a true accident. But is there negligence or recklessness with him not clearing the chamber?”
And the last one, just for this post of course because there will be many many more, is the sad story of a Minnesota man who accidentally shot his granddaughter when he thought she was someone trying to break in to his house:
Having a gun around in the home makes it much more likely that it will be used against you or someone you love. I call this dangerous and stupid. Do some gun owners just shoot first and ask questions later in their paranoia and fear? I added this incident to my recent post about Minnesota gun owners going "looney". I wanted to highlight it again as another example of reckless, careless, and stupid behavior by law abiding gun owners. The gun culture that promotes that everybody have guns for self protection seems to be responsible for too many senseless shootings. For when the NRA and its' minions have so many people convinced that they must have a gun at all times, it leads to far too many accidental shootings, intentional homicides and gun suicides. You can read more about careless behavior with guns leading to accidental and purposeful shootings at the Kid Shootings and Ohh Shoot blogs. When 32 Americans a day are murdered by guns, we have a problem. When 80 Americans a day are killed by bullets due to gun homicides, suicides and accidents, we have a problem. What are we going to do about the gun violence?A 61-year-old Rochester man shot his granddaughter at the patio door of his home late Monday night, telling police he had armed himself with a pistol to investigate a suspected intruder, police said.Authorities are still investigating the incident involving the 16-year-old girl, who lives at the house with her grandparents. Shot in the upper torso, she was taken to the hospital in critical condition but was expected to survive, Police Capt. Brian Winters said.When the couple went to bed Monday night, the girl was at home, Winters said. When they woke to a noise outside around 11 p.m., the man got a 9 mm pistol and went to investigate while the grandmother called police.The man saw a figure at the patio door and fired two rounds, striking his granddaughter once, Winters said. He declined to give the family's name.
Our elected leaders should be asked to answer this question and should be ready and willing to address this national public health and safety problem. Instead, some of them throw up the second amendment as a barrier to any discussion as happened last night when CNN's Piers Morgan asked three Senators about the need for gun control. This morning, Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign commented on the latest mass shooting in Oregon and on holding elected leaders accountable for their own statements about guns:
So, Senator Graham told Piers Morgan last night that he has 8 guns and uses them for hunting. He doesn't want any gun control laws because it would infringe on his second amendment rights and his ability to use his guns, he said in the clip above (taken from his appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan show). What about Graham's love of guns should stop the country from having a serious debate about our gun culture and our gun laws? That is just an excuse to not have the discussion. For if we do, we will have to talk about the daily carnage in our communities. We will have to admit that there are too many senseless shootings and way too many victims. That is uncomfortable to talk about. Further, we will have to discuss the fact that the NRA has had a strangle hold on our nation's politicians for far too long and that might change if we dare to have the conversation we must have. It should also be embarrassing for those politicians who have fallen under the spell of the NRA and have failed to act. If the NRA loses its' power, something will change in our country for the better. Common sense might break out. We might just prevent senseless shootings. What we won't do is take away any one's second amendment rights or their guns. That excuse is pale, false, flimsy and disingenuous. It's also dangerous and stupid.
It's past time to act. The NRA would love to have a national black out about guns and gun violence after heinous shootings like the Oregon shopping mall shooting. That would make it permanent which is exactly what the NRA wants. If we wait until 24 yours after a mass shooting or high profile shooting to talk about what we should do about gun violence, we will have to wait until the cows come home. It's shameful and inexcusable that we are not having a national discussion about senseless gun deaths. We are better than this as a country.