Happy Thanksgiving, here’s another incident of gun violence

Image of a gun covered in various firearm statistics.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, which means millions of people will carve turkeys and hams, eat mac n cheese and yams, moan and groan that they ate too much while going back for seconds (or thirds–don’t judge me), and spend entirely too long washing dishes (I think we used damn near every pot and pan in the kitchen).

Unfortunately, while many of us are filling our bellies with lavish Thanksgiving Day dinners, some people will never get to celebrate this holiday again, thanks to a horrific incident of gun violence at the Juice Bowl:

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Happy Thanksgiving, here’s another incident of gun violence
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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 6.27.16

The United States is saturated with guns. We have a population of more than 300 million and there are nearly enough guns in this country for every child, woman, and man. Thankfully out of that 300 million, only a minority own guns (source). Unfortunately, among

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that minority exists a number of people who are irresponsible gun owners. Whether its improperly cleaning a gun, carrying a gun into a bar, shooting someone’s pet out of anger, shooting a spouse because they don’t perform housework, or shooting someone because your religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of clamato juice, many gun owners demonstrate a lack of responsible handling of firearms. Here are five recent examples:

Continue reading “Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 6.27.16”

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 6.27.16

Terrorism in San Bernardino

It hasn’t even been a week.

Five days after a misogynistic, anti-choice terrorist shot and killed 3 people and injured 9 more at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, another mass shooting happened today. In San Bernardino, California. At Inland Regional Center-a center that serves more than 30,000 people with developmental disabilities (as well as their families)-three heavily armed terrorists shot and killed 14 people and injured 18. According to authorities, the gunmen looked to be on a mission.  They came to the center during a banquet on a mission to commit an act of domestic terrorism-one of the deadliest we’ve had in the United States since the Newtown school massacre in 2012 (yes, we have that here in the United States and it’s a significantly greater threat to the citizens of this country than Islamic extremists).

And it has been less than a week. Sigh.

After the initial shooting, the attackers fled, beginning a manhunt that lasted several hours and ending in a firefight with the police. Two of the three suspects were shot and killed. The third suspect is in custody. All of them had assault rifles and handguns and wore ‘assault-style’ clothes. It is too early to know the motives of the terrorists, but I suspect we’ll find out in the days and weeks ahead.

One thing I do know is that incidents like this Just. Keep. Happening. and as of this writing, we’ve had 355 mass shootings this year and it’s only day #336. On average, we’ve had more than one mass shooting per day this year.

Continue reading “Terrorism in San Bernardino”

Terrorism in San Bernardino

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 6.12.15

The United States is saturated with guns. We have a population of more than 300 million and there are nearly enough guns in this country for every child, woman, and man. Thankfully out of that 300 million, only a minority own guns (source). Unfortunately, among that minority exists a number of people who are irresponsible gun owners. Whether its improperly cleaning a gun, carrying a gun into a bar, shooting someone’s pet out of anger, shooting a spouse because they don’t perform housework, or shooting someone because your religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of clamato juice, many gun owners demonstrate a lack of responsible handling of firearms. Here are five recent examples:

Continue reading “Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 6.12.15”

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 6.12.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 5.14.15

The United States is saturated with guns. We have a population of more than 300 million and there are nearly enough guns in this country for every child, woman, and man. Thankfully out of that 300 million, only a minority own guns (source). Unfortunately, among that minority exists a number of people who are irresponsible gun owners. Whether its improperly cleaning a gun, carrying a gun into a bar, shooting someone’s pet out of anger, shooting a spouse because they don’t perform housework, or shooting someone because your religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of clamato juice, many gun owners demonstrate a lack of responsible handling of firearms. Here are five recent examples:


Here is yet another case of a gun owner handling his firearm irresponsibly and causing the death of another person. This time it is 36-year-old Ronnie Howard of Macon, GA. His gun discharged while he was improperly cleaning it, resulting in the death of a 17-month-old baby:

A Macon man who’s in jail following the shooting death Thursday of a 17-month-old baby boy in west Bibb County is now facing 2nd degree murder.

Ronnie Howard, 36, was originally charged with reckless conduct and second degree cruelty to children. The reckless conduct charge was upgraded to murder Friday afternoon in the shooting death of Victor Carroll, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

Howard is the boyfriend of Brooke Carroll, the baby’s mother. Howard was cleaning a gun when it discharged hitting the baby in the face, a sheriff’s office news release states.

The couple drove the child to the Medical Center, Navicent Health where he was later pronounced dead.

Part of gun ownership should be mandatory classes on the proper way to clean a firearm. You’d think this would be common sense, but apparently some people don’t realize you should ensure the gun is unloaded before cleaning it. I’m not a gun owner (I loathe the damn things), and even I know that.

* * * *

The next story also involves a young victim of gun violence (thankfully the child is still alive)-a 2-year-old boy in Arizona who found his father’s loaded gun and accidentally shot himself in the face:

The firearm “was rolled up like a pillow,” in the master bedroom where the child was playing while his grandmother watched television and his aunt washed dishes, according to police.

The boy fired one round that struck him in the face and exited through his head, said Sergeant Shari Howard, a Peoria Police Department spokeswoman.

“All I can say is that he is very lucky to be alive right now,” said Howard, adding that part of the child’s skull was removed to alleviate swelling caused by the bullet.

The toddler was taken by ambulance to a local children’s hospital late on Thursday, near his home west of Phoenix. Detectives said his 7-year-old brother was also inside the home, and that the father was at work.

In a frantic 911 call released by police on Friday, the aunt told an emergency dispatcher she was in the kitchen when the weapon discharged.

“My baby nephew got shot in the face with a gun,” she said.

I’ve heard of (and read) many stories of parents who buy a gun to protect their family. Sadly, so many of them are unaware that the presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of a firearm homicide (and firearm suicide):

Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.

* * * *

In yet another story of a child finding a gun, an abandoned and loaded Glock was found by a youngster in Sen. John Boehner’s Capitol suite bathroom:

A child reportedly found a loaded Glock handgun in the bathroom suite of Republican House Speaker John Boehner in what is just the latest of a string of Capitol security missteps, Roll Call’s Hannah Hess reports.

But this is not an isolated incident. In January, a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left a loaded gun wedged into the seat-cover dispenser in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom. And in April, a janitor found a loaded Glock in plain sight while cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters.

Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, told Roll Call in an email that “[t]he Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters…Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other ‎required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment.”

However, it is impossible to know how often such incidents have occurred, or how many security personnel have been punished for them, since the Capitol Police are not required to disclose such incidents to the public. Also unknown is how much Rep. Boehner or Sen. McConnell knew about these incidents, as spokespeople for both Republican leaders did not comment.

* * * *

Sometimes irresponsible gun owners harm themselves, rather than others. That doesn’t make them any less responsible, as this story out of South Bend, IN makes clear:

Police said an Elkhart man shot himself through the groin while trying to put a handgun in his waistband Tuesday afternoon in South Bend.

The 36-year-old man was visiting a home in the 300 block of Ewing Street about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. As he stood up and tried to put the gun in his waistband, it accidentally discharged, said Capt. Phil Trent, a South Bend police spokesman.

The bullet entered the man’s abdomen, exited through his groin and entered again in the left knee, Trent said. When police arrived, the man was conscious but bleeding heavily. He was taken to an area hospital and underwent surgery.

Trent said carrying a pistol in the waistband without a holster is always a risky move.

“That’s a really good way to lose your gun and have an accidental discharge and shoot yourself,” he said. “We really always recommend using a holster.”

Here is yet another gun owner who does not know how to properly carry a gun (or worse, he doesn’t care to carry his gun properly). I wonder-do prospective gun owners have to take any tests to ensure they have basic gun safety knowledge?

* * * *

In the intro to this post, I mentioned shooting someone bc your religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of clamato juice. You might be thinking I made that one up.  If so, you’d be wrong:

Family and friends of a Hamilton man shot Saturday morning are hoping to raise enough money to replace the dog killed in his arms and to help with upcoming living expenses.

They all know that Joe Lewis may well owe his life to a pit bull he called Jackson.

“Anyone that knew Jackson knew that he was literally Joe’s best friend,” said Lewis’ brother, Mike.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the 29-year-old Joe Lewis had just come home after a night working at the Rainbow Bar. Shortly after he arrived at the apartment house on Hamilton’s Second Street, he picked up his dog and carried it outside.

After having a toe removed, Jackson had a cast on one leg and wasn’t getting around very well on his own.

Earlier that night, Lewis had an odd altercation with his neighbor, Monte Hanson, at the Rainbow Bar. Court records said Hanson ordered a “red beer” and became angry after Lewis used Clamato juice instead of tomato juice in the drink.

Hanson was apparently upset over the change because it was contrary to his religion, Judaism, to drink Clamato juice. Court records said he told a neighbor later that he was going to retaliate and kill Lewis.

Your religion prohibits drinking Clamato juice, but apparently it says nothing about attempted murder. You really ought to reexamine your stupid ass beliefs.

Lewis’ brother said Jackson was still in Joe’s arms when bullets began to fly behind the apartment house.

Jackson was hit in the head by the first shot, Mike Lewis said. If the dog had not been there, the bullet likely would have struck Joe Lewis in the head.

Mike Lewis is certain that Jackson saved his brother’s life.

The second shot hit Joe Lewis in the ribs and exited out his back. Fortunately, it didn’t hit any vital organs.

“He’s doing all right now,” Mike Lewis said. “He’s just in a lot of pain is all. He’s staying strong. He’s out of the hospital.”

Lewis said his brother is really missing his best friend.

“He’s pretty broken up about his dog,” Lewis said. “Anyone who knows him knows he’s not your average animal guy. He takes his animals very, very seriously.”

***

With the help of family and friends, Mike Lewis has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise enough money to buy his brother a new dog and help meet some of the living expenses coming his way.

Joe Lewis cuts wood and tends bar for a living.

Once again, a gun in the hands of an irresponsible individual has brought tragedy to the life of another. Joe Lewis presented no threat to Monte Hanson. He wasn’t endangering the life of anyone. Yet Hanson felt it was within his rights to attempt to end Lewis’ life over religious beliefs. This is an example of one the many problems in the U.S. People feel that others need to respect and honor their religious beliefs. Moreover, many of these people feel that their religious beliefs are more important than the rights of others. While discussions in the media tend to center around marriage equality and the false notion that same-sex marriage affects the religious beliefs of others, this story is a reminder that people use their religion to justify other awful actions. Religious beliefs have been elevated to such an absurd degree that they’ve become more important than actual human persons. When that happens, the result is so often human suffering. I don’t have an issue with people holding beliefs that stem from a religion. I might (and do) think such beliefs are silly and contradict reality, but if you keep those beliefs to yourself, then hey, no harm no foul. But when you try to craft legislation around your beliefs, or you expect others to follow the tenets of your religion, or when you act in some way that harms others and use your religion as justification- then I have a problem.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 5.14.15

The perfect illustration of an irresponsible gun owner

Washington woman says she was ‘well within her rights’ to shoot at her husband for not doing chores

KOMO reported that the husband told 911 dispatchers on Saturday night that his wife, Starlene Roth, had fired a shot at him.

When police contacted the man, he told them that he had recently been discharged from the hospital for hepatitis, and his wife became angry because “he hadn’t been able to do anything around the house.”

According to the man’s story, the wife threw a vase at him on Saturday night, and then pushed over their barbeque as he was cleaning up the glass. When he picked up the barbeque, she pushed it over again, he said.

The man told police that he was inside the home when his wife retrieved a Smith & Wesson 9 MM pistol from the bedroom.

“Get the (expletive) out of the house,” the man recalled Roth saying.

Roth then fired a single shot at her husband, police said.

Police spoke to Roth and she admitted that she “blew up” at her husband, and that her anger was “too far gone to resist” using the gun. She said that she “wanted him to pay.”

Court documents said that Roth “doesn’t think she did anything wrong and she was well within her rights because of how (her husband) was reacting and she was so pissed off.”

This is the perfect example of an irresponsible gun owner. She appears to lack the maturity to handle a deadly weapon responsibly if she thinks it is fine to terrorize her husband for not doing housework. In my opinion, firearms ought to be utilized in a very limited number of situations. In self-defense, obviously. In direct defense of the lives of others (including during wartime). I do not think people should face the prospect of losing their life or incurring serious injury over property, so I’m not a fan of using a gun to protect one’s property. Property can be replaced, but a human life cannot. I also do not think firearms are necessary in today’s world for putting dinner on the table, and I’m opposed to the needless slaughter of animals for sport. Basically, I think guns should only be used to save one’s life or the lives of others. So no, they shouldn’t be used to threaten and intimidate one’s spouse bc they didn’t do housework.

This story also highlights another problem in the U.S.-the tendency of many to resort to violence as a means of conflict resolution (which is itself part of the larger problem of USAmerica’s culture of violence). Personally, I deplore violence and I would like to see a significant reduction in all forms of violence across the world (I don’t believe violence will ever be eliminated, sadly). This is because I value my life and wish it to continue. Sounds selfish I know, but bear with me. In the wake of World War II, a set of universal human rights was codified by the United Nations. Among those rights is the right to life:

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

For this right to have any meaning, it must apply to all human beings (though ‘human beings‘ implies all biological humans, it likely refers to all autonomous human persons, rather than say, fetuses). If only some humans enjoy this right, then it either isn’t universal, or some people aren’t humans (and we know what happens when people aren’t considered human beings).  So it has to be all or nothing. I value my life, and want to continue having the right to life. To continue enjoying this right, I must support the right to life for all other human beings (and I do). Given the life-threatening nature of violence against humans, it stands to reason that I should oppose violence-and I do (with the understanding that there are circumstances where the use of violence is justified).

Obviously, Starlene Roth doesn’t share my views on violence (or my respect for the lives of others). Her actions point to an inability on her part to resolve a conflict without the use of violence. She has also demonstrated that she cannot wield a firearm responsibly. I think she should be prohibited from owning or possessing a gun until she develops sufficient skill at non-violent conflict resolution, takes anger management classes, and is taught the appropriate use of a firearm. And all of that after she is released from jail.

The perfect illustration of an irresponsible gun owner

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 4.22.15

Dear gun owners,

Firearms should not be “played with”. They aren’t LEGOS. They aren’t Transformers. They are deadly weapons designed for death and destruction. If 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato had treated his gun as the deadly weapon it is, rather than playing with it like a toy, his 3-year-old daughter would likely still be alive:

According to an arrest affidavit, a witness told police that the young girl’s father, 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato, was “playing with a gun” when he shot the young girl.

The apparent accidental shooting took place at a home in the 3600 block of Del Mar Court just before 12:20 p.m. The girl, identified as Cessa Joy Salvato, was rushed to Metroplex Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

According to the arrest affidavit, Salvato told police he checked the chamber of his gun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and didn’t see a round in the chamber.

On Sunday, Salvato was arrested and arraigned on a second-degree felony charge of manslaughter in connection with the shooting. He is in custody in Bell County Jail on $1 million bond.

Cessa Joy Salvato’s death marks the sixth homicide death in Killeen for 2015, according to previous Herald reports. All six of those deaths involved firearms.

It sickens me that so many people fight against LGBT equality in this country, while ignoring the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in our culture. Marriage equality, LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances, adoption rights for LGBT people…none of these things harms anyone. Yet so many politicians and civilians fight tooth and nail against efforts to advance the rights of LGBT people. But an issue where people actually do suffer? An issue that sees thousands of citizens injured or killed every year? Why aren’t these politicians and civilians fighting against gun violence?

* * * *

Police: Man shoots self in leg at Bunnell bar

The victim, 47-year-old William Petrofsky, drove himself to Florida Hospital Flagler prior to officers’ arrival to be treated for his gunshot wound, which reportedly grazed the front of his left thigh and left a 15-centimeter graze mark. The injuries required the man to receive stitches before being discharged from the hospital early the next morning.

The victim told police he was walking out of the night club into the parking lot when he reached into his pocket for his keys and his handgun discharged inadvertently. Reports indicate authorities do not plan to file charges against the man, citing the fact that no one was injured and no property damaged during the shooting. Police recovered a heavily damaged slug at the scene. Bunnell police officials said Tuesday, however, that the investigation remains ongoing and charges are pending in the case.

In case you’re wondering what makes this story an example of irresponsible gun ownership-

Petrofsky reportedly had a license to carry a concealed weapon, investigators noted. Florida state law, nevertheless, precludes even concealed carriers from toting their firearms when they are under the influence or when they are on the premises of an establishment that serves and sells alcoholic beverages.

No one should be toting a gun into a bar. But this is our gun culture at work.

* * * *

Police: Man accidentally shoots himself after smoking marijuana, drinking

The 29-year-old man called 911 at about 9 p.m. from his house in the 1600 block of South Edgemoor, Lt. James Espinoza said. The bullet struck the man’s left leg just above his knee and broke his femur.

The victim admitted to police he had been drinking and smoking marijuana before he decided to clean his gun, Espinoza said. Officers found a marijuana pipe at the man’s house, supporting his account of events.

A police document indicated the man shot himself with a 10mm Smith & Wesson. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment.

“I want to emphasize the dangers of firearms, even when cleaning them,” Espinoza said.

Owners should make sure the weapons are unloaded before cleaning them, he said.

A responsible gun owner should know that. They should also know that wielding a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance is not a good idea.

* * * *

Police: Man shoots, kills neighbor’s cat over fear of fleas

According to the Gwinnett Police incident report, Larry Jefferson Rooks admitted to shooting the cat with his .22 rifle when he saw the animal come onto his property on Spring Street between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. April 11.

“The suspect stated he shot at the cat because it was coming to his property to pass fleas to his dog,” the incident report stated.

The cat was named Bellyrub, according to a WSB-TV report, which said the pet was owned by sisters, who keep several pets at their Williams Street residence. One of the sisters, Marie Nichols, told Channel 2, “It knocked me off my rocker, ya’ll. I could understand if it was rabid or something. To hurt an innocent cat, there’s no excuse for it.”

Rooks, 74, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. He was released April 12 on a $2,400 bond, according to Gwinnett County Jail records.

* * * *

Macon woman accidentally shoots man in knee

According to witness statements, Matthew Wesley Robert Harvey, 26, and his female friend, Jordan Lynch, 30, were at a residence preparing to leave for the evening.

Lynch was cleaning out her purse and when she removed her handgun, she accidentally shot Harvey in the knee, a sheriff’s office news release states.

Lynch drove Jordan to a gas station on Sardis Church Road where they met an ambulance, the news release states.

You’d think a responsible gun owner would take great pains to handle their weapon with care.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 4.22.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 4.6.15

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees U.S. citizens the right to bear arms. Unfortunately, many gun owners in this country are not responsible and this is demonstrated on a frighteningly regular basis. Here are 8 tales of irresponsible gun owners who should never be allowed to own or wield a firearm again (and really should not have been allowed to have one to begin with):

Fresno, CA man opens fire on family of four

Visalia police arrested John Litchfield outside a home in the area of Feemster Avenue and Dollner Street around 7 p.m. Saturday. They say he got angry after he was nearly involved in a crash with a car carrying two adults and their two children.

The 53-year-old is accused of shooting one round at the victims as they drove away. No one was hurt, and officers did not find any damage from the gunfire.

Litchfield was booked into jail on several charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment.

* * * *

Charleston, S.C. man shoots off own finger

According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, a 56-year-old man was handling a weapon in his garage when the gun accidentally went off blowing off one of his fingers.

Officials with the Sheriff’s office said the self-inflicted shooting happened around 8 p.m., and that the man was unaware that the weapon was loaded.

The man was later taken to the hospital to treat his wound.

* * * *

Man shoots self in hand during church service

The man was sitting in an evening service at a church in Altoona, Pa., when he stood up. Worshippers heard a gunshot, and witness Jason Wagler said he saw a man pass a handgun to another man and try to act like everything was fine, WTAE reported. Wagler managed to snap several photos of the weapon to back up his account, the station said.

Police later determined that a man was legally carrying the handgun in his pocket with the safety off. As he stood up, the trigger became tangled in his pants, firing the weapon.

The man was briefly hospitalized with a hand injury, police said. His name was not released.

* * * *

Man shoots and kills woman, injures her 12-year-old son after they laughed at him

The shooting Wednesday occurred in front of a Hawthorne police cruiser, prompting officers to shoot the gunman.

The gunman and the woman, 36-year-old Denise Berry, were killed and the boy was wounded.

The Los Angeles Times reports Friday ( http://lat.ms/1BYiuBl ) that police pieced together the events based on statements by the boy, who was hospitalized in stable condition.

The shooter has been identified as 38-year-old Robert Washington.

Two men in the Cadillac, ages 24 and 19, were arrested. It’s unclear what charges, if any, they may face.

* * * *

Georgia man shoots 9-year-old girl while assembling gun

Tyler Lewis, 25, was taken into custody Wednesday and is being held in the Barrow County Detention Center.

The shooting happened Monday at a house on Highway 82. Investigators said Lewis shares the home with his girlfriend and her three children.

Barrow County Sheriff’s Capt. Matt Guthas said Lewis was trying to determine how quickly he could take apart and reassemble his loaded 9mm handgun. He asked his girlfriend’s children to time him. At one point, Lewis pulled the gun’s trigger. A bullet hit the 9-year-old girl, who was sitting next to him.

The victim, whose name was not released, was rushed to an Atlanta-area hospital. She has undergone several surgeries and remains in critical condition.

* * * *

California man shoots, kills own brother

Brandon James Van Heyningen, 44, has been booked on suspicion of murder, said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau.

Van Heyningen is accused of killing his brother, Richard Van Heyningen, after a Tuesday morning argument near the Lakewood home where the brothers grew up. The shooting happened about 9:40 a.m. just east of the intersection of Hardwick Street and Woodruff Avenue. Their childhood home is on nearby Fanwood Avenue.

The immediate circumstances of the shooting, according to Corina and sheriff’s officials, involved an argument between the two brothers that led to one brother chasing the other.

Richard Van Heyningen, 47, was riding a bicycle on Hardwick street while being followed by Brandon Van Heyningen, who was driving a pickup truck. The truck crashed into the bicycle and the impact forced Richard to fall into the street. Witnesses told investigators that Richard Van Heyningen managed to get up, walk to the driver’s side of the truck and argue with his younger brother.

Brandon Van Heyningen then stepped out of the truck and shot his brother with a handgun, according to the sheriff’s department. Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene of the shooting shortly after the violence took place and arrested Brandon Van Heyningen without further incident.

Richard Van Heyningen died at the scene of the shooting.

Homicide detectives on Tuesday were interviewing witnesses and family members in an attempt to determine a motive for the shooting. Additional details on the case were not being released Wednesday, Corina said.

Family members, however, said Wednesday that there had been long-running problems between the brothers.

Shannon Van Heyningen, 46, of Lakewood, said she is the sister of both brothers and claimed that Brandon Van Heyningen had been afflicted by feelings of jealousy and rage toward his older brother.

* * * *

Texas man opens fire in nightclub after losing a game of pool

Houston Police arrived at club V.I.P. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard near Beekman around 3:00 a.m.

They found a man shot in the chest and a woman shot in the leg.

Apparently, the man was gambling on a game of pool with another man, the suspect. When the suspect lost the game, he demanded his money back which led to an argument between the two.

The suspect then pulled out a pistol and open fire inside the club. The male victim was shot first and the woman was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was also hit.

The suspect fired more shots and fled the scene. His whereabouts are unknown at this time.

* * * *

Drunk Georgia man shoots and kills own dog

Patrick Eamon Kenny, of Smyrna, was drunk when he shot the dog early Saturday with his Glock 19 9mm semiautomatic pistol, his arrest warrant states.

Smyrna police were called to the home, where Kenny didn’t hide the fact that he’d killed his pet, according to the warrant. No information was released on the dog’s age or breed.

“Said accused also did make a spontaneous utterance of, ‘I just shot my dog’ while being detained by officers,” the warrant states.

Kenny was also forthcoming about having marijuana, police said.

“The said accused did make a spontaneous utterance informing officers there was marijuana in the residence,” the warrant states. “After said accused was read his Miranda warnings, said accused was questioned about the marijuana. Said accused gave consent for a search of both the residence and specifically said accused’s bedroom.”

In the bedroom, officers located 13.5 grams of marijuana, police said.

Kenny was arrested by Smyrna police and later booked into the Cobb County jail, records showed. He was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and discharge of a weapon while under the influence.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 4.6.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 3.25.15

On a regular basis, individuals across the U.S. demonstrate that they are not responsible gun owners. Oh, they may have passed a background check and obtained a license and/or a permit, but have they demonstrated-prior to owning a gun-that they aren’t an aggressive individual with a hair-trigger temper? Have they shown knowledge of how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence? Probably not, because there are no such requirements for owning a gun or obtaining a license. Which is a shame because there are many people who should never be allowed to own a gun. People like this guy, who (in January 2014) threatened a pizza delivery driver because he was upset at the service and the long wait time for his order:

Police arrested an Anchorage man after he threatened a pizza delivery driver with a gun early Thursday morning in the Riviera Terrace Mobile Home Park, according to Anchorage police.

The driver was delivering pizza to a home at the 3300 block of Boniface Parkway around 6 a.m. where a few occupants, including Keng Lor, 23, were waiting inside, said Jennifer Castro, police spokeswoman.

“It was reported to us that they were upset with the service and how long the delivery was taking,” Castro said.

Lor threatened the driver with a gun when he reached the door, Castro said. The driver was able to get away without injury, she said.

The driver called police dispatch around 6:15 a.m., Castro said. Police arrested Lor and took him to Anchorage Jail. He faces two third-degree assault charges and one count of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree.

Or this guy, who threatened an 18-year-old over a parking spot in September 2014:

Madison police were sent to the area of Atwood Avenue and Winnebago Street around 4:24 p.m. for a report of a man threatening another man with a gun, according to a release.

The 18-year-old victim told police he confronted Joseph P. Piscitello, 38, of Madison, because his car was parked in an illegal parking spot, police said. Piscitello took offense, so he allegedly took a loaded handgun from his truck and threatened the 18-year-old with it.

Piscitello left the area, but then decided to come back, according to the release. As he was returning to the scene, he hit an uninvolved vehicle, but did not injure the driver.

Police found the loaded gun in the trunk of Piscitello’s vehicle.

Piscitello was arrested on tentative charges of disorderly conduct while armed, and was also cited for a traffic violation due to the crash.

Or this guy, who shot a 15-year-old (in January 2015) because the teen threw snowballs at his car:

A central Pennsylvania man is under arrest after police say he brought a gun to a snowball fight.

York police say Jerquan Shaquille Dickson shot a 15-year-old boy in the right arm and left thigh Saturday after the teenager allegedly threw snowballs at his car.

The 15-year-old was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Dickson is charged with felony aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. The 22-year-old is free on $150,000 bail. Information on his lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

Or this guy (a shoe-in for Father of the Year) who was arrested Monday for shooting his son in the ass during a fight over orange juice:

Eldridge Dukes, 58, faces charges of attempted manslaughter and illegal use of a weapon, according to police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The incident occurred early Sunday after the father and son began arguing about the lack of orange juice at their home, according to Baton Rouge police spokesman Corporal Don Coppola.

He said the son damaged the home and broke a porcelain vase.

Arming himself with a handgun, the father chased his son out the front door. He fired several shots, striking the teenager once in his buttocks, Coppola said.

The son was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Or this Harris County, TX resident who shot a woman in the head after she honked at him on the freeway:

Authorities are searching for a man in a white SUV who allegedly shot a woman on a Texas freeway Friday after she honked at him, reports CBS affiliate KHOU.

A spokesman for the Harris County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office said the shooting happened shortly after 7 a.m. on the North Freeway near W. Richey Road in Harris County.

The victim, a 28-year-old female, reportedly told officers she honked at a white SUV while trying to get on the freeway to go to work. She and the SUV’s driver yelled at each other before the SUV cut her off and the driver opened fire, according to the station.

A bullet reportedly struck the woman in the back of her neck. Some of the bullet fragments went into her head as well, authorities said, according to the station.

The SUV driver reportedly fled the scene as the victim called 911.

If you think men are the only ones who use firearms recklessly, think again. Women do it too. Take this woman for instance:

Mobile police received a phone call at about 9:30 a.m. reporting that a person had been shot. The victim said his great aunt, Ira Belle Peterson, shot him once in the foot during an argument about money, according to Mobile Police Department spokesman Terence Perkins.

Perkins said the woman and her grand nephew lived together. Peterson had accused the boy of stealing $20 from her and that’s when she decided to shoot him in the foot.

Here’s a woman so annoyed at the amount of television her children watch that she took her frustrations out on the television:

Police said 40-year-old Jennifer Ullery told them she was upset by how much TV her three kids – ages 15, 11, and 6 – had been watching and took out her frustration by firing multiple rounds at the screen.

“A music video by Primus set Mom off and she opened fire,” said Andrews Doles, deputy chief of Algonquin police. “Mom didn’t say anything, she just walked into the room and started shooting the TV.”

The children were sitting on a couch in front of the TV when their mother opened fire with a Ruger .22 long rifle, police said.

In another example of irresponsible use of a firearm, a Tennessee woman was arrested last year for going on a shooting spree in a suburban Chattanooga neighborhood:

A middle-aged Tennessee woman is under arrest after she drove around a suburban Chattanooga neighborhood, inexplicably shooting at people and vehicles. Julia Shields, 45, has been arrested and faces multiple felony charges, after she terrorized her neighborhood on Friday. Shields faces three counts of attempted murder and seven counts of aggravated assault. She also faces charges for reckless endangerment, evading arrest, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The woman fired shots randomly at vehicles and continued to aim her gun at vehicles even while she was being chased by police. She also pointed her firearm at police officers, but she was eventually arrested and taken alive.

Shields resides in the Hixson neighborhood in the North part of Chattanooga. The shootings took place in the same area. Hixson is a predominately white, upper middle-class neighborhood, where the household median income is well above the state average.

I doubt she’d be alive if she were a black woman.

Next up is a story that makes me want to facepalm and headdesk simultaneously. Back in early 2014, a woman in Grand Rapids, MI fired a gun in the drive through window at McDonald’s because her order was wrong:

Shaneka Monique Torres, 29, was arraigned in Grand Rapids District Court Monday afternoon on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, discharge of a firearm in or at a building and felony firearms.

Torres and another woman placed an order at the drive-thru window at the business located near 28th Street and Madison Avenue SE on Sunday. The workers got the order wrong, police said, and the customers were told their next meal would be free.

So the women returned to the restaurant’s drive-thru window around 3 a.m. Monday and ordered again. Torres was the passenger in the vehicle, and was flirting with the employee in the first drive-thru window. police said. She left that person her phone number in hopes he would call her later.

Torres and the other woman drove up to the second drive-thru window to get their order, which was wrong, police said.

Torres pulled out a gun, reached across the driver and fired one shot through the closed car window and drive-thru window, police told 24 Hour News 8.

The bullet went through the other side of the building, but did not hit anybody. Workers didn’t realize what had happened. They thought a coffee pot had exploded.

The customers drove away and went to Torres’ house, where she was dropped off.

Police tracked down the shooter at her home because she left her cellphone number with the drive-thru worker.

Police arrested Torres at her home.

Rounding out this collection of stories involving reckless gun owners is a tale from July 2014. I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but apparently a 58-year-old woman shot her lover because he didn’t ejaculate enough:

Sadie Bell was convicted in April of assault with intent to do great bodily harm for shooting her boyfriend, Edward Lee, in the stomach in January of 2013 — but she’s now been granted bond pending an appeal.

According to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton, Bell admitted she had sex with Lee at her apartment, then shot him over his poor performance. She also accused Lee of cheating.

“The underlying facts in this are a little bizarre,” Walton told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil, “in that the defendant in this case was having a 15 year affair with the victim, Mr. Lee.

“She was upset with him,” Walton said, “after a sexual act that she felt he wasn’t performing adequately and accused him then of having an affair, and then took out a gun and shot him.”

Walton said Bell made a “very graphic”, detailed statement to police explaining why she shot her lover.

“She stated that she knew he was having an affair because he wasn’t producing enough ejaculate,” Walton explained. “She also said to the police some very graphic things about how she expected him to perform, she was a cheap date, she liked sex, she expected him to be able to do what he’s promised; and she said, in essence, to quote her, she was pissed off, so she shot him.”

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 3.25.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 3.10.15

Thanks to family’s recklessness and disregard for proper gun safety, a 5-year-old boy shot his 6-year-old brother 

A 5-year-old boy shot and critically injured his 6-year-old brother at their home in east Harris County, deputies said Monday.

Children should never have access to firearms. They lack the maturity and experience to handle them. This means that parents who own guns need to be extra, extra vigilant in storing their weapons.

Relatives say the young brothers loved to play cops and robbers.

I don’t have a problem with children playing games. I do have a problem with a society that encourages kids to view firearms as playthings.

“He may have picked up the wrong weapon thinking that it was a toy,” said Thomas Gray, an uncle. “But this weapon was not a toy and it was a real gun and he actually pointed it at my other nephew and fired it.”

Here’s a million dollar question: why was a loaded gun lying around a household with children?

The shooting was reported around 10:30 a.m. Monday in the 16800 block of Faring Road.

The little boy named Hayden was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

“He was transported and immediately taken into surgery,” said Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “What I can tell you is he’s critical but stable and was conscious as he went into surgery.”

I dearly hope he recovers swiftly. No one, especially a child, should be forced to pay the price for the recklessness of others.

Deputies said the children were playing with an unsecured gun in a front bedroom when it went off. Their mother and two younger sisters, ages 2 and 3, were home at the time, but there were no other injuries.

There was a toy gun on the family’s front lawn.

The uncle said the real guns are usually kept in a safe place.

“We have a safe in here,” Gray said. “So I have no idea if it was in the safe or we were walking around with it and set it down somewhere. I have no idea.”

That last sentence is ridiculous. The loaded gun clearly was NOT in the safe, since it was used by a 5-year-old. Guns don’t just end up on coffee tables on their own. For that, you need an adult with a disregard for the safety of others.

Unfortunately, this is the third shooting involving children in the Houston area since last Friday. On Sunday morning, a 4-year-old boy found a loaded gun in the home and shot himself. He died shortly thereafter.

More than a dozen police and emergency vehicles crowded the small street after a call of a shooting involving a child.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Detectives say that it appears that a 4-year-old boy got his hands on a loaded gun in the home and somehow shot himself.

The boy was not breathing when EMS crews arrived and they could not revive him.

Family members later identified the young victim as Codrick McCall Jr.

For hours, Codrick’s parents were kept outside the house in the back of separate constable’s vehicles.

Neither of them were at the scene at the time of the incident but at least three other people were at the scene Sunday morning. Two of them were brought outside the house with brown paper bags covering their hands until they could be tested to make sure they did not have gunshot residue on them.

Investigators would not comment on where the gun may have come from or if anyone else was with the boy when he found the gun.

The grief of a mother losing a child is inexplicable, but that grief extends when the child is lost in the care of another.

Now there are multiple families devastated by the combination of a 4-year-old boy and a loaded gun.

Pink Townsend lives a few doors down, “Me and my wife we was just coming from the store. We did not know what was going on,” he said, but like everyone in this small neighborhood they assumed the worst.

It would be worse than they imagined, “It is a tragedy is what happened,” Townsend said.

Within minutes of the incident the streets and sidewalks filled with neighbors and family of the victim, including his mother and father.

The house is occupied by a long-time friend of the young victim’s mother where the boy was left overnight while his mother celebrated her birthday.

The poor parents. My heart aches for them and the rest of their family.

Those sympathies are extended to the family of a 3-year-old boy who shot and killed himself last Friday:

It happened just after 12:30 p.m. in the 7400 block of Betanna, according to the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office.

The child was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Life Flight, but doctors couldn’t save him.

Investigators say the boy found the gun in a purse up on a shelf.

“I’m thinking how horrible it is for a child that young to have access to a gun,” said Sonora Storm, a neighbor. “You don’t want to blame the parents, by any means, but if I had a 3 year old child in the house, there wouldn’t be a gun.”

There’s no word on whether any charges will be filed in the case.

CPS said it’s investigating the case, though an official has not yet spoken to the family. Estella Olguin with CPS said they’re aware that a 1-year-old and 7-year-old also live in the home.

This is a heartrending tragedy. One that is compounded by the fact that the parents do bear some responsibility. They chose to keep a deadly and loaded weapon in their home in an unsecured location. That’s not being a responsible gun owner.

* * * *

I bet he thinks he’s a responsible gun owner

Police spotted the man, who they recognized from previous encounters, walking about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday near Lamphere High School in Madison Heights.

Officers called administrators when the man approached school property, and they locked down the school for nearly an hour.

Police said they received “about a million calls” about the man, who lives near the school and was carrying a rifle and holstered pistol.

“We had a citizen exercise his right to open carry, and he chose to exercise that right near the high school,” said Officer Carey Spangler.

“We’ve dealt with this individual in the past,” Spangler added. “We know of him to exercise his right to open carry.”

Police did not identify the man, who was not arrested, charged, or injured in the encounter – which he recorded on video and posted online.

“While out on an open carry walk, I was followed by the Madison Heights police department,” said the man, who calls himself Nunya Beeswax online. “They followed me from a distance, which was troubling, because they could clearly see that no laws were being broken. After initially declining to speak with the police, I decided to approach them and ask why they were essentially stalking a law abiding citizen. I did not appreciate the fact that one of these trigger happy morons placed his hand on his pistol when he approached me.”

The man approaches officers and asks why they’re following him, and he tells police he won’t answer any of their questions.

He asks one of the officers to remove his hand from his holstered weapon and demands to know whether the officer will shoot him.

“I’m talking now,” the man says, interrupting one of the officers. “That shiny little badge he has on his chest doesn’t give him any more rights than I have. Actually, you all work for me and the taxpayers, right?”

“You come over here with your hand on your gun, that’s reason for me to think that you feel ill will towards me,” the man continues. “If I were to do the same thing, you’d probably pull your gun out and point it at me, am I right? I’m talking to you, tough guy.”

The man continues taunting the police as other officers arrive and get out of their cruisers, asking if they saved anyone recently or just wrote tickets.

An officer tells him he is on school property, and that administrators want him to leave, but the man asks whether or not the school is funded by taxpayers.

The man continues arguing with police, who finally leave as the gun owner walks away from the school muttering complaints.

This guy is not a responsible gun owner. He should not be allowed to own any firearms.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 3.10.15