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:
Jim Cooley carried his assault weapon with a 100-round drum attached to it while accompanied by his wife as they dropped their daughter off, alerting the press later after he was stopped multiple times by authorities.
In an interview with WSB-TV, Cooley explained that he knew it was legal to carry the weapon into the airport as long as he didn’t approach any TSA checkpoints, explaining “You can carry in unsecured areas of the airport. Past TSA, never.”
While in the airport, Cooley was approached by a fire marshal asking him why he was carrying the gun, an Atlanta police officer who asked him if he had a carry permit, and then multiple officers who followed him to his car while taking pictures.
Asked why he carried the weapon, pausing to pose with it for a picture he later posted to his Facebook page, Cooley explained, “It shouldn’t matter what I carry, just that I choose to carry. You never know where something might happen.”
According to FBI agent Britt Johnson, Cooley did not break any laws, but refused to comment on the open carry law that went into effect in July of last year.
Asked by a reporter if there was reasonable to alarm people by lugging the loaded gun around even if it was legal, Cooley replied, “If you don’t exercise your rights, the government doesn’t have any hesitation taking them away.”
Uh, I’d ask if he has any evidence to support his assertion, but he doesn’t appear to be terribly rational. Repeat after me: The government is not trying to ban guns. Once more, for good measure:
The U.S. government is not trying to ban guns. Moreover, there is no evidence to support the assertion that the U.S. government is trying to ban guns. Legislation aimed at curbing gun violence or keeping assault weapons out of the hands of civilians is not an attempt to ban guns.
These gundamentalists are So. Fucking. Irrational.
This guy seems oblivious to how others feel seeing someone toting a gun around. Gun violence is a fact of life here in the United States, and no one knows how someone with a gun will act. There is every reason for people to be suspicious of anyone with a gun, no matter how much that person might say “I’m a good guy”. Moreover, the very presence of a gun means you’re willing to use the thing. That, in itself, is scary. I don’t want to be around guns. Period. I don’t feel safer around them because humans have a knack for using them for all manner of reasons (some of which are detailed in the opening of this post). Far too many gun owners use their deadly weapons irresponsibly, and since I have no way of knowing who is a responsible gun owner prior to them using a weapon, I’d rather they simply not carry their lethal weapons around. Because then I don’t have to question “is this person going open fire on the people around them?” Kthanxbye?
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Landon Duke, 23, said that he and friends were celebrating his graduation from Texas A&M on May 2 when 39-year-old neighbor Ronald McNeil crashed the party.
According to Duke, McNeil and his friends “were really nice at first.” But Duke said that things began to get a little heated after McNeil insisted that partygoers pull for boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was fighting Manny Pacquiao that night.
Later that night, Duke said that some people were playing beer pong in the garage and they got in an argument with one of McNeil’s friends over the rules of the game, which eventually led to punches being thrown.
A police report obtained by The Eagle said that McNeil, who is black, had accused people at the party of using racial slurs and beating up one of his friends. Duke, however, claimed he never heard racial slurs, but he said that he did hear McNeil saying that he was going to get a gun.
“We’re a bunch of college kids. We didn’t think anything was really going to happen. Just to be safe, we closed the garage door anyway,” Duke explained to the paper.
Duke said that he heard the first of 15 gunshots when LaRose went into the backyard to get more beer for the game.
McNeil would later tell investigators that he had only intended to scare his neighbors, and that he had fired the gun by accident. LaRose was pronounced dead later that morning. Two other people were also found shot at the home.
Officers eventually apprehended McNeil. He was charged with murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and deadly conduct. He was being held at the Brazos County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.
A huge part of the problem here is that people are taught by our culture that violence or threats of violence are a means to achieve your goals. McNeil was looking to scare his neighbors. Why? How would that have helped the situation?
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Normally, this series is focused on the many, many irresponsible gun owners in the United States, but we aren’t the only country with citizens who cannot seem to handle firearms responsibly. In a story out of Russia, a woman found a 9 mm gun in her office and decided to take a selfie with it. Unfortunately for her, the gun went off accidentally:
Hindustantimes.com reported that the 21-year-old woman found the 9 mm handgun at her office in Moscow. It was apparently left behind by a security guard.
The woman decided to take a selfie and accidentally pressed the gun’s trigger, according to the report. She ended up shooting herself in the temple at close range.
The woman survived, but was hospitalized in serious condition, according to authorities. The guard reportedly left the gun at work two weeks earlier.
I’m glad she has survived, bc no matter how irresponsible someone is with their gun, they do not deserve to lose their life. Perhaps in the future, she’ll think twice about handling guns or at least make sure she’s trained in their use prior to handling them. I do wonder about the security guard though. Why the hell did he just leave his gun at work? That’s pretty damn irresponsible as well.
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This next story is one of sheer stupidity. It involves a man who shot himself bc he wanted to know what it felt like. First of all, I’m glad he wasn’t curious what it feels like to shoot someone else, bc that could have turned out tragic. Secondly, um…OW! Guns fire projectiles at high speeds. It’s just bizarre to me that someone would want to know what that feels like. But again, at least he did it to himself.
Adam Hirtle, 30, is suspected of prohibited use of weapons, reckless endangerment and child abuse in the shooting. Sgt. James Sokolik, a police spokesman, said Hirtle was served a summons in the case and released.
Officers were called to St. Francis Hospital about 7 p.m. on reports of a man injured in an accidental gun discharge. Hirtle, however, told police the shooting was completely on purpose.
Hirtle told an officer he shot himself in his garage.
“Hirtle stated he took his boot off and shot it, then placed his boot back on his foot and then intentionally shot himself in the foot,” police say. “He did not sustain life-threatening injury nor was anybody else injured.”
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The last entry for today is a story out of Chicago and involves a man who shot his friend over a $100 DJ fee. If that’s how Christopher Coleman treats his friends, I guess he’s doesn’t have a lot of enemies (they’re probably all dead).
Coleman, 20, of the 8500 block of South Morgan Street, was charged with aggravated battery and attempted robbery.
When that didn’t work, he used a female friend to lure the man to the 4800 block of South Drexel Boulevard via an Instagram account, prosecutors said in court this week.
The man showed up to find Coleman pointing a gun at him and demanding his money, the police report states.
The man turned and ran away, and Coleman started chasing him, prosecutors said. When the two of them got to a dead-end alley, Coleman demanded his money and cellphone, according to prosecutors, and the victim dropped to the ground.
Coleman then grabbed his friend by the clothing and lifted him up, prosecutors said. The man managed to get away, and Coleman shot him as he was running away, prosecutors said, striking him in the thigh.
The man was saying “Don’t kill me” as he ran, Coleman told police, according to the police report. After the shooting, Coleman put the gun in a nearby trash bin, then ran and was arrested after nearby police officers heard the shooting and saw the two men running, according to authorities.