Irresponsible gun owners of America 12.12.15

For many people, discussions of gun violence in the United States bring to mind the recent terrorist attacks in Colorado Springs or San Bernardino.  Incidents of deadly gun violence perpetrated by radicalized extremists who, acting upon their far-right ideologies, seek to instill terror in communities. For all that these incidents are horrific tragedies, they are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the off-the-charts gun violence that continues to grip the United States. On a smaller scale, one that doesn’t typically capture the attention of the national media, there are innumerable examples of gun violence that occur on a very regular basis. Many of these acts are carried out by individuals experiencing emotional highs who possess poor impulse control and/or godawful anger management skills. Some of these examples are carried out by innocents who have unfortunately gained access to firearms that were incorrectly stored by their owners. Some are accidental discharges resulting from the improper handling of a firearm while other tragedies are the result of the use of a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. These examples do not cover all instances of gun violence, but they do highlight a significant problem of our gun culture–people using guns under the wrong conditions for the wrong reasons. In other words…irresponsible gun owners.

Here are five examples:

 Neighbor shot man over parking spot

According to information released by the San Antonio Police Department, 44-year-old Manuel Lopez parked in front of his neighbor’s home on Elvira Street on Sunday afternoon.

That’s when investigators say 74-year-old Franklin Martinez came out of his home and began yelling at Lopez about where he had parked.

When Lopez said he would not move his car, police say Martinez shot Lopez in the head.

Lopez was taken to University Hospital and listed in critical condition. He is expected to survive his injuries.

Martinez drove off, but was caught in Leon Valley. He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Needless to say, this is not a situation in which a gun should have been used. While I can understand some degree of frustration on the part of Martinez, I cannot comprehend why he decided shooting Lopez was the best way to handle the situation.  As I’ve seen many, many times, the inability of people to resolve conflicts without violence is a key component of both our gun culture and the culture of toxic masculinity. If, like Martinez, an individual cannot resolve a disagreement without resorting to violence, the last thing they need is immediate access to a firearm. Parking in the wrong spot should not be an infraction one gets beaten over, let alone shot.

Update:  Manuel Lopez died yesterday after being removed from life support.


Remember the woman who opened fire on a pair of shoplifters at Home Dept? She complained about her sentencing-18 months of probation and revocation of her concealed carry permit until 2023-saying that she was only trying to stop the thieves. Apparently, in the world she lives in, it is A-OK for a gun-toting civilian to intervene in a situation that is best handled by professional law enforcement officials rather than vigilantes:

The 46-year-old Duva-Rodriguez said she opened fire on the getaway car in a Home Depot parking lot in Auburn Hills after she heard a scream and feared the incident was worse than a theft.

“I made a decision in a split second,” she told the sentencing judge. “Maybe it was not the right one, but I was trying to help.”

If you were trained and licensed as a police officer, you’d know how to handle a situation like this. Instead, you are a trigger happy gundamentalist with a huge ego.

Neither shoplifting suspect was wounded, although a gunshot flattened one of their tires, and both men were later arrested.

Rochester Hills District Court Judge Julie Nicholson said she did not believe Duva-Rodriguez had malicious intent when she fired on the suspects, but the judge said she should have more carefully considered how dangerous her actions were.

A defense attorney said Duva-Rodriguez was a “sharpshooter,” and he said society needs more people like her.

Prosecutors said they were satisfied that Duva-Rodriguez had lost access to guns and ammunition, and they hoped the case would serve as a reminder to other gun owners on the dangers of vigilantism.

“Hopefully someone has sat down with her and talked with her about what responsible gun ownership is all about,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.

I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

Duva-Rodriguez said she had learned a lesson from the incident.

“I tried to help, and I learned my lesson that I will never help anybody again,” she said after her sentencing.

If this were a pass/fail life-lesson test, you’d fail, bc that shouldn’t be the lesson you take away from this. You should be thinking “I am not trained for this type of situation and my type of “help” could have hurt or killed someone. I should not use my gun in this type of scenario again.”


Kansas cops’ 3-year-old son shoots and kills himself with gun found in apartment

Officials said the child, Kaden Nagel, found the .40-caliber Glock handgun inside the deputy’s Hutchinson apartment at 8:15 a.m. His father, Deputy Andrew Nagel, was asleep at the time before being woken up by a gunshot.

Nagel administered first aid to his son upon hearing the shot, but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the Hutchinson News, the gun did not belong to the deputy, but rather to a friend who did not know it was in the apartment. It is unclear whether the friend is Andrew Nagel’s roommate.

From the above, it doesn’t seem like the father was at fault. But it does look like the friend was irresponsible as fuck. That friends gun was not being used so it should have been stored properly. Because of the potential harm that can result from firearm use, gun owners need to be extra vigilant. If you’re going to be the owner of a deadly weapon, you need to take sufficient steps to ensure that weapon does not wind up in the wrong hands.


 Man shoots gun to warn postal worker not to drive fast

So you live in a nice lovely residential neighborhood. One home among many in a cul-de-sac. Plenty of families. A park for the kids. A community swimming pool. Crazy HOA fees. Speed bumps every 5 feet. The works. It’s your dream home. You really want the area to be a safe place for kids to be able to play. So when a postal worker comes breezing through your neighborhood at speeds that make you feel uncomfortable, what should you do? The answer is simple: grab a gun and threaten the postal worker. Because terrorizing someone with a firearm is a completely reasonable way to deal with the problem of speeding. Well, not for me. But it is for one man:

A man apparently concerned about the safety of others in his neighborhood allegedly shot a gun near a postal worker as a warning to not drive so fast.

The victim told the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office that he was stopped Sunday morning by Joseph Steve Walden, 37, a resident on David Lane, as he was delivering mail.

Walden reportedly told the postal worker that he was speeding through the neighborhood, so the postal worker told Walden to call the post office and and report it if there were a problem.

“The white male then stated, ‘I have something for you’ and walked to his tow truck,” the incident report filed by the RCSO stated. “He grabbed a black handgun from the dash, that appeared to be a 9mm, and shot it one time in the roadway.”

Walden and the postal worker allegedly exchanged curses before the postman drove away and contacted his supervisor.

Deputy Jennifer Perry then spoke with Walden who admitted to having a 9mm, but denied shooting it.

However, according to the incident report, a 9mm shell casing was found in the roadway.

Walden was arrested Thursday and charged with reckless conduct, discharge of a firearm near a public highway or street and pointing or aiming a gun at another.


Teen critically injured after accidentally shooting himself in the head

A 17-year-old is recovering from a critical gunshot wound to the head after accidentally shooting himself in front of friends, Universal City Police said.

The teen was at his home with two friends in the 300 block of Madrid when the shooting happened just after 1 a.m.

Police said the 17-year-old teen and his friends were playing with the gun when it was discharged.

The teen was transported to the San Antonio Military Medical Center from the scene in very critical condition, said police.

Investigators believe the teen was mishandling the gun when it was discharged. His friends who witnessed the shooting were not injured.

KENS 5 has learned the gun was given to the teen by his father. It reportedly is a firearm passed down throughout the family. Police said the teen’s parents were at home at the time of the shooting.

A big problem in our gun culture is the treatment of guns as if they are playthings. This is instilled in children by adults and the media. Guns are treated as cool toys, rather than deadly weapons and they’re so often given to kids. Kids–who don’t have the full understanding of how deadly a gun can be, or the level of responsibility an individual with a gun should demonstrate (neither do many adults either, but that’s a separate-though related-problem).  I’m of the opinion that only adults should be allowed to wield, possess, or own a firearm of any sort (and adults should have to undergo training in their use before they can own one themselves).

Anger management problems. Inability to resolve conflicts non-violently. Kids with access to guns. Improper storage of firearms. Wanna-be vigilantes with delusions of heroism. All symptoms of a culture in which easy access to firearms combined with the treatment of violence as a means to achieve a goal plus people who fail to treat firearms with the seriousness they deserve–this is our gun culture. These are some of the reasons why we have so much gun violence. These problems-which lay at the root of gun violence-need to be dealt with if we’re ever going to make any progress in reducing gun violence in the United States. Sadly, we’re still stuck in a hamster wheel. Never moving forward. Never achieving any progress.

Irresponsible gun owners of America 12.12.15