Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.11.16

For many people, discussions of gun violence in the United States bring to mind terrorist attacks like those in Colorado Springs or San Bernardino.  Incidents of deadly gun violence perpetrated by radicalized zealots who, acting upon their extremist ideologies, seek to instill terror in communities. These are horrific tragedies indeed, but 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. These acts, which occur on a depressingly regular basis, are sometimes carried out by individuals in the midst of emotional turmoil 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:

Man shoots, kills brother during argument over cheeseburger, cops say

Benjamin Middendorf called 911 about 10 p.m. and told police he had just shot his brother, Nicholas, at their home on Sixth Street, between Michigan and Virginia avenues, an arrest report said.

Nicholas Middendorf, 28, was later declared dead at the home from a single gunshot wound to the chest, police said.

In the 911 call, Benjamin Middendorf is heard screaming and shouting at a dispatcher that he was “trying to hold the pressure” on his brother’s chest. He’s also heard telling the dispatcher they “were in a fight and I grabbed a gun and I shot him. Oh, my God.”

I’d much rather resolve a conflict by walking away from the person I’m angry at and avoiding them until sufficient time has passed for my anger to diminish (that’s how I typically handle things if they get too heated). But I understand that other people have more of a hair trigger or they never learned to cope with their anger and channel it in other directions or they grew up in a society in which violence is the go-to solution to problems (or a combination of those). So I recognize my way of dealing with anger is not the same as others. But I *don’t* understand this “I’m pissed off, gotta grab a gun” mentality. Guns. Are. Lethal. They are killing machines. What is going through the head of someone who grabs a gun in the middle of an argument and shoots the other person? And this situation is even worse, bc the two were siblings!


Man accidentally shoots himself in the thigh in Florida elementary school parking lot before interviewing for job

A 28-year-old man from Panama City accidentally shot himself in the leg inside of his car outside a local elementary school.

Travis Anthony Holland, 28, discharged his weapon just before entering the school to interview for a custodial position, the Panama City News Herald reported.

Holland works as a part-time jail guard, which is why he had the weapon on his person. The State Attorney’s Office noted that law enforcement officers are exempt from the law banning guns on school grounds, according to the paper.

Police said that Holland was refilling his Derringer revolver with a new round at the time of the shooting. He planned to replace the the gun in a “secure department” of the truck, according to reports.

He was refilling his gun before an interview? Why was it so pressing that he do so at that time? And did he have his finger on the trigger while loading it? Did it drop?


Florida man shoots himself, doesn’t notice until days later 

Sheriff’s deputies later determined that Blevins, 37, accidentally shot himself while cleaning a handgun in the living room of his Florida home, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

Blevins stood up while cleaning the .22 caliber pistol before feeling his back “lock up,” according to deputies’ report. Blevins had suffered a back injury before. Still took medicine for it.

The sharp pain caused Blevins’ back to give out. He fell face-down into the edge of a glass coffee table, according to the News-Journal.

Then he heard a gunshot.

But where did the bullet go? Besides a cut above his left eyebrow from the coffee table, he felt nothing.

(Blevins later told deputies that his back medicine possibly numbed him from feeling pain from the accident, even pain from a bullet wound, the News-Journal reported.)

 Shouldn’t you, ohIdontknow, ensure the gun is unloaded before cleaning it?


Oregon ‘nice guy’ opens fire on pranksters who threw eggs at his house

William Dean Thomas called police late Wednesday to report that his house had been egged, and he told investigators he was outside cleaning up the mess about 1:30 a.m. Thursday when a group riding in a Ford Taurus drove by and threw more eggs,reported KATU-TV.

The 68-year-old Thomas, of Southeast Portland, fired several gunshots at the vandals — who laughed as they drove away, according to witnesses.

One of the bullets struck a neighbor’s home, near a child’s bedroom, but no injuries were reported.

Neighbors said they liked Thomas, but they said his actions were inexcusable.

“He’s a nice guy, though I can’t really say it’s justifiable,” said neighbor Ryan Heise. “Eggs versus guns — totally different ball game. Maybe he needs to buy a slingshot.”

I don’t know about anyone else, but my definition of “nice guy” doesn’t include guys who shoot at someone bc their house got egged. That is not a valid reason to use a firearm FFS. The risk of seriously injuring or even killing someone is too great to take over having damage done to your house. A house =/= human life.


2-Year-Old Girl Shot In Face After Gun Goes Off Inside Mom’s Purse

A two-year-old child was struck in the face after a gun concealed inside her mother’s purse accidentally fired inside a Jackson, Mississippi hospital, police said.

The woman was standing next to a vending machine at Merit Health Center when she dropped her purse, causing the gun to fire, WJTV reported. A bullet bounced off the vending machine and grazed the child’s face.

The injury was non-life-threatening.

The hospital said in a statement weapons are prohibited on the premises and the incident is under police investigation.

She shouldn’t have had that gun on premises, so that’s irresponsible there. I can’t imagine she took sufficient precautions with her gun in her purse, bc otherwise, how did it go off?

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.11.16

7 thoughts on “Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.11.16

  1. 1

    Depressingly, in the category of “innocents who have unfortunately gained access to firearms that were incorrectly stored by their owners”, there’s the mothers who get shot (sometimes fatally) by their own child (so save yourselves the not-so-edgy comments about Darwin Awards):

    Or such an innocent manages to shoot themselves:

    And still, still people maintain that guns are necessary. When will we ever learn?

  2. 2

    Oddly enough, toddlers with access to guns are more dangerous than any Tea Partiers wet dream of homegrown terrorists.

    Anyone, so much gun fail (a gun is not a remote control for life, cheeseburger jackass). So many people who deserve to have their toys taken away and/or charged with various crimes.

  3. 3

    “Responsible gun owner” is just another “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy. All gun owners are responsible, law-abiding, etc until they’re not.

  4. 4

    But I *don’t* understand this “I’m pissed off, gotta grab a gun” mentality. Guns. Are. Lethal. They are killing machines.

    But they aren’t treated as such. Guns are so normalized in America that, while people may be able to rationally accept that guns are dangerous, they act as if guns are not only perfectly safe, but also a reasonable tool with which to solve any number of problems.

  5. 5

    I saw an article recently that described how some cities are putting up acoustic recorders to find out how many gunshots go off in a day, that don’t even get reported to the police. The answer was way too many. So we can figure that, for every time someone gets shot, there are probably a bunch of times when someone fires it in the air, or misses, or whatever.

    And even if the gun isn’t fired, I’d imagine it can still do psychological damage. I have a friend who used to be a prosecutor in a rural county. He said you’d be amazed how many arguments that start in bars end up with two guys in a parking lot pointing guns at each other.

    I had a student whose 12-year-old cousin was shot and killed by a family member, but still wanted to defend her family’s right to own them. It’s just insane.

  6. DJ

    I once had a neighbor come into a garage in which I and my friends were working on our bikes to ask, “Do you have a gun I can use? We’re having a family argument, and I need a gun.” After he left, we looked at each other like WTF? First, no one had a gun. Second, if we did, handing it to a stranger to settle a dispute would be bizarre. What stood out most was the sense that the person asking saw nothing wrong in their request.

  7. 7

    As a member of the Canadian Military and a gun owner, I have to say the way American gun owners act when handling firearms is genuinely unnerving. The fact that they may have a constitutional right to bear arms does not in any way absolve them of the responsibility that goes with it. You chose to pick up a gun, you are responsible for what might happens. Guns don’t have a mind of their own, they are machines that you control. You are responsible for every bullet that leave the muzzle regardless of you intentions.

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