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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ( ) 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Irresponsible gun owner link round up 3.4.15

Father buys son new gun as a toy–surprised when son ‘plays’ with it, killing two

On June 25, 2010, Lothar Schafer thought it would be a good idea to buy a 0.45 carbine with 100 rounds of ammunition for his son Konrad. He even let his son pick out the weapon at a local pawn shop. In his mind, he was enabling his son to protect himself within their home. In reality, before the day was up, that weapon would be used in a shooting rampage that would last for two weeks. Their home of Poinciana, Florida, just 20 miles south of Walt Disney World, would be gripped in fear until Konrad and his friends were caught, too late for Eric Roopnarine, 22, and David Guerrero, 17, who met their fate at the business end of the weapon.

As reported in court, Konrad stole the family vehicle so he and his friends, Victoria Rios, Juan Sebastian Muriel, and David Damus, could commit their crime wave. They shot at people on their porches, at children’s bedroom windows, at other cars, before moving to the murders. Before he was caught, Konrad Schafer was apparently planning on killing police officers for fun. Konrad is currently set for trial in April.

In his defense, Lothar Schafer claimed ignorance at the weapon’s use, and his son’s nightly activities. He claimed to have no idea how his son got the weapon, despite buying it for him. He claimed to have no idea why his son used it to shoot at people, when it has no other practical purpose. For buying the gun for his son, and the role he played which led up to the deaths of two men, he now is under probation, thanks to a plea deal which Circuit Judge Jon B. accepted, agreeing to withhold adjudication. If he serves out his probation and has no further violations, he will not face conviction.

This is the height of irresponsible gun ownership. He treated the gun like a toy you give your child. Then he acted surprised when this weapon–a weapon designed for death and destruction–was used to kill and destroy.  And he’s not even going to jail.

* * * *

FL toddler accidentally shoots his sleeping mother in the leg

Officers were called about 3:45 a.m. Monday to a home in the 4800 block of Southwest 59th Terrace.

“A 3-year-old boy gained access to his parents’ firearm,” Engle said. “The child discharged one round and struck the mother in the leg. She received an injury that was not life-threatening.”

The injured woman left the home and contacted authorities. She was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. The weapon was a small-caliber, semi-automatic handgun, Engle said.

She had surgery Monday and remained at the hospital, police said.

The Florida Department of Children & Families is involved and Broward Sheriff’s investigators were at the family’s residence on its behalf, an agency spokeswoman said.

The FDCF damn well should be investigating this. The parents kept a loaded gun in their home and a toddler was able to find and use it. That’s not storing a gun correctly (and of course, guns shouldn’t be loaded until they’re ready to be used–to avoid accidents just like this one). I’m just glad the child didn’t kill himself or anyone else as a result of the irresponsible actions of his parents.

* * * *

3-year-old finds gun in mother’s purse, accidentally shoots his parents

A 3-year-old New Mexico boy shot his father in the buttocks and the bullet ricocheted and hit his pregnant mother, police said.

The horrific incident occurred Saturday inside a motel room in Albuquerque when the child found the loaded handgun inside his mother’s purse, reports TV Station KRQE.

The boy’s 2-year-old sister was also in the room, but was not injured, police said.

The boy found the 9 mm handgun while looking for an iPad in the purse.

The father was transported to a hospital and released Saturday, police said. The woman, who is 8 months pregnant, was hit in the shoulder and also taken to a hospital.

* * * *

 Minnesota man (white) pulls gun on man (black) sitting in his car with his nephew, assumed drug deal

Demetrius T says he was sitting in his vehicle with a friend negotiating a potential car purchase Sunday evening near the intersection of Sheridan Ave N. and N. 35th Ave. in Minneapolis when he noticed a man taking pictures of them.

With his camera phone rolling, Demetrius (he asked we not use his last name) decided to get out of the car, walk half a block down the street and investigate — only to discover, as he drew close, that the picture-taking man had a gun in his hand.

“You just pulled a gun on me!” Demetrius, 29, can be heard saying in the video. “For no reason at all… that’s crazy, that’s crazy.” (Watch the footage at the top of this post.)

An argument ensued, during which the gun-toting man justifies himself by saying, “We have a lot of drug dealing going on… no one is stereotyping.”

But that explanation didn’t satisfy Demetrius, who replied, “You racially profiled me.”

“You saw two black guys having a conversation in the car and you started taking pictures,” he added. “When you see me walking down this street, because I’m black, you got nervous and you pulled out your gun.”

Reached for comment today, Demetrius says that when he noticed he was being photographed in the car, he decided to “confront him about the situation.”

“That’s why I had my video rolling,” he continues. “I never knew he had a weapon. I wouldn’t approach anybody who had a gun.”

Demetrius says he called the cops after the footage ends. But officers told him that since the man was legally in possession of a gun on his own property, there was nothing to be done. (Demetrius acknowledges the man never actually pointed the gun at him.)

Demetrius, who lives in St. Paul but spent part of his childhood living in north Minneapolis (his mom still lives there), says he doesn’t think the man would’ve been taking pictures in the first place if he and his friend weren’t black.

“In my personal opinion, had I been Caucasian, had I been Mexican or Asian, he wouldn’t be taking pictures,” Demetrius says.

Asian is correct, but Mexican is not how you refer to people. The proper term is Hispanic or Latino, with the latter becoming the more acceptable word. In any case, I agree that if he’d been white, this concerned citizen protecting the neighborhood wouldn’t have paid them any attention. Instead, due to subconscious (or possibly conscious) beliefs about African-Americans, this dude racially profiled Demetrius. Because of course when two black people are sitting in a car together it can only be a drug deal. Nothing else. Right, good, and true citizens of this great country of ours (please read the preceding in the snarkiest way possible) know that. They also know that two white people in a car together are never involved in a drug deal. Nope. And of course there are comments at the link from people supporting his actions (thankfully, there are people condemning them too).

* * * *

Drunk Florida biker shows he is not a responsible gun owner

According to WFTS in Tampa Bay, the Southern Sons members were hanging around outside the saloon and drinking in the bar’s back parking lot.

A some point a trash can was placed on McDaniel’s head. Club members initially tried to throw cups and bottles into the can, but apparently that got boring.

That’s when Jeffrey Camarda decided it would be a good idea to see if he could use his gun to shoot the trash can off McDaniel’s head instead.

He aimed, fired and missed the trash can. The bullet struck the 43-year-old McDaniel’s in the head, instead. Emergency workers transported McDaniel’s to a local hospital, but he died a few hours later.

Camarda, who fled the scene before the police arrived, was arrested on Tuesday. He was charged with manslaughter and is currently being held on $250,000 bond.

My condolences to the family and friends of McDaniel’s. Camarda will hopefully be convicted and face a stint in jail.

Irresponsible gun owner link round up 3.4.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 1.22.15

Multiple choice quiz:

Which of the following four options is an irresponsible use of a firearm:

A. Self-defense

B. Target practice at a firing range

C. 3-volley salute at a military funeral

D.  Pointing a firearm at children and admonishing them for not picking up the trash

If you picked ‘D’, then congratulations, you’re not an asshole. If however, you think ‘D’ is an example of a responsible use of a firearm, as William Lee Brokar apparently does, then you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun:

Schools locked down for about an hour as a precaution Thursday while sheriff’s deputies investigated a report of a man pointing a gun at two youth who declined to pick up trash in a vacant lot.

Deputies responded and initially couldn’t find the man.

They later located William Lee Brokar, 67, who matched the suspect description, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said Brokar told some kids to pick up trash in the vacant lot next to the community market. The youth went inside to report what happened.

Deputies arrested Brokar on charges of menacing, kidnapping, coercion, pointing a firearm at a person, carrying a concealed knife and carrying a concealed pistol.

The nearby school was locked down for about an hour.

* * * *

5-year-old Missouri boy kills 9-month-old brother with gun found in parents’ bedroom

[A 5]-year-old Missouri boy found a handgun and accidentally shot and killed his infant brother.

The boys’ mother initially told Nodaway County sheriff’s deputies the older boy had shot his 9-month-old brother in the head with a paintball gun, reported WDAF-TV.

But deputies determined the boy had found a loaded .22-caliber Magnum revolver on a shelf built into the headboard of the master bed.

The infant was in a playpen in the same room when he was shot, reported KCTV-TV.

The gun belonged to another family member and not the mother, authorities said.

* * * *

 Young girl hospitalized because her father is a gundamentalist who does not treat firearms seriously

Colleyville spokeswoman Mona Gandy said the girl’s father was showing visitors his handgun at his home on Douglas Avenue when the gun discharged just before midnight. The bullet went through a wall and struck his 10-year-old daughter, who was in another room, in the hand, Gandy said.

The girl’s mother drove her to a nearby emergency room in Colleyville and the girl was flown to the hospital for treatment, Gandy said.

Police arrested the girl’s father, Steven Johnson, 53, on a charge of injury to a child, Gandy said. Johnson is at Keller jail.

Wouldn’t a responsible gun owner ensure that the gun was not loaded before showing it off?

* * * *

Oath Keeper Sheriff  calls on New Yorkers to defy the law

Sheriff Thomas Lorey told a gathering of Oath Keepers that he volunteered Fulton County to take part in a pilot program for a new state system for updating handgun licenses.

“They’re going to send out 500 invitations in my county, and that’s all they are is invitations,” Lorey told the group. “The invitation is going to ask if you’d like to renew early and go online and get on their Facebook page or whatever it is and renew your permit. I’m asking everybody to gets those invitations to throw them in the garbage, because that’s where they belong.”

Lorey, an outspoken Second Amendment advocate, believes the law is unconstitutional.

“They go in the garbage because, for 100 years or more, since the inception of pistol permits, nobody’s ever been required to renew them,” the sheriff said. “It’s a ridiculous way that’s going to cost you money at some point in your life, even when though they say it isn’t.”

The NY SAFE Act, passed in 2013, requires all handgun permit holders to be recertified by 2018 and then update their permits every five years with their local county clerk or sheriff.

“I want everybody to understand if you get a letter like that, don’t do it,” Lorey said. “Let’s have everybody’s permit expire on the same day and let them see what they’re going to do with it.”

Oath Keepers are made up mostly of retired or active-duty law enforcement or military personnel who have pledged not to enforce or obey gun restrictions or other laws they deem unconstitutional.

Lorey said he expected a court to eventually strike down at least portions of the law, which has been challenged by gun-rights advocates.

“In the meantime, I want to assure you that everybody in Fulton County has nothing to fear from the sheriff’s office,” Lorey said. “We have real criminals and real crime to occupy our time with.”

Makes me wonder what other laws this sheriff chooses not to obey or enforce.

* * * *

 Florida 2-year-old fatally shoots himself after finding gun in dad’s car

The Pinellas County sheriff said 2-year-old Kaleb Ahles was placed in the car by his father about 4:45 p.m. as they moved out of their home, reported WFLA-TV.

The boy found a .380 caliber handgun his father kept in the vehicle, investigators said.

Kevin Ahles heard a gunshot, turned around, and saw his son bleeding from a wound to his chest, the sheriff said.

“It’s just one of those things that happens where everything lined up the wrong way where we had a 2 1/2-year-old that was able to take a gun, pick it up, turn it around, and he shot himself dead center in the middle of the chest,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

The boy’s mother, Christina Nigro, and his aunt performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but the child was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 1.22.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 1.14.15

It may be a New Year (hi there 2015), but human nature ain’t changed much. There are still people out there with guns who fail to use them responsibly. People who store them incorrectly. People who leave them lying around loaded. People who attempt to train others in the use of guns while being untrained themselves. People who think giving guns to children are a good thing. People who turn to guns to resolve their problems. And of course people who shoot their spouses.  Case in point:

Peachtree City Police Chief shoots wife

Officers were called to Chief William McCollom’s home on Autumn Leaf shortly after 4 a.m., according to Peachtree City police Lt. Mark Brown.

McCollom called 911 at 4:16 a.m., saying he had accidentally shot his wife twice, GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang told Channel 2 Action News. Margaret McCollom, 58, was taken to Atlanta Medical Center and is in critical condition, according to Brown.

No charges have been filed and a news conference is scheduled at 2 p.m. at the Peachtree City Police Department, Brown said in an email release. Peachtree Police, the GBI and the Fayette County District Attorney will participate in the news conference.

“The investigation into this incident has been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation due to the husband of the victim being the Peachtree City Chief of Police,” Brown said.

Police have not said what led to the shooting, but the town’s city manager has placed McCollom on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation and an internal review, according to Brown, who referred questions on the incident to the GBI and the Fayette County District Attorney’s office.

Oh, and apparently, this shooting was accidental:

The Peachtree City chief of police is on administrative leave after shooting his wife twice Thursday morning.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says police chief William McCollom called 911 just after 4 a.m. Thursday saying he had accidentally shot his wife, Margaret, at their home on Autumn Leaf.

While I’m not a gun owner (and hope never to be) even I know that guns should be stored unloaded and that one should never point a gun at someone without the intention of shooting that person. So I wonder why the chief of police was pointing his gun at his wife.

It’s bad enough when civilians shoot one another, but when a member of law enforcement shoots someone it is worse.  In the United States, law enforcement officers are granted tremendous privilege and power (IMO, those should be earned, not granted by simply being in uniform and having a gun). They hold significant ability to affect the lives of others.  Often, their decisions can mean the difference between life and death for civilians.  As such, they should be held to a higher standard of responsibility. After all, with great power, comes great responsibility. Or it should.

* * * *

Woman is shot and killed by her toddler

A woman is dead and her son now mother-less after a trip to Walmart went horribly wrong.

Local station KXLY reported that a woman in her late 20s died in the electronics section of a Kootenai County, Idaho, Walmart after her son somehow slipped out the handgun she kept in her purse and fired. It’s a sign of the times that employees and customers initially fled the store assuming it was under attack.

Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said in a statement to ABC News today:

“A very sad and tragic incident happened in our Hayden store involving a female customer, and we’re working with the local sheriff’s department while they investigate what happened.”

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department’s Lt. Stu Miller said that the woman was with several children doing some after-Christmas shopping when the “accident” happened.

 * * * *

A man in Nashville, TN wanted his McDonald’s double cheeseburger. Badly. I mean, so badly that when he didn’t get it, he returned to Mickey D’s with a pistol. Yeah…terrorizing the employees of McDonald’s bc your order was messed up? That’s a totally appropriate use of a gun.

North Precinct detectives are looking for 21-year-old Demetri Johnson in connection to the Thursday aggravated assault at the restaurant, according to a news release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. His last known address is on Joseph Avenue.

Police said Johnson placed a drive-thru order early Thursday, received his food and pulled away. He drove back through the drive-thru, complained about the missing cheeseburger and the manager asked him to park and said he would bring out the missing sandwich.

The cheeseburger is not part of the eight items McDonald’sis cutting from its menu in select testing locations.

Johnson is accused of walking into the restaurant a few minutes later with a pistol, racking it and demanding that staff fix the order, police said. He and the three women with him also wanted fresh fries and new soft drinks. They left after receiving their food.

* * * *

14-year-old Texas teen shoots his father  in a Christmas dispute

According to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, the unidentified man was involved in an argument with his 16-year-old son who was disappointed with his Christmas present of a fishing rod.

“The young 16-year-old was very upset because he claimed that the rest of his friends, either got a car or a pickup for Christmas. All his father provided for him was a fishing rod,” Lucio said.

Lucio said that father struck the teen on the head with a baseball bat, enraging another son — age 14 — who ran out to the family car where he retrieved a shotgun kept in the trunk.

Few details have been released, but even if the father struck his son, that’s still no grounds to exacerbate the situation by shooting him.  That makes things worse and is a clear example of an irresponsible gun owner.

“The young 14-year-old boy discharged the weapon. Discharged it twice. The second time he hit his father in part of the face and part of the shoulder,” Lucio explained, adding that the father will lose an eye as a result of the shotgun blast.

Authorities state the 14-year-old then took off from the home, driving in a car before sheriff’s deputies spotted him in an open field. Police say the teen struck another vehicle while attempting to elude them.

Sergeant Michael Brooks with the Harlingen Police Department said shootings like this can be prevented by placing a gun lock on a weapon, adding that the Harlingen Police Department provides gun locks to the public, free of charge.

“If the weapon can’t be fired, then it won’t be fired,” said Brooks.

The shooting could have been avoided if there were no firearm in the household to begin with. Sadly, many people think the presence of a gun makes families safer.

* * * *

 An Irresponsible Gun Owner 2-fer! 

Former Glasgow, Kentucky police officer Darrell Smith is suing Barren Outdoors, and one of their employees, for negligence, over an incident that occurred last March. According to WBKO, Smith went into Barren Outdoors and asked to see a .38 caliber handgun. When the clerk handed the gun to Smith, Smith examined the gun, then he cocked it. The gun went off, shooting off part of Smith’s index finger.

Smith’s attorney says that the lawsuit is seeking to make up for lost income. Smith lost his job on the police force after the incident. His attorney, Alan Simpson, tells WBKO:

He’s permanently disfigured. He went through a lot of pain and suffering. He’s gone through several surgeries. He’s got a lot of medical bills that have to be paid. It ended his career and he’s going to have a lot of lost income.

The suit says that Barren Outdoors’ employee was negligent because he didn’t perform a safety check on the gun before handing it to Smith.

If a cop can’t handle a gun safely, why should we assume others who aren’t trained can?

This incident is disturbing on several levels. First, take note in the video that Smith and the clerk who was assisting him were not the only people in the store. There were at least two other customers, and two other clerks. Everyone involved was fortunate that Smith’s finger was the only thing that was shot. Second, cops are supposedly trained to properly handle firearms. The store clerk definitely screwed up by not checking the gun to make sure it wasn’t loaded. But shouldn’t Smith have also checked the weapon before he started playing with it?

If a trained law enforcement officer is this casual and careless with a gun that he only assumed wasn’t loaded, and never checked, how can we feel comfortable around the thousands of largely untrained “responsible gun owners” that we encounter?

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 1.14.15

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 12.17.14

Toddler accidentally shoots Army veteran mom dead as she changes baby’s diaper: police

A young mom was accidentally shot dead Monday by her toddler son as she changed her 1-year-old daughter’s diaper, police in Oklahoma said.

The “horrible, horrible accident,” happened around 4:30 p.m., when the 3-year-old boy found the loaded semiautomatic handgun and fired a shot, hitting 26-year-old Christa Engles in the head, Tulsa police told the Tulsa World.

She died 60 minutes later.

Her mother and husband also live at the South 168th East Avenue home, but neither was home at the time.

“The grandmother came in and supposedly found the two children covered in blood,”neighbor Vera Bennett told KOKI-TV.

Police said there were several guns in the home, but the toddler found the “large caliber” handgun under a couch before he fired the fatal bullet. As the little boy was taken from the home to be interviewed by police, he repeated over and over again, “Mommy shot,” KJRH-TV reported.

If you were wondering what was irresponsible about this situation, the answer is in that last paragraph. What the hell was a loaded gun doing under the couch?  Especially in a home with little children.  Of course gun lovers will look at this as an isolated incident and will pay no heed to the evidence which shows that a gun in the household increases the risk of death by firearm for the occupants.

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Man, 94, stopped at LaGuardia Airport with loaded gun

A 94-year-old Brooklyn man was nabbed at La Guardia Airport with a loaded gun strapped to his belt, the TSA said Wednesday.

The unidentified man had a permit for the weapon and was not arrested, a Port Authority source told the Daily News.

He walked through security with the gun, which set off the metal detector. He was allowed to board his flight to West Palm Beach, Fla., but not before PA officials confiscated the weapon. The gun was loaded with six bullets, the TSA said.

The false sense of security many people have with guns is often overshadowed by their lack of concern for others.  This guy was trying to board a plane with a loaded gun. Nevermind that a loaded gun on an airplane is NOT a good idea.  Nevermind what message that would send to other passengers (I know I wouldn’t feel safe aboard a plane with someone I knew who had a loaded gun).  Nevermind the potential danger that a loaded gun would bring to the passengers (shooting a gun in an enclosed space with dozens of people around you? That seems likely to cause injury to others).

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Florida woman killed with gun, bow and arrows 

A Florida man was charged with murder on Sunday after police found his mother dead and with arrows sticking out of her head while she sat slumped over in a chair, police said.

Michael Watkins, 42, killed his mother, Gloria Watkins, 65, who was found at their home early on Sunday morning in Mary Esther, Florida, said the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in a news release and arrest report.

A deputy responded to a call from next-door neighbors of Watkins who said someone was knocking over Christmas decorations in their front yard and yelling, the sheriff’s office said.

When the deputy arrived, the neighbors said some people had argued next door, where the deputy found Gloria Watkins dead and Watkins wielding a large knife, according to the arrest report. Watkins put down the knife but officers had to use a stun gun after he resisted handcuffing, the report said.

Watkins pointed to his mother and said, “You see that, that’s death,” the arrest report stated. Watkins said he killed his mother because she was going to kill him first, that he shot her in the head three times, stabbed her with a knife and shot her with a bow and arrow, the report said.

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Woman dies after being shot by ex-boyfriend at Chicago Nordstrom store

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the victim as Nadia Ezaldein, 22, of Hialeah, Florida. The man, identified as Marcus Dee, 31, shot himself and was declared dead at the scene, police said. His place of residence was not known.

The shooting, on the second floor of the high-end retailer in the popular “Magnificent Mile” shopping district, sent Black Friday customers scattering from the store.

The woman’s family said Dee had physically abused her throughout their relationship, and had harassed both the woman and her family since their breakup last December, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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 Man guns down 6-month old puppy with hollow point round-‘He was gonna shit’

Kathy Davis told KOMO that her husband called her on Thursday to let her know that her 10-year-old son’s Australian shepherd had been shot.

“He said, ‘Rowdy had been shot.’ I said, ‘How do you know?’ And he said, ‘He’s got a big old hole in his gut and he’s bleeding out everywhere,’” she recalled.

The family later learned that the dog had escape from its fence into 82-year-old Otis McCulley’s yard.

According to KOMO, McCulley said that it “looked like the dog was about to poop” so he shot it.

“I shot the f*cking thing,” McCulley said.

And he admitted that it wasn’t the first time he had shot dogs for coming into his yard.

Rowdy’s family said that the puppy ran home, where blood stains could still be seen on the front porch. Vets recovered a hollow point .22 round in the dog’s colon, but couldn’t save Rowdy.

Kathy Davis pointed out that she would have been happy to patch the hole in the puppy’s fence if McCulley had just let her know that it had escaped. And Davis was also upset that McCulley had fired a rifle so close to her home.

“There are so many different ways that this could have been dealt with. Rather than taking out a gun like that and shooting at our dog, at our house, towards our family,” she observed.

The Davis family said that they would pursue civil action in court if the prosecutor decided not to press charges for the shooting.

For his part, McCulley has denied owning hollow point rounds.


Oh, gee, you don’t own any hollow point rounds. I guess that exonerates you completely and shows that you were justified in killing the dog.  Wait a sec… no, it doesn’t and no, you weren’t.  You still decided to resolve this situation-a situation involving a puppy escaping a yard mind you, not a 125 lb. dog snarling at you from 10 feet away-by using a firearm. This is not a reasonable use of a firearm. This is an example of someone using a firearm for an unnecessary-and cruel-purpose.  Why not call animal control? Or how about the novel idea of talking to the family themselves? This is someone who cruelly shot an animal, a beloved family pet, simply bc he could.  This guy is a textbook example of irresponsible gun owner.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round Up 12.17.14