Tag Archives: Guns

How Americans Celebrate

[UPDATE]:

Apparently there were not one but two “celebratory gunfire” injuries in downtown Nashville. Slow clap.

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Happy Birthday, Murica! How did you celebrate our national holiday? Did you do it with guns? C’mon, you know you did. You know you did!

Did you remember the law of gravity? That what goes up must come down? You know you didn’t!

What follows is a brief and by no means comprehensive look at American gunfail, Fourth of July style. And I’m going to start right here at home:

• Nashville:

A 9-year-old girl was struck by a bullet in downtown Nashville Saturday night while waiting for the fireworks show to begin.

The girl, who was visiting Nashville with her parents from Mississippi, was waiting with her family at First Avenue South and Korean Veterans Boulevard before the show when she felt a pain in her back, according to a news release from Metro Nashville police. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and treated for a small caliber wound, the release says. The injury is not critical.

ALSO:

A man also sustained a gunshot wound from a stray bullet while in the parking lot of Nissan Stadium during the fireworks.

The male victim was in parking lot C with his wife and two friends when a bullet traveled through is right arm and became lodged in his left wrist.

He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Police told News 2 his injury was determined to be accidental and to have come from someone shooting a gun in the area.

Not exactly a tourism selling point, guys.

• Pittsburgh, PA:

Woman shot at Kennywood amusement park, possibly by celebratory gunfire

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (AP) — Police say a woman was shot while inside an amusement park in suburban Pittsburgh, and they’re investigating whether the bullet came from someone nearby celebrating the Fourth of July.

Allegheny County Police say the 26-year-old woman was in stable condition following the shooting just after 10 p.m. Saturday at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. She was struck in the upper chest near her shoulder.

• College Park, GA:

Fulton County police have identified a person of interest in the death of a 16-year-old girl they believe was killed by celebratory Fourth of July gunfire.

Rasheedah Evans, 16, was inside her home on Harper Valley Drive in College Park on Saturday night when she was struck by a stray bullet and killed. Fulton County police spokesman Lt. Scott McBride said detectives have since identified 23-year-old Marcel Smith as a person of interest.

Inside her home. Even in your own home you aren’t safe. UNbelievable.

• Council Bluffs, IA:

A 7-year-old Council Bluffs boy is recovering after being wounded in the shoulder by a stray bullet fired into the air Saturday night.

Police say the boy was standing in the driveway of his home near North 26th Street and Avenue J around 10:30 p.m., watching the neighborhood fireworks with his grandparents when he began crying, complaining of pain in his right shoulder. His grandmother noticed a small amount of blood and thought he’d been struck by a firework. When she took him inside to clean the wound she discovered the bullet.

Spartanburg County, SC:

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. —The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says a young man is in the ICU after getting accidentally shot in the head by his friend.

According to investigators, the friends were setting off fireworks for the July 4 holiday when someone — apparently angered by what they were doing — drove by and fired shots into the air.

Lt. Kevin Bobo said the two then got into vehicles to retaliate for the gunfire. Upon reaching the intersection of Chelsea Street and Old Farm Road, the friend fired at a vehicle but ended up striking the car where the victim sat.

Wild wild West, y’all. Weren’t we told that would never happen?

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Panic At The Mall

So, this happened yesterday:

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) — The Fayetteville Police Department has charged an Army soldier after getting multiple reports of an armed gunman at Cross Creek Mall Thursday evening.

A huge number of law enforcement officers flooded the mall located off the All American Expressway when 911 calls started coming in just before 6:30 p.m.

Photos showed several stores with security gates pulled down. Some store employees locked themselves inside businesses until officers told them it was safe to come out.

Eyewitnesses said it was a moment of sheer terror.

“They were, very panicked, actually a lot of kids were crying,” said eyewitness Francheska Penn. “They did not understand why adults were running – kind of a scary thing. Everyone just dove in sheer panic. They did not understand what was going on.”

On surveillance video, the man wearing a military vest and carrying an assault rifle was seen walking into and out of the mall entrance. Police said he was arrested outside the building near the Macy’s wing of the mall.

Bryan Scott Wolfinger was charged with “going armed to the terror of the public.” Wolfinger said he intended to get his picture taken with the military gear,

…something police called a “poor decision.”

Gee, ya think?

Meanwhile, Nashville, Tennessee has its “Radnor Lake Rambo,” who wears body armor and carries his rifle in front of high schools and in popular state parks:

embody

Hey, can we get one of those “going armed to the terror of the public” laws, too? Because in an age where people are opening fire on schools, shopping malls and Bible studies, there is no way of knowing whether someone is there to open fire or open carry until it’s too fucking late — and everybody knows it.

I don’t know if Wolfinger is just a dumb kid or an activist gun humper like Nashville’s Radnor Lake Rambo. But the result is always the same: terrorizing the public. They know, it too. They troll the public and use our court system in an effort to normalize that which will never, ever be normalized. It’s not normal to walk around armed to the teeth, guys. It’s just not. And I’ve gotta ask: what kind of asshole causes panic at the mall and makes small children cry in the interest of “exercising mah rahts!” An open carry asshole, that’s who.

So, here’s the Fayetteville Mall last night:

FayettevilleMall

Gotta wonder how much longer major retailers like Macy’s are going to tolerate this “sheer terror at the mall” shit before they start trying to exert some influence over state legislatures. Gun loons are trolling the Gun Sense crowd on social media, saying the problem is us — those people shouldn’t have been scared, they say. What they’re really saying is, Bryan Scott Wolfinger is a white guy so why should anyone be worried about him wearing body armor and carrying military weaponry? Well, Dylann Roof was a white guy, too. As were Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. In fact, since 1982, white people have committed 64% of mass shootings in the United States. And 90% of all murders are committed by men. So yeah, if you’re a white male exercising your Constitutional right to open carry while wearing body armor, the ensuing panic is not unfounded.

Again: nobody knows if you’re there to open carry or open fire until it’s too late.

Meanwhile, there’s a bill in the House of Representatives that would require gun owners carry liability insurance. HR 2546, the Firearm Risk Protection Act of 2015, makes way too much sense for the gun humpers, thus it carries a “0% chance of being enacted” prognosis. With the House under the thumb of the NRA, oops I mean, Republicans, this very sensible piece of legislation will never make it to a vote. Which is too bad. Because when one of our many Second Amendment Heroes causes property damage or physical damage due to their inability to clean, load, unload, carry, hold, practice shooting or in all other ways be around their manliness substitute, the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for it.

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Congratulations, Unidentified Texas Man Joseph Austin of Kansas! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

[UPDATE]:

He was trying to unload the gun when it fired and another man was nicked in the leg.

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Dude, seriously? At the airport?

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A gun was accidentally fired at the ticket counter inside Bush Airport today.

According to airport officials, a passenger at the Delta ticket counter in Terminal A had a gun in his carry-on baggage and was taking it out to check it in. That’s when it reportedly fired inside the bag.

The man was detained and questioned at the airport. He’s facing a deadly conduct charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Safest, most responsible ever? How about safest, most responsible NEVER!

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Congratulations, Unidentified HI Man! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour!

In Maui, Hawaii, a man accidentally shot his brother while cleaning his handgun:

Police said the victim’s 25-year-old brother had finished cleaning his .40-caliber handgun and was racking a round in the chamber when he accidentally pressed the trigger to discharge the bullet. It went through a bedroom closet door and through an adjacent bathroom wall to strike the victim, who was standing in front of a shower stall, police said.

Police said that the man who discharged the firearm had a strong odor of liquor on his breath.

Cleaning your gun while drunk. What could be safer or more responsible?

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Summer In Tennessee: An Abbreviated Gun Report

I’m sorry I don’t have time to keep the gun report going but we did have two accidental shootings (at least) reported this week.

First, I want to call everyone’s attention to the excellent HBO documentary, Requiem For The Dead: American Spring 2014. I hadn’t heard anything about this documentary at all, and just stumbled across it while channel surfing last night. I found it riveting and tragic and enlightening — even for me, who considers herself rather well-informed on the issue of gun violence.

The first thing you notice is how young the victims are. Many of them young teens — people with their entire futures ahead of them. The second thing you notice is how random and how senseless it all is. Gun victims are of all colors and ethnicities, it’s not something that happens “in that neighborhood” or “to those people.”

Give it a look-see, maybe consider having a viewing party. These peoples’ stories deserve to be shared.

Without further ado:

• June 25, 2015:

1- A 13-year-old Roan Mountain boy accidentally shot himself in the leg:

Lacy said her son had been in his brother’s bedroom at 246 Ingram Branch Roan on Tuesday. She said her son noticed a .38-caliber revolver and thought it was a toy gun. The boy pulled the trigger on the gun, shooting himself in the right calf.

2- Guns and ammo stolen from a home in Greenville. I guess locking this shit in a safe is too hard for y’all to manage. FAIL.

• June 24, 2015:

This kind of incident normally wouldn’t make the Gun Report but it happened literally one block from my house, at a time when I’m ordinarily walking the dog while Mr. Beale does the dinner dishes:

At about 7 p.m., the woman was walking to her vehicle in the 1600 block of Woodmont Boulevard when a suspect approached her with a handgun, took her purse off her shoulder and ran away, said Metro police Capt. Michael Alexander.

So here’s a question: I know the pro-gun crowd thinks everyone should be carrying to prevent such a thing from happening, but if the victim had a gun in her purse, what good would it have done? In fact, it just would have given the thief a second gun! Unless we’re all supposed to be walking around with guns in our hands, like cops on TV or something. Stupid.

• June 23, 2015:

An East Knoxville woman was accidentally shot in the hand and leg at a barbecue when another guest was showing a friend his gun.

• June 19, 2015:

1- Clarksville police say they are seeing more guns and more fights turning deadly due to guns. Gee, I wonder why. Thinking ….

More people are now carrying loaded guns in their vehicles, and legally. Despite what many people believe, a law passed in Tennessee last year allows anyone who can legally own a gun to carry loaded weapons in their vehicles.

That can be in a seat, glove box or under a seat. So long as the person is not a felon or otherwise restricted from owning firearms, there’s nothing to stop someone from having a loaded handgun, shotgun or rifle within reach, said Capt. Craig Gipson, who oversees the Clarksville Police Department’s Special Operations Unit.

Before the state legislature changed the law last year, only people with state-issued handgun carry permits could legally keep loaded guns in their vehicles. Anyone without a permit could keep guns only if unloaded with the ammunition stored separately.

“We just see more on the street than ever before,” said Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley.

And it’s not just in cars. Police are seeing more guns being drawn and fired during fights.

Ansley said the presence of more guns can quickly escalate an argument or scuffle into something far more dangerous.

“We have seen a lot of guns and weapons,” he said. “Especially compared to 10 or 15 years ago.”

Wow, I thought more guns was supposed to make us safer? Guess not!

2- In Memphis, a woman says her next-door neighbor pulled a gun on her and her 7-year-old daughter over a parking space. Armed/polite, yada yada.

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What We Don’t Know Is Hurting Us

So, this just happened today:

A GOP-led panel blocked a proposal Wednesday that would have reversed a nearly 20-year-old ban on funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research on gun violence.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 32-19 against ranking member Rep. Nita Lowey’s (D-N.Y.) amendment to a bill that would fund health, education and labor programs in the next fiscal year.

Wonder what they’re afraid of. The truth, perhaps? That they’ve been spreading bullshit NRA propaganda? Probably. See my May 27 post, The Last Time Science Looked At Gun Violence. I think it’s pretty crystal clear what they’re afraid of.

Well, we all know who owns the Republican Party now.

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How Other Countries Do It

Australia responded to the brutal Port Arthur massacre where 35 people were mowed down by enacting strict gun control laws accompanied by a mandatory buyback program. That was in 1996.

Australians still have guns — they hunt, and yes they have hunting accidents and they have gun cleaning accidents. And they have gun smuggling — and let me note without irony that a lot of those illegal weapons come from right here in the USA and right here in Nashville, even.

What they don’t have are mass shootings. There hasn’t been one in 20 years. During that same time America has had dozens of mass shootings.

Here’s what’s interesting about Australia’s gun control legislation and buyback program: it not only led to a decrease in the gun homicide rate, it led to a huge drop in firearm suicides:

So what have the Australian laws actually done for homicide and suicide rates? Howard cited a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University finding that the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent, in the decade after the law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides. That provided strong circumstantial evidence for the law’s effectiveness.

The paper also estimated that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people resulted in a 35 to 50 percent decline in the homicide rate, but because of the low number of homicides in Australia normally, this finding wasn’t statistically significant.

What is significant is the decline the laws caused in the firearm suicide rate, which Leigh and Neill estimate at a 74 percent reduction for a buyback of that size. This is even higher than the overall decline in the suicide rate, because the gun buybacks’ speed varied from state to state. In states with quick buybacks, the fall in the suicide rate far exceeded the fall in states with slower buybacks.

The experience of other countries proves that gun control, not more guns, makes us safer. We can look at the facts, or we can continue to froth and foam at the mouth and repeat NRA bumper sticker slogans. I’m not a robot, and all the trolls repeating “universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented this universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented this universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented this” ad nauseum are simply making the argument that we need much stronger gun control laws than the weak compromises our side keeps offering. And as Australia proves, no law will stop every gun tragedy but I’ll take zero gun massacres over three dozen any day. Finally, with the USA being a source of the world’s illegal guns, stricter gun control wouldn’t just make Americans safer, it would make the world safer.

Which makes gun manufacturers very, very scared. That is the absolute last thing they want. But when your profit margin depends on global murder and mayhem, you’ve lost the moral argument.

I’ll close with this video, which I’ve posted several times before, but I can never see it too often. Australian comedian Jim Jeffries’ take on gun control is a classic that should be mandatory viewing. Lots of F-bombs so if you’re at work, maybe pop in the earbuds:

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