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  •  A soldier killed a friend trying to stop hiccups (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, WTF?

    The shooting occurred in September, so it wouldn't make the list, but this is mind-blowing on so many levels. For starters, both men were soldiers and as such, presumably well-trained on gun safety. Well, not so much:

    Spc. Patrick Edward Myers, of Spartanburg, S.C., was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in military prison for fatally shooting 22-year-old Pfc. Isaac Lawrence Young, of Ash Grove, Mo., in the face in September while they were watching a football game at an apartment in Killeen, Texas.
    Police said three men were inside the apartment on Sunday, Sept. 23, watching a football game and drinking alcohol when one of the men produced a handgun, handled it in an "unsafe manner," and shot the victim in the face.

    An arrest affidavit obtained by the Associated Press in September said Myers apparently pointed a gun at the victim's head to scare him and stop the hiccups.

    Myers said he thought the gun had dummy rounds when it was discharged.

    This situation wouldn't be covered by any legislation. The gun was apparently legally obtained, possibly from the Army itself since the men were soldiers. The gun was a handgun, and so wouldn't be banned as an "assault-style weapon." And while alcohol was involved, you can't make it illegal to handle a firearm if you're drunk. Well, you could, but it would be unenforceable. It's illegal to drive while drunk, but how many people get away with it because they don't cause an accident?

    Given the circumstances, what could have been done to prevent such a tragedy?

    We need to address "gun culture," a culture in which people become so accustomed to the presence of guns that they use them to try to stop a case of the fucking hiccups. We need people who use guns to have safety hammered into their brains so that they'd never think of pointing a gun at someone's head, even if they think it's unloaded, or loaded with blanks, or intended to point it at the ceiling, or whatever the fuck lame excuse people come up with to try to justify their careless handling of a deadly weapon.

    Efforts to increase familiarity with guns, to desensitize people to them, to make them commonplace, are the worst possible examples that "responsible" gun owners could inflict on a society. The NRA wants us to embrace the notion of the mom answering the doorbell with a gun in her hand, you know, just in case, when leaving loaded weapons around the house means the 6-year-old, emulating the "grown-up," could shoot a family member.

    Fuck all the noise about violent movies and video games. Let's start with the most basic fact of all, that all guns are designed, first and foremost, to kill. Let's promote a healthy respect and fear of deadly weapons. Let's not give in to the "shoot here, shoot now" crowd that wants to shove a gun in our collective faces because it makes them feel brave and bold.

    Not afraid of guns? You should be. Just ask Pfc. Isaac Lawrence Young, of Ash Grove, Mo. Oh wait, you can't. He's dead. Try asking Patrick Edward Myers, Isaac's friend, his buddy, his killer...

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:27:37 AM PST

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