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View Diary: GunFAIL XXXIII (65 comments)

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  •  The downside of promoting defensive gun use (3+ / 0-)
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    WakeUpNeo, Joy of Fishes, a2nite

    I'm glad you mentioned that as this week's incidents have quite a few among them where the "FAIL" occurred in the context of defensive gun use by a Upstanding Citizen.

    First, we have the two incidents (#3 and #18) noted by Dave in the introduction where the negligent discharge happened after the shooter had determined that the prowler he thought he saw or heard was, in fact, his own son (in the latter, at least, according to the shooter). One guy trips over his shoes with the gun (having managed to forget both to put the safety back on and keep his finger away from the trigger) and manages to put a hole in two walls, a fence and a car. The other ... shoots his son anyway.

    I'm surprised #13 hasn't gotten more attention ... especially since an uncannily similar incident in Utah was noted here two weeks ago. Armed old man confronts burglar in house, burglar or burglars realize old man doesn't have the balls to actually shoot, manage to beat the old guy up and add the gun to whatever other loot they've made off with.

    I wonder if the NRA will be including these two stories on its popular Armed Citizen page, where any display of a gun by a homeowner always seems to magically make the big, tough, multiply-imprisoned Bad Guys drop to their knees and tearfully beg for their lives until the police come. I dare someone to submit this last one there, with as positive a spin as possible.

    Instead, at least two Responsibly Owned Guns are now on the black market at least, and are that much more statistically likely to be used to deliberately kill or injure. More guns, less crime.

    I really wonder how many other times this happens and doesn't get reported because the Responsible Gun Owner involved doesn't want to admit to the police that an unarmed criminal took his gun, much less have all the boys down at the trough laughing their asses off at him (Post-Newtown, haven't at least some states passed legislation that makes failure to report the theft of a firearm within a certain time period a crime?) At the very fairest, I could point out that this is yet another example of a violation of another one of the four cardinal rules of gun safety: don't point one at anyone whose death you aren't prepared to accept responsibility for.

    Then, however, we get the comedy of errors that is #25. As screenwriters say, you cannot make this stuff up. Joshua Snow sees someone burglarizing his car runs out after him clad in his gun and boxer shorts (What, pray tell, did they look like? We can only imagine.) The burglar, perhaps scared off by the love handles shaking and bobbing, runs away. Snow, doubtless with something like the instrumental break in "MacArthur Park" running through his mind's ear and making him feel like Steve McQueen, gives chase. Losing the burglar, he decides to seek help from Jimmy Null, another random neighbor—who naturally comes to the door and, seeing some guy in boxers holding a gun, gets out his own shotgun and tells him not to reach for his pistol. Which leads Snow, who had of course dropped his own gun already, to ... reach for it.

    Snow is in the hospital recovering from the shotgun blast, which left him with an ego even more seriously injured than it already was. The punchline to this farce? According to the Tulsa World, "the person who was burglarizing Snow’s vehicle has not been located."

    So, if you're keeping score, it's Burglar 3, Responsible Gun Owners 0 (Or should that be 1, given that Mr. Null's actions were in keeping with what you'd expect of a rational person and therefore he will get his day on the Armed Citizen page.

    Levity aside, I should point out that homeowners self-deputizing has sometimes ended tragically, as the Jerry Waller incident in Fort Worth from earlier this summer showed. As I wrote in another comment on one of these GunFAIL posts, there's a good reason police officers wear uniforms. If we encourage people to take this level of responsibility for protecting their own homes, we have to accept that without real training and education these amateur Keystone Kops incidents will reoccur regularly.

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