Eight of the 43 guns "forgotten" by travelers and found by TSA agents at airports around the country, just this week.
A relatively quiet week in #GunFAIL, though that's probably due not to any particular slowdown in gun accidents, but rather the news "whiteout" effect that comes from media occupation with more spectacular gun events, like the Santa Monica shooting, and the Arizona case of the father shot and killed by his 4-year-old son. But we can hope, certainly.
This week's collection includes four accidents involving law enforcement officers, four concealed carry ninjas, three gun range-related accidents, and three home invasion shootings. No one I found this week has explicitly admitted having an accident while cleaning a loaded gun, so that's a milestone. Though it must be admitted that several of the listed scenarios come suspiciously close. Unfortunately, there was no rest from the mounting tally of child victims of GunFAIL. This week's group were aged 2, 4, 13, 14, 15 and 16, and we must note that police suspect both the two and four-year-olds were shot by other pre-schoolers. That trend, too, continues unabated.
Of special note this week: the Beaver Creek, Oregon, rifleman who decided he was safe in attempting to shoot squirrels in his yard with his .22, but ended up killing the neighbor's 4-year-old black Labrador retriever (who was in her own yard) instead. That counts as a home invasion shooting, in my book. But it's particularly worth noting because the odds are that this good guy with a gun would have sworn on a stack of bibles last week that he was a Responsible Gun Owner.TM And now, suddenly, he's not. Instead, he's just a really, really sorry gun owner. Not that it's doing the neighbors or their dog much good. But for a while there, we were almost safe from the tyranny of squirrels, so it's just the price of freedom, I guess.
One bit of follow-up this week, as well. The Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney has decided not to file any charges in the late May case of the 10-year-old Crozet, Virginia, girl documented in GunFAIL XIX. The case is noteworthy because the girl was killed by her 13-year-old brother, while the five children were home alone that Tuesday morning. Seems Pastor Paul Hollifield and his wife home school their children, so it's not unusual for them to be home alone in the mornings, when they are expected to be self-starters when it comes to school work. On this particular Tuesday, however, their 13-year-old boy decided that 10AM on Tuesday would be a fine time to clean and repair the shotgun he'd been given as a gift after passing a hunter's safety course the previous year.
The gun hadn’t been working properly, and he had taken it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together the night before, leaving it in the living room with the safety engaged. He had taken two shells out, but forgot the one in the chamber, the statement said. While he was testing out his repairs in the morning with the gun raised to eye level and the safety off, he apparently accidentally pulled the trigger.
The shotgun was pointed in the direction of the living room’s loveseat and down a hallway, according to the statement. Maggie Hollifield was standing behind the loveseat, and her 9-year-old sibling was seated.
The 13-year-old “had been schooled in the responsible use and care of the firearm and had demonstrated his knowledge of and adherence to the requirements of responsible gun ownership,” she said.
And there you have it. He passed his safety course, and "had been schooled in the responsible use and care of the firearm," etc., etc., etc. And yet, he forgot a shell in the chamber of his shotgun, and evidently figured that meant that a "safe direction" for pointing it was ... the living room loveseat occupied by his 9 and 10-year-old sisters. The stack of bibles once again fails us.
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