Before we even get started, what is this all about? Does it mean you can't or shouldn't have guns? No, not by itself. But what it does mean is that people who start out with the best of intentions sometimes get themselves mixed up in some serious trouble, and often people die because of it. These are the stories you should think about every time you handle a weapon, or are near someone else who's handling one.
And yes, these stories have special relevance now that more and more people are carrying concealed weapons, often with the idea in mind that they're protecting both themselves and the community. It's also relevant to the question of whether or not we should be putting guns in our schools. Whether you're trained or not, experienced or not, or were raised around guns or not, where guns go, accidents follow. That's just statistics. You can do your best to prevent accidents, but everyone thinks they're a responsible gun owner, until something happens. Sometimes because you were kidding yourself. And sometimes although you think you did everything right.
But the mistakes are very often of the kind that cannot be taken back.
Before we begin with January's stories, here's some follow-up news on some prominent cases that actually happened in December:
- 12/08/12: No charges filed in accidental shooting of 7-year-old boy. On a trip with dad to the gun shop. Shot and killed in his safety seat in dad's truck, when the pistol everyone thought was unloaded inexplicably fired all by itself while sitting on the center console.
- 12/10/12: This one could've been prevented with a simple, "Who's there? I have a gun!" Which would have been answered with, "Don't shoot, Grandpa! It's me!" But instead, he shot first. Because he's a fucking ninja. Well, actually, he's the pastor of the local Seventh Day Adventist church. But whatevs.
- 12/28/12: Involuntary manslaughter charges, though, for the uncle who killed his 12-year-old nephew in a hunting accident. Seems the uncle didn't bother obtaining a hunting license, and skipped the mandatory hunting safety course. Wonder why they have those? Probably tyranny.
Now, new incidents from this month, beginning with the traditional woundings and deaths caused by New Year's celebratory gunfire:
- 1/01/13: Houston Co. man injured by celebratory New Year's gunshot
- 1/01/13: 67-year-old Laurie Eileen Eberhardt was sitting on a patio at the St. Pete Yacht Club watching the fireworks when a bullet struck her hand at about 12:08 AM
- 1/01/13: Police say celebratory gunfire a growing problem in Jacksonville after 8-year-old boy is shot in foot on New Year's Eve
- 1/01/13: 10-yo girl killed by celebratory gunfire to mark the New Year.
January's hunting accidents. I don't always tweet about these, because as tragic as they are, hunters know they can be shot. So many others of these accidents happen to people who really think things won't happen to them, and that puts them in a different category:
- 1/01/13: Duck Hunter killed in accidental shooting laid to rest
- 1/01/13: I'm not really sure if that's a deer, but I do have this .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle, so I guess there's one way to find out. Hmm. Nope. Not a deer. It's a dead guy with a .50-cal. sized hole in him. Weird, because I have a .50-cal. Oh, also, it's my dad.
- 1/03/13: By "unimaginable coincidence," his friend happened to be driving by the deer’s passage at the same time
- 1/03/13: The teen was accidentally shot by his father while deer hunting in Waller County.
- 1/10/13: Authorities say the victim apparently walked into the aim of his friend and was struck by birdshot from a shotgun.
- 1/12/13: A juvenile was shot in the back Saturday evening while hunting.
- 1/12/13: A 13-year-old Tuscaloosa boy was killed Saturday in a hunting accident.
- 1/12/13: State police say a man escaped serious injury when he was accidentally shot while hunting in central New Jersey.
- 1/13/13: Hudson Barber, the 12-year-old son of Bobby and Allison Barber of Bainbridge, is recovering after seriously injuring his right leg in a hunting accident this past weekend. The accident happened on Sunday, Jan. 13, near Faceville. It was an accidental, self-inflicted shotgun wound, Hudson’s father said.
- 1/15/13: "One of the main things they teach is wear hunter orange, be organized on your hunts, and look before you shoot," said Sheriff Darby.
- 1/19/13: Father shoots son in the face while deer hunting
Below the fold, January entries in the categories of:
- General Idiocy / "I didn't know it was loaded!"
- "I was cleaning my gun, when it suddenly went off!"
- Highly trained, but still ...
- Concealed carry ninjas / "My guns will save me!"
- Protecting the family
(Continue reading below the fold.)
General idiocy / accidents / "I didn't know it was loaded!":
- 1/01/13: Gunplay in Jefferson County leaves one man shot in the face
- 1/02/13: He was holding the shotgun in his hands at the time it accidentally went off. Unfortunately, his friend was standing opposite him.
- 1/02/13: A man who accidentally shot himself in the arm Wednesday night tried to drink the pain away, but it didn’t work, according to Yakima County sheriff’s deputies.
- 1/02/13: Man dies trapped in house fire because rescuers couldn't make it past all the ammo being set off by the flames
- 1/05/13: You people don't understand. We grew up around guns! A 30-yo Bismarck, ND man was accidentally shot by his friend during an altercation.
- 1/05/13: West Hazleton, PA. A man found shot in a West Clay Avenue home in January suffered a self-inflicted but accidental gunshot wound to the head, state police at Hazleton said Monday.
- 1/06/13: Marietta, OH. A Parkersburg man was accidentally shot in the ankle Sunday at a gun show at the Comfort Inn in Marietta, according to the Marietta Police Department.
- 1/07/13: Alton, MO teenager dead after accidental shooting
- 1/08/13: 12-year-old dead. "I don't think this child... had any intent other than to show off his Christmas present." A 20 gauge shotgun.
- 1/08/13: Charlotte, NC. 20 year-old & 14-year-old wounded in accidental shooting.
- 1/11/13: Ottawa, KS. Police officers responded to Sienna South Apartments in the 900 block of West 17th Street, Ottawa, after Christopher D. Dahlke reported he fired a gun into an adjacent apartment. Officers arrived and determined one round was fired from a firearm into the adjoining apartment, but since no one was in the apartment at the time, no injuries were reported.
- 1/12/13: Tulsa man arrested after roommate shot in mouth. The men were playing with the .45-caliber assault rifle when it discharged. The men were under the impression the gun was not loaded, police said.
- 1/12/13: Man charged in friend's death says they were playing.
- 1/13/13: Sidney, NE man dies in accidental shooting
- 1/16/13: Killed in a car accident. But not by the impact. By the loaded rifle he had on the front seat of his car.
- 1/16/13: Two men thought they were safely shooting at paper targets, but bullets were skipping off ground & riddling the neighborhood. Whoopsies!
- 1/16/13: Asked again, she told investigators that she was in a house with her friend who was handling a gun that "went off."
- 1/17/13: A man at Range 82, a gun range on Midland Road, shot himself in the leg. According to emergency radio traffic, the man had shot himself through his holster.
- 1/17/13: Believing the visitor was her uncle Andy, who lived at the residence with his mother, Maria Martinez, Maestas got up with intentions of scaring her uncle. She closed the bedroom door and, according to witnesses, jumped out from behind it as Andy Martinez opened it. Juliette Martinez said at this point she heard a single gunshot. Maestas then allegedly sat back down on the bed and stated she didn’t feel well before slumping over onto the floor.
- 1/17/13: A man accidentally discharged a gun in an apartment complex while he was checking the serial number. The bullet hit a cast iron bathtub in his apartment.
- 1/18/13: Koger “admitted to lying about the robbery, and stated he found a silver .357 caliber revolver, concealed it in his pants, and accidentally shot himself while running,” the warrant states. When the gun slipped, Koger grabbed it, accidentally pulling the trigger, he told police.
- 1/19/13: The Medina Police Department said one man was shot at the Medina County gun show in Medina Saturday afternoon.
- 1/19/13: Man dies after 'accidental shooting' at Gresham home
- 1/19/13: Walterboro police arrested a 20-year-old man they say accidentally shot a man in the chest while showing him a shotgun.
"I was cleaning my gun, when it suddenly went off!":
- 1/1/13: A man accidentally shot himself in the knee this morning while cleaning his gun, police said.
- 1/02/13: Man shot in arm while cleaning gun
- 1/03/13: Man cleaning gun fires into neighbor's apartment
- 1/06/13: Two shot cleaning pistols in Shenandoah, PA
- 1/09/13: Arcadia, CA man accidentally shot himself in the finger Wednesday night during failed attempt to clean his gun
- 1/14/13: 20-year-old man accidentally shot himself early Mon afternoon while he was preparing to clean a handgun
- 1/14/13: a resident of the 4100 Ashgrove Drive was issued a summons for discharging firearms after he called police to report his gun accidentally fired while he was cleaning on his kitchen table.
- 1/18/13: San Antonio police said the man was cleaning his gun at the Granada Homes in the 300 block of S. Saint Mary's Street when he accidentally shot himself in the leg around 11 p.m.
Highly trained, but still...
- 1/02/13: This never happens in Israel, because my church totally loves Israel.
- 1/05/13: Cop who allegedly shot his friend in the face last week charged with murder. Attorney says accidental.
- 1/05/13: Carlsbad, CA: Off-duty sheriff’s deputy in the hospital after accidentally shooting himself with his service weapon.
- 1/07/13: He lost his service weapon at the end of his shift when he placed the gun on the rear bumper and drove away.
- 1/09/13: Cop confiscates shotgun. Asks if loaded. Yes. How many rounds? Two. Removes two rounds. BLAM! Whaddya know? A 3rd!
- 1/13/13: Michael N. Tate, 47, succumbed to injuries inflicted by a gunshot wound.
Tate was apparently target shooting with a family member at the Norton Reservoir early Sunday evening when he was injured.
- 1/14/13: The only thing that can stop a good dog is a cop with a gun who doesn't feel like dealing.
- 1/14/13: Oh, shit! OH, SHIT! This is it! This is why they put me in this school! OK! OK! Stay calm! I can stop this maniac! I'll just get my trusty... D'OH!
- 1/15/13: During the struggle to detain the man, an officer's firearm was accidentally discharged, according to Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy. No one was injured and the bullet hit the pierced the ground. The incident remains under investigation.
- 1/16/13: You people just don't know what you're doing. Leave it to the experts. Guys like me, who actually make guns.
- 1/18/13: Sheriff Kelley Cradduck says part-time Deputy Mark Heiner left the 12-gauge on the roof of his car as he left the station Wednesday night.
- 1/19/13: Three shot at NC gun show when gun goes off at official safety check-in station
Concealed carry ninjas / "My guns will save me!":
- 1/02/13: Yeah, baby! That is a gun in my pocket! And if the NRA gets its way, you'll have what she's having.
- 1/03/13: Guns didn't protect this guy, so as you can see, arming everybody can't work, so we shouldn't even try.
- 1/04/13: Someone's shooting at me! I'm armed! I'll fire back! Ahhh! My own leg!
- 1/04/13: SC woman fumbling for gun in purse while driving accidently shoots herself
- 1/05/13: The right of the people to drop and discharge arms shall not be infringed.
- 1/12/13: Two shot by own gun at training class sought CCW permits. They wanted to sit next to you at the movies with their guns.
- 1/13/13: St. Petersburg man shoots dog while walking his Yorkies. Is this a gun success story? Or a gun fail story? You decide.
- 1/16/13: You're not supposed to conceal your concealed weapon from yourself.
- 1/18/13: A resident of Kennedy Road near Vint Hill also shot himself in the leg with a .45 caliber, full metal jacket round. According to radio traffic, the man believed there was an intruder in his home.
- 1/19/13: A handgun dropped beneath a table at the West Towne Mall food court went off when it hit the floor Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured, Madison police reported.
"Protecting the family":
- 1/03/13: Kootenai County Sheriff’s detectives believe Daryl R. Clark, 43, shot his wife, Tina M. Clark, 48, before turning the gun on himself.
- 1/04/13: Let me show you how to properly handle a gun. First, you point it at a 4-year-old boy, like so ...
- 1/04/13: The attack and suicide came two days after Banta pleaded guilty to an assault charge alleging he threatened his estranged wife with a gun on Dec. 11.
- 1/04/13: A 20-year-old woman shot and killed her 6-month-old baby and shot herself in Marion County in a murder-suicide attempt.
- 1/07/13: Mom & son dead, dad & daughter injured in murder/assault/suicide.
- 1/08/13: Detectives say he eventually told them he pushed the magazine release button on the gun, which caused his finger to pull the trigger and the bullet to strike his sister.
- 1/09/13: An 18-year-old St. Petersburg, FL man shot and killed himself demonstrating for his family the safety of his new gun. See, he kept one round out of his .38-cal. revolver, in order to prevent accidental discharges. Revolvers do not actually work this way. Sadly, this young man had acquired a gun to protect the family, after his father had been shot and killed in a home invasion robbery six months before. One family member shot and killed + more guns = two family members shot and killed.
- 1/09/13: Anthony’s father and owner of the residence, 45-year-old Glenn DeCarlo, had a falling out with 24-year-old Matthew Fancher, and was aiming at Matthew when he struck his son. Matthew is a mutual friend of Glenn and Anthony and had been living at the address, but due to the recent falling out was told by Glenn to move out. Early Wednesday morning, Matthew had returned to the home to retrieve personal belongings. As he was picking up those items, Glenn fired multiple rounds at Matthew but struck Anthony by mistake.
- 1/10/13: Alabama church seeks healing after pastor shoots his family
- 1/10/13: The father of the 4-year-old girl forgot that the loaded gun was sitting on a chair within easy reach of the young children. The girl later died.
- 1/11/13: BRECKNRIDGE, MO - A 12-year-old boy has died after accidentally shooting himself.
- 1/11/13: Accidentally shot the girlfriend.
- 1/11/13: Couple dead in apparent murder-suicide
- 1/12/13: He slept with a loaded .45 under his pillow, for safety. But he sleeps alone now, because he accidentally shot his girlfriend in the forehead with it.
- 1/13/13: Shaffer pulled out a handgun and shot Bethany Chomitzky Shaffer, then turned the gun on himself
- 1/13/13: Phyllis Tarter was shot by her drunk and angry son-in-law, before he turned the gun on himself.
- 1/13/13, Team 4-year-olds strike back in Richmond, VA.
- 1/14/13: Memphis, TN man accused of shooting brother-in-law to death
- 1/14/13: Police say father shot son in Northeast Baltimore argument
- 1/14/13: Father, daughter found dead in car; murder-suicide suspected. Alexandra was 10.
- 1/14/13: Mom fatally shoots son during argument
- 1/16/13: Police say Dalton shot and killed 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett and her uncle, 53-year-old Jackie Cornett, and injured the young girl, who died Wednesday. Police say the shooter and the woman had a child together.
- 1/16/13: Does this one count? I don't know. A former Norwalk woman has been arrested and jailed in Sandusky, charged in the shooting of her stepfather that took place Wednesday night in that city. Wilson told police the shooting was a "set-up" as she arranged a drug deal with her stepfather, Bartt Carruthers, with the intent to rob him.
- 1/17/13: Murder-suicide suspected in 3 Sandy Springs deaths
- 1/17/13: A St. Paul man threatened his daughter with an AK-47 rifle because she was getting two B's in school rather than straight A's, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.
- 1/18/13: Man suspected of shooting mother is wounded by Montebello police
- 1/18/13: The sheriff's department says Johanah was a dental assistant. Neighbors say the husband worked at a gun shop and that he had multiple firearms in the apartment. But, at 1:25 this morning a chilling 911 call in from a 25-year-old man who said he shot his wife.
- 1/19/13: The gun was unloaded, but sometime during the evening one of the teens loaded the handgun, according to the Henry County Police Department. At some point, the 14-year-old reportedly pointed the gun at his 15-year-old brother and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit the older brother in the chest, killing the teen, according to police.
- 1/19/13: Cleveland Police are investigating the death of a 6 year old girl after she was shot in the face
- 1/19/13: 53-year-old Stephen Sammartino, was attempting to clear a weapon when it misfired and shot his son in the back.
- 1/19/13: Tallahassee Police officers say a five-year-old boy was shot in the abdomen by his seven year old relative at the home. Police say the two were playing with the gun when it went off.
- 1/19/13: An argument at a girl’s 16th birthday party in Grapevine late Saturday night ended with the child's father shooting her mother and then killing himself, according to police.
And finally, a Dishonorable Mention (disqualified for lack of gun): 1/09/13: Texas Dad Arrested, Accused of Causing Security Panic at School