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November 23, 2014

Accidents Happen

We’ve all done stupid things without thinking about it. I drove off once with two fresh pizzas from the Moose’s Tooth Restaurant on the roof of my car.  I figure they blew off somewhere on the Seward Highway just south of Tudor Road. So, if you had a flying, steaming 16-inch disc of cajun halibut goodness slap down in the middle of your windshield a couple years ago, it’s my fault.

Then there was the guy who absentmindedly left his Stradivarius violin, worth $4 million, in the back of a Newark cab. Even when there’s a lot at stake, we humans are far from perfect.

And just this week, one armed guard, stationed at an elementary school, accidentally walked out of the men’s room, leaving his gun on the sink. Oops.

After the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the NRA has been advocating the placement of armed guards in every school across the nation. He hasn’t said how we should pay for that, or why he thinks that guns will make schools safer except to say that “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I guess they forgot about the armed guard at Columbine, or the shooting at Ft. Hood where I hear they had guns. And maybe he forgot about the man who went on a shooting rampage at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tennessee. He had 76 rounds, and expected to keep shooting people until police arrived and killed him. Instead, he was overpowered by good guys without guns, and will spend the rest of his days in prison.

State Representative Dennis Richardson of Oregon has this to say.

“If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide,” he wrote.

More guns = more safety.  “You never hear about a shooting at a gun show, do you?”  We’ve all heard that one.

This just in.

Officials say two people were accidentally shot and wounded at a gun show at the North Carolina state fairgrounds.

It happened Saturday at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, a quarterly event that usually draws thousands of people to the fairgrounds in Raleigh.

The fairground is operated by the state agriculture department. Agency spokesman Brian Long says a 12-gauge shotgun discharged while its owner unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check it at a security entrance.

Emergency crews responded to the scene, and two people were loaded into ambulances.

Long says the shotgun’s owner brought the weapon to the show to find a private buyer.

This also just in:

 

Police say an accidental shooting at a northeast Ohio gun show has left one man with injuries in his arm and leg.

The shooting happened Saturday afternoon in Medina, about 30 miles south of Cleveland.

Medina police Chief Pat Berarducci says a gun dealer was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he had just bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger.

Police say the gun’s magazine was loaded and had been pulled from the firearm, but one round remained in the chamber.

The chief says the victim and dealer are longtime friends.

It wasn’t a mass shooting. It wasn’t even on purpose. So, what’s the point?

The point is that even people who go to gun shows, and whom we assume to be reasonably versed in firearms safety and maintenance, and know their way around a rifle can mess up.

Wasn’t there even some elected official that accidentally shot a guy in the face?

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Preschool teachers packing heat, and armed security guards who have to pee don’t kill people. But, inevitable accidents by gun owners kill people. Accidental shootings resulted in between 14,000 and 15,000 non-fatal injuries, and about 600 deaths in 2011. Despite the alarming number of mass shootings in recent years, the number  of victims is fewer.

So, think about it before you suggest that Miss Emily at Maplewood Elementary start carrying a firearm in her class of curious and rambunctious Kindergarteners. What are the odds that she won’t be a guns-blazin’ Kindergarten Cop ready to take down a psychopathic murderer who has burst into her classroom, but rather that she forgot to lock her desk, or didn’t’ notice when one of her little students got curious about what that thing was around her waist. Or that she accidentally left a loaded weapon in the girls’ room, or in her tote bag on the floor next to her desk. Statistics can’t tell us those odds, but common sense does.

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Common sense tells us that more guns in more hands will mean more gun injuries in the same way that more cars mean more car accidents, and more delicate glassware in the dining room, means you’re more likely to break glass. And if we really feel that weaponizing everyone made us all safe, we’d better hurry up and give Iran nuclear weapons capability? Hey, if everyone has a nuke, then nobody will use it.

Right?

Unknown

 

Comments

comments

Comments
32 Responses to “Accidents Happen”
  1. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    To Rick at 3:31 pm – nice straw man you got there be a shame if someone put a match to it.

    A small but relevant point, the proposed legislation is to ban the future sale of weapons designed for combat purposes, i.e. assault weapons. It has nothing at all to do with your red herring of “confiscation”.

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    There is another piece to all this ;

    “The authors of a landmark study in 2002 on the relationship between murder and medicine
    concluded that advances in emergency services―including the 911 system and
    establishment of trauma centers―as well as better surgical techniques have suppressed the
    homicide rate. They concluded that “…without these developments in medical technology
    there would have been between 45,000 and 70,000 homicides annually the past 5 years
    instead of an actual 15,000 to 20,000.””

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/moreguns.pdf

    ———————————————

  3. Part of the problem they don’t address is that moment of decision of whether to shoot or not or whether it can be done without killing an innocent child, teacher or someone else at the school. Sometimes there are parents who are there picking up a child and they have toddlers or babies with them. The last thing we need is to have people caught in the cross fire. It won’t save lives, it will just make it worse. More guns is not the answer.

    I had to chuckle at the gun show “accidents” this past weekend. All that bluster about how much better off we’d all be if we had guns everywhere and they manage to shoot innocent bystanders or themselves. They just made the argument stronger for having stricter gun laws.

  4. Rick says:

    Yes accidents happen.

    US death rate per 100,000 in auto accidents 12.3
    Us death rate per 100,000 from guns…………..10.3 And that includes murder and suicide.

    But I don’t hear anyone trying to ban autos, even fast ones. Why does anybody need a car that goes faster than the speed limit anyway? That’s the same logic being used to ban certain military looking guns and high capacity clips.

    Ok so those scary looking rifles bust be killing a lot of people since everybody is on the bandwagon to ban them, right? Well lets look at the numbers.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8

    Ok the number of all murders in 2011 was 12,664. That sounds bad but the good news is that’s down from 14,916 in 2007 or a drop of 15%

    The total number of those murders committed with a rifle, not just so called assault rifles or those with high capacity clips, but ALL RIFLES was………………….323….. what a let down. Where’s the carnage? and that is down from 453 in 2007 for a drop of 28.7%. And these drops occurred all the while those crazy gun nuts were buying guns and ammo because they were afraid Obama was going to ban them. So I ask you Mudflatters, where is the carnage requiring a ban on these weapons?

    Let me do a little math for you. Those 323 RIFLE murders equal .002% of all gun deaths. One fifth of one percent. If they disappeared, they wouldn’t even make a blip in the number of gun murders. So what’s the point in banning them? Well of course it’s because you have to start some place and we can use a couple tragic school massacres to stir up hate and discontent against guns and gun owners. It’s easy to get political backing from people who know and don’t want to know anything about guns and to “save the children”.

    No wonder lawful gun owners are stirred up like bees when a bear swats their nest looking for honey. It’s because they know it’s not just the “military style” weapons they are coming for. And they will use any tragedy to attain their goal.

    God I hate sheeple! It’s how we ended up in Iraq and spent our Country into near bankruptcy.

    • Rick says:

      Oh, and a very big chunk of gun deaths are suicides. Not many suicides need assault rifles and 50 shot clips, so a ban won’t lower the suicide rate either. Same with accidents. Pretty much 100% of accidental gun deaths are one shot from a gun that was mishandled. Usually a pistol, rifle or shotgun that was believed to be empty.

      • Jeanne Devon says:

        Thanks for completely missing my point. This is not a post about banning anything. That’s a completely different subject. This is a post about the absurdity of combating gun violence by having more guns. If everyone in the US was armed, and carrying, what do you think would happen? Because the NRA is advocating in that direction.

        • Rick says:

          Then explain to me why the gun death rate has fallen as millions of more guns were purchased the last 4 years. Push for more responsible gun ownership and punish the people who do harm. Don’t go after law abiding citizens. That’s how you push even more people to the NRA, which I don’t belong to by the way. You also push people to the Republican party because people don’t trust Dems with their 2nd Amendment rights. Never mind that GW attacked the Constitution with the Patriot Act. Obama’s biggest sin so far in my eyes is to not get rid of unConstitutional domestic spying.

          • john doe says:

            Even the FBI says in their disclaimers that their ‘statistics’ aren’t reliable or without error and they especially warn against comparing numbers because reporting is voluntary and not often comparative.

            You can actually take more of the data set and ‘prove’ your premise false, but that’s missing the point.

            If you look at the numbers for 2012, the numbers are trending back up. Are you sure you want to call attention to something you can’t control? You won’t defend the numbers when they don’t uphold your preconceptions.

      • mike from iowa says:

        According to your posted FBI site-67.7% of all murders were commited with firearms,47% of all robberies and a goodly % of assaults. Later you mentioned autos and how no one wants to ban them. Automobiles were never designed to slaughter people and when used as intended do not kill. AR type rifles were designed to kill-designed to penetrate military helmets at 500 yards. Bushmaster rifles are supposed to be semi-automatic and allegedly can be made full auto with a single rubber band.(added externally)

        • JHypers says:

          First off, it is not the rifle, or any firearm for that matter, that penetrates any target. It is the caliber, weight, and charge of the ammunition used in said rifle that carries the ballistic capability of doing what you say the 5.56 round does, while the firearm is designed to accurately fire that projectile (accurate being a relative term here). Some loadings of 5.56 may be capable of what you claim, depending on the amount of ft.-lbs. of force provided at the point of impact, but the number of shooters who can consistently fire on target at 500 yards with an AR-15 is extremely limited, as this distance is pushing the effective range of the rifle.

          Firearms are tools. Yes they kill, but they do not have to…and conventional wisdom would suggest, given the millions of guns in private hands in America, compared even to the gun-related deaths, that the profound majority of these guns (even the black scary ones with 30-round mags that all the ambulance chasers in Washington want to ban) have not killed anyone – ever. Just as a firearm (an inanimate object capable of nothing without a human operator) does not murder 20 children in a school, it also does not save a woman from being mugged on the streets, or protect a man’s family from home invaders. The person who’s finger is on the trigger of those weapons represents EVERYTHING that firearm is truly capable of. So what this tells me is that most PEOPLE, by and large, are gun owners who either
          a) do not use their firearms at all, or
          b) use them in a safe, responsible manner for any number of reasons, at varying rates.

          INTENT is a human-designated application for anything, even motor vehicles. Most people use them simply to get from point A to point B, but there are some use it as an instrument of death, just as some use guns to rob, assault, and kill other humans.

          Specifically discussing the AR platform, or for that matter any modular carbine weapon system, it is an extremely valuable tool for self-defense: more so than any handgun. Practical for carrying around on a daily basis? Not really, but that doesn’t change the capability factor. Reliability, ease, and comfort of use are important factors to consider when choosing a tool for this purpose. Firepower is another essential factor in self-defense. Consider New York State, which just criminalized the use of a detachable magazine holding more than 7 rounds in any firearm, as well as any AR/AK platform style rifles in any caliber. Regardless of whether or not you agree with this legislation, it is undeniable that New Yorkers have been rendered, by law, less effective at and less capable of providing for their own defense. Would you not rather have 30 bullets at the ready, than only 7 in one magazine, if your life depended on it? I suppose your answer might depend on the ammunition at hand.

          For the record, I am not an NRA member and I do not think putting a gun in everyone’s hands is going to prevent gun-related disaster. My opinion is that people who wish to arm themselves with whatever weapon system they deem necessary has the right to do so…but simply having that right doesn’t mean it will be exercised, and if it is, the responsibility falls on that individual to properly care for the tool, use it safely, and practice using it effectively – often.

    • slipstream says:

      “So I ask you Mudflatters, where is the carnage requiring a ban on these weapons?”

      The carnage requiring a ban on these weapons is in an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Conneticut.

      20 murdered schoolchildren.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        amen, slip, amen.

        • Rick says:

          Look, any dead child is a tragedy, especially to their family. But your logic is the same as saying “get rid of planes” because a jumbo jet crashes and a couple hundred people die.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            No, dear, that is not my logic. That is your take on my remark.
            Don’t tell me what my logic is.
            Nor Slip, nor anyone else here.
            You can ASK what my/our logic is, you can even keep posting comments full of insults about sheeple and all that until our hostess cuts you off, but do NOT tell us what we think.

          • slipstream says:

            Okay, Rick, here’s what you do.

            You go to Newtown, Connecticut.

            You find the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

            You tell them that the murder of their daughter, the murder of their son, was a statistically insignificant blip in the number of murders by rifle in the US in 2012.

            You tell them that their son or daughter was worth less than your love for guns.

            You heartless bastard.

            • Rick says:

              Now they are saying the shooter in the Sandy Hook shooting only had pistols, no “assault weapon”. So what’s your excuse now?

              http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50208495#50208495

              Here’s the point. If you’re murdered, it doesn’t matter what weapon was used to kill you. You’re still dead and the killer is still a scum bad guy. Instead of focusing on an inanimate object, why don’t you use your head and put the blame where it belongs, on the killer.

              You’ve been manipulated into hating something by a lie. You might want to examine your thinking process.

              And heartless? I doubt people who know me would call me that. That’s all that matters.

              • slipstream says:

                Connectic State Police say that all 20 students killed inside Sandy Hook School, and all 6 faculty members, were killed with a Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15-E2S rifle with high capacity 30 round clips.

                You can call it whatever you want to. Maybe a pink unicorn.

                I call it an assault weapon.

              • Alaska Pi says:

                ” In previous press conferences, the Connecticut State Police clearly identified all of the weapons seized from the crime scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

                To eliminate any confusion or misinformation, we will again describe and identify the weapons seized at the school crime scene.
                Seized inside the school:

                #1. Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S rifle with high capacity 30 round magazine

                #2. Glock 10 mm handgun

                #3. Sig-Sauer P226 9mm handgun

                http://www.ct.gov/despp/cwp/view.asp?Q=517284&A=4226

              • JHypers says:

                Dude, I sympathize with everyone who’s worried about their defensive capabilities being restricted, and their rights ultimately violated through emotional knee-jerk reactions to this horrendous tragedy…

                But if you are going to make a point, PLEASE don’t use OLD VIDEO from the day after the event that has been updated. I’ve seen this video used by many others who say the bushmaster was never used in the school, and they always treat it like it’s a breaking story. But until there’s definitive evidence to the contrary, this video does nothing but make you look like a fool.

                Quit knit-picking and hold steadfast to the philosophy that adequately armed people are free, and unarmed people (or those who willing choose to not own guns) are effectively slaves that can be coerced either by psychopathic individuals, or tyrants in government.

                Keep on having fun.

  5. John says:

    Ronald Reagan wpold never have been shot if the Secret Service and DC police surrounding him outside the Mayflowet Hotel had been armed. Oh, wait. They were, yet several people ended up shot.

  6. whoami says:

    Great article in Anchorage Daily News Opinion/Compass regarding arming teachers.

    http://adn.com/2013/01/20/2757886/compass-armed-guards-in-school.html

  7. Mo says:

    Don’t miss Tom Tomorrow this week if you haven’t seen it yet…worth of framing, perhaps, for handy reference?

    http://tom-tomorrow.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/21/1180075/-NRA-debate-tips

    My favorite square is the confrontation between the certified public accountant and the would-be mass shooter.

  8. slipstream says:

    On November 29, 2009, 37 year old Maurice Clemmons walked into a coffee shop in Lakeland, Washington, stood in line at the counter while he noted the locations of four police officers in the shop, then pulled out a handgun and began firing at the officers.

    Four police officers – well trained, in uniform, with service guns and backup guns, wearing bulletproof vests – died. The first three officers did not manage to return fire before they died. The fourth officer, mortally wounded, fired at the fleeing Clemmons but did not hit him.

    Clemmons scooped up an officer’s handgun before fleeing. Now he had two handguns.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/78088192.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/29/AR2009112902784.html

    Suppose we manage to put four trained, armed, uniformed police officers, with bulletproof vests, in every classroom all across the United States. Somebody comes in, already having made the decision to kill, and opens fire. Handgun and large capacity magazine. The officers’ reaction time it just too slow. They have to realize there is a threat, draw their weapons, identify the shooter, check the area behind the shooter for innocent bystanders, and make the decision to shoot.

    Too late.

    And now the killer has another handgun. Maybe several more.

    Four police officers can’t protect their own lives in a coffee shop.

    How is one fourth-grade teacher expected to do better than four police officers?

    • just saying says:

      well there was another shooting in Texas…two dudes got into it and started shooting each other…may be instead of arming guards with guns we should arm them with animal control…knock out darts…no harm no foul…and they can wake up in jail…HELLO says the fellow inmates…grin…

    • Rick says:

      The four cops in the coffee shop weren’t “on guard” . They had no reason to expect trouble and weren’t prepared. They were eating. And yet one of them managed to return fire, seriously wounding the attacker.

      • slipstream says:

        That’s right. And do you expect a police officer stationed in an elementary school classroom to be “on guard” after, say, three years of nothing happening in that classroom, day after day after day of listening to 9-year olds doing math problems and spelling lists?.

        The police officer would have no reason to expect trouble, and wouldn’t be prepared.

        Similar situation. Similar result.

      • fishingmamma says:

        Police Officers, on duty, in uniform, are, actually, ‘on guard’. Rick, you brought your argument to the wrong place. Around the world, rational people agree that reducing the number of available guns will reduce the number of gun deaths.

  9. mike from iowa says:

    February 4,1999. Four NYPD officers fired forty one bullets at close range at unarmed Amadou Diallo. Nineteen bullets(46%) found their target. Imagine how pathetic the percentage could have been if Mr Diallo’s wallet was shooting back. These are supposed to be highly trained and proficient shooters. Maybe the twenty two bullets that missed developed a conscience and deliberately missed their intended targets. I doubt the shooters really cared.

    • sj says:

      A situation similar to this just happened last year (2012). Last year in August the New York police hit 9 bystanders at the Empire State Building incident. I read recently that one of those bystanders is now suing the police.

  10. Ben in SF says:

    I had enough trouble a few years back when our then 4-year old grandson grew an inch in two weeks, so suddenly he could see all the shiny objects on my desk…and reach them. Think of a classroom full of curious little ones with a gun somewhere (even if forbidden or locked up). There would always be some kid who wanted to see it…

  11. Beaglemom says:

    Well the only way the state representative could have shot the killer would have been if he had been a sharpshooter with advance knowledge of the shooter’s presence. Really good aim and a really quick draw because the shooter at Newtown, unfortunately, knew what he was doing and had a weapon that shot many, many rounds per minute. Those children were not simply shot once but multiple times each. I like the way the gun loving legislators are so quick to brag about how they would have prevented anything from happening. A much surer way would be to begin by enacting serious gun laws in this country.

  12. Deni says:

    And this morning it was reported that a security guard in Trinidad (I think) shot his penis off (that I’m sure of!). He had his gun in his pocket. Yeah, a gun in every classroom…what could possibly go wrong???

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