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Idiots With Guns

July 28, 2012

First, my personal history with guns and gun control. I grew up in Texas, and have been a gun-owner since I was a young child. I’ve carried and used guns for hunting and for personal and home protection. I sided with the minority in DC v Heller, and while I favor some efforts and gun control, I don’t think the government should take everybody’s guns away. But I do understand that more Americans with more guns means more Americans killed and injured with guns. That’s reality. So when I hear and read people insisting that the solution to gun violence is for more people to arm themselves, I wonder what reality they’re living in.

Yes, sometimes people protect themselves against criminals with guns, quite likely saving their own lives and/or those of others. I get that. But then there are the gun accidents, the suicides, and all the rest of it. These two gun-related news stories have caught my attention in the last couple of days:

4 People Hurt by Gunfire in Dallas Walmart

Door-to-door Lobster Salesman Shot and Killed

In the first story, the guy, Todd Canady, is trying get his wallet out and instead dislodges his pistol, which falls to the floor and goes off. Canady was grazed by the bullet before it ricocheted off the floor, and a woman and two children were slightly injured by debris (bits of floor tile?). Luckily nobody was seriously injured or killed, but I think this is a good illustration that not everybody who’s licensed to carry a concealed firearm are competent, responsible, law-abiding gun-owners. And while accidentally discharging a firearm may not be a criminal offense, running away from the scene of the accident is, and the guy has been arrested for evading arrest (so much for being a responsible, law-abiding citizen).

In the second story, Kenneth Roop came home and saw Nicholas Rainey walking away from his house.Roop asked him what he was doing there, Rainey answered, and then Roop shot him in the shoulder and then killed him with a shot to the head after he was on the ground. Roop has been arrested for second-degree murder, but whether or not the charge will stick remains to be seen. Roop is quoted as saying “I’ll kill anybody who steps on my property” and “I am not going to give him the chance to do something to me. I was in fear.” Roop, like Canady, is licensed to carry a concealed firearm. In 2005, he was charged with improper exhibition of a weapon after pointing a pistol at an electrical meter reader. The jury found him not guilty.

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