We’ve talked before about how what the word “lower” in “lower house” if a bicameral system might mean. Here we have another example. The Minnesota House has passed a bill, almost unanimously, that would allow County Attorneys … that’s our phrase for prosecutors … to carry guns.

Not in the courtroom, though.

There was a recent event in which a County Attorney was shot by a pissed off guy who had just been convicted of some nasty crime. Yesterday or thereabouts, the horrid 911 call of that incident, which recorded much agony and fear and such on tape, was released. Everybody is upset about it again.

That incident happened in a courtroom where the CA would not have been carrying a gun, according to this potential new law.

Details.

Did you hear about the death of the high school student? The young man was a friend of my daughter’s; they knew each other since Kindergarten. I use the term “friend” loosely because they did not hang out together a lot over the years, but when someone is a neighbor and a school mate for 12 years, they’re more or less a friend. The other day, he walked out in front of his house, where he lives with his family, said out loud to someone that there was a note inside explaining something, turned a gun he was holding on himself and pulled the trigger. They say in cases like this that “he died instantly” but that is just to make people feel better. There’s a good chance he was alive for a while, during which time he bled out and his organs shut down one by one.

Did you hear about the other kid that died, this morning? It was in Ohio. A young man pulled out a pistol in a waiting area of a school, where four or five kids were sitting at a table, waiting for a bus. He pointed the pistol at them, and to the horror of various onlookers who later described the scene, walked towards the kids at the table, pulling the trigger again and again. One of the children slumped down on the table and started his process of dying. Another tried to hide under the table but he was shot anyway. One kid ran away and called the police, even though a bullet notched his ear. As of this writing, two kids are in the hospital in critical condition, and two in serious condition, and one is in the morgue.

We can ask why these things happen, why these kids did these things, but there is another question that must also be asked, and that is often left unaddressed until long after the shock and horror of the incident wears off for the news junkies, bloggers, and other voyeurs. This question is: Where did the guns come from? It is extremely unlikely that these weapons were legally owned by these children. They got the weapons from somewhere. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who might have owned these weapons legally would have loaned them out to the children. Most likely they got the weapons by taking them from where they were stored, against the wishes of the owners.

It is hard to find information on where the weapons that children use to kill themselves and each other come from. It is generally felt that in the case of suicides, the weapons are from the home, and they were not properly secured. In the case of “school shootings,” there is an old (but still relevant) study1 that tells us where the weapons are generally from. Continue reading

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1Yeah, right, I know, I know.

Have you ever noticed that lower level of a bicameral legislature is often populated by out of control yahoos who aren’t very good lawmakers, while the upper level is more often populated by individuals who seem less willing to totally embarass themselves at every turn? A great example of this unfolded recently in New Hampshire, with some gun-related legislation.

The house crafted a number of bills related to guns:

  • A bill allowing people to carry loaded weapons, including crossbows, in their cars, by redefining what “loaded gun” is.
  • A bill that lets people carry guns on campuses, public sports venues, and the state psychiatric hospital
  • A bill that allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit
  • Two other bills, I don’t know what they were.

All the bills were quickly rejected by the Senate. Of these bills, Senate President Peter Bragdon said, “We spent a grand total of 6 minutes on 5 bills because we want to focus on the issues that are important to the New Hampshire people.”

Live free or else!

I suppose that depends on what we think the process is for. I would have hoped that gun permits serve the very important role of making sure that gun owners are more likely than they otherwise might be to know how to properly handle guns, and that guns are kept out of the hands of people who will do damage with them.

Japete at Commongunsense.com suggests that this is not necessarily the case:

Continue reading

First of all, how the heck to you have a State Fair in the middle of the winter time????

Second, … in case you needed to know, you can carry your firearms at the fair this year! Yahooo!

Following complaints by a gun rights group, and a law passed by the Florida Legislature last year, you can now carry your gun at the Florida State Fair.

“We have changed the policy to comply with the state law – it allows a person with a concealed weapon permit to come in with a firearm,” said Charles Pesano, executive director of the State Fair Authority. “We’ve changed some signs to reflect that.”

Instead of “No Weapons,” the signs now say, “No Unlawful Weapons.”

Film at 11. Well, actually, film right now (This is about the whole fair, not the gun packing part of the fair):
Continue reading

Since we last discussed this about 17 days ago, Bill Adams and Charles Lake shot themselves while handling their handguns. They weren’t shottin’ intruders or varmints or nuthin’. Just holding or loading. Some guy in florida was “putting his gun away” when the 9mm went off. But bullet passed into his neighbor’s apartment and shot her while she was sleeping. A dood down in Hatchez, Mississippi woke in the middle of the night to a sound he mistook for an intruder. He shot hisself in the damn pinkie toe.

Thoze-all might have been people who knew nohting about guns, hard to say, but Jack Haning of Lubbock has been messing with guns his whole life, but he still managed to shoot himself in the leg after showing off his new handgun to his coworkers. He did not live.

James Crawford of Virginia was playing with a 9mm at a party. He thought the gun was empty so he wuz pretenging like he was shooting himself in the head but then he shot himself in the head for real. He did not live.

Maybe James Crawford was a drunk dumbass teenager with no callin’ to have a handgun, but a security guard in St Petersburg Florida who is licensed to havea gun was hidden in a small closet with two young men in the church explaining to them the safety features of his Ruger 9mm when he pulled the trigger. The bullet went through the wall and hit Hanna Kelly, the 20 year old daughter of the pastor in the head. She is in critical condition and, well, is not really expected to live. Something tells me there is more to that story than meets the eye at this particular moment.

Most of those were in the south, which makes me wonder about the south. But up oi Ohio, Wellington Roemer shot himself through the thigh and gut when his weapon discharged as he exited his vehicle. Previous to that he had posted this on facebook: “I’ll keep my money, freedom & guns, you keep the change.” with a picture of Obama.

Back in the south, in South Carolina in fact, a woman carrying a valid permitted gun in her purse shot her friend in the foot when the gun went off by itself. Though she had a permit, she was in fact not allowed to carry the gun into the mall. No word on if there will be charges, or if anyone is looking into the safety of that particular weapon which appears to, well, not be safe.

While we are on the subject of malls, a woman was shot in Jacksonville, in the arm, by a stray bullet. That may be different from all these other cases because it could have been some sort of violent crime in which an innocent bystander was shot. But I include it here because we might want to have a discussion of the utility of carrying guns around in shopping malls. If only everyone in that mall was packing, that guy who shot the woman by accident would never had pulled that gun out out of fear.

In another case of a person who should know better, a former chief of police of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, shot himself in the hand while cleaning his gun.

… of complications related to being shot in the head by either his 4 year old brother or his 13 year old brother. They were playing with a gun in their parents house in Morristown, Tennessee. Tennessee law is pretty weak on personal firarm responsibility. No charges will be fired. They have suffered enough.

A bunch of people cleaning up after a church fundraiser in Wentzville, Missouri, started popping balloons for fun and, I’m guessing, some nimrod decided it would be fun to shoot one (this has not been established, but you can read the story and decide for yourself) and accidentially shot Aaron Dwan. Dwan will live, but he’s in serious condition. We await word on charges.

The husband of a newlywed couple shot his bride and himself with the 9mm she gave him as a gift because he didn’t know about the part where a bullet stays in the chamber if you rack the gun and pull out the clip. The injuries were minor but I’m thinking there are some regrets. Some guy shot his friend on the shooting range in Painesville, Ohio because he didn’t know how to clear his .357 properly. Nineteen year old Facebooker Jared Hyndrich who posted numerious photos of himself and his extensive gun collection is dead. He put an unloaded gun to his head and pulled the trigger. But it was loaded after all. Lee Allan Miars of Oregon did roughly the same thing; He was telling a story about a gun, and he happened to have a gun handy, so he used it as a prop. I’m not sure if the story was supposed to end with someone getting shot fatally in the head, but Miars himself certainly did end that way.

So, in case you were wondering, that’s what’s been going on in the world of personal firearms antics over the last ten days in the US.