Some facts about guns in the US

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by James R, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It's not in the Bill of Rights, but in reality we all have the freedom to enjoy any ideas we want to. If you play around with an idea long enough, you end up analyzing it. You might even discuss it with your friends. So if it's a bad idea, there's a good chance that this will be discovered before idea becomes action--assuming that your friends are not all NRA members in Alabama.

    We always tell people, "Think about it before you do it." So let's be true to our principles.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    And Another One Gone ....

    Hopkinsville, Kentucky

    The Huffington Post offers the rundown:

    In the latest tragic shooting fatality to involve small children, a 4-year-old boy in Kentucky allegedly shot and killed his 6-year-old sister Sunday morning after the boy picked up his grandfather's gun.

    The names of the two children have not yet been released.

    The apparently accidental shooting occurred sometime Sunday morning in Hopkinsville, according to local NBC affiliate WSMV. The station reports that William Wyatt, the siblings' grandfather, had been cleaning his gun and walked away for a few moments, which was when the brother picked it up and allegedly pointed it at his sister. The bullet entered through the girl's face and lodged in her spine.

    "I'm sitting here, I just came off the chair and picked her up, and put her in my arms, and I held her until the rescue squad came here," Wyatt said, according to WSMV.

    The sister was taken first to Jennie Stuart Medical Center and then transferred to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, where she died late Sunday night, according to News Channel 5.

    The gun was a .38 caliber pistol, according to the Kentucky New Era. So far, no charges have been filed against Wyatt, but the investigation is ongoing, according to News Channel 5.



    The Hufington Post. "4-Year-Old Kentucky Boy Fatally Shoots 6-Year-Old Sister ". July 1, 2013. July 1, 2013.
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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    And another one gone. The captions are not helping your perceived humanitarianism, here.
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Guns on a plane..

    In an article about people trying to sneak guns onto planes in the US, in every way imaginable, from a pen gun to guns strapped to ankles to some that apparently looked like smart phones.. And how people claim to forget the gun was on their person when they are caught (how is that possible?)..

    However one passenger's story caught my eye. Yes, I hear you wonder, how is it possible to think that something could be more interesting than a gun disguised as a smartphone?

    Sadly, it does get better:

    Most of those who are stopped with guns are reluctant to talk about it afterward. One who didn't mind was Raymond Whitehead, 53, of Santa Fe, N.M., who was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in May after screeners spotted 10 hollow-point bullets in his carry-on bag. Whitehead, who is completely blind, also had a .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver in his checked bag that he had failed to declare. He said in an interview with the AP that he was unaware of the specifics of the rules for checking guns, or that hollow-point bullets are illegal in New Jersey.

    Blind people and guns.. Yes.. Because that makes sense..

    He apparently expressed surprise at having been arrested... He seems to believe that it is normal to carry guns and illegal bullets, along with 7 illegal knives onto a plane while traveling.

    Port Authority cops then found the .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver and seven illegal knives in his checked luggage, and he was arrested.

    The carpenter said he took the gun with him because he was traveling to a “strange place” and wanted to be able to protect his family and property.

    His interview with AP was even more astonishing:

    Whitehead acknowledged that it seems "counterintuitive" for a blind man to have a gun but said he keeps a loaded gun handy for protection from intruders. In such a situation, he said, he would call out a warning that he had a gun and spray bullets in the direction of the noise if the intruder didn't leave.

    "I have five shots, and if I fan it out I'm going to hit you," said Whitehead, a National Rifle Association member who owns five guns

    The only words that come to mind are "what the fuck?!"..
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well... he would, actually. I suppose it's a matter of personal taste in the US whether 'spray and pray' also clips a few bystanders.
  9. Bells Staff Member

    Or don't shoot yourself in the leg..

    New Jersey allows blind people to own guns. Constitutional rights, etc.. Well this was especially so after Steven Hopler went to court and was granted the permission to own guns even though he is blind.

    Mr. Hopler, 49, who lives on a winding road here, is once again fighting for his right to keep and bear arms despite having been totally blind for most of his adult life. He has repeatedly persuaded judges to let him keep his collection of more than a dozen handguns, but doing so has been more complicated since 2008, when he was handling a .357 Magnum he owned and shot himself in the shin.

    While he was in the hospital recovering, a burglar stole some of his guns. The authorities grew concerned that Mr. Hopler, who lost his eyesight because of diabetes, could not safely maintain his collection. When the police came to investigate the burglary, they found one loaded pistol in an oven mitt and another gun tucked under a sofa cushion. And one of the stolen guns, the police learned, was used in a suicide in Passaic.

    It is not good to laugh at people's misfortune, but really. Blind man goes to court to be given the right to own guns and in the midst of doing this, accidentally shoots himself in the leg.

    So the State tried to find a way from preventing him from owning a gun and to revoke his gun license (gun in oven mitt.. really..). And they went after his alleged drinking problem. Because apparently in New Jersey, you can own and shoot a gun if you are blind but not if you are an alcoholic. He denies this of course..

    However, you cannot deny the ridiculous situation this case had become:

    Mr. Hopler has had gun permits for many years. He first drew attention after the local police denied him a permit in 1993. Mr. Hopler went to court and argued that he had a constitutional right to own a gun, even if he was not fit to fire it. A judge agreed but stipulated that he could not load or shoot his guns.

    Afterward, Mr. Hopler said: “I didn’t think that a blind person would be able to load and fire a weapon. Of course not. That would be dangerous.”

    But he returned to court and successfully had those limitations removed. He was allowed to shoot his guns if he was with somebody trained to use firearms. An acquaintance who once accompanied Mr. Hopler at a firing range said Mr. Hopler used a remote-controlled bell to locate the target, firing at the sound.

    The police confiscated some of the guns that Mr. Hopler still had after the burglary. Last year, after Mr. Hopler recovered from his wound, another judge ruled that he could keep his remaining guns but ordered him to complete a course on the safekeeping of weapons and have his sobriety evaluated.

    I wonder if the remote-controlled bell went off near his pants..
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    ... And Another One Gone ...

    ... And Another One Gone ...


    Three handguns were found inside the room where a 4-year-old boy was fatally shot.

    Reports said the boy, Ray-twon Briggs, 4, died after being shot at about 11 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Fairgreen Avenue.

    The boy's grandmother told police the boy was playing with one of the guns and fatally shot himself through the head while two other children, ages 1 and 5, were inside the room with Briggs.

    Police Chief Rod Foley said the children accessed loaded guns in a 26-year-old man's room. He said investigators are trying to determine who owned the guns.

    The grandmother told 911 dispatchers the kids were playing in the room and a found a gun. The woman pleads for help while children scream in the background.

    Officers noted finding two guns in the room and a third with a bullet casing under a bed. Gun-shot residue tests were performed on everyone at the home. The boy's mother and father were not at the home at the time of the shooting and showed up later, reports said.

    While officers are "working with the theory" that the shooting was accidental, police are treating the incident as a homicide; Chief Rod Foley said that while it appears the shoooting was accidental, "we got a long way to go yet until we can say that for sure".

    We humbly pray to the almighty Glorified G that It might accept this sacrifice, offered up because, you know, America, and freedom, and all that stuff. Amen.


    WKBN Staff. "Boy, 4, fatally shot on Youngstown's North Side". WKBN. July 8, 2013. July 8, 2013.
  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    And. Another one. Gone. Do you mind not portraying it as a joke?
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Well, What Do You Know? The Private Market Comes to the Rescue

    Marketplace solutions.

    As more schools consider arming their employees, some districts are encountering a daunting economic hurdle: insurance carriers threatening to raise their premiums or revoke coverage entirely.

    During legislative sessions this year, seven states enacted laws permitting teachers or administrators to carry guns in schools. Three of the measures — in Kansas, South Dakota and Tennessee — took effect last week.

    But already, EMC Insurance Companies, the liability insurance provider for about 90 percent of Kansas school districts, has sent a letter to its agents saying that schools permitting employees to carry concealed handguns would be declined coverage.

    “We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial security of our company,” the letter said.


    The NYT also notes other schools running into this sort of trouble. Jenny Emery of the Association of Governmental Risk Pools esplained, "I haven't seen evidence yet that suggests people are determining that arming teachers is a recommended way to manage risk. Far from it." Schools in Oregon, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Kansas are all facing difficult insurance questions about plans to put more guns on school campuses.

    To the other, Kansas and Texas are leading the way for states looking to arm their teachers:

    For three Kansas community colleges, which were insured by EMC but decided to allow concealed carry on their campuses under the new law, the search for another insurance provider was easier than expected.

    Dan Barwick, the president of Independence Community College, said his college and two others recently signed a joint insurance plan with another company at a rate that he expected would save the group about $2 million over the next decade. Advocates for arming teachers point to the colleges as evidence that some insurance providers are willing to stomach the risk, should K-12 schools in Kansas decide to shop around

    “What will happen is the market will take care of this,” said Forrest Knox, a Kansas state senator who helped pass the concealed carry legislation. “Other companies are going to do the dollars and cents.”

    That theory is certainly true in states like Texas, where strong tort protections have made it easier for about 30 districts to arm their employees this year. Dubravka Romano, who oversees a cooperative that insures about half of the state's 1,035 districts, said schools there were not charged extra for having guns on campus.

    In the end, there are always market players willing to play according to dollars and cents. But how long before the numbers inform those players? Take Texas as an example; the laws limit all sorts of liability in the name of improving business. Like, say, storage of explosive chemicals and safety inspections. And, what in all those years the West Fertilizer Company Facility only really had one accident. It's probably worth the trade to Texans; just think of all the business Texas has attracted because of that sort of regulatory environment.

    And so it goes. Meanwhile, consider Los Angeles. Compared to a school district with a grand total of 103 students, even smaller cities like Seattle, Tacoma, Boise, Portland, Salem .... Well, okay, in the first place, you probably couldn't sell the school boards on the idea. But if you could, the insurance hit would be tremendous. A town of four hundred operating under extraordinary circumstances in an environment with special liability protection saving five dollars per student by switching insurance companies? The numbers, at least, make sense. But not so with a fifty-five square mile school district with a student population in excess of twenty-eight thousand, spread over fifty-seven campus facilities, a staff of over 5,000, and a $280m budget that represents a $4m revenue shortfall. And that's the third largest district in the state of Washington. The actuarial outlook just can't support that kind of endeavor. Tacoma is still climbing out of a gang violence problem that has long plagued the city. The last thing they need right now is more bullets flying.

    And Los Angeles? Over 1,100 campus facilities in LAUSD. Nearly half the student body enrolled in year-round schools. A student population of over 660,000. Nearly 32,000 teachers. So big that in addition to two unions to deal with, one of them is for Los Angeles teachers specifically. Budgeted at $7.3b, it's the second largest school district in the country, and it is plagued by the fact of being underfunded. I cannot imagine the actuarial outlook on arming LAUSD teachers is encouraging.

    In the end, the private sector might well be what keeps teachers unarmed in most of the school districts around the nation. And it will be interesting to see if conservative legislatures and executives in the states will establish a publicly-financed liability insurance market in order to arm schoolteachers, or follow the Texas anti-regulatory lead.


    Yaccino, Steven. "Schools Seeking to Arm Employees Hit Hurdle on Insurance". The New York Times. July 7, 2013. July 9, 2013.

    Wikipedia. "Tacoma Public Schools". June 14, 2013. July 9, 2013.

    —————. "Los Angeles Unified School District". June 9, 2013. July 9, 2013.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I wonder why insurance companies would do such a thing? More frequent claims for critical care after someone is shot maybe?
    If there is one thing I trust insurance companies to get right, it is risk assessment.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Tuscon's Finest

    Responsible Gun Owners?

    Really, I mean, one would think that regardless of the vagaries we might find in a phrase like "responsible gun owner", we should be able to count our local police officers among them.

    Then again, there is Arizona.

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    Tuscon's Finest: Tuscon police officer Kyle J. McCartin (l.), points a gun at a Giant Gas Station clerk, July 16, 2013.

    Via Associated Press:

    A Tucson, Ariz., police officer has been fired after authorities say he pulled a gun on a gas station attendant while off duty and apparently intoxicated.

    The Pima County Sheriff's Department notified Tucson police that 23-year-old Kyle James McCartin was arrested early Tuesday on two counts of aggravated assault.

    Deputies were called to a Giant Gas Station and learned two men who appeared very intoxicated entered the store wearing bulletproof vests.

    Authorities say one of the men pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the clerk twice.

    Deputies found the men at a nearby apartment complex and the clerk identified McCartin as the man with the gun.

    By the time I get to Arizona ....

    Oh, wait. I'm not going anywhere near Arizona anytime soon.


    Associated Press. "Kyle James McCartin, Off-Duty Arizona Cop, Accused Of Pointing Gun At Clerk". The Huffington Post. July 16, 2013. July 18, 2013.
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This is sad. I have routinely asserted that the only people who should be allowed to have guns are cops. They are psychologically screened for the right temperament, they are professionally trained in the handling of guns, and they are also trained extensively in psychology so they can "read" the people they come in contact with. As a result, they have a far lower rate of shooting the wrong person or shooting in anger, confusion, accident, etc., than the general population. Our guns (well not mine, I don't allow the goddamned things in my house) are six times as likely to kill us (accident, confusion, anger, suicide, stolen by a criminal, wrestled out of our hands by an intruder) than to actually be used in self-defense against man or beast. (The animal that kills more Americans than any other is the bison, and very few people defend themselves against bison with guns, since the cause is usually collision with a vehicle, and since it's not easy to stop a bison with a handgun anyway.)

    Police guns have just the opposite profile. Most police officers go years without even drawing their guns except on the shooting range. Many retire without ever drawing them, much less shooting them.

    So I'm tempted to write this incident off as a regrettable but statistically expected anomaly. At least no one was injured, much less killed.

    I spent my childhood in Tucson, where it still had a "cowboys and Indians" culture. Apparently it hasn't changed in 55 years.

    Me neither, but because of the intolerable weather, the paucity of culture, and the fact that all but one of my high school friends moved out of the state too.

    I'm more likely to be shot by a civilian here in peaceful Maryland than by a cop in Arizona, or for that matter anywhere in the country since I have the good fortune of Euro-American ancestry.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    True, That

    And I am what is supposed to be "honorary white" (Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Hocus Pocus) mixed with real, northern European white. Rural folks tend to think I'm some sort of Hispanic or Romani.

    In truth, it's not the idea of being shot in itself that compels me to say stay the hell out of various places, just like it isn't the idea that I won't ever be running up against idiotic prosecutors in Indiana or South Carolina since I won't ever be pregnant and can't miscarry and end up charged with murder.

    But, yes, as you note, the paucity of culture. True, I'd loathe the weather, too. But the bizarre stuff going on in Arizona—whether it's the ego-dystonic homosexual sheriff who likes dressing minority men in pink lingerie, the psychotic governor who can't answer obvious political questions without her brain seizing, this moronic cop, or whatever—trying to remain civilized while swimming in that toxic stew of Arizona culture?

    I think of the paradoxical morons I won't tolerate who protest libraries and such because librarians don't like censorship, who say their First Amendment rights are violated as long as some writer's or musician's are still intact. You know, the kind of people whose Christian faith is under siege if a library doesn't remove Heather Has Two Mommies, or Demon Walk, or a Wrinkle in Time from circulation.

    And then I try to imagine spending a day in Arizona, where that kind of idiotic thinking is a requisite of social nicety, and no, I just can't do it.

    Even more than the danger of some idiot with a gun shooting me, it's the thought of how low I would have to stoop in order to construct a pretense of assimilation.
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What confuses me about the Zimmerman case, is the fact that he was able to shoot an unarmed person in a public place at all.

    IMO, this is a direct result of the "stand you ground" laws, that gives you license to kill anyone, anywhere, any time, merely on the grounds of fear.

    Why did I not see the narrative that an unarmed Trayvon Martin (walking home from the grocery store with a bag of skittles) was being stalked by a guy in a truck, Zimmerman, who circled around 3 times, armed himself with a concealed weapon, then left his truck to confront Martin.

    At this point Martin should have had the right to "stand HIS ground", which he probably did, and died as a result, in spite of that law. Zimmerman was breaking the law by invading someone else's zone of comfort while armed and then killing him because Martin stood his ground. IMO, this court case was a travesty of justice.

    If Martin had managed to kill Zimmerman, would he have been able to claim the right to "stand your ground" or would they just have found him guilty of murder?

    IMO, there are some profound questions to be answered here.
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Another One Bites The Dust

    Another One Bites The Dust

    In the Name of Freedom:

    Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating after an Idaho woman reported her 3-year-old daughter shot herself with a handgun in a campground.

    Park rangers responded Saturday morning to Grant Village Campground, but resuscitation efforts failed, resulting in what officials said was the first shooting death in the park since 1978.

    Park spokesman Al Nash said Sunday that part of the campground remained cordoned off while park rangers and special park agents conduct the investigation. He said he didn't know where the girl's body was taken.

    "We don't have all of the information, and we haven't drawn any conclusions," Nash said.

    (Associated Press)



    Associated Press. "Yellowstone Shooting Death: 3-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Shot Herself With Handgun". The Huffington Post. September 8, 2013. September 8, 2013.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If you are counting road collisions, deer kill way more people than bison.

    Used to be deer killed more people by attacking them than any other wild animal as well - mostly pet deer hitting puberty. Seems like since regulation of pet deer ownership became common, it's been bears.

    Just so Tiassa won't be the only source, one from Minneapolis: The age of the juvenile uncle who accidentally shot the two month old baby nephew was not given in other news reports either.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    In 1962, Malvina Reynolds wrote the song "Little Boxes," about the "cookie-cutter" housing tracts that had sprung up all over America after WWII, when the economy reached new levels of prosperity and it seemed that everyone could afford a home. It was a hit for folksinger Pete Seeger. Twenty years later she was struck by nostalgia and drove back to the city of South San Francisco, California, to see the street that had inspired the song that made her famous. She couldn't find it because by then the entire city was made of ticky-tacky and all the streets looked the same.

    In 2012, the Gordley family bought a ticky-tacky tract house in Sterling, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. Their 16-year-old son Caleb was an enthusiastic high-school athlete who wanted to pursue a career in music, and had never been in serious trouble. Caleb never stopped having trouble finding his house, when it looked so much like all the others.

    In March, 2013, Caleb was "grounded" for some naughty behavior that now seems pathetically trivial, but he decided to be naughty again and go out with his friends. He sneaked out of the second-story window next to his bedroom, climbed down through the shrubbery, and met his friends' car. (One of them was old enough to drive.)

    They were really naughty that night, drinking alcohol and staying up until 2:30 on a school night!

    When they returned, Caleb found his street in the dark, but not his house. Finally he said, "There it is! That's the upstairs window I left open!"

    He climbed back up through the shrubbery, crawled in the window, and was turning to go back into his bedroom, when the burglar alarm went off.

    He was standing there in confusion, thinking, "I didn't know Dad installed an alarm. Where's the control panel? Why didn't he give me the code?" Suddenly the homeowner, Donald West Wilder II, appeared at the bottom of the stairs and, without uttering a word, shot and killed Caleb.

    The case was reviewed both by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Section and by the Attorney's Office of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both authorities agreed that Mr. Wilder had committed no crime.

    He was not prosecuted, and he is still permitted to own a gun.

    Caleb was exactly two doors from his own house.

    Fuck guns, and fuck the people who like them. Every goddamned one of them.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A Loaded Rifle, Curious Children ... What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    A Show They'll Never Forget

    Call it the latest in post-psyche interactive art:

    A child pulled the trigger of a police rifle at a Southern California elementary school Wednesday, firing a bullet that shattered and created shrapnel that injured three youngsters, authorities said.

    The AR-15 was locked to the side of a motorcycle that was on display at Newman Elementary School during an anti-drug program when a student managed to fire it, Chino police spokeswoman Tamrin Olden said.

    "The bullet disintegrated when discharged by striking a metal plate where the barrel rests against the weapons mount," and metal debris apparently struck some children and caused minor injuries, she said in a statement ....

    .... The weapons mount holding the rifle had several fail-safes, including the metal plate, Olden said.

    There was no immediate word on whether a police officer was nearby when the accidental discharge occurred.

    Rifles have been removed from other police motorcycles while the shooting is investigated, Olden said at a news conference.

    (Associated Press)

    So ....



    Associated Press. "3 kids hurt by shrapnel as student pulls trigger on police rifle at Calif. elementary school". The Seattle Times. October 23, 2013. October 23, 2013.
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Check out this one:

    One thing that really bothers me about police is that they are employed to protect the law and the public trust, so if they feel their life is threaten why do they have the right to shoot first and potentially kill law abiding pedestrians and damage the public trust? Police should not have that right, no right to lethal pre-emptive self defense, police should only shot at people that have already shot at them or others.
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i wonder who the bright boy was that decided to strap a loaded weapon to a display at an elementary school, and the dumb fuck that approved such a thing.

    like most other gun issues in the US . . . can you spell PROPAGANDA!!!

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