Your Friend The Handgun

Number 123

The answer to the gun death crisis is not fewer guns but putting God back into our lives. How’s that working out?

1 dead, suspect in custody after shooting at Mormon church in Nevada

Last Updated Jul 22, 2018 11:34 PM EDT

Authorities are investigating a shooting that took place at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fallon, Nevada. At least one person was killed and one person was injured Sunday afternoon, according to CBS affiliate KTVN-TV. The station writes that the suspect, John K. O’Connor, 48, is in custody but has not been charged yet.

KTVN-TV reports there were about 50 witnesses when the incident unfolded inside the church. Police say the suspect went home after opening fire and police followed him there where a hostage negotiator was able to get him to surrender.

I’m glad we finally got that matter settled.

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Your Friend The Handgun

Number 122

This is good news. Apparently having your friendly handgun now ensures you never have to take crap off anybody anytime, especially in Florida. A few years ago, likely at the urging of the National Rifle Association, Florida enacted what is called a Stand Your Ground law. Summarizing from memory it says, in Florida, if you feel your life is threatened you do not need to take it. You can fight back. Specifically, you can shoot to kill. That is especially good news for one Mr. Michael Drejka, 47 years old:

Florida Sheriff Cites ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Not Arresting Shooter in Parking Lot Killing

By Julia Jacobs July 21, 2018

A man who shot and killed another man in Florida this week during an argument over a parking space will not be arrested or charged by the sheriff’s office because of the state’s so-called Stand Your Ground law, the authorities said.

To summarize, Ms. Britany Jacobs was sitting in a car in the parking lot of a convenience story in Clearwater,  Florida. Everything would have turned out just fine that day, except the car was parked in a handicap space, and there was no handicap permit anywhere in appearance.

Enter Mr. Drejka, who voiced objections. Enter one Markeis McGlockton, 28 years old at the time and not destined to get any older. He was sweet Britany’s boyfriend, and he was in the store doing some business. When he came out and saw Mr. Drejka harassing his main squeeze, he got physical. He shoved Mr. Drejka. Mr. Drejka did not shove back. He pulled his weapon and dispensed with the person of Markeis McGlockton. You can watch the video. So much for parking in handicap when you’re not supposed to.

This might not be big news were it not the end of a string of such occurrences since the Florida law was enacted:

  • George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17 on February 26, 2012, about the time Martin was getting the better of Zimmerman on the grounds of an apartment complex. Zimmerman walked.
  • In November 2012 Michael Dunn opened fire on a car in a parking lot in Jacksonville after an argument over loud music coming from the car. The gunfire killed one Jordan Davis, then 17. Mr. Dunn is now serving time.
  • In January 2014 Curtis Reeves, then 71, opened fire in a suburban Tampa movie theater when a Mr. Chad Oulson threw movie popcorn on him at the culmination of an argument. Mr. Oulson did not survive. A judge in the case has ruled that Mr. Reeves is unable to invoke the Stand Your Ground law. The most recent news has a trial date still to be set. It’s possible Mr. Reeves’ lawyers are trying to run out the clock, expecting him to succumb to old age before there is any resolution in the case.

So, the NRA is telling us that such laws are appropriate to ensure public safety. Really? How’s that working out?

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 121

Found one! Actually, there are several of these every year, and in fairness I post some of the cases involving a friendly handgun. This is from The Dallas Morning News:

‘I had to do what I had to do,’ says Dallas mom who shot man trying to steal SUV with kids inside

Loyd Brumfield and Claire Z. CardonaUpdated Sunday at 4:15 p.m.: Revised to includemore details.A woman shot a man in the head as he tried to steal her SUV with her two children inside Wednesday night, Dallas police say.An employee of a gas station in the 200 block of West Camp Wisdom Road, near the border with Duncanville, alerted the mother about 10 p.m. that a man was trying to get into her SUV.

The mother, identified by KDFW-TV (Channel 4) as Michelle Booker-Hicks, told the station she had been paying for gas at the time.

She jumped into the vehicle. When the man didn’t stop, she pulled a gun from the glove box and shot him in the head, police said.

So, there. Sometimes you do come out ahead being in possession of a legal handgun. If she had not obtained the weapon for her protection, as she told authorities, and kept it handy, then man would have stolen her car with her kids inside.

Of course, should have accomplished the same result without the expense of a handgun by taking the keys with her when she got out of the car. But, that’s just me talking.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 120

Sometimes a handgun is what you need to get your point across:

Man arrested after shouting ‘womp, womp’ and pulling a gun on immigration protesters

A Huntsville police spokesman said the man — identified as 34-year-old Shane Ryan Sealy — pushed one of the protesters, who pushed him back and knocked him to the ground, at which point Sealy allegedly produced the weapon.

Holder-Joffrion still had her eyes closed, and she said her husband, Democratic congressional candidate Peter Joffrion, didn’t see a scuffle — just a protester telling Sealy to “leave, leave, leave, leave.”

It’s a good thing Sealy had his constitutionally-protected handgun ready when needed it to make his point perfectly clear.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 119

Keep it handy. You never know when you’re going to  need it:

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WINA) – A two-year-old Louisa County boy is dead after he was shot by his 4-year-old brother, who thought the gun he was playing with was a toy.

Tyler “Ty” Aponte suffered a shot to the chest at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 22. He was rushed from his Bakers Branch Road home to University of Virginia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

It’s all about your right to keep your family safe.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 118

People keep giving me good advice. Good advice such as I should have a firearm handy in the event somebody tries to rob me, or somebody decides to start shooting up the place. Let’s see how that’s working out:

A tragic shooting of two construction workers outside a Blue Valley Elementary school Tuesday morning set off a chain of crimes with a bizarre ending as the suspect was taken into custody soon after noon.

One worker died at the hospital. Another remained in critical condition.

Ouch! Who would have suspected the creep coming to kill you was the person standing right next too you. ABC World News Tonight with David Muir has the story streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

Three workers at an elementary school got into an argument. Fortunately one of the men had the presence of mind to be packing heat, and he ended the argument to his satisfaction. Then he figured to skate on out, so he used his handy personal protection to force a driver to surrender his car and then proceeded to go about his business, which at the time involved getting away from the police. Neighbors were relieved that at least one citizen among them had the sense to arm himself to protect his community.

Yep. Keep ’em zipped.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 117

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu

The Second Amendment ensures the right of citizens to arm themselves for their own protection and for the protection of others. Tell that to Jeremy Webster of Colorado:

DENVER — A 12-year-old boy told police he saw a driver open fire on his family during a road rage confrontation in Colorado, killing his older brother and critically wounding his mother and younger brother, authorities said Friday. Police arrested Jeremy Webster, 23, hours after the shooting that killed a 13-year-old boy and also wounded a bystander not related to the family.

Apparently that did not turn out well for Jeremy. Fortunately for him, or maybe not, he had no past criminal record, so he was allowed to possess a firearm. Knowing he had “mental issues” and was on “new medication,” he failed to relinquish his right to carry. I’ve been told by others that people can obtain insurance coverage to protect themselves in case their use of a firearm causes harm. I’m guessing instances such as this are addressed by exclusion clauses somewhere down in the fine print. Tell that to Meghan Bigelow, who is now hospitalized in critical condition, her oldest son dead and another wounded. I am sure Meghan would rather not sue if she could only get her son back.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu

It’s what we are willing to pay for the right to  “protect ourselves.”

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 115).

 

What is important is for you to have the right to protect your family. So far, so good:

The triple homicide that stemmed from the Tuesday night shooting on Quinlan Court has been ruled a murder-suicide, Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said Wednesday:

  • Eric Sirons shot his wife, Jennifer, and stepdaughter Andrea Heiser before shooting himself
  • A handgun used in the killings was found in the home
  • The couple was going through a divorce

If Mr. Sirons left a note thanking Wayne LaPierre, nobody has been able to find it.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 114).

Remember to always keep your weapon ready for the times you will need it to protect your family:

(CNN) —An Indiana man faces charges for leaving a loaded gun in the car with his family as he shopped, after his 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her mother, police said.

Shanique Thomas, the woman who was shot, told police she was unaware that Menzo Brazier, 21, was carrying his weapon when they left their residence in Michigan City, Indiana.
Remember, the NRA instructs responsible gun owners that if they have plans for leaving a loaded gun in a car while they are shopping, they should instruct their young child to not shoot her mother under any circumstances. I hope everybody has the message by now.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 113).

Y’all keep safe out there. The NRA is on your side when you act positively to protect yourself and your community:

Michigan police still haven’t decided if they are going to charge a 47-year-old woman with a felony after she opened fire at alleged shoplifters at a Home Depot.

According to The Detroit News, the woman happened upon a store security officer who looked like he was trying to stop a shoplifter. When the suspects tried to escape in their vehicle, the woman pulled out her concealed 9mm handgun and opened fire.

That’s some quick thinking, Lady. Let me know the next you and your piece are headed toward my neighborhood.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 112).

Think about it for a moment:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 14-year-old girl was accidentally shot by her mother Sunday night on Jacksonville’s Westside, according to police.

The 33-year-old mom works for First Coast Security and was cleaning her gun in their home on Playschool Lane near Ricker Road when the weapon discharged, police said. The 14-year-old was hit by the shot.

I’m feeling safer already.

Special note

Two years ago I embarked on the project of posting one item each week on American gun violence. At the time I decided to restrict my comments to  incidents involving only handguns, this toward the end of keeping the volume down. As it turns out, restricting comments to handguns means I still have to sift through multiple cases each week before picking one to showcase. Apparently the filter needs additional tightening. It’s possible I will narrow the cases featured, and I may restrict coverage to one of the following types of incident:

  • Handgun deaths only, no simple woundings
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children only
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children under the age of 5
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children under the age of 5 while sitting in the back seat of a car
  • Handgun deaths inflicted by children under the age of 5 while sitting in the back seat of a car and involving the death of an adult

I’m asking readers to weigh in and suggest which of these they would prefer to see each week. Other classifications are solicited. Thanks for reading.

People Unclear

This is number 41 of a long series

One of the ideas behind creating and maintaining the Skeptical Analysis blog was to provide a hint of clarity in a sometimes confusing world. A topic I treat on a weekly basis is the matter of gun violence in the United States, but despite all my efforts, there remain a number of people unclear. Some of them are elected officials in our highest offices. Take Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, for example:

Texas lieutenant governor blames abortions and violent video games for school shootings, but not guns

Updated 10:24 PM ET, Sun May 20, 2018

(CNN)Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Sunday said school shootings aren’t happening because of an issue with guns. Rather, he blamed the tragedies on a litany of other reasons, including abortions and violent video games.

Patrick praised Gov. Greg Abbott’s plans for a roundtable discussion on how to protect students from gun violence after the nation’s latest school shooting in Santa Fe, where 10 people were killed. “Everything ought to be on the table,” Patrick said.

Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you want, but I believe the LG has a point there. Suppose there were not a proliferation of guns about where just about anybody with a trigger finger could get his hands on one, and suppose you just had an abortion or else you spent the last five weeks binging on Street Fighter, then the inevitable would come to pass. You would have the insatiable desire to head back to school for the first time in days and gun down a few jerks who cut in front of you at the cafeteria. It would be no problem for you to dive down into your basement workshop and gin up a rapid-fire handgun with a 20-round magazine, and then those jerks back at school would be quickly short-listed.

Yes, this is the kind of thinking that goes on at levels well above my head. But there’s more.

Speaking Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Patrick repeated earlier arguments about eliminating some school entrances: “We need to get down to one or two entrances into our schools.” He added: “You have the necessary exits for fire, of course, but we have to funnel our students into our schools so we can put eyes on them.”

Wait. Wait! Didn’t we recently enact laws that would make Texas one of the safest places in the country? Didn’t we just make it legal for run of the mill pedestrians to openly carry some serious heat? By now it should be safe enough that schools would not need walls. In fact, shouldn’t that be the case in any circumstance. Shouldn’t society by now be so safe that school shootings are a bad memory? Shouldn’t some of our top elected state officials stop over at the Mayo Clinic to have their brains checked for worms?

The truth is crashing down on us. We were promised that a proliferation in deadly weapons would make us all safer, and the fact is that in places where gun ownership has become a right, sanctified by law, we have:

  • A teenager shot in a scuffle perpetrated by a gun-carrying vigilante
  • A man in a car shot by somebody in another car who objected to loud music
  • A man shot in a movie theater in a confrontation involving popcorn
  • Five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper
  • Twenty-six people shot to death at a Texas church
  • Seventeen people shot to death at a Florida school
  • Ten people shot to death at a Texas school

I’m feeling safer already. Not really. I’m being facetious. Texas has Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Dan Patrick, Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator John Cornyn, all supporting the absurd notion that deadly weapons freely distributed will make us safer. What will make us safer is clearing out some of this dead wood.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 111).

Since you never know when some whack job is going to confront you in traffic, you need to keep your piece always handy for when the situation arises. The National Rifle Association works to ensure you don’t have to put up with this shit.

A Marine veteran tried to confront a tailgating driver and was shot in the head, officials say

 February 5

An off-duty Arizona fire captain was shot and killed in an alleged road-rage incident Sunday by a man who told investigators he thought his gun was not loaded, authorities said.

Kyle Brayer, a former Marine and 10-year veteran of the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department, was riding in a golf cart with friends early Sunday morning in Scottsdale when a man in a red Scion coupe began driving closely, nearly hitting the back of the cart, police said.

After the cart pulled up to a stop sign, Brayer walked over to the coupe and was shot in the head, according to police. The 34-year-old died at a hospital.

Better be safe than sorry I always say.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 109).

Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association work tirelessly to ensure that your right to own a gun for the protection of your family is not infringed. I’m feeling safer already.

A 9-year-old boy shot his older sister to death over a video game controller, sheriff says

People, let this be a warning. Do not mess with a kid’s video game.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 108).

Families need to feel safe in their homes. The NRA works to ensure that your right to have a gun to protect your family is not infringed. That’s working so very well.

3-year-old accidentally shoots pregnant mother in NW Indiana parking lot

Yes, the story is interesting. Follow the link and read the details.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 107).

In the wake of another tragic school shooting, teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida are taking weapons training with an eye toward averting future attacks. How’s that working out?

Stoneman Douglas teacher left loaded gun in bathroom

An absent-minded science teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — who volunteered to be trained to pack a pistol after the mass shooting there — was busted for leaving his loaded gun in a public bathroom, according to reports.

Sean Simpson, 43, forgot his Glock 9mm in a bathroom stall during a beach outing at Deerfield Beach Pier on Sunday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

When he ran back to grab it, he heard a gunshot and then saw a drunk homeless man — identified as 69-year-old Joseph Spataro — holding the gun, and snatched it back from him.

How many ways are to spell “good start?”

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 106).

The NRA protects your Second Amendment rights, and these rights are essential to keeping your family safe. How safe? Let’s see:

MAN SHOT IN CHEST DURING DOMESTIC DISPUTE, WIFE ARRESTED

That appears to be just about safe enough. Any safer would be too safe.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 105).

Dana Boesch, speaking for the National Rifle Association, reminds us that all this talk about combating gun violence is really a ploy by left-wingers to take your guns. Yes, we plan to  take your guns.

YouTube shooter visited gun range before attacking strangers, police say

A legally-obtained handgun is your solution to any beef you may have that is impossible to  handle through the courts. Keep your powder dry, folks.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks (number 104).

In the meantime it’s business as usual.

(CNN) — A 17-year-old male student shot two other students at Great Mills High School in Maryland on Tuesday morning before a school resource officer engaged him and stopped the threat, authorities said.

The incident began in a school hallway at 7:55 a.m., just before classes started. Authorities say Austin Wyatt Rollins, armed with a handgun, shot a female and a male student. The shooter had a prior relationship with the female student, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said.
School resource officer Blaine Gaskill responded to the scene in less than a minute, the sheriff said. Gaskill fired a round at the shooter, and the shooter fired a round simultaneously, Cameron
Rollins was later pronounced dead. Gaskill was unharmed. The 16-year-old female student is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, and the 14-year-old male student who was shot is in stable condition.

The 16-year-old girl has since died. Meanwhile, the NRA continues to disparage students who are speaking out. Some people appear to be beyond shame.