Your Friend The Handgun

Number 199

This series is devoted to incidents involving handguns, so it is with some caution I post it. The shooting is recent, and no news outlet has reported what type of firearm was used. Could be I am safe in guessing it was a handgun:

A teenager was shot and killed outside a Houston-area high school on Tuesday afternoon, and the authorities said that a suspect and another person were later arrested without incident.

The encounter happened around 4 p.m., just as classes were ending at Bellaire High School, which is in southwestern Harris County and part of the Houston Independent School District.

Let’s assume Benjamin Franklin made the statement alleged in the meme above, although I can find no evidence he did. This killing was done by an innocent person—innocent up to the point he killed an innocent person. Are you feeling protected now?

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 198

I have been publishing this Thursday series for close to four years, and response has been mixed. Today the attention is on push back from readers. In particular, here is a clip from a Facebook exchange.

Daniel G. Kuttner John: Once again, your Selective Skepticism kicks in.

As I’ve pointed out, the FBI and CDC both show a minimum of 500,000 successful defensive uses of firearms in the years they measured (they’re about 2 years behind).If YOU want to stay defenseless, that’s your privilege. Do you want to use the force of government to take away my defenses too? If so, on what moral principle do you do so?

John Blanton Daniel G. Kuttner, I have seen you post this claim (500,000 successful uses of firearms for defense) before. You were never able to provide a source. I suspect you cannot.

What kicked off this discussion was Dan’s commentary on a recent Texas church shooting. Dan posted, “How many private firearms came to the rescue when the gunman drew his?” There followed a bunch of back and forth, and I recalled a similar circumstance about 20 years ago.

John Blanton Your results may vary. In a similar incident (Texas church) a man opened up during the service. A good guy with a gun drew his weapon and killed a woman.

There followed more discussion and this:

John Blanton Daniel G. Kuttner This was a news item nationwide about 25 years ago. Shortly after, screen writer Aaron Sorkin wrote it into an episode of The West Wing. My recollection is the solid citizen did not hit the shooter, but the shooter killed himself. This was a domestic abuse incident.

Then in response to Dan:

John Blanton Daniel G. Kuttner This was a news item nationwide about 25 years ago. Shortly after, screen writer Aaron Sorkin wrote it into an episode of The West Wing. My recollection is the solid citizen did not hit the shooter, but the shooter killed himself. This was a domestic abuse incident.

Actually, I know of incidents when citizen action was effective, but these are the anomalies. The benefit of citizens carrying firearms is most often something like these. A sampling from one week:

That is what garnered Dan’s claim of selective skepticism and my response. In a previous dialog I had asked Dan to provide a link to the “500,000 successful defensive uses of firearms.” He then suggested I go find the link for myself, and I asserted he had no such link. Now I figured to see if such a link does exist, and I found it:

That Time The CDC Asked About Defensive Gun Uses

It’s from Forbes, and it contains the following:

In particular, a 2013 study ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and conducted by The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council reported that, “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence”:

Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.

If you go to the Forbes article and follow the links you eventually come to data of substance, including this report:

What Do CDC’s Surveys Say About the Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses?

Gary Kleck
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1273
June 11, 2018

The first thing I notice about all this is the amazing 500,000 cases of defensive gun use (DGU). Somebody needs to explain why this is so at odds with my personal experience. While I have witnessed an incident of murder by firearm, and I personally knew multiple people killed or injured by firearms, I have only known one person who truly defended himself with a firearm. Do I live in the wrong neighborhood or something?

The second thing I notice about the Kleck report is it does not appear to be a survey of official documents—police reports. Apparently people were asked if they had used a gun in self defense, and people said they had or they had not, and so forth. So I recalled an item I posted last year. NRA spokeswoman (at the time) Dana Loesch recounted how a woman defended her property and her person with a firearm. The complete story revealed the woman was in a remote homestead when a man intruded into a structure on the property. The woman held the man at gunpoint for 26 terrifying minutes until the police arrived. I was hoping for a better example, but I can supply one or two.

Sometime like 45 years ago I worked with Charlie Smith, Ph.D. electrical engineer from M.I.T. He had an altercation with a neighbor, who then proceeded to come at him with a gardening tool (rake, shovel, hoe). Charlie puled his piece and killed the man. Methinks there might have been a better alternative. I worked with a retired Army major took a city job in Austin. At night he saw somebody in his back yard and issued a challenge to the unknown person. He shot her twice with a .44 pistol, but she did not die. She was his neighbor, sleepwalking.

Yes, everyday I pick up reports of actual damage done by handguns, and I choose one to report on. I rarely see reports of true DGU. So, here is this week’s story, selected from a few reviewed during one week, about Your Friend the Handgun:

A 93-year-old man allegedly shot an apartment worker over a dispute about water damage, police say

We should all feel safer now.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 197

Every week I post a story about a time when somebody wished they had passed on the opportunity to invoke their Second Amendment right to have a handgun. Occasionally I receive feedback from readers. Why don’t I publish stories about people using guns (specifically handguns) to save their lives? Actually, I do publish these stories, having personally known somebody who saved his life with a handgun. However, I point out the fact that cases of misuse of handguns is common, while appropriate use by civilians is rare. Then I am told the news media do not report these cases of self defense. Media bias, perhaps? If there is media bias, you need to show it to me.

Last Sunday a church service in White Settlement, Texas, was interrupted by a man who sneaked a shotgun into the sanctuary and opened fire, killing two. A man working security for the church immediately pulled his pistol and dispatched the gunman without further ado. All major news outlets carried the story.

It was also noted in the news that other members of the congregation went for their own weapons before standing down. This is a clear case of the proper use of a handgun, but it would not ordinarily be included in my Thursday postings, since the intruder did not use a handgun. Look at the title above, “Your Friend the Handgun.”

So we see some benefit of people taking advantage of their Second Amendment rights. Here are some cases.

Police: New Year’s Eve shooting death of Texas nurse likely the result of celebratory gunfire

Christmas Eve Shooting: Six people shot in High Point

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 196

Yes, ’tis the season.

SAPD: 7-year-old dies after accidentally shooting himself in the head

The incident happened Saturday morning in the 6300 block of Channel View.Author: Megan Ball

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio family is mourning the death of a young boy who, police say, accidentally shot himself in the head days before Christmas.

According to an official with the San Antonio Police Department, officers were called out the 6300 block of Channel View just after 9 a.m. Saturday morning for a shooting in progress.

You never know when you are going to need it.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 193, no surprise

The graph shows up in a publication from The Heritage Foundation and bearing the title “Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts About Gun Violence in America.” The text explains:

More people are stabbed to death every year than are murdered with rifles. A person is more likely to be bludgeoned to death with a blunt object or beaten to death with hands and feet than to be murdered with a rifle.

So, more people are stabbed than killed with rifles. Blunt objects, also. Which is why this series is about Your Friend the Handgun. The graph clearly shows handguns are what we should be concerned about, as in this case:

Wisconsin police officer shoots student who pulled gun, refused to drop it, officials say

Christopher KuhagenBill Glauber Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A city police officer inside Waukesha South High School in Wisconsin shot a 17-year-old student who pulled a gun in a classroom and refused to drop it, according to officials.

The suspect — taken into custody — was the only person injured in the incident, police said.

Yes, nobody was killed. So this is not about gun deaths. This is about gun violence, and it’s another example of how the proliferation of guns, especially handguns, fails to make our society safer.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 191, no surprise

It’s the American dream. Few if any countries have it. The freedom to gather and to exchange pleasantries and meet new people. And the guaranteed means to settle disputes with prejudice:

Airbnb bans ‘party houses’ after California shooting kills 5

Five people died after a Thursday night shooting that sent some 100 terrified partygoers running for their lives in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda.

The four-bedroom home had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her dozen family members had asthma and needed to escape smoke from a wildfire, the person with knowledge of the transaction told The Associated Press. A fire burning in Sonoma County about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Orinda earlier in the week fouled the air over a wide area.

The owner was suspicious of a one-night rental on Halloween and before agreeing reminded the renter that no parties were allowed, said the person with knowledge of the transaction, who was not authorized to publicly disclose the information and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The owner, Michael Wang, said his wife reached out to the renter Thursday night after neighbors contacted them about the party. The renter said there were only a dozen people at the home but Wang said he could see more people on video from his doorbell camera.

“We called the police. They were on the way to go there to stop them, but before we got there the neighbor already sent us a message saying there was a shooting,” he told the Chronicle.

I’m guessing there is an unspoken factor on display here. An unauthorized party? That’s no good. Police did not arrive in time to prevent five people from getting killed? Most unfortunate. I’m thinking this is not what the framers had in mind when they drafted “T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I’m sure the lawmakers from 1791 did not have in mind handing over to every jakeleg who could plunk down a week’s wages the ability to engineer such a lopsided encounter. Is it possible we can have an interpretation that goes like “You are going to need a serious kind of license, issued by an unsympathetic authority, before you are allowed to lay hands on a weapon that can mow down a slew of people within a matter of seconds?”

For the record: AirBNB now bans party houses and has agreed to fund funeral expenses for those killed. The National Rifle Association has not responded to the request for a similar token pledge, nor has such a pledge been requested.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 189, no surprise

Stay safe, my friends. Don’t leave home without it.

NC man charged in shooting after child kicked holster

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been charged in a shooting after his child kicked his gun holster and wounded the child’s mother.

The Hickory Daily Record reports 23-year-old A-Duan Namon Walker is charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in the Sept. 5 shooting at Valley Hills Mall in Hickory.

Police Chief Thurman Whisnant said Tuesday that the child kicked the holster while being picked up by Walker, shooting the woman in both feet with a single bullet.

The police chief says the shooting was apparently accidental and the woman was treated.

It’s a good thing somebody brought along a handgun in case there was trouble.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 188, no surprise

 

Without protection, your children will not be safe in you home. Be prepared for the danger that lurks in the streets outside.

Gun deaths of St. Louis children rise to 22 as 3-year-old shoots self in head

Yes, Dude, keep ’em loaded and keep your family safe.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 187, no surprise

Apparently no sporting event will be completely safe as long as citizens refuse to arm themselves.

Parent dispute leads to gunfire at youth football game in Texas

A girl was grazed and a woman shot in a leg Saturday when a parent dispute led to gunfire at a youth football game in Fort Worth, Texas, police said.

This incident started as a parent dispute at a “pee wee football game,” Officer J. Pollozani of the Fort Worth Police Department said by email.

“It is believed, the son of one of the parents arrived at the location armed with a handgun and began discharging the firearm,” he said.

Properly used, a handgun will serve to keep your family safe during one of these unforeseen eventualities.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 183, no surprise

Along with millions of other fellow Americans, I applaud the Second Amendment, our guarantee we can be safe in our homes. Let’s see how that’s working out:

4-year-old boy shot dead allegedly by 5-year-old sibling while mom slept in another room: Police

It’s not necessary for me to comment on these. I post a new one every week, and for each one I post there are several I pass up. That’s because the following week there will be an ample supply of additional such items. Keep safe, my friends.

Houston, we have a problem.

Number 9 of a series

People, I have good news. But first the bad news.

On Saturday a Texas man was fired from his job and shortly after went on a shooting spree, using an AR-15-style weapon. We now have seven people dead in addition to the shooter, Seth Ator.

It was some kind of show, stretching along I-20 between Midland and Odessa, ending in a firefight with police in Odessa.

But the good news. We are assured, definitely assured, by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that some of the recent shootings in the news did not, DID NOT, involve an AR-style weapon.

Thank you, Governor, for your words of assurance. The next time I am present at a mass shooting (been there, done that) I will tell those dodging fire, “Don’t worry. It’s likely not an AR-15.” They will be so relieved, as will those whose duty will be to bury the victims.

This is your president speaking.

Number 221 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrumpSerious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks. I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected. Guns should not be placed in the hands of…..

7:03 AM · Aug 9, 2019Twitter for iPhone

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

….mentally ill or deranged people. I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!

7:03 AM · Aug 9, 2019Twitter for iPhone

It’s good news President Trump has finally relented and decided to take action to reduce gun violence. It’s also good news that he will be bringing in the experts from the National Rifle Association to make sure crafting of new laws does not go off the rails.

Wait! Haven’t we seen this before? Was it last year, following the massacre at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the president mouthed similar words? Did he essentially say he would take action, but only after consulting with the NRA, long known for its promotion of gun safety:

Following the massacre, the anger and frustration of Parkland student survivors intensified towards the perceived inaction of the Republican-dominated legislature on the wider issue of mass shootings and gun violence. The students founded Never Again MSD, an advocacy groupthat lobbies for legislative action on gun violence. On March 9, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that raised the minimum age for buying rifles in Florida from 18 to 21. The legislation also established waiting periods and background checks for gun buyers. The law allowed for the arming of teachers who were properly trained and the hiring of school police. So-called “bump stocks” would now be banned and some potentially violent or mentally unstable persons would be prohibited from possessing guns. The National Rifle Association (NRA) immediately filed a lawsuit that challenged the federal constitutionality of the age requirement clause.

The thinking is, to be sure—we want gun safety, but we can’t have liberal crazies calling the shots. I have an egg timer for the president’s announcement saying the NRA has nixed the deal.

I don’t make this stuff up.

Number 3 of the series

I should have titled this series something like, “I don’t have to make this stuff up,” because the case is I do not have to make this stuff up. Other people write it for me. For example, there is a response to a comment I posted to Facebook. See the meme above. I posted this as eye candy for a short item about reasons people shot their guns in December 2018. The meme has only peripheral relationship to the story, which is about a news item from December: “Irate customer pulls gun on Little Italy restaurant owner over sales tax, police say.”

Anyhow, the item on Facebook got picked up and was being batted about, which caught my attention, and I chimed in, eventually eliciting the following response from Timothy:

Timothy It’s a cost/benefit question. It’s also not a significant number considering there are 350M people in the country. I mean 800 people die from falling out of bed every year.

Yes, I redacted Timothy’s name in order to not make Timothy the focus, but you can read the complete Facebook posting for yourself.

Timothy’s comment speaks for itself. The deaths (also injuries, associated legal action, etc.) are rolled up in a cost/benefit analysis. Stop being appalled for a moment and focus forward to 800 people each year who die falling out of bed. Without checking the statistics, take that number and move forward. People falling out of bed is ranked with people getting shot or even people caught up in legal action because somebody thought it was a good idea to keep and bear a handgun (my series concentrates on handguns to the exclusion of others).

People, I do not have to make this stuff up.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 169, unfortunately

People keep telling me that an armed citizenry is going to make us all safer. That’s good to know.

Woman pulled a gun during argument over karaoke, Austin police say

Hey! Everybody stand down. Nobody got hurt. No shots were fired.

Then what was the purpose of pulling the gun? I need to know. That’s because, although I do not like karaoke, and I never play karaoke, but in case I ever decide to give it a try, I need to know if I’m supposed to bring my own heat, or will somebody provide me with a piece when I sign in.

Just asking.

Breathtaking Inanity

Number 17 of a continuing series

A conversation has been going back and forth on Facebook. It relates to a post on this site concerning this country’s remarkable rate of gun-related tragedies. Here’s the gist:

  • John Blanton We need to hear both sides. There are many who will contend we should accept the collateral damage. The problem is getting them to make that statement.
  • Daniel G. Kuttner I’ll say something like what you’re fishing for, John:

    In a free society, bad things will happen.

    It is a pipe dream to believe one can regulate and legislate utopia. Quite the opposite is the result.

    Using government to take away “their” rights results in powers which later on will be used to take awy your own.

  • John Blanton Thank you, Daniel G. Kuttner, You have stated the case more precisely than anybody else could have.
    • Daniel G. Kuttner What’s your position on it?
    • John Blanton My position is that you are giving an honest answer. Instead of saying we are safer having a proliferation of guns in society, you are saying that all these deaths represent acceptable collateral damage.
    • Daniel G. Kuttner Again you misrepresent what I said.

      “Unavoidable” is not the same as “acceptable” in my dictionary.

      I still await your statement of your position.

    • John Blanton My position is, given the proliferation of guns in society, the consequences are unavoidable. Since it is unavoidable, it must be acceptable to those who insist upon a proliferation of guns in society.
    • Daniel G. Kuttner John: (I think you know) I meant your position on “keeping and bearing” arms. That is, the right (or not) of self-protection.

      Just please don’t mislabel my position as “insisting on a proliferation of guns.”

      You use a lot of labels which seem to me loaded. Maybe you could reconsider that manner of speaking/writing, at least, if you want to appear scientific in drawing your conclusions.

    • John Blanton Daniel G. Kuttner Right now I’m sitting among strangers in a strange city, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa. I [will] post a lengthy response when I get back to my computer.
    • Daniel G. Kuttner John: Glad you’re in a pleasant place.

      No need to be lengthy on my account!

      I still don’t know if you’re pro-self defense or not.

In total, Dan wants me to state my position on the “keeping and bearing” arms, as paraphrased from the Second Amendment of the Constitution. That amendment is stated as such:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The first thing a person reading this notices is the amendment does not mention guns. It does not mention “firearms.” Hopefully that does not come as a shock to members of the National Rifle Association.

So what does the wording mean by “arms?” I contend some interpretation is required. Note at this point many fans of the Second Amendment argue daily there must be no interpretation. The right to keep and bear arms must not in any manner be infringed. So what are “arms?” What did the writers of the amendment mean? My take goes back to the initial wording, “A well regulated Militia being necessary…” The Second Amendment is meant to preserve the right to keep and bear weapons of war. Guns? Yes. Machine guns? Yes. Claymore mines? Yes.

Obviously some interpretation is required. Once fans of the Second Amendment agree on that point, then it is sort of downhill from there. The Second Amendment must be interpreted to mean that citizens on the street (not active in a well regulated militia) do not have the right to use Claymore mines for home defense.

Take this further. Not everybody should have the right to keep and bear guns. There are some people who should not be allowed near a firearm. We have such laws. Convicted felons can be and are prohibited under penalty of prosecution from having a firearm on or around themselves. Others are likewise prohibited.

A problem arises when such prohibitions are diluted to the point that is it almost impossible to keep certain people from getting hold of firearms.

  • Guns are sold individual to individual with no regulation.
  • Guns are sold at swap meets.
  • People are not penalized for having their weapons stolen.
  • People who obviously should not be allowed to touch a firearm cannot be prevented from getting hold of one. Think about people who have otherwise threatened others. Should such a person be denied for life from having a gun?

The courts have, of late, ruled in favor of very much unrestricted access to guns and also against laws that prevent carrying guns on the streets and in public places. That is the law as it stands. Dan wants to know whether I support the law.

I do support the law. Considering that in some places it is your right to carry a loaded pistol into a classroom. I think the law should be changed. If on reading the paragraphs above you agree the Second Amendment is subject to interpretation, then you should begin to think about how it should be interpreted to bring down the rate of death and injury due to guns.

Dan asks how I feel about self-defense. Dan, I’m for it. Let’s see who else has been for it.

  • Man in Florida shot the man who threw popcorn on him.
  • Man in Florida shot the teenager he thought might have a gun.
  • Retired Army major I met shot his neighbor, who was wandering in his back yard.
  • Man shot foreign student who did not understand his command to “freeze.”
  • Numerous cases of road rage escalating into deadly shootings.

Let’s get real about self-defense.

Dan says he does not advocate a proliferation of guns in society. What language would he prefer instead? In American society there is a gun for every person. Does Dan want the proliferation to be reduced? By how much?

I will wind down. Stuff coming up tomorrow. We should rejoin this conversation from time to time.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 168, unfortunately

People tell me we are safer. I am hoping they are not saying this kind of thing does not happen. I’m hoping, instead, they will say it is worth it if it keeps me safe:

3-year-old accidentally shot in Yukon neighborhood

YUKON, Okla. – Oklahoma City police said a 3-year-old child was shot in the torso Thursday evening. The toddler was rushed to the hospital and into surgery and is expected to survive the wound. News 4 was told the bullet entered and exited the abdomen.

Here is a sample of what I am told by people on Facebook.

[Somebody else responding to somebody else] It’s NOT ABOUT the “neighborhood” Helen … it’s our defense against a tyrannical government (history). GOOD LORD, people … put down your remotes and read a damn book!

[Previous person responding to me] John Blanton is that all? 300,000 die every year in hospitals from negligence and no one seems to care! I guess it’s the MANNER of death (especially if it can be used for a political agenda) rather than the death itself. #AbolishHospitals#BanDoctors

[I posted a link to the New York Times, and somebody responded.] If people were allowed to defend themselves from unrighteous cop aggression then the self – defense numbers would be MUCH higher.

NYT? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I would not wipe my ass with that paper.

[Another response] When you have 30 seconds to respond gun safes get you killed.

[Another response] If someone broke into my home while I was there, how would I know the limit of what they were ready to do to me or mine?

Where I live, that’s a very rare occurrence. Some places, though, it happens more often – usually someone high or in withdrawal needing drug money. No rational thinker, in any case, decides to break into an occupied house

[A final response] It’s sad to see anyone killed by any method. But his selected headlines are reminders there are armed people out there with evil intent.

The main defense against them is armed citizens sprinkled among the populace.

Not everyone need be armed to deter the relatively sane bad guys from taking the chance of meeting one.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but the argument I am getting is we need armed civilians to prevent all kinds of crime, and it’s too bad if kids get killed along the way.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 167, unfortunately

As mentioned before, I catch heat from some Facebook friends for ignoring all the times a personal firearm has kept us safer. My intent is to correct that shortcoming, and I am doing so by posting stories testifying to the way personal weapons are keeping us safe. National Rifle Association mouthpiece Dana Loesch was thoughtful enough to post this reminder on Twitter.

Dana Loesch Retweeted WFLA NEWS

Glad this mother had the ability to protect herself and her family with her Second Amendment right — and a good neighbor who arrived with his own lawfully-owned firearm. 26 minute response time.

Dana Loesch added,

All right. The message is clear. Police are unable to protect us. It took 26 minutes for them to arrive after a woman, a mother, phoned for help. Only having a personal firearm—I’m guessing a handgun—saved the day for this woman in danger. Here is the story linked in the Twitter post.

Hudson mom holds intruder at gunpoint waiting for deputies to arrive

HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area mother says she experienced 26 minutes of terror recently. During half of that nightmare, Lauren Richards was forced to hold an alleged intruder at gunpoint.

The incident happened in Rolling Oaks Estates in Hudson in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 25. The accused intruder, 25-year-old Devin Cooke, lives nearby, according to a PCSO incident report.

Surveillance video shows an armed neighbor trying to help before deputies arrived at the scene.

Neighbors say that’s when deputies went back to the house and for the first time, they took official witness statements and pictures of the scene. According to an incident report, that occurred on Wednesday, May 29.

A PCSO spokesperson tells 8 On Your Side Cooke will face a felony burglary charge once he is released from a medical facility. The 25-year-old was taken in for a mental health evaluation, as per a prior court order.

Please read the complete story. It really is soul-stirring.

That said, what I would have preferred to see was a bit more drama. It would be more of a story if Mr. Cooke had been a hardened criminal with a firearm of his own. What would make the best story for people who follow Dana Loesch on Twitter would be for the gun owner to be an innocent and pure white woman holding of a menacing, dark-skinned, serial rapist. Not only dark-skinned, but speaking with a foreign accent, likely in the country illegally. Maybe even Muslim, associated with a terrorist cell in Syria. The news photo shows what appears to be a light-skinned man with a mustache. Too bad.

But there was a newsworthy amount of drama. A story about an unarmed prowler was turned into a story about an armed confrontation by a good person with a gun. We need to see more of that. Meanwhile, in the world we have come to live in:

Virginia Beach shooting: What we know about the motive, the victims

Twelve people were killed when a public works employee opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday.

The suspected shooter, a 15-year veteran of public works and a civil engineer, was also fatally shot after a standoff with police.

The shooting, the nation’s deadliest of the year, unfolded Friday afternoon around 4 p.m. when the gunman shot the first victim outside Building 2, a three-story brick structure with about 400 municipal workers.

The suspect then headed into the building, moving between floors and firing at workers. Victims were later found on all three floors.

Police are still investigating and have said they do not know the shooter’s motive.

I’m beginning to think sometimes these people do not have a motive. They only have a gun.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 166, unfortunately

This series has been getting some push back from people who truly believe the handgun is their friend. They demand I also feature stories that actually show a handgun can be your friend, at times. In that light I determined to tell the story of my friend Zack who saved his life, killing a man who was about to kill him. But this came up on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, so I decided to show it now and print Zack’s story later. Here is the story behind the above meme:

Hatchet-wielding thief backs down when store clerk pulls out gun – but firearm costs employee his job

Oregon authorities are seeking a would-be thief who was armed with a hatchet when he tried to rob a convenience store, only to flee when the clerk drew a gun and called 911.

However, the clerk’s quick thinking cost him his job, with the president of Plaid Pantry in Oak Grove explaining to local station KOIN-TV that the chain has a zero-tolerance policy for weapons.

He said employees are trained to de-escalate robbery situations to avoid injury, according to the station.

Interesting enough, on the same news half-hour that featured the above was this.

Truth be told, for every one of the first one there is a bundle of the second one. Here is story number two from 25 May:

LAPD officer wounded in South L.A. shooting after traffic stop

Yeah, that’s just what a cop looks forward to when he stops somebody for a traffic violation. Some jerk with a handgun coming out of the woodwork to join in the fun. You gun fans, tone it down a bit.

This series does not address all such stories, because there are too many. Here are a few that did not make the cut this week:

  • 30 May: Groom shot in both legs, hit in head with gun by brother-in-law after argument at wedding reception
  • 27 May: Argument at a late-night party near UTSA ends in fatal shooting
  • 27 May: 11-year-old arrested after 9-year-old brother killed in shooting
  • 27 May: Church Shooter’s Dad Suggested Keeping Bible Under Pillow to Scare Demons Away | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos
  • 26 May: Virginia shooting: One killed, others injured at Memorial Day weekend event – CNN

There are several who insist the incidents involving self-defense with guns make all these random shootings worthwhile, and I have asked those people to provide their own stories. When did they ever use a gun in self defense? Who do they know personally who had such an experience? Witnessed such events? How about friends and family killed by gunfire? I’m not getting any responses.

I get stuff like this on Facebook:

John, I hereby sentence you to wearing only shirts that say, “I AM UNARMED.”

I’m sure John has a sign on his yard “Gun-Free Zone.” That’s been so effective at keeping violent perps away.

John Blanton That is what a LOT of people say… until fate strikes them. Get over the idea you seem to have that criminals are nice people that honor our rights.

Daniel G. Kuttner That is what an asshole does.

I left out a lot of the in-between. That last line is apparently in response to something commenter Dan posted. I have no idea what it means.

Anyhow, I have promised a comprehensive post on the value of loose guns, particularly handguns, in society. I will attempt to pick apart some of the arguments on both sides. Keep reading.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 164, unfortunately

The above was posted by a Facebook friend. There is a discussion over whether the ready availability of guns will make us safer. For example:

Two men shot in Soho after late-night fight

A gunman blasted two men after a fight in front of a Soho nightclub Thursday morning, police said.

The suspect opened fire at about 1:40 a.m. in front of SOB’s music venue on Varick Street near Houston Street, striking a 26-year-old in his chest and abdomen and a 29-year-old in his upper thigh, cops said.

The victims were rushed to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition, police said. They’re both expected to survive.

A bar fight turning into a shootout? Who would have thought it?

This is one of several I received in the past week. Here are two more.

  • 9 May: Police Investigating After Young Girl Shot In SE OKC – News 9
  • 9 May: Concealed carry holder fatally shoots himself during struggle over gun

Stay safe out their, friends, and keep ’em loaded.