Whenever you introduce a gun into a space, the people in the space are at risk of injury or death by secondhand gunfire, which is 100 percent preventable. It kills and injures all the time. When it does, watch jaws go agape, eyes blink in disbelief and lips start quivering. At these moments, the smug guns don't kill people, people kill people mantra is replaced with an incredulous how could this ha-ha-ha-happen?
Case in point: this abject failure at parenting and gross negligence that resulted in the death of 2-year-old was ruled an accident. Pure bullshit.
Gun rights advocates point to falling murder and crime rates and never, ever talk about the kids killing kids and gun owners shooting themselves. Shootings that have nothing to do with self-defense, standing your ground or the castle doctrine happen every day. These rarely make it to the national news venues, particularly if the shooting only injures.
Although I could fill page after page with examples of secondhand gunfire, here are a few:
A Missouri woman was shot in the face by a stray bullet while celebrating Independence Day after someone fired a gun into the air.And this one from 2012 that I have never been able to shake:
A 9-year-old was shot to death during a gun/play session after a North Carolina mom left the kids home alone.
You go on and try to figure out what happened to this poor devil.
A Pennsylvania man accidentally shot and killed his 7-year-old son in a gun store parking lot, when his pistol went off in his hand--a bullet remained in the chamber even though the man had removed the magazine.The shot-in-the-face-on-the-fourth-of-July victim notwithstanding, the overwhelming majority of secondhand gunfire victims are gun owners and their friends and family members, simply because they associate with gun owners and are within the realm of secondhand gunfire, which brings me to the open carry camp.
The fact that a person would walk into a mall, taco joint or discount department store carrying an AR-15 immediately indicates that he is not a good guy with a gun. That weapon is for intimidation and killing and nothing else. And as soon as he shows up with it in an otherwise nonthreatening environment, everyone present is at risk of secondhand gunfire. His holster might malfunction, allowing the weapon to fall and fire. Someone might evoke him, causing him to feel threatened and start firing. What's to say he isn't a Jerad Miller wannabe?
Epiphany: If you don't want to be exposed to secondhand gunfire, stay away from guns.
I intend to do just that. If I am in any place of business or public area and someone shows up with an assault weapon strapped to his person, I am leaving. I am leaving a cart full of merchandise in the aisle, a half-eaten burrito on a plate and (god help me) a barely touched Ketel One on the bar. No, I will not pause to settle the bill.
I will not be subject to secondhand gunfire.
Yes, I understand that people are carrying concealed weapons all around me and that I am subject to the secondhand gunfire from those weapons whether I like it or not. Oh well. There's only so much I can do. At least a concealed carrier is not trying to intimidate everyone around him. The open carrier is. The concealed carrier doesn't strike me as having an itchy trigger finger. The open carrier does.
So it goes, but one thing's for sure. Eventually at one of the open carry rallies, there will be secondhand gunfire. It will be recorded by cell phones and security cameras and judged in the court of public opinion. Maybe it will kill or injure. Maybe it won't.
Either way, we'll see exactly how much support there is for a guy with a neck tattoo and an errant assault weapon who's only trying to "educate the public."
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