accidents, man, they happen

By now, almost everybody has heard about Jamie Gilt, the Second Amendment mom from Florida (of course) who was shot in the back by her four-year old son while driving her pickup truck. Wait, was that confusing? I didn’t mean her four-year old son shot her while HE was driving her pickup. Kid’s only four; he can’t be expected to multi-task like that. You can’t expect a kid to be able to drive and shoot with any accuracy until he’s reached puberty. She was driving the pickup. The four-year old kid was loitering in the back seat, playing with her .45-caliber handgun — which was apparently unsecured, with the safety off, and loaded with a round in the chamber.

Second Amendment Mom Jamie Gilt

Second Amendment Mom Jamie Gilt

I think we can all agree that a .45 caliber pistol is a lot of gun for a four-year old. According to every news report I’ve seen:

The boy was unharmed.

Yeah, right. Kid could have shot himself, but didn’t. Of course, he’s probably going to need years of therapy since he shot his own momma in the back. But hey, he managed not to shoot himself, so there’s that.

It’s great advertising for .45-caliber handguns, though. The round went clear through the truck’s back seat, into the woman’s back, and exited out her stomach. That’s serious penetration, right there. The woman’s lucky she hadn’t loaded the weapon with hollow points, which are perfectly legal in Florida.

But hey, Jamie Gilt wasn’t the only responsible gun owner to have a Second Amendment ‘accident’ recently. She’s simply the most attractive and her shooting was the most ironic, since she’d just posted a pro-gun comment on her Facebook page the day before her son popped her in the back. There were other ‘accidents’ with less attractive victims and less ironic circumstances.

A three-year-old boy shot his momma in Kentwood, Michigan. She was cleaning the family SUV when the boy found his daddy’s 9mm handgun in the vehicle. He “fired one shot before the weapon jammed,” hitting his poor momma in the head. According the report, the momma “wasn’t seriously hurt,” which reveals the weakness of the 9mm when compared to Jamie Gilt’s .45-caliber. The boy’s daddy said he “typically secures the weapon” but on that day “he was in a hurry to visit neighbors” so apparently left the loaded weapon lying about with the safety off and a round in the chamber. Ooop. No charges have been filed.

And there was 23-year-old Jacob Brumbaugh of Knoxville, Tennesee, who shot himself in the leg with his Glock outside a Cheesecake Factory. No charges were filed. And Kentuckian Ward Correll, who accidentally shot himself in the gut (the comments to the article remind us that “we have a awesome Lord” who’ll help Ward through this time of crisis — but who apparently was too busy to prevent Ward from shooting his damned self). No charges were filed. And the two-ear-old Sacramento girl who accidentally shot herself in the head. Well, the child’s mother says the girl shot herself in the head, but the police aren’t entirely convinced since the firearm involved somehow ‘disappeared.’ Is it possible that somebody, during the fuss that naturally follows when a two-year-old is shot in the head, said to themselves “Oh lawdy, that poor child’s gone and shot herself in the head…I’d better hide the gun.” Yes, this is America — it’s very possible. Charges may be filed.

Then there’s Lana Meisner, the wife of a former NFL player, who died after the rifle she was moving accidentally discharged. Apparently a pair of spurs (I’m NOT making this up) shifted in the rifle case and struck the trigger. Which is a lesson all gun owners should take to heart. DO NOT put your spurs in your rifle case along with a loaded rifle. No charges were filed. And Genie Wamsley of Greensburg, Indiana, who was shot in the hip by her neighbor, who was in the adjacent apartment innocently cleaning his loaded 9mm handgun. The round went through the apartment wall and stuck Ms. Wamsley while she was sitting on the sofa watching television. No charges have been filed yet, but authorities stated:

Gun safety classes are available locally…. Classes can help gun owners familiarize themselves with their firearms, which is a vital component of responsible gun ownership.

Hey, tyrant — show me where it says you have to be familiar with your firearm in the Second Amendment.

Gun safety classes are available locally.

Gun safety classes are available locally. (Image by Samantha Ann Peartree, age 5)

Oh yeah, and by the way, there’s Christopher Smith of Morgantown, W.V. Seems he was “recklessly manipulating a loaded handgun” and accidentally shot a child in the head. No word on the age of the child or his condition, but hey, at least Smith was arrested and charged with a crime. Of course, Smith is black. Might as well arrest him. He’d probably get arrested for something else anyway. This just saves time.

This isn’t even a comprehensive list of the accidental shootings in the last week or so. It’s just the ones that caught my eye. There’s not enough space here for the recent intentional shootings — the road rage shootings, the domestic violence shootings, the suicides, the murder-suicides, the mass shootings, the drunken arguments that would have resulted in fistfights if there wasn’t a gun handy.

Legislators, of course, say they won’t interfere with a constitutionally protected right. Besides, this last week they’ve been too busy in Indiana and South Carolina and Utah and Florida and West Virginia and Kentucky finding new ways to restrict the constitutionally protected right of women to have a legal medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy.

Priorities, people, priorities.

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10 thoughts on “accidents, man, they happen

  1. Sit back and enjoy if, my friend. I’m really quite surprised the NRA hasn’t yet found a way to squash reports of these supposedly “responsible” (that was inserted as a joke) gun owners. The organization has done a remarkable job ensuring no federally funded research is conducted regarding gun violence; or, that nasty business regarding how guns are the “means of choice” for those hell-bent on taking their own life.

    I think it’s called, “self-preservation”. You know, making sure the American public gets fed a line of BS crap that guns are safe, and that the more guns there are the more safe the nation will be. Do you think it has anything to do with the senior directors of the NRA just happening to all be affiliated with gun manufacturers? With all their money pouring into the organization, it should come as no surprise the reports that as much as 61% of the Ted Cruz campaign warchest came from the NRA.

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    • Oh man, the NRA. They used to be concerned about conservation and wildlife preservation (and yeah, okay, they wanted to conserve wilderness and preserve wildlife so they could hunt it and eat it, but still…) and hunter safety. Then it was taken over by gun fetishists with conservative leanings. And now it’s the melding of the firearms industry and the paranoid racist fringe. It’s a shame.

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  2. Samantha Ann has summed it all up perfectly :-) Angry Chef and Disgruntled Dog are my faves. There was an item on our UK Crimewatch programme last night about the increase in firearms in a particularly city. Last year it was recorded that 47 shots were discharged, 3 of them aimed at people. I guess that happens every five minutes round your way….

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    • Forty-seven shots over the course of a year? We do that every minute. I used to play golf on a course near a shooting range. There were three holes locally referred to as D-Day Corner, because on weekends the sound of gunfire was almost constant. Played merry hell on your backswing.

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  3. While I understand the extremes to which the NRA in America has gone re guns, we in Australia have no means of protecting ourselves from criminal governments who send us to illegal wars based on WMD’s that never existed. So we have Police bearing arms winning every argument while our politicians legislate toward the Corporative State. The military holds almost all positions of Sovereign or Queen’s representation. Without the right to bear arms our Government has walked over the top of us and the criminals use knives instead if they can’t easily score a gun

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    • Without the right to bear arms our Government has walked over the top of us…

      Do you think your government’s policies would be radically different if Australian citizens owned more firearms?

      …and the criminals use knives instead if they can’t easily score a gun.

      Two things. First, most American citizens would LOVE it if our criminals had knives instead of firearms.

      Second, the problem with easy access to firearms isn’t just about their use by criminals. The problem is that guns are a LOT less lethal than knives. Look at EACH of the cases mentioned above and ask yourself if the outcome would have been better with a knife. About once a week in the U.S. a toddler — defined as three years old or younger — manages to get hold of a firearm and kills himself or somebody else. Those are just the fatalities. We’re not counting toddlers and victims who survived their wounds, and we’re not talking about the near misses. Would you rather find yourself in a room with a toddler holding a knife, or a toddler holding a handgun?

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      • In my household the toddlers never had a knife or gun. I use common sense and keep such items very secure. It’s like the keys to the car, another lethal weapon which according to your logic we should all give up because they are the worst weapons of all. I once had a youth approach me swinging a wooden staff violently, but after disarming him didn’t create a campaign to bar wooden staffs. As I wrote, I understand the extremes to which the NRA has gone but with all the illegal wars being fought by the US, isn’t it a case of blow the world to smithereens, but not in my back yard (NIMBY).

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      • the car, another lethal weapon which according to your logic we should all give up because they are the worst weapons of all.

        Oh lawdy, this again — the assumption that if a person says something negative about firearm ownership then that person must want to eliminate gun ownership. And that’s almost always followed by a ridiculous analogy — like cars kill more people than guns so we should get rid of cars.

        This is really a pretty simple issue. I like guns. In all the years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve continued to say that I like guns. They’re fun to shoot. But guns are designed to blow holes in things, and so they need to be treated with caution and folks who own them need to be responsible for them.

        And I mean really responsible. If you own a firearm and that firearm is used by anybody in a way that injures or endangers an innocent person, you ought to be held accountable for that.

        but with all the illegal wars being fought by the US, isn’t it a case of blow the world to smithereens, but not in my back yard

        Well, no. That’s not the case at all. I’d rather not blow the world to smithereens anywhere. But I’d apply the same logic that I apply to firearms. If you own an army and that army is used, then you ought to be held accountable for it.

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