Make whatever argument you like about guns protecting us from tyranny or roving bands of street thugs — there’s no getting around the inevitable reality that increasing the number of weapons in a society statistically increases the number of dumb decisions related to said weapons.
Practically on the heels of the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, over this holiday season, “responsible” gun owners seem to have proven that dictum over and over again. Here’s our list of the top gun-idiocy-related shootings that have occurred in the days before Christmas and immediately after. At this rate, it’s a wonder that Santa himself didn’t catch a few caps.
December 24th, Colorado Springs — 14-Year-Old Girl Shot by Stepfather
Just before 6 a.m. on Christmas Eve, the Colorado Springs police department got a call regarding a burglary in progress in a nice, suburban area of the city. Neighbors heard “three” bangs” — the sound of a 14-year-old girl’s stepfather gunning her down as she attempted to sneak back into the house through the basement after a night out. The story as reported by Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, preceded some of the most pithy comments of all time — most notably that she “wouldn’t have been shot if she hadn’t been sneaking out like a slut and running around town.”
December 26th, East Lampeter, Pennsylvania — 2-Month-Old Shot to Death in Bed
Details of this shooting haven’t been released yet, but this much is known: The baby, Kestyn Davis, was struck in the abdomen by a stray bullet from a family member’s gun, just after 2:30 p.m. Police haven’t yet determined whether or not to press charges on the parents, Alyssa and G. Scott Davis.
December 26th, Brooklyn, New York — Man Accidentally Shoots Brother
A falling-down-drunk, 49-year-old Jose Miranda had just returned from a night of partying with his brother at 11:30 p.m. Miranda, looking for some clean clothes, pulled a 9 mm handgun out of his top dresser drawer, and (standard for any drunk with a gun), began playing with it. Miranda told police he was pointing the gun at a wall when it went off, but somehow the “wall” wound up being the lower intestines of his brother.
Miranda’s brother didn’t hold it against him, though. After calling the cops, he told them that he was shot in the street by a stranger. Miranda himself dumped the gun at a neighbor’s house. The ruse didn’t last long, though — Miranda was identified as the shooter, and the police arrested him on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a firearm. He’s being held on $50,000 bail.
December 27th, Forth Worth, Texas — 14-Year-Old Shot in the Face
In Texas, a 24-year-old man was showing his handgun to a 14-year-old acquaintance, when the gun went off and a bullet slammed through the boy’s head, just above the left eye. He claims that he didn’t know the gun was loaded at the time, and that the shooting was completely accidental. While initially thought dead, the boy miraculously survived the encounter, and is currently lying in a hospital bed at Peter Smith Hospital. The shooter is in custody now, but police haven’t released details owing to the victim’s age.
December 4th, Rapid city, South Dakota — Toddler Shoots Mother With Her Own Gun
Earlier in the month, an unnamed 22-year-old woman in South Dakota walked into her bedroom to find her 2-year-old son playing with her gun. The toddler turned to his mother, and fired off two rounds, one of which hit his mother in the leg. Police haven’t said yet how the toddler got the gun, only that the gun was “unsecured.” They are at the moment treating it as an “accidental discharge.” No charges have been filed.
December 20th, Frisco, Texas — Man Accidentally Shoots Himself At Gun Club’s Grand Opening
Billing itself as the nation’s largest gun club, the Frisco Gun Club has an executive chef, several stone fireplaces and numerous high-backed, wooden chairs. What it apparently doesn’t have is a great deal of “safety first” ethic in its most experienced members.
On December 20th, at the grand opening of its new facility, a veteran range officer was helping a novice with his jammed 9 mm when the gun discharged and fired one shot. To be fair, the gun was pointed down range; unfortunately, the range officer’s hand was between the gun’s barrel and the end of the range when it went off. A club official said “The range officer was transported to Medical Center of Plano, where he was treated and released for injuries which were not life threatening. No other patrons or staff were injured in this incident.”
H/T to the Daily Kos, which has compiled a pretty extensive list of gun fails this December.