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Hullabaloo


Sunday, January 20, 2013

 
Accidental discharge


by digby

Ok, this is just sad:

In Raleigh, N.C., authorities said three people were wounded when a loaded shotgun accidentally discharged at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.

Officials say Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, was having his shotgun checked before entering the show when the incident happened. He was unzipping his 12-gauge shotgun's case when it accidentally fired birdshot pellets, hitting three people, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported. Wilson was planning on privately selling the gun at the show, according to NBC affiliate WNCN.

The three victims, Janet Hoover, Linwood Hester and Jake Alderman, were hit, respectively, in the right torso, left hand and right hand, WNCN reported. They were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Witness Daniel Peadan told WNCN he was about to enter the building, when he heard a loud pop: "The people right there at the door, a lot of them ran ... They scattered because it was chaotic."

There were a bunch of these incidents around the country on Gun Appreciation Day. But you have to love the irony of this:

The show closed early Saturday because of the shooting, according to The News & Observer. When the show reopens Sunday private gun sales will not be permitted, but only sales by licensed dealers at the show are allowed, Long said. By Saturday evening, the event's website clearly stipulated: "No personal firearms are to be brought into the show."

I have a couple of friends who have been telling me that the proposed AW ban has made even responsible gun owners very upset and they are buying these weapons in large numbers. I think this is natural in the face of a possible ban of anything, not just guns. And there is a lot of dissonance among the gun owning community right now, as many decent folk are feeling a lot of pressure coming from different directions. We haven't chosen to think about this for a while so it's a bit of a shock to expose all these fault lines.

But I still maintain that it's good to do it, even if there is a backlash. In a country where the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution and the Supreme Court has held that it is an "individual" right, one of the only ways we can keep this shooting gallery from getting completely out of hand is through legal and social pressure. It's uncomfortable, but necessary.

It's not just the mass shootings, as horrible as they are, or the fact that semi-automatic weapons are easily available to just about anyone. It's that they are insisting on legalizing carrying guns in public places like bars. (What could go worng?) It's these "stand your ground" laws and "castle doctrine" extremism. They are just going too far for even a gun loving society to tolerate and they are going to have to dial it back.

And at some point responsible gun owners are going to have to take some ... responsibility. But as this is playing out in the wake of a terrible massacre of little children and emotions are running high, they are defensive. That's human. When things calm down, I think they will.

Meanwhile, the irresponsible continue to make the case for gun safety advocates:

MARIETTA - A Parkersburg man was accidentally shot in the ankle Sunday at a gun show at the Comfort Inn in Marietta, according to the Marietta Police Department.

William Shawver, 46, of 418 Avery St., Parkersburg, was taken to Marietta Memorial Hospital to receive treatment for a gunshot wound to his right ankle, police said.

The incident is under investigation and is being regarded as an accident, said Capt. Jeff Waite.

"It definitely was not done in malice. The two men are very good friends," said Waite.

Though the department has not released the name of the gun owner, Waite said the man was in the process of trading his gun, a 1911-style automatic handgun, with another individual at the gun show.

"He went to remove the gun from its holster and unload the ammunition I believe and the gun somehow misfired," said Waite.

It's pure luck that somebody hasn't gotten killed in one of the gun show accidents.


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