NRA Sets a Low Bar for “Responsible”

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firearms

Katherine Hoover, newly married and five months pregnant, died Sunday from a gunshot wound to the head. The fetus died also.  On Saturday Hoover and her husband were visiting a friend who showed them his gun collection. A .22-caliber revolver fired, resulting in Hoover’s death. Police are still investigating, but so far they are saying the shooting appears to be accidental. It’s unlikely any charges will be filed.

Once again, we see that gun deaths are not treated the same way as other deaths. If you kill someone while driving a car negligently, in most states you could be convicted of manslaughter. This is true of Florida, where Hoover lived. In many states, if you leave a small child home alone you could face felony charges even if the child is not physically harmed. But if an adult leaves a loaded firearm somewhere a child might reach it, and a child dies as a result, that’s just an accident. Too bad.

Small children really shouldn’t be left alone, of course. But you may have heard of the recent story about the South Carolina mother who was arrested for allowing her nine-year-old to play in a public park while she was at work at McDonald’s.  By all accounts the child was fine. Last year in South Carolina a three-year-old died in his own bedroom while he and his sister were playing with a pink handgun that looked like a toy. No charges were filed. The shooting was an accident.

Guns may not kill people, but apparently guns can get to places children can reach all by themselves.

And it may very well be that the adult whose negligence was responsible lives with grief and loss for the rest of his or her life. And it may very well be that person will never leave a loaded gun within a child’s reach ever again. But this never seems to deter the next bozo who gets somebody killed.

I agree with Tom Levenson:

The NRA, ammosexuals, and all their enablers in politics and the media tell us that the term “responsible gun owners” has actual meaning.  It doesn’t, as this case demonstrates .  I’ll update this post if it turns out that Mr. DeHayes faces actual consequences for taking another person’s life, but until then, I’m going to vent:

Responsible means that whatever happens with your gun is your fault.  Period.  You accidentally discharge it and no-one gets hurt? How’s this:  big fine, confiscate the weapon involved, lose the right to bear arms for a year for the first incident, forever if you repeat.  Someone gets hurt or dies?  Jail. Civil liability.  Loss of gun rights for life.  That’s responsibility.

But of course, I dream.  That’s not how we roll.  Instead, we’ll just water the tree of liberty with a newlywed, and celebrate life by burying her fetus — and wait (not long) for the next red harvest.

I would add that if the NRA or Open Carry Texas or any other 2nd Amendment absolutist organization actually cared about responsible gun ownership, they’d support holding people responsible for gun negligence. But, of course, they don’t.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 29, 2014 @11:35 am

    If Katherine Hoover had wanted to abort that child in a clinic, well, you know our “Pro-life” crowd would have had major issues with that, and confronted her at that clinic.
    She might also have had to sit through some abortion education, before being able to get one.

    Instead, a “responsible” gun-owner, accidentally shot and ‘took the life of the mother, ‘and the fetus died when the vessel it was stored in, expired.

    How this isn’t manslaughter is beyond me! TWO COUNTS!!!
    We keep letting the shooters walk, when others will never walk again – either because they’re crippled or dead.
    That’s NOT RESPONSIBLE!

  2. Doug  •  Jul 29, 2014 @9:32 pm

    Guns and cars have a lot in common in the analysis of responsibility. For example, who would learn to drive in an 18-wheel behemoth? What about a ‘muscle car’ with awesome power for drivers training? Or for that matter, we have all grown up around cars – who needs training at all? The license and insurance requirements are just scams to collect fees and profit, right?

    To tie into my previous comment, if/when the big lie about a conspiracy to disarm conservatives is dispelled, a majority people might agree that mandating basic training makes sense – and graduating to higher caliber and higher capacity weapons requires additional training. If we pass sensible legislation which would define ‘responsibility’ that would be part of what a gun owner would have to know – up front.

    The NRA is successfully controlling the narrative with the big lie. That’s where we have to go first.

  3. Swami  •  Jul 30, 2014 @12:07 am

    Here’s a little story that involves gun irresponsibility and the power of prayer.

    My daughter is an air traffic controller. She was training a young up and coming air traffic controller who was giving her problems in accepting following procedures. He was a bright kid, but seemed to think he had a better way of doing things then following established protocols . My daughter didn’t want to quash his opportunity to become certified, but she was troubled with his attitude and his inability to accept being told to do things the way you are told to do them, whether you understand the reasoning behind it or not.
    My daughter speaks with my wife on a regular basis and she shares her problems. My wife is a devout Christian who strongly believes in the power of prayer. When my daughter shared her problem of training this know it all kid, my wife suggested that they just pray him out of there. Let the Lord remove him.
    Shortly after praying for his removal this young kid ( early twenties) was showing off his piece to a friend. I assume it was just your typical male bonding ritual where you let your buddy stroke your piece and give it a gentle caress. Anyway, as the story goes, his buddy without any hesitation or thought just pulled the trigger when the gun came into his hands. The kid was shot and killed with his own gun. Seems he didn’t understand the first rule of gun safety and it cost him his life.

  4. csm  •  Jul 30, 2014 @12:24 am

    How is it that an instrument who’s only purpose is to kill is blameless when it does? The NRA uses “responsible gun owner” to label anybody with the wherewithal to purchase a gun (gun sales, and not second amendment rights is really their bottom line) no matter their irresponsibility in handling it. Can we at least say that responsible gun owner is no longer such if he/she allows that gun to fall into the wrong hands and someone ends up dead as a result?

  5. Doug  •  Jul 30, 2014 @7:40 am

    “An instrument whose only purpose is to kill” …. I disagree with that. I’ve has plenty of guns and the ‘purpose’ was to put small holes in a paper target. That’s not to say I could not kill in self defense – I think I am capable of it. I don’t long for it.

    A discussion that’s been ducked by everyone is owning a gun for the purpose of insurrection. There’s only one way using a gun in a violent revolution isn’t a criminal act – and that’s if you are successful in overthrowing the government. Anybody who buys an assault weapon and fantasizes about getting rid of Uncle Sam is free to do so, but if he acts on the fantasy, he’s betting his freedom, and maybe his life that his side will prevail.

    This is a distinction that has to be made clearly and publicly. Thinking about revolution, or wishing for it is no crime. Owning a gun is no crime. Actively planning an armed revolution (specific plans) or acting on those plans is a crime and the constitution does not give you immunity if you fail.

    I’d like to see this said by the government, clearly. The message needs to be, your right to own a gun is going to be unimpeded – the second amendment is respected. Insurrection is a serious crime and if you think you can whip Uncle Sam, BRING IT ON! Otherwise, STFU or participate through the democratic process.

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 30, 2014 @8:29 am

    Btw – Some of you might be interested in this article:
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/robert-dowlut-nra-murder-mystery

    51 years ago, the guy who is now the NRA’s general council, was accused of 1st Degree Murder, and found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder – but was released on technicalities.

    I swear, you can’t make this shit up!

  7. Swami  •  Jul 30, 2014 @9:01 am

    Doug…Somewhere in the Declaration of Independence there is a passage that says it is the right of the people to throw off a government that becomes oppressive. Or something to that effect. I think that’s the thought that these tyranny fighting patriots have kicking around in their heads. That’s their justification.
    I do agree with you that you better be on the winning side if you take up arms against Uncle Sam.

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 30, 2014 @9:31 am

    Swami,
    While we coastal elites drink our craft beers, the Murkin Heartland is staging “The Bud Light Rebellion.”

  9. goatherd  •  Jul 30, 2014 @10:48 am

    I guess one fear that occasionally bubbles up from my subconscious is that some who see themselves as the “Sword of the Lord,” will decide to use a few of us heathens for a little target practice before the big show. Most won’t even have to put down their Bud Lites, because they don’t drink, their high on the real thing, Biblical prophecy.

  10. moonbat  •  Jul 30, 2014 @12:23 pm

    Love the phrase “ammosexuals”.

    OT, Watch Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse totally school climate change denialist Sen Jim Inhofe R-OK. It’s a little long but totally worthwhile. Whitehouse points out, that among Republicans younger than 30 years old, climate change denialists are regarded as kooks. He drills it home that eventually even the US Senate will come around.

  11. goatherd  •  Jul 30, 2014 @1:15 pm

    AAARRRRGH! That should either be “their high IS the real thing” or “they’re high on the real thing.” Wow, I guess I better check out that “lumosity” thing. (At least I avoided writing “luminosity” like my brain told me to.)

  12. paradoctor  •  Jul 30, 2014 @4:03 pm

    Swami: if prayer is effective then your wife and daughter are guilty of accidental manslaughter, and should be barred from prayer for a year, and for life if this incident recurs.

    Swami and Doug: The Declaration is not a legal document; it is a political document. It is not a system; it is a break between systems.

    Re ‘ammosexuals’; I prefer the term ‘haplophile’. Or ammophile if you prefer. My point is that they love their guns but most of them aren’t ****ing them.

    Goatherd: the real thing? Powerful gasoline, a clean windshield, and a shoeshine!

  13. goatherd  •  Jul 30, 2014 @4:13 pm

    Paradoctor: I guess you caught my inspiration/plagiarism, I was a big Firesign Theatre fan as a lad, those many years ago. I wonder if their script included the same misspelling and I was innocently channeling their error.

  14. erinyes  •  Jul 30, 2014 @5:30 pm

    I think I’m the prince of bad spelling here, when I’m not guilty, auto correct changes my words.
    Because I have worked in the trades here in Florida for 20+ years, I have volumes of gun carrying goober stories. Guys you wouldn’t trust to deliver a pizza on time are carrying 9 km hand guns. Some carry several. The lord works in mysterious ways.

  15. erinyes  •  Jul 30, 2014 @5:31 pm

    Oops, I did it again.

  16. paradoctor  •  Jul 30, 2014 @6:09 pm

    Swami: fortunately your wife and daughter have an airtight alibi; namely, that one cannot prove that prayer is effective.

    But on the off chance that it is; be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

  17. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jul 30, 2014 @8:25 pm

    Hm. Gulag, that’s an interesting story, but that really, really, really sounds like the cops tainted the case to the point that they didn’t have one any longer. Maybe he is lying and his dad is lying about what happened regarding the interrogation and so forth. But if so – the cops really bungled what they did by failing to establish adherence to the Miranda standard, causing all of their evidence to be (at best) fruit of a poisoned tree. It strikes me as probably appropriate that he walked on those changes.

    (Note that this is far different from having an opinion of whether he committed the crime or not.)

  18. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jul 30, 2014 @8:30 pm

    Doug:

    Re: “purpose” of weapons, you know, that’s one thing I felt I might point out if someone was carrying a high capacity rifle styled after assault weapons. “You planning on killing someone? No? Look, dude, if you were carrying a claw hammer, I’d expect you had to pound some nails. If you were carrying a handgun, I’d assume you had reason to suspect you might find yourself in danger, but saw no imminent danger. You’re carrying a weapon designed for a literal war zone. Gotta hint for you: war zones are not where you punch holes in paper.”

  19. Doug  •  Jul 30, 2014 @10:36 pm

    From the Declaration of Independence: “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity…”

    Swami commented: “I think that’s the thought that these tyranny fighting patriots have kicking around in their heads. That’s their justification.”

    Paradoctor hit the nail on the head. “The Declaration is not a legal document; it is a political document. ”

    Let’s see if I can say this without putting anyone to sleep. The D of I is wonderful poetry which expresses some subtle ideas. I haven’t found any evidence in the writings of the founders that the 2nd Amendment was written as a defense of the right of revolution. I have seen some good arguments that the ‘militias’ that were to be protected by the 2nd Amendment were the militias that periodically terrorized the slaves and searched for any cache of weapons (not guns, of course) or anything which might indicate the slaves were preparing to rebel.

    Shay’s rebellion provided one more reason and argument for a strong central government and a chief executive empowered to react to domestic insurgencies. Rebellion was undoubtedly a consideration when the Constitution was written, but the idea of the founders was to enable government to quell rebellion, not enable it. History supports my thesis. Washington used force to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Lincoln used force to defeat insurrection. In two different incidents, two different generals (Butler and MacArthur) passed on the opportunity for a military coup though neither of them approved of the POTUS at the time.

    The concept of democracy is founded on accepting imperfect government which reflects the convoluted and contradictory will of the people, advanced by the imperfect representatives of the people selected in free and fair elections. The key point being you accept decisions you disagree with. You don’t sponsor armed rebellion to reverse a political decision you don’t like.

    The fantasy that the Declaration of Independence and the 2nd Amendment legitimized revolt against the government needs to be challenged. There is no historical basis for this. Paramilitary groups surfaced in Nevada a couple of months ago spoiling for a fight with BLM and now they are collecting at the southern border, aching for a confrontation with the Border Patrol. These clowns need to be called out as traitors, not patriots. The flimsy excuses they have sold to their followers need to be rebutted. The audience for this debate is the middle class, not the extremists. If/when moderates turn against the threat of revolution as a form of political protest, the size of militias will shrink and the risk of an internal war will dissolve.

    Someday I will get credit for the relief I give insomniacs who would otherwise suffer through a sleepless night.

  20. Dan  •  Jul 31, 2014 @12:20 am

    You can bet money that if it were to their political advantage, the rightwingnuts would be all over the dead fetus part (though they couldn’t care less about the dead female person).

  21. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 31, 2014 @7:54 am

    Doug,
    You’re a really good writer with very interesting points.

    And remember – I’M THE LONGEST-WINDED ONE ON THIS SITE! 😉



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