Guns at “dress-up” affairs

formal gownYes, apparently some folks feel threatened by zombies and other natural or man-made disasters at weddings and proms. Let me get to the wedding part first. A Kentucky law abiding sheriff’s deputy had a rude awakening when he decided that he needed his gun while attending a wedding. I mean, you never know what awful thing is going to happen requiring a gun while 2 people and their guests enjoy a happy couple professing vows to stay together no matter what. Back to the law enforcement officer and his troubles…… his gun discharged when it fell from his pocket to the floor. And the rest…..

McCracken County deputy Cory Golightly escorted his mother to a wedding on May 2. The wedding wasn’t in McCracken County. It was at the Bardwell Baptist Church in neighboring Carlisle County.

Nevertheless, Golightly saw fit to carry a gun in his jacket. To the wedding. In church.

Between the ceremony and leaving for the reception, the gun fell out of Golightly’s jacket and shot his mother through the abdomen. This was no superficial wound. The woman underwent abdominal surgery at a local hospital, where she is reportedly in stable condition.

Deputy Golightly, meanwhile, is on paid administrative leave while an investigation is completed. According to McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden, the gun, a .38 revolver, was not a department-issued weapon.

Hmmmmm. No words.

And this one, with the photo,  went around on Facebook and got a lot of well deserved attention. A group of Colorado prom goers posed for a group photo all decked out in their finest. They were also all decked out with a confederate flag and some assault guns. Nice. From the article:

The students from Chaparral High School took the photo to commemorate their prom, which was held on Saturday in Denver. The group picture was snapped at a home and featured three boys in suits and five girls in fancy dresses. While the boys held the Confederate flag, two of the girls held guns.

The mother of one of the boys in the photo spoke anonymously to KDVR about the incident, saying the behavior displayed in the photo was unacceptable and explaining that her son made a mistake.

Yes, indeed-a mistake was made. The thing is, kids often model parents’ or other adults. As long as our cavalier attitude about guns encourages this kind of behavior, what are we expecting of our kids? Some of the parents were taking photos, obviously not believing that this was a really bad idea.

Where is common sense?

These incidents are not so uncommon, actually. I know I wrote about the one where the bride shot her own niece at her wedding. Yup. It happened:

Police said George and her new husband emerged from Jimmy K’s Bar and Grille in New Brighton, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, when an argument broke out over who should drive home.

The defense said the handgun went off as George was trying to move it from her husband’s opened glove box to a deep center console to put it in a safe place.

“Tina George loved this girl,” said defense attorney Stephen Colafella, who urged jurors to acquit his client on the grounds of “excusable homicide by misadventure.”

“She’s left with the aftermath of this, just like everyone else in this room,” he said.

But Assistant District Attorney Brittany Smith said the gun was in the console and George was removing it from there when it went off.

“When you pick up that gun, your mind should tell you you have a duty of care to the people around you,” Smith told jurors.

“A duty of care to the people around you….” Of course. When you are handling a gun while drinking alcohol and arguing, something like this is almost inevitable. It doesn’t have to happen but too many gun owners, even law enforcement officers, apparently don’t take their responsibilities as seriously as their rights. And their minds must be muddled by the idea that gun accidents, homicides and suicides only happen to other people. When you bring your gun along, you had also better bring your duty of care and responsibility as well.

And that, dear readers, is where we are going wrong. This can happen to anyone’s family. It happened to mine. Just because it hasn’t happened yet to yours doesn’t mean it won’t. So I would suggest that you hop on board the train of common sense and join in efforts at true gun safety reform that can save lives. Be a part of the change in the conversation about the role of guns and gun violence in our communities. We can save lives if we make up our minds that senseless gun deaths don’t have to continue at pace with auto accidents or, outpacing them soon enough in some states.

We are better than this.