The other day I wrote a post about accountability with guns. It’s hard to come up with words for the negligence and irresponsibility exhibited by far too many gun owners and gun carriers. Ever since states have allowed for the public carrying of guns we have seen an increase in people who carry either intentionally or unintentionally shooting another person. Florida is where it all started as the state that has served as the cauldron of gun rights laws that have bubbled up into other states.
Gun owners and permit holders have been involved in many incidents of negligent and irresponsible behavior with their guns over the years and I have written about them many times in this blog.
A recent incident in Sanford, Florida, shows why it is a terrible idea for people to be allowed to carry deadly weapons in public places:
Deputies said the weapon fell out of the gun owner’s holster while he was walking through the dining room of the Cracker Barrel at 200 Hickman Circle in Sanford.
Deputies said William Hoback was talking to the checkout counter when his gun slipped out of his holster and fired.
The bullet hit a kettle, which sent fragments flying.
Three people were hit by the shrapnel, including a restaurant manager and Hoback’s fiancé.
You can’t make this stuff up. But almost worse than the incident itself is the response to it by law enforcement:
After Hoback realized what had happened, he apologized and explained it was an accident.
Deputies agreed, so he was not charged.
“This shooting doesn’t appear to be intentional and the conduct doesn’t appear to be so reckless that it would support the charge of criminal negligence,” said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
Sheaffer said even though the shooting doesn’t rise to the level of criminal negligence, the victim could file a civil lawsuit.
The public has a right to know if the man had a permit to carry and if the restaurant allows people to carry guns inside. Perhaps Cracker Barrel will reconsider any policy they have about gun carriers given this incident. If they don’t, one wonders what the effect this incident may have on their business. Will those injured hold the restaurant accountable for their belief that people carrying guns will do no harm because they are “law abiding” gun owners?:
In recent years, many states have relaxed their concealed carry laws, on the theory that concealed-gun carriers deter crime. But there is no credible evidence that permissive laws prevent or deter crime. In an analysis of states with right-to-carry laws, Stanford researcher John Donohue and colleagues found that states that passed right-to-carry laws experienced 13 to 15 percent higher aggregate violent crime rates, over a period of 10 years, than comparable states.
Don’t believe the NRA and gun rights myths about guns for self defense making us safer. This is why research about gun violence is so important. Facts matter.
Sanford, Florida may sound familiar to you. That would be because it was in Sanford that
George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in 2012 claiming self defense and then getting away with it.
Look at what
Zimmerman is up to now:
Zimmermanof “revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions,” Crump, Fulton and Martin said there is no credible proof to back Zimmerman’sclaims.
“This tale defies logic,” they said, “and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.”
Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch whose other clients include the conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, made headlines this year when a legal ethics panel recommended that he be suspended for misconduct regarding his actions toward a female client who had refused to enter into a romantic relationship with him.
Again-you just can’t make this stuff up. In case you forgot Jerome Corsi was involved with Trump and the Mueller investigation. There is something very wrong with things in the American gun culture. Up is down and down is up. What a tangled web is woven. The NRA=Russian money influence on the 2016 election=corruption=the NRA’s track towards investigations into its’ non-profit status and financial mismanagement and difficulties.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Florida’s gun death rate is high compared to states that have stronger gun laws though under intense pressure from the students from March For Our Lives after the Parkland shooting, even the conservative Florida legislature and governor responded by passing stronger gun laws.
Florida has been the research center for the NRA’s loose gun laws. It was the first state to pass a Conceal and Carry law and the first to pass Stand Your Ground under the leadership of the NRA’s own Marion Hammer. We can see how that is working out in real time:
(…) NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer has singlehandedly written Florida’s gun laws for the past 40 years and has done more than any Florida lawmaker to ensure that pretty much anyone anywhere in Florida can buy whatever kind of gun he or she wants — including a disturbed teen like
Cruz. Hammer’s influence extends even further too: She influences elections by personally instructing NRA members to vote against pro-gun-control candidates. Lawmakers are terrified of her.
In America, lawmakers have let the NRA terrify them. That is why the Dickey Amendment was passed in 1996 and flew under the radar for decades. The public did not know about it and did not understand that a law that actually denied the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies was passed by those in the pocket of the NRA. Because?… rights.
Just as research has been done on other public health and safety epidemics, it should be done on the causes and effects of gun violence. Because of research on auto accidents, we now have seat belt laws, drunk driving laws, safer roads and fewer auto accident deaths. And gun death rates have now surpassed auto accident death rates. Because of research into the effects of second hand smoke on those who don’t smoke, we have laws banning smoking in public places and healthier communities.
Just this past week, finally after decades of talking about this and lobbying to get Congress to fund research into gun violence, it happened. This is a victory for common sense and for the future of our country’s safety. If even one innocent person’s life is saved because of this research, it will have been worth the money and the research. From this article:
Dr. Robert McLean, the president of the American College of Physicians, applauded the funding bill and said in a statement that “the alarming rate of injuries and deaths related to firearms brings to light the glaring lack of research and data.””For over twenty years, we’ve desperately needed up-to-date research about firearm violence and intervention and prevention strategies to reduce physical as well as emotional injuries caused by firearms,” McLean said.”While $25 million is a great start, it pales in comparison to the amount needed to address this public health problem,” said Dr. Joseph Sakran, the founder of This Is Our Lane, a movement started by physicians in response to the National Rifle Association.For more than two decades, the CDC has avoided firearms research because of its interpretation of the so-called Dickey Amendment, named after the late Republican Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas.
Since 1996 hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from gunshot injuries and more injured. Since 1996 the NRA managed to get states to pass laws that have become dangerous to the average American. Since 1996 the rate of mass shootings has risen and many hundreds of our precious children have been slaughtered. Since 1996 the number of conceal carry (or open carry) incidents and even deaths are on the increase.
This is not the America we deserve or should have. We deserve to be safe from people whose guns somehow fall out of their holsters ( or pockets or purses) and fire off “unintentionally” harming innocent people while eating out or shopping. We deserve to know the truth and get the research into gun violence which has now become one of the top policy issues in our elections.
It is unconscionable that we have let this happen. Our leaders have been complicit in a scheme to normalize the carrying of guns and normalize daily shootings.
It is not normal.
We are better than this.