Not Bloody Likely

And I had to really scour to find the story I refer to in the previous post. Most of the news stories I’ve found on the Internet about gunshots at the home seemed more like this (dateline Alba, Texas):

Alba-Golden Student Fatally Shot in His Home

Written by Clayton Neville
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 07:11
A 16-year-Old student at Alba-Golden high school was found dead in his home early Tuesday morning after suffering a gunshot wound to the chest.

When Wood County deputies arrived to the residence they discovered Loren Wayne Saunders unresponsive and pronounced him dead upon arrival.

The reason behind the cause of death is currently being investigated and more information will be released as forensics results are completed.


Or like this:

Antioch, Calif. toddler shot in his home
December 2nd, 2010 11:53 pm PT

ANTIOCH, Calif. — Today, police in Antioch are looking into the shooting death of a 2-year-old child. It is possible the boy was shot by his 4-year-old brother.

Today was the 2-year-old Antioch toddler’s birthday.

Antioch is in the East Bay and is a short driving distance from San Francisco.

All of this started unfolding around 11am on Thursday morning.

The boy’s paternal grandmother was in the living room at 2405 Lemontree Court as the two young brothers played in the bedroom. She heard a shot fired and found the 2-year-old with a gunshot wound to the head.

A neighbor called the police.

The parents of the 2-year-old boy, Eddie Carr and Laqinda Modique, were later arrested.

The mother recently bought the gun and the father had loaded it and put it in a drawer just that morning, reports Kron 4 News.


Or this almost identical story, which just occurred in Youngstown, Ohio. This past weekend.

A 2-year-old is in stable condition after an accidental shooting in a South Side home Friday night.

Police responded to St. Elizabeth Health Center where they observed a gunshot wound to the left side of the girl’s face. The bullet entered her lower left cheek, leaving a 5-inch wound before exiting her upper cheek.

Police arrested Wally Moxley, 30, of Youngstown for having weapons while under disability after finding the fired handgun under the couch at his home.


Then there’s that other pesky problem with using firearms for home defense: a prosecutor may very well like to speak to you after:

Ryan Frederick is currently behind bars in Chesapeake City Jail in Virginia for the shooting death of a police officer on January 17, 2008. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Normally you’d think that a person who shoots and kills a police officer might deserve to spend time behind bars, but Frederick’s case is a bit different. The shooting happened in his own home during what Frederick believed to be a home invasion.

Three days before police began breaking down Frederick’s door to enter his home on a drug warrant, Frederick’s home had been broken into and his belongings rifled through, according to an online Reason Magazine story.

When Frederick’s dogs began barking and he heard someone breaking through his front door, he grabbed a gun that he kept for home protection. As an officer attempted to enter the home through one of the lower door panels, Frederick fatally shot him.

Frederick is 28 years old. He worked for a soft drink merchandiser before his arrest. Friends, neighbors and co-workers reportedly have nothing but kind words to say about him. He has no prior criminal record, although he has conceded that he and his friends have smoked marijuana recreationally. There is no evidence that he was ever growing or dealing marijuana or any other drug, according to Frederick’s criminal defense attorney.

Despite the lack of any criminal record and the fact that the shooting was a tragic accident, Paul Ebert, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, has indicated he may elevate the charge to capital murder so that the state may seek the death penalty against Frederick.


Yes, there may be some anecdotal evidence of a good clean firearm discharge. More of the stories, though, look like these, unfortunately.

Don’t take it from me. I’m just an amateur policy wonk and sometimes Web slinger. See for instance what Robert Siciliano has to say about it.

I know that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. I understand non-lethal doesn’t always work. I get that people love their guns. I also know that when you kill someone it’s your word against a dead mans and facing life in prison is an option even when you shoot and kill an intruder in your own home. Plus, there is always the chance that the same weapon can be used against you.


The suggestion that a firearm needs to be kept in someone’s home because the person will need it to protect his home is mostly nonsense. Such occassions, if they ever do arise, are rarely as neat and tidy as the gun owner imagines they will be or as they need to be in order to count on a gun and a gun alone for defense. Most times, when you read or hear about a gun being discharged, it’s all Marvin Gaye or Jam Master Jay. Tragic, not heroic.

And yet, as I indicated yesterday, this delusion is what many folks are going with when it comes to creating public policy on the issue of guns.

Sometimes, this is a very strange country.

3 thoughts on “Not Bloody Likely”

  1. The solution remains simple if politically difficult, enforce the second amendment well-regulated militia clause. Draft those who want to be part of the militia by taking up arms to receive training and serve the country. The second amendment had nothing to do with hunting and home defense from crime.

    1. I know that, and you know that. Unfortunately, the current Supreme Court has yet to get the memo and has pretty much scuttled the “organized militia” part of the Second. So, having that tug-of-war at this point in the game seems fairly pointless.

      1. Forget about the SCOTUS, the main problem at the moment is the Tea Party House who wouldn’t consider it. But their supporters even call themselves Unorganized Militia. So why shouldn’t they be well regulated? Basic training for them all, I say.

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