Archive for shooting

Paging Cheney: Pro-gun GOP lawmaker accidentally shoots hunter in head

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cheney whittington smaller pro-gunVia Getty Images

In an eerily Cheneyesque Moment, a pro-gun Republican state representative from Oklahoma accidentally hit a fellow hunter in the side of his head with a shotgun pellet. He was aiming at a pheasant. Oopsie! To quote Maxwell Smart, "Missed it by that much!"

Flashback: The man Dick Cheney shot re: his X-rays: "They say my chest looks like New York City at night."

Thankfully, the Oklahoma shootee was fine, the injury wasn't serious Rep. Steve Vaughan was remorseful, unlike uncompassionate pro-gun conservative Dick Cheney, after he shot his hunting buddy Harry Whittington in the face. He was aiming at a quail.

maxwell smart missed it by that much

And unlike uncompassionate pro-gun conservative Rafael "Ted" Cruz, who basically responded with, "meh" regarding Cheney shooting his friend: "Look, it happens."

The Hill:

"I just felt horrible about it. I just was sick," said Rep. Steve Vaughan, who wounded the man in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun as he was aiming at a pheasant.

“I’m a safety guy,” he said. “Gosh, I’m as safety as I can be. I was so mad at myself for even thinking about shooting the bird in this direction where I knew he was down in there.”

Taking responsibility for negligence and hurting people: What a concept. The GOP should try it some time.

I am not a gun fan, not even for sport. I understand the protection arguments, and the shooting game for food arguments, but that doesn't mean I like or even agree with them. IMHO, we'd all be better off and a lot safer without firearms, but they are legal, so...

Guns are killing machines. That's their only purpose, to mortally wound living beings. And that so many gun fondlers revere them excessively, that they actually think they can protect themselves against "Big Government" tanks, heavy weaponry, and military forces, is delusional.

If they're that worried about our freedoms being lost, maybe they should think about innocent lives being lost instead. And think about maiming living, breathing people, both physically and psychologically. And their embrace of a violent society instead of a peaceful one. And their so-called "pro-life" positions.

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Another school shooting, another study on gun access and risk of homicide, suicide

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shooting guns CT

An all too familiar news flash showed up in my inbox today: One dead, one arrested in shooting at Purdue University:

A lone gunman walked into a basement classroom at Purdue University Tuesday, shot and killed one person then calmly walked outside and turned himself in, police said.

And David just posted Police Chief Shoots Himself And Blames His Fleece Jacket.

When I opened my morning Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw this headline: Study takes new look at gun access and risk of homicide, suicide:

People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded. [...]

The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation's gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data. [...]

...Congress passed a law prohibiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from spending federal funds on research that could be interpreted as promoting or advocating for gun control measures.

We are becoming way too accustomed to news bulletins about school shootings, mass shootings, workplace shootings, "accidental" (negligent) shootings, you name it. And we have seen study after study like the one above that tells us what an unnecessarily violent country we are.

What will it take for this country to wake up? What will it take for gun-toting gun zealots to see the need for common sense legislation that could save lives? WTF is so hard about that?

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Twinkies, Skittles, Popcorn -- All Justifiable Causes of Gun Deaths

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Orville Redenbacher theater popcorn

No, nothing's gotten out of hand. The world isn't off it's rocker. Sanity hasn't taken a vacation. The trouble today is a four letter word -- guns.

It doesn't matter what side of the Second Amendment you personally come down on, it's really only a matter of time before people finally start figuring out that uncontrolled gun usage is going to kill us all.  And it'll all be justified. But no blame will be on the fact that we allow guns everywhere with no real restrictions. That's because guns don't kill. It's true. The NRA told me.

Think about it this way. We regulate the safety of food. Of the air we breath and even the medications we take to cure us. But the one item sure to cause our death is something off limits. Taboo.

Here's the latest wackadoodle story. We've already lived through the San Francisco killing that was justified by the assailant eating too many Twinkies -- the victims, Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone of San Francisco.

After that there have been many others, cops shooting handcuffed suspects, naked unarmed suspicious suspects shot 12 times and allowed to bleed to death under the banner of justified. Oh, and what about the justifiable murder of Trayvon Martin. His crime was walking while eating Skittles. That is surely one of Florida's finest moments.

But Florida is not just the Sunshine State. It's also the "We try harder" state -- kind of the Avis of the 50 United States. The Orange Juice capital of the world didn't cause enough racial animus with George Zimmerman and the "Stand Your Ground" law, they've taken that to new heights.

It's called the popcorn defense.

Evidently the retired cop took the title of the movie, "LONE SURVIVOR" too literally.

Instead of letting management handle the situation, the cop engaged the texting man in an argument, which led to the angry father tossing the ever dangerous contents of a bag of popcorn -- that deadliest of weapons when it's butter topped -- on the shouting and enraged ex-cop. The next action was the former officer, a man trained to quell arguments with the least amount of hostilities, did what any true blooded second amendment American would do.

He drew his peacemaker -- a snubnose .38 caliber pistol -- and shot. The bullet first hit the texting man's wife's hand which she instinctively put up in fearful reaction, and then went straight through it, finding it's final resting spot in the heart of her husband. He was pronounced dead on the spot. One bullet. Two victims. Tell me this isn't a trained cop.

When brought into the police station where he served for nearly 20 years, the officer gave his statement. He was in fear of his life when he drew his gun and that is "stand your ground." It was the popcorn tossed on him that put him into fear for his life and allowed him to draw upon the unarmed man and his wife.

No one yet knows what the outcome of this will be, or if it will even get to trial. But I have heard rumors that Orville Redenbacher has been retained by the defense as an expert witness.

To borrow from Will Durst, the problem isn't too many guns in schools, it's too many schools. In this case, it's not too many guns in movie theaters, it's too many movie theaters. Aurora Colorado. Carson California. Now Tampa Florida. Where's the popcorn insanity going to lead us? Be careful at the hot butter topping dispensary at your movie house. Can't you just see the trouble brewing there?

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Video- Fox News: Gun Advocate Larry Pratt: Gun Control Laws Are Killing People.

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No selfawareness what so ever. Via.

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Cartoons of the Day- One Year After Newtown

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newtown

John Branch

newtown1

Chan Lowe

newtown2

J.D. Crowe

newtown3

Bill Day

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Video- President's Weekly Address: Marking the One-Year Anniversary of the Tragic Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

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Lax Background Checks On Law Enforcement Contribute To Innocent Shooting

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cop with gun

Is this just a tragic coincidence or a pattern of poor judgement? Either way, it's something that the public should be made aware of and perhaps demand an accounting of practices and procedures by law enforcement.

Yesterday there was this, according to MailOnline.

'Oh you're gonna shoot me?' The sarcastic last words of straight-A student shot dead by college cop after being stopped for speeding

University student Cameron Redus, 23, was shot and killed by a campus police officer
According to police, the officer tried to pull Redus over for driving erratically and speeding
The two pulled into the parking lot of Redus' apartment block
Minutes later, Redus was shot 'four to six times' by Carter
Redus was a straight-A student set to graduate in May
Alamo Heights police and Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting
Carter is on administrative leave during the investigation

Now what is disturbing is how the Campus Officer was qualified to work for the school to start with, let alone carry a gun. Here's a bit of his background. See if you find any red flags here:

University officials describe him as having 'extensive law enforcement background.'

According to records viewed by My San Antonio, Carter has had nine jobs at eight different agencies over his eight-year law enforcement career.

He rarely stayed in any job for more than a year and the two years and seven months as a campus officer for UIW was the longest stint in his career.

The sketchy details in this story also include that this traffic stop happened off campus, on private property and the confrontation was verbal. Saying 'Oh, you gonna shoot me?' is not an invitation to actually shoot the honor student. Maybe the officer failed his class in Sarcasm 101. And to unload your gun into the unarmed student? Six bullets, four which hit their target at point blank range? Let's not even start with how trained he was in handling a firearm.

This might be a stand alone one-off incident. Something that happened in a small town but couple it with this LA TIMES article from last week:

police polygraph

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department hired dozens of officers even though background investigators found they had committed serious misconduct on or off duty, sheriff's files show.

The department made the hires in 2010 after taking over patrols of parks and government buildings from a little-known L.A. County police force. Officers from that agency were given first shot at new jobs with the Sheriff's Department. Investigators gave them lie detector tests and delved into their employment records and personal lives.

Serious misconduct found in these background check in a big city? A city that has thousands of applications every year? It's bound to happen. But here's one example that could be endemic to police thinking:

David McDonald was hired despite admitting to sheriff's investigators he had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl whom he  kissed and groped. He was 28 at the time.

McDonald had been fired from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department amid allegations he used excessive force on prisoners. A fellow deputy told a supervisor that he didn't want to work with McDonald because he harassed inmates.

So committing sexual assault on a minor with an age difference of 14 years (there's three major felony crimes there alone) wasn't enough to get him disqualified?

This is where the problems are cultivating. The police must do a better job of policing their own. They must be like Hebrew National Hot Dogs -- "We report to a higher authority."

When they turn their back on major crimes within the ranks and let those people patrol us, aren't they contributing toward the further abuse for which this officer was finally dismissed?

Ultimately, about 280 county officers were given jobs, including applicants who had accidentally fired their weapons,  had sex at work and solicited prostitutes, the records show.

These candidates weren't weeded out? Safety on the streets means safety from those who provide it as well. Or so you'd think.

For nearly 100 hires, investigators discovered evidence of dishonesty, such as making untrue statements or falsifying police records. At least 15 were caught cheating on the department's own polygraph exams.

Twenty-nine of those given jobs had previously had been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies over concerns about misconduct or workplace performance problems. Nearly 200 had been rejected from other agencies because of past misdeeds, failed entrance exams or other issues.

Now Sheriff Baca here in LA has a tough job, and I think he's done a pretty good one under the circumstances. He's lasted a long time, so he's either good or he knows where the bodies are buried -- literally. Yet with my high respect for him and his staff, you really have to wonder about putting people with dubious backgrounds in certain jobs -- especially when personal safety and carrying a gun is involved.

Anyone and everyone has made mistakes. And they shouldn't result lifetime sentences. I believe in second chances. But caution must be paid. Seemingly the ultimate price was paid in Texas for giving an 8th chance. Let's hope we learn from it and it ripples across the law enforcement community nationwide. Our safety is in your hands. Use good judgment. You'll be respected more and we'll be more greatly served.

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