Saturday, May 14, 2016

More Shootings For Trivial Reasons

Every day in America there are numerous examples of people shooting at others for trivial reasons.  These aren't robbers, rapists, gang members, or druggies.  These are people who aren't felons.  These are people whom the NRA dubs "law abiding gun owners" worthy of owning guns with little or no regulation whatsoever.

I've blogged on other examples in the past.  Things haven't changed.  Here are just a few examples I've collected in just the last couple weeks:

  • Taking too long to go to the bathroom in Connecticut:  Shawn Cummins, 22, was hanging out in a neighbor's apartment and had been drinking.  Someone else was in the bathroom when he needed to use it. Impatient, Cummins pulled out a concealed handgun, which he had a permit for, and fired it through the door of the bathroom, narrowly missing the occupant.  Cummins then left the apartment and fired another round into the side of the building.
  • Dispute over feeding squirrels in Colorado:  Jon Marc Barbour, 59, of the Colorado town of Gunbarrel (no irony there, I'm sure), liked to feed neighborhood squirrels with lots and lots of peanuts, despite protests from neighbors.  When another neighbor argued with him about it, then got into a fight, Barbour pulled out his gun and shot the neighbor in the buttocks.
  • Throwing eggs in Oregon:  68-year old William Dean Thomas' house had just been "egged."  He was outside his house, cleaning it up, when the egg throwers showed up again, throwing eggs at him from their car.  Angry, Thomas pulled out his handgun and opened fire on them. Luckily he missed.
  • Reserved seating in a church in Pennsylvania:  Robert Braxton III, 27, was in Sunday church services and sat down in a pew spot that had been reserved for someone else. When he was told the seat was reserved, he became angry, but was cooling off after talking to an usher. That's when conceal carry permit holder Mark Storms, 46, approached Braxton and told him to leave, warning him that he had a gun. An argument ensued, and Braxton took a swing at Storms.  Storms responded by pulling out his gun and shooting Braxton twice, killing him.
  • Argument over a cheeseburger in Florida:  25-year-old Benjamin Middendorf got angry with his 28-year old brother over whether or not he wanted a cheeseburger.  Benjamin then pulled out his gun and shot his brother in the chest, killing him.
  • Argument over a parking spot at a school in Ohio:  Two men wanted to park in the same parking spot, in the parking lot of Medina High School, with their kids in the car with them.  That's when one of the dads pulled out a gun and threatened the other father with it.
  • Daughters wouldn't leave their home in Oregon:  54-year-old Lynn Hakala decided that her two 18-year old daughters should leave the home where she lived with them. When they refused, she pulled out a gun and fired it.  Luckily, they weren't hit.
  • Decided to play "hero" and shoot at unarmed shoplifter in Arizona:  25-year old John Haag witnessed a man running from a Walgreens store and realized he was a shoplifter. He then pulled out a concealed handgun, for which he had a permit, and a car chase ensued, during which Haag shot at the unarmed shoplifter, then bragged about it on Facebook.
  • Pulling a gun on fighting teen on school campus in Mississippi:  38-year old Shawana Smith was at her son's high school when her son and another boy started fist-fighting. Even though guns weren't allowed on school campuses there, she pulled out her gun and threatened the other boy with it.  Luckily the act was caught on video and she was arrested.
  • Road rage between truckers in Florida:  Truck driver George Guerrero had pulled out of a construction zone and changed lanes, apparently infuriating another trucker, who then tailgated Guerrero and then bumped Guerrero's truck, causing him to veer off the road.  The angry driver then shot at Guerrero, killing him.  The suspect has not been found.

These incidents are the result of allowing anyone to purchase and own a gun with no training whatsoever, including training on the appropriateness of a situation or the heavy responsibilities of gun ownership, and no regard whatsoever for the temperament of the buyer.  As a result, simple disputes over trivial reasons turn deadly.

Update (5/15/16):  A late addition from today's news:  

--> Cutting in line for the taco truck in Texas:  39-year-old Rigoberto Jose Castillo was standing in line at a taco truck at 2AM when a group of people cut in line.  A fist fight erupted.  That's when one of the group, went to his vehicle, retrieved a loaded handgun, and fired into the line, killing Castillo.  He then tried to shoot a witness, but the gun jammed.  Then he fled the scene.