Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mom Killed By 2 Year Old Child Described As "Responsible." NOT!

"Listen kid... Don't even think about winging him. 
The sweet spot is right between the eyes."

Teach Your Children Well

Alan: It is madness to normalize guns-in-homes where children live. 

Harboring guns near children is not only irresponsible but constitutes reckless endangerment. 

If you are a gun supporter, ask yourself these 4 questions: 

"Do you know anyone who saved his life by pulling a pistol in self-defense?" 

"Do you know anyone who died from a pistol shot?"  (If so, suicide or homicide?)

"Do you know anyone who was killed in a car accident?" 

"Do you know anyone who was killed in a car accident who was not wearing a seat belt?" 


For young Americans, 15-24, suicide (60% by firearm) is the third leading cause of death

Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership
Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH; et al, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 327, No. 7, August 13, 1992
Key Statistic: The presence of one or more guns in the home increases the risk of suicide in the home nearly five times. 

Guns in homes increase risk of death and firearm-related violence

Firearm Access Is A Risk Factor For Suicide

Guns in home increase likelihood of violent death

Sandy Hook Kindergarten Carnage

Firearm Injury And Death Charts For The U.S. (And The World)
University of Pennsylvania 
There are over 40% more "firearm suicides" than "firearm homicides" in the United States.

The Most Violent Culture In The History Of The World

America's Gun Violence Map
by conservative columnist and George W. Bush advisor, David Frum

Mom killed by own gun at Idaho Wal-Mart described as responsible

HAYDEN, Idaho -- A 29-year-old woman fatally shot with her own gun by her 2-year-old son at a northern Idaho Wal-Mart was described as "not the least bit irresponsible."
The little boy reached into Veronica J. Rutledge's purse and her concealed gun fired, Kootenai County sheriff's spokesman Stu Miller said. The woman was shopping Tuesday with her son and three other children, Miller said.
CBS News correspondent Don Dahler reports law enforcement officials have reviewed surveillance tapes from inside the store but have yet to decide whether to make that video public.
The other children, all under the age of 11, were members of her extended family, Dahler reports. Rutledge was from Blackfoot in southeastern Idaho, and her family had come to the area to visit relatives.
Carrying a concealed weapon is legal in Idaho, and more than 7 percent of its adults have a permit to do so, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Rutledge was an employee of the Idaho National Laboratory, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, reported. The Idaho Falls laboratory supports the U.S. Department of Energy in nuclear and energy research and national defense.
Miller said the young boy was left in a shopping cart, reached into his mother's purse and grabbed a small-caliber handgun, which discharged one time.
Deputies who responded to the Wal-Mart found Rutledge dead, the sheriff's office said.
"It appears to be a pretty tragic accident," Miller said.
The victim's father-in-law, Terry Rutledge, told The Associated Press that Veronica Rutledge "was a beautiful, young, loving mother."
"She was not the least bit irresponsible," Terry Rutledge said. "She was taken much too soon."
The woman's husband was not in the store when the shooting happened at about 10:20 a.m. Tuesday. Miller said the man arrived shortly after the shooting. All the children were taken to a relative's house.
The shooting occurred in the Wal-Mart in Hayden, Idaho, a town about 40 miles northeast of Spokane. The store closed for the rest of the day.
Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said in a statement the shooting was a "very sad and tragic accident."
"We are working closely with the local sheriff's department while they investigate what happened," Buchanan said.
Idaho National Laboratory senior chemical engineer Vince Maio worked with Rutledge on a research paper about using glass ceramic to store nuclear waste, The Spokesman-Review said.
Maio said he was immediately impressed with her.
"She had a lot of maturity for her age," he told the newspaper. "Her work was impeccable. She found new ways to do things that we did before and she found ways to do them better."
"She was a beautiful person," he added.
There do not appear to be reliable national statistics about the number of accidental fatalities involving children handling guns.
In neighboring Washington state, a 3-year-old boy was seriously injured in November when he accidentally shot himself in the face in a home in Lake Stevens, about 30 miles north of Seattle.
In April, a 2-year-old boy apparently shot and killed his 11-year-old sister while they and their siblings played with a gun inside a Philadelphia home. Authorities said the gun was believed to have been brought into the home by the mother's boyfriend.
Hayden is a politically conservative town of about 9,000 people just north of Coeur d'Alene, in Idaho's northern panhandle.
Idaho lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year allowing concealed weapons on the state's public college and university campuses.
Despite facing opposition from all eight of the state's university college presidents, lawmakers sided with gun rights advocates who said the law would better uphold the Second Amendment.
Under the law, gun holders are barred from bringing their weapons into dormitories or buildings that hold more than 1,000 people, such as stadiums or concert halls.
The Right-Wing Dream
Absolute Safety vouchsafed by ubiquitous firearms.
(The impossible quest to make Reality safer than God intended is the core appeal of fascism.)

If every passenger can "pack," then every terrorist would have a firearm and relatively few citizens. 

Those who think ubiquitous firearms are a solution to any of life's problems contribute to  the problem.

The likelihood that well-armed citizens will perform acts of sudden, salvific heroicism when a criminal already "has the drop" is vanishingly remote. 

Such wishful thinking is the product of arrested development, the vestigial puerility of children playing at "cowboys and Indians."

Many more innocent Americans are killed by firearms "in the home" than the piddling number of Americans saved by domestic firearm heroics.

And when, at rare intervals, such heroics do occur, they often result in the death of property thieves who harbor no violent intent.

Where are the Christian literalists when we need them?

“You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles. When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be whole—just as your Father in heaven is whole."

I am 67 years old and have friends "on both sides of the aisle." 

I have never heard any of them say that their firearm saved a life.

I have never heard any of them say they know someone whose life was saved by a firearm.

Occassional anecdotes do not establish "general rules." 

On the flip side of this coin, I have heard several friends say firearms were used by family members to kill themselves.

Whether by accident... sudden eruption of anger... or by psychological disease... firearms in citizens' homes exact a terrifyingly high toll with correspondingly trivial benefit.


The belief that individual heroes will "save the day" is essentially self-ish.

Yes, an occasional hero will "save the day."

But arming an entire society increases cumulative carnage.


"One of the most disturbing facts that came out in the [Adolf] Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane. I do not doubt it at all, and that is precisely why I find it disturbing. . .  The sanity of Eichmann is disturbing. We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous. It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared. What makes us so sure, after all, that the danger comes from a psychotic getting into a position to fire the first shot in a nuclear war? Psychotics will be suspect. The sane ones will keep them far from the button. No one suspects the sane, and the sane ones will have perfectly good reasons, logical, well-adjusted reasons, for firing the shot. They will be obeying sane orders that have come sanely down the chain of command. And because of their sanity they will have no qualms at all. When the missiles take off, then, it will be no mistake." 
"A Devout Meditation in Memory of Adolf Eichmann" in Raids on the Unspeakable." Thomas Merton - New York: New Directions Publishing Co., 1964 

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