How guns keep us “safe:” Chapter 1
The headline gun-death stories always involve someone crazy, or a suicide wanting to take people with him, or a personal grudge. You think, “I’m OK, that’s not my world.” But running under the radar are everyday, small-bore stories showing how dangerous ordinary gun possession can be — for children, for people with short tempers, for pedestrians walking a dog or moms eating a burger with their kids. Here’s a recent roundup, of just a few of the “little” deaths on record.
1. A four-year-old boy, Michael Richard Leland Easter, shot and killed himself over the weekend. His father is a deputy sheriff in Jackson County (Mich.). The child apparently found the gun around the house and wanted to play.
2. In Florida, a golden retriever slipped off its leash and ran into the road, forcing a pickup truck to stop. The driver stepped out of his truck, gun in hand, and shot the dog’s owner in the leg. That’s a break–the driver first aimed at his head.
3. A former Utah city councilman shot his dog. Two years ago, he shot a neighbor’s dog because it barked too much. He said he’d been drinking.
4. A 3-year-old in Greenville, S.C., died after being shot in the head with a pink handgun. He and his sister were playing with it. Pink makes guns cute.
5. In Dallas, A 31-year-old couple, parents of four children, were shot and killed by the man who lived in the apartment below them. He says they let their dog’s urine and feces drip from their balcony down to his. He said he’d complained but it didn’t stop. So he stopped it.
6. A 26-year-old in an Internet cafe in Eugene, Ore., felt the call of nature. While in the toilet, his holstered gun accidentally discharged, shooting him in the thigh. He was said to be “familiar with guns.”
7. A drunken Milwaukee women fired a gun during an argument with her her niece. She said she was following the advice she’d heard in a radio ad, broadcast by a Wisconsin sheriff. He said citizens should “get in the game” and arm themselves instead of callingn 911.
8. In Georgia, an immigrant from Colombia, was picking up a friend to go ice skating. His GPS led him to the wrong driveway. While he was waiting, the homeowner ran into the driveway with a gun. He asked no questions, just shot and killed him.
9. In Kansas City, a grandmother was babysitting for four small children, and left the room. The father of one of the children had left a jacket on a chair with a loaded pistol it its pocket. The children found it. A 4-year-old girl was shot in the head and died.
10. Two moms with children got into an argument at the kids’ restaurant Chuck E. Cheese in Newington, CT. One mom dug in her purse, pulled out a pistol and waved it around. At least she didn’t shoot.
11. In Nevada, a man watching a movie had a pistol in his pocket. When he moved in his seat, the pistol dropped and shot him in the buttocks. At least it didn’t nail the person sitting behind him.