On a hunting trip April 21, Portland Oregon Police Chief Larry O'Dea shot his friend in the back, then suggested that the wounded man accidentally shot himself.
Portland police chief misled investigator about hunting accident, sheriff says
Wow. That's some serious hubris. O'Dea thought that the police would back him up when he said the gun shot wound in the guy's back was "self inflicted." Who did he think he was, Dick Cheney?
Too bad O'Dea didn't have a friend like Harry Whittington. After Cheney shot him in the face Whittington apologized. I still remember thinking what an amazing display of power that was.
"My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week. We send our love and respect to them as they deal with situations that are much more serious than we have had to deal with this week.
We hope that he will continue to come to Texas and seek the relaxation that he deserves."
-- Whittington apologizing for getting in the way of Cheney's shotgun pellets. YouTube
Not everyone can get away with this level of blame acceptance. At least Whittington had knowingly put himself in that situation, but what of tens of thousands of people who were injured by gun accidents who don't? What if they were just minding their business in a store when an incompetent guy with a gun accidently shot them?
When there is a gun accident the gun lovers want people to say, "Well, he was carrying the gun legally. He must have training in gun safety before the state would have allowed him to carry a gun, right? Plus, the store gave them permission to bring the gun in the business. If they didn't want to have "good guys with guns" in the store they would have said something, right? Put up a sign, right?
I mean nobody would let incompetent people with guns into their business, unless they trusted them, or the state certified their worthiness to carry a gun, right? He didn't intend to shoot anyone, so he's not a bad guy. I guess there is no one to blame for an honest gun accident." This thinking is illogical and dangerous.
The first mistake people make is believing the gun lovers when they lie about how much safer people are with guns as "protection."
You know what will protect you from a gun shot? A bullet proof vest, a ballistic helmet and body armor. The guns everywhere crowd want the gun for its retaliatory features,. You don't hear guys bragging about their COOLMAX® Bullet & Stab Proof Vest
When long time professionals trained in guns and gun safety have accidents, what does that mean for the people who aren't trained? This week West Virginia removed any requirements for people carrying concealed weapons to get a permit or training. I'm sure that they will take this responsibility seriously....
When people without training have an "accident" that is really negligence, that incident needs to be pushed in the faces of the people who got rid of training and certification. Each toddler death, each dropped gun in a store needs to be tweeted at the legislators. Some of the, "I gotta have my gun with me everywhere" people are going to screw up. If we are lucky they will only hurt themselves, but we aren't always lucky. 951 haven't beenso far this year.
I wouldn't choose to go hunting with these people, so I sure as hell wouldn't choose to go shopping with them. It's not the "bad guys with guns" I'm afraid of, it's the incompetent guys with a guns.
No businesses should take their word for their competence either. Hell, the one thing these businesses could point to was the line, "Well, they had a permit." They were hoping that it meant some level of competence. Now even that is gone. Why should I trust untrained, uncertified people roaming the aisles with deadly weapons?
We get understandably pissed off over mass shootings. They make the national news. We should also get pissed off over multiple gun accidents. I see 3-5 every day and those are just the ones that make the news. Link to Gun Violence Archive West Virginia incidents the last two years.
I'm tired of people, especially police, making excuses for negligent behavior when it comes to storing, handling and transporting weapons. Maybe they are thinking "There but for the grace of God go I." since they know more stories like Chief O'Dea's.
No, police chief Tyler Brewer, it's not a “knucklehead situation” when a 37 year old man playing with the gun in his sock shoots someone during graduation ceremonies at Augusta High School in Kansas. (BTW, Kansas is another state where no concealed carry permit is required.)
If states are changing laws to make what was illegal, legal so there is no criminal case following someone's gun negligence, then we need to make it a civil case.
Of course the NRA is already preparing for this. They just convinced the Tennessee legislation to make the public universities immune from any liability now that teachers can carry guns on campus. And they didn't require the teachers to have any training or extra insurance. The Tennessee NRA people aren't stupid, but the legislators who believed there wouldn't be any problem with guns on campus are.
What is also astonishing to me is that these "no permit, no training" changes were passed against the wishes of the majority of the people in the state.
More guns in the hands of more people with no training and no certification is a bad idea
Laws can be changed that make negligence an "accident" so no criminal charges are filed. But criminal law isn't the only area to look at. When all those untrained, unlicensed "responsible" gun owners screw up it's time to make them pay up.
Maybe start with the Oregon police chief. Do you know how much the helicopter ride from the remote town of Fields, Oregon to Boise Idaho's hospital to help his injured buddy was? Between $35,000 and $55,000. Do you think that is going to come out of his $153,605 yearly salary?