January 16, 2014

Gun nut kills texting father

There have been a ton of shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012. I help chronicle these shootings on the Gun Fail page in Facebook.

In addition to all the school shootings:

There are lots of accidental shootings, rage-induced shootings, and shooting sprees. Not to mention other gun-related examples of stupidity.

Indeed, one or two such incidents happen almost every day. Here's a typical Monday through Friday roundup in Gun Fail:

Jan. 17

Police: 5 Dead In Murder-Suicide In Utah

Detroit Girl, 4, Fatally Shoots 4-Year-Old Cousin

Responsible Gun Owner ‘Second Amendments’ Himself in the Face While Changing His Pants

Jan. 16

More ‘Responsible’ Gun Ownership: Pro Footballer’s Wife ‘Forgets’ She Had AR-15 in Back Seat of Rental Car

Jan. 15

Payton Benson, 5, Killed By Stray Bullet: Cops

Dorner manhunt: No charges against Torrance cop who shot at pickup

Jan. 14

BREAKING: Another School Shooting: 2 Children Reported Injured in New Mexico Middle School

Road rage incident in Westland leads to shot fired; child nearly struck, police say

Oregon Republicans ‘Honor’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln With GUN Raffle

Jan. 13

Police: Florida woman shot and killed teen son and daughter before killing herself

Theater shooting: Florida man guns down movie-goer for texting in ‘Lone Survivor’ film

Murder at the movies

The last incident was so incredibly stupid that people are still talking about it:

Sheriff rejects popcorn killer’s ‘stand your ground’ defense: ‘Why didn’t he move seats?’

By Travis GettysThe sheriff who’s investigating the fatal shooting of a moviegoer this week in Florida said the state’s “stand your ground” defense doesn’t apply in this case, but an attorney said it likely does.

“What most people don’t understand is, the law is not concerned with what started your argument; the law is not concerned about how petty it is,” attorney Stephen Romine told First Coast News. “The law is concerned about the acts between two people—the person who died and the person who did the shooting.”

Retired police captain Curtis Reeves was charged with second-degree murder after he shot 43-year-old Chad Oulson to death Monday afternoon because he refused to stop sending a text message to his 2-year-old daughter’s day care provider.

Reeves told investigators that he feared for his safety when he was struck in the face with an object that investigators determined was popcorn, but his attorney suggested may have been a more dangerous object.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco dismissed that claim, saying there was no evidence of another object – and besides, the 71-year-old Reeves could have just found another seat.

“It was an empty movie theatre,” Nocco told the Daily Mail. “If he was scared, why didn’t he move seats?”

The sheriff said all the detectives at the scene Monday agreed that the state’s controversial self-defense law did not apply in this case.

“From our investigation, it seems simply that the agitation of someone using their cell phone to text has caused this,” Nocco said. “The suspect was sitting there, they had an argument about texting, the victim turned around, threw something, a shot is fired and the next thing you know a man is dead.”

But Romine, who is not representing Reeves but has tried many high-profile cases, said the state’s law focuses on one thing: Did the retired officer believe that he was in danger?

If so, Romine said, he had the right to use deadly force to defend himself–even if the weapon was popcorn.

Under the state law, a person has the right to use deadly force if he fears death or great bodily harm, even when retreat is possible.

The attorney said the reason the two men fought doesn’t matter under the statute, because all that matters is whether Reeves believed Oulson would hurt him.

Under Florida law, he added, it’s considered a felony offense to strike a person over 65 years old with something as small as a marshmallow.

A "Stand Your Ground" defense against popcorn? Is this a news story or an Onion satire? You be the judge!

Popcorn is as deadly as Skittles! Stand your ground against lethal snacks!

Reeves, the shooter, may have feared Oulson was about to attack him with thin mints...licorice whips...or marshmallows. Which would be a felony offense according to the article.

Reeves said he's "heartbroken." Why, because he was arrested? Because Oulson forced him to shoot against his will? Because his warning shot missed the empty theater and accidentally hit Oulson? Because he was trying to nail Oulson between the eyes but hit his chest instead? Because he was hoping to plug Oulson's wife too but didn't get the chance? Because he didn't get a medal for shooting an annoying texter?

When you shoot at someone with the intent to kill him, why exactly would you be sorry that you succeeded? "I'm heartbroken that a bullet somehow traveled from my gun to your chest without my knowledge or permission?" Yeah, right.

Now we know what would've happened in Aurora if a "good guy with a gun" had been present. He would've shot the annoying moviegoers before Holmes had a chance to.

As literally every critic said, the NRA position on Aurora is asinine. If moviegoers brought guns to the theater, we'd have shootings like this one every week. Armed patrons wouldn't prevent shooting incidents, they'd cause them.

I'd love to hear Wayne LaPierre spin this shooting. Reeves needed more training? He was a retired cop with decades of firearms experience. Reeves made a tragic mistake? He's arguing the shooting was justified under "Stand Your Ground." We need more guns? So Oulson and other patrons could've shot it out with Reeves?

More mockery

Ahem. People are rightly mocking this outrage as the latest example of fanatical gun worship:

For more on the subject, see Study Links Racism and Guns and Why White Men Worship Guns.

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