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Who gets shot?

December 23, 2013 - Harry Eagar
The Orlando Sentinel has an interesting survey of who gets shot in Florida, based on emergency room visits: 4 in 10 in ER, hospital after being shot are gun-accident victims, Florida data show By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel It's behind a paywall, so no link. I read it in the print edition of the Gainesville Sun. The comprehensive national survey we want has not been done, because the gun nuts know it would disprove all their fantasies. It is a mystery why some private philanthropist has not funded this study, rather than waiting for Uncle Sugar to do it; which he won't as long as the gun nuts control Congress. Every old police reporter knows generally what the study would show. It would show what the occasional partial and local studies show, like the Sentinel's:

"It's not armed robbers or warring gangs who send the greatest percentage of gunshot survivors to Florida emergency rooms. It's people who shoot someone or themselves, accidentally."

As the story goes on to demonstrate, "accident" is hardly the right word. More usually, it is the result of moronic irresponsibility. As the NRA likes to say, guns don't kill people, responsible gun owners kill people.

Sometimes themselves.

(Darwin Award alert; the 2013 winners are out:

"Here Is The Glorious Winner: "1. When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.)"

The Sentinel's examples are not nearly so edifying. The paper starts with the boy who was playing basketball while his "friend" was "playing" with his .380-caliber pistol. The boy, now 17, is paralyzed from the ribs down.

There's a cost of an armed society that you will live a loooong time without ever hearing about from the gun nuts. Well, except this:

"Marion Hammer, former president of National Rifle Association and the group's chief lobbyist in Florida, said she was wary of the Florida numbers because gunshot victims sometimes lie about how they were hurt. Data from hospitals, she said, may be unreliable."

While data from Marion Hammer's butt is totally OK.

The Sentinel did not bother to record the number of gunshot victims who were shot by proud Florida gun nuts who were either standing their ground or fighting off Obama's jackbooted thugs because, you know, there aren't any unicorns. Really. There aren't.


From my son-in-law (a military man), two links about guns and gun nuts.The second one raises urgently my earlier question about how one recognizes a responsible gun owner.

Obviously, it cannot be done.


Then there's this:

"A 14-year-old Colorado girl was shot and killed by her stepfather early Monday morning after he mistook her for a burglar entering their house."

As commenter Katina Cooper mordantly puts it, "The NRA is getting an early Christmas present."


Article Comments



Dec-27-13 5:23 PM

Many own guns because they are afraid to walk down the street unarmed, even though old ladies do it.


Dec-26-13 10:01 AM

Yes, what about the millions of Americans who own firearms?And when the father of the family loses his job and shoots his family and himself in despair? That used to happen almost every day in the South when I was growing up.

Less often now. I attribute that to unemployment insurance.

And back then, people who owned firearms did not feel the need for open or concealed carry laws and many had the sens not to bring guns to church or school.

The fear and craziness injected into the 2d Amendment isn't doing anybody any good. Millions are slain for no reason.

John, I am always regretful to lose a reader and especially a commenter. There are hundreds of readers, few who comment. (And, yes, I know our commenting format is awkward. I don't control that.)

The Maui News, by the way, does not review or in any ay control the content of RtO. It pays for the electrons.


Dec-24-13 7:13 PM

oneikea you are ignorant and a idiot. You continue show all of us that you need to re-evaluate the medications you are on. I think it's time for me to find another blog since Harry or the Maui news do not care as what is being written. Harry your topics are excellent and I enjoyed the discussion until now. Aloha Harry.


Dec-24-13 1:58 PM

Harry, What about the millions of Americans who own firearms. Its easy to pick out just a couple accidents and level a heavy hand to all of us for believing in our second ammendment right Your family members, neighbors and friends who all firearm law abiding citizens who work hard for their families to make a better life and to put food on the table. What about them? In Hawaii there are thousands who own firearms and use them as law abiding citizens should. I would like to wish you and oneaikea a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. So raise your kool-aid cups and I'll raise my RC cola to toast for a better 2014 for everyone. Aloha


Dec-24-13 2:25 AM

The underlying statistics were collected by the Florida Department of Health, so direct your complaints to that leftist Rick Scott


Dec-23-13 1:56 PM

The Orlando Sentinel? More like Sentanal. Even the Maui News is a lot better newspaper than the Sentanal. Them doing a survey on guns? Are these the same idiots who put out all the so called facts in the Trevon Martin case? Most of the infomation they put out was wrong and inflamatory. If you want to pick on gun "nuts" like me find another source.


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