There was something off about the report of the father who accidentally killed his son at a shooting range in Florida in July. For one thing it was a very freaky freak accident. Apparently the bullet casing from the shot the father had fired flew down the back of his shirt, and in reaching to get it out, his gun fired, KILLING HIS SON, who was standing right behind him. With no irony whatsoever, Brumby reported that he had taken his kids to the gun range so that they would be "comfortable" with guns. According to him, he spent "two days" accounting to himself for his actions, and then made the comment that has been oft quoted by our deadpanned media:
"The gun didn't kill my boy. I did."
I did not hear the man say it, but in print it almost sounds like it is accompanied by a swagger.
Forgive me for being harsh, but this "passionate" Christian, then proceeded to create a GoFundMe page and actually profited to the tune of nearly $20,000 from the 14-year-old's death. On the other hand, he is sure he will see his boy on the other side.
And he plans to continue to keep guns around the house "for self-defense."
My point being, how on earth does this man walk away from this incident without a thorough investigation? Yes, it certainly does seem to be a freak accident, but there is also a serious question about his ability to handle firearms responsibly. Around his family. And the fact that he continues to keep guns around for self-defense just screams out poor judgment, since he and his gun KILLED HIS SON.
On another front, here in South Carolina, the baby sitter of a four-year-old was arrested after she left a gun on the table, went out to her car for groceries, and came back to find that the child had shot himself. While this is wrong on so many levels, the fact that she was arrested and the old Christian dude continues to live with his family amongst his firearms just makes me wonder. After all, Brumby killed his son, while the four-year-old was wounded. And the sitter immediately called 911 to report the incident and get help. Not that I am excusing her, but she appears to be no more of an idiot than shooting range guy, but she is a young woman.
In fact, the whole stand-your-ground nonsense falls apart when you look at how easily cops and white guys who shoot other people are excused, and how women and African Americans are treated when they have a weapon. If the sitter had been a young man, my guess is: slap on the wrist, or maybe even a sympathetic pat on the back for what he must be going through.
The callousness with which law enforcement deals with white men with guns is astounding. Whether it is on a shooting range, at home or on the street, the right to bear arms without proof of an ounce of good judgment (and in spite of lack thereof) or mental health is purely granted to white men.
Let me say it again. A 14-year-old was killed. The father not only continues to have guns in the home, he profited greatly from his son's death. There was no inquiry, no counseling -- counseling about responsible gun ownership is NOT DONE in this country -- no mental health check, as it were.
A person involved in a motor vehicle accident is held more accountable than someone who kills someone with a firearm.
So I was glad to see today that there have been 15 lawsuits filed by families and survivors of the Emanuel AME shooting in Charleston. They are suing the FBI for failing to do a background check on Dylan Roof.
Because until we start holding people responsible for the deaths of innocent people we will continue to have the extraordinary episodes of gun violence that have torn this country apart.
We need to hold people accountable, even when it is an accident. We need to make the shooter at the very least undergo evaluation and counseling. We need to be sure that shooters, and those that have shown poor judgment in their gun ownership that have caused others to be injured or killed, understand their role in the gun incident, and that the gun incident is indeed gun violence.
The man made $20,000 in donations after he shot his son.
And even though she was arrested, I would not be surprised if when all is said and done, the baby sitter goes back to carrying her gun, for self-defense of course.
Congress refuses to pass laws that make guns less accessible to dangerous people, much less people with poor judgment. Our own state legislatures continue to fly in the face of reality by trying to put more guns on the streets, and in schools and churches and bars, rather than make our lives safer. And by the way, gun laws would make the streets safer for cops as well.
Imagine if we could hold our lawmakers responsible. Lawsuits when there is a shooting in a bar because it is now legal to have a gun in a bar.
Maybe at the very least we should insist that if guns be allowed on the streets and in public places, they should also be allowed in the State House, and in the House of Representatives. Because, goes the illogic, if there is a bad guy with a gun that gets into the chamber, wouldn't you want a good guy with a gun in there? I personally would like to see a gunfight at high noon between Lindsey Graham and, say, Ted Cruz.
Dark humor aside, we now have a presidential candidate who baits his followers with violent images and taunts. I would hope that most of the wackos who are so intellectually limited and/or emotionally disturbed that they enjoy his tirades would never cross the line to violence. But we have seen in his rallies the fans that have risen to the occasion with their fists. It only takes one lunatic with paranoid delusions, combined with a gun culture that urges people to "exercise their 2nd Amendment rights" and a candidate that creates the hysteria that pushes that lunatic over the edge.
Since Obama's candidacy, our Secret Service and FBI have been aware of the potential for violence toward the African American, and now, toward the woman candidate. While we stare, open-mouth, at the Trump circus, we know that he did not invent the insanity around firearms or the paranoia about minorities and liberals. It has been festering for a few decades now.
All we can do is continue to fight for gun control, fearlessly. And vote.