by Joseph P. Tartaro,
We can all learn from our own experiences and reports on the experiences of others. How much we learn may often depend on how much we think about the incidents which make up daily life and news.
Lock Offer No GuaranteeAnti-gun politicians and their supporters ignore education opportunitiesand even ridicule effective programs such as the NRAs Eddie Eagle educational effortto demand more gun locks and locked boxes. In their minds, simply mandating more locking devices on guns is all one has to do to insure the safety of children and prevent criminals from obtaining guns.
People who think that way dont know much about gunsor human nature.
Among the many clippings from local newspapers that Gun Week readers forwarded to me were two recent ones that bear on the subject.
The first, from The Washington Post, concerned a 13-year-old Dale City, MD, boy accidentally shooting his 10-year-old brother.
The incident, which occurred on June 22, started as a game and ended with serious injury on the second day of the boys summer vacation from school.
You might assume at this point that there was no trigger lock or no locked box, but thats not the case.
This is what happened, according to The Post.
Just minutes after the brothers had been left alone in their house that morning, they ran to the small, locked box under their parents bed and pulled out two handguns that made their frequent games of cops and robbers more realistic.
The box was locked with what the police termed a flimsy lock, which the boys easily defeated. In the box, was ammunition that the boys used to load the guns.
The boys pointed the guns at each other as they ran around the upstairs level of their two-story house, and at one point, the revolver in the hands of the older brother discharged as the younger sibling ran past him. By the way, the revolver that fired had also been fitted with a trigger lock, but police said the boys either knew the combination or the series number had already been entered.
In either case, the 10-year-old was reported in critical condition in Washington, DCs, Childrens Hospital. He had been shot in the jaw, with the bullet exiting from the back of his neck.
A police spokesman said the boys had loaded and then attempted to unload the guns. When the 13-year-old tried to empty the revolver, he noticed that there was one round left in the cylinder. Thats when he tried to get a better look by cocking the hammer. But he either let go of the hammer or it slipped. Thats when the single bullet hit his brother.
The police told The Post that the accident was certainly preventable, and that it was unlikely the parents would be charged since they had at least attempted to keep the guns from the children.
But the moral is: Dont place all your faith in trigger locks or locked boxes. Youngsters are craftier than you think.
Some Would Say StupidityBut maybe not so police. My second story in this little grouping comes from the June 18 Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
This one is also about an accidental shooting involving not children, but police.
According to The Journal-Constitution, one of two Gwinnett County, GA, policemen was wounded in the right hand and forearm while the pair were processing a rifle as evidence.
The two policemen earlier had made an arrest in a domestic abuse case, during which they confiscated a Remington bolt-action rifle. After handing over their charge, they took the rifle to the police evidence room in Lawrenceville and were examining it when it discharged.
The cop who was wounded had been on the force less than a year; his partner was a veteran. But apparently neither of them had learned to keep their fingers off the trigger and to open the action of the gun.
The injury was not life-threatening, even though one officer ended up in the hospital and the other was placed on administrative leave.
A police spokesman for their department said the incident is being considered an accident. Others, however, might consider it sheer stupidity.
AR-15s in RussiaThe South African magazine Magnum reports that a chain of Russian gun stores called Arsenal are advertising and selling AR-15s in Russian magazines.
The legendary American rifles, as the ads describe the AR-15s, come equipped with such politically incorrect features as bayonet lug, flash suppressor and 20-round magazine, which would make them certainly illegal in California, New Jersey and several other states, and possibly illegal anywhere in the US under the Clinton gun ban.
Apparently in the Russian Federation, which threw off its dictatorship not so long ago, if you can raise the cash and have a clean record, you can purchase what you want.
Offensive Hillary SupportersThe Law Enforcement Alliance of America is teaming up with several radio talk show hosts in an effort to raise $25,000, as a reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton who defiled the US flag and the Albany, NY, Police Honor Guard during the May convention of the New York state Democratic Party.
The Albany Times-Union reported on May 18 that members of the Honor Guard were spat upon as they carried the flag into an area of the convention arena where only Democratic delegates with passes were allowed access. According to the report, some of the Democratic US Senator candidates supporters also called the officers Nazis and members of Giulianis Third Reich. The incident occurred before the New York City mayor withdrew as the likely Republican candidate to oppose Clinton.
The events described are a violation of New York state law.
Old Guns for Old AmmoSome members of Congress are concerned by reports that the US State Department is not giving the war on drugs as much priority as they expected.
The Washington Times reported that after supplying the Colombian government with 50-year-old, .50-caliber ammunition that was specifically declared unsafe for use in the multi-barrel GAU-19/A Gatling guns used on helicopters, the State Department found some 50-year-old Browning M-2s to replace the modern machineguns.
The possibility of congressional hearings on how the State Department follows through on its commitment to the campaign against the powerful Colombian drug cartels now seems likely.
New, Improved KevlarSoft body armor made with Kevlar may stop handgun bullets, but woven threads of the material can be parted and penetrated by pointed objects like some knives.
According to USA Today, this helped lead DuPont engineers to develop a liquid form of Kevlar that is now being used to make a host of other consumer products, such as puncture-proof bicycle tires and hunting pants and jackets that are snake-proof.
According to the newspaper, the Italian sailing ship that qualified for the 2000 Americas Cup race did so because it had sails made of the new Kevlar that were not ripped by the strong winds that tore the sails of competing vessels.
Scotland Yard SucceedsThe Washington Post reported from London that after 13 months of detective work, Scotland Yard has arrested the suspect in the shooting murder of popular BBC broadcasting anchor Jill Dando last year.
They did not reveal the identity of the suspect.
The 37-year-old Dando was shot in the head with a 9mm Glock pistol on her own doorstep on April 26, 1999. Her murder prompted many British journalists to report on how easily criminals can obtain firearms in a country where handgun ownership has been prohibited to law-abiding citizens, even for self-defense.
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