Friday, December 13, 2019

A Good Child With A Gun

Seven years ago, National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre famously told an interviewer "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun."

In July, 2016, 32 year old motorist Philando Castile was a good guy stopped by police in the suburb of Falcoln Heights, Minnesota. He told the officer that he had a firearm (legally possessed) and was told not to reach into his pockets. Nevertheless, he did reach there for his wallet and was shot to death. (The police officer was fired but acquitted.)

We don't know whether Castille would have been shot had he not been black. But we do know that he would not have been had he not possessed a firearm at the time, one which he told the officer about because he was a good guy with a gun.  ABC News fourteen months ago reported

John Donohue, a law professor at Stanford University, was a co-author of a National Bureau of Economic Research study that examined how gun violence coincides with the ability for individuals to carry concealed weapons, known as Right To Carry (RTC) laws. The NBER study discredited the idea of the “good guy with a gun” as a possible solution to gun violence.

Donohue told ABC News that the research “concluded that allowing citizens to carry handguns seems to increase violent crime 13 to 15 percent by the 10th year” of the laws being enacted in the state.

And now again, this time from the South FloridaSun-Sentinel:

A 3-year-old boy accidentally shot his mom in the parking lot of a shopping plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Thursday afternoon, police said. And the boy did it with his dad’s handgun.

The shooting happened at 1:45 p.m. at 2510 West Broward Boulevard, police spokeswoman Casey Liening said.

Police said the boy and his 1-year-old sister were in the car with his mother while his father was inside a nearby business. The father had placed his lawfully owned and carried handgun under the seat before getting out of the car, according to Liening.

The boy got out of his car seat and grabbed the gun, which accidentally discharged, striking the mom, Liening said.

The injured mother was taken to a hospital as a “trauma alert.” She is stable and expected to recover, police said.

It’s too early to say whether anyone will be charged, police said.

The 3-year old boy was a good guy with a gun. Presumably, his mother was a good woman and his father a reasonably good man, though with very poor judgement.

All of us exercise bad judgement from time-to-time, some of us more often than others. But this guy did it with a firearm.  Two good guys, one a toddler and the other an adult, with a gun,. Fortunately, the victim probably will survive, unlike Philando Castille and far too many others.

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