All guns are loaded

Recently at my dear old Purdue, there was a student involved shooting that tragically ended the life of a young man.  I say tragically because this was an entirely preventable incident – it wasn’t a violent crime, it was an act of negligence on the part of the shooter.

Lynch, a Purdue junior, told police the shooting in his campus apartment was an accident. West Lafayette Police Sgt. Jason Philhower said Lynch and his roommate, William Calderon, 22, of Fort Wayne, were playing a joke on Siela when a semi-automatic handgun discharged and the bullet struck Siela in the neck.

Lynch and Calderon, also a Purdue junior, pointed handguns at Siela when he left the bathroom. They thought both guns were unloaded but Lynch’s gun fired a shot.

Now, both Lynch and Calderon were legally intoxicated at the time of the incident as well, which demonstrates my additional point of “guns and drinking don’t mix”; but even more so than that, “guns and being an irresponsible idiot don’t mix”. Obviously, this story has violations of 3 out of 4 of the rules of gun safety: 1) all guns are always loaded, 2) Don’t point guns at stuff you don’t want to see full of holes, and 3) keep your snot-hook off the bang-switch. Just a little bit of common sense would have prevented this tragedy from occurring.

The sad thing is that the kid who pulled the trigger probably would have killed someone even if he didn’t own guns. Someone who is willing to be irresponsible and dangerous with a firearm is going to be irresponsible and dangerous behind the wheel of a car, or while doing any number of activities that society trusts people to do that cause common peril. The lesson here is of course fundamental for gun owners: don’t point guns at people. It’s not funny, and it’s not an appropriate “joke”.

The only other comment about the story is the reporter’s creative weasel-word insertion here:

One gun was legally registered to Calderon but police were unsure who owned the other gun.

That’s some kind of magic trick there, since we don’t have a handgun registry in Indiana. Perhaps he meant “the police were able to verify that Calderon was the original purchaser of the gun”, but then that wouldn’t make it sound like we already have a registry. Why would you want people to think we have a gun registry? Because if a reasonable person believes that we have a handgun registry, anti-gunners can paint people opposed to such a registry as being “crazy”.

It’s a nice effort, John Tuohy, but it’s not going to fly. Stick to reporting the facts, and leave the editorializing to guys who know what they’re talking about.