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How #GunAppreciationDay Went Horribly Wrong

The weekend was marked by shootings.
 
 
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Taking a lesson from the success of Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day, gun rights absolutists declared yesterday to be Gun Appreciation Day, and celebrated it at events across the country.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some overweight retiree consumed that final gram of saturated fat which pushed his heart over the edge and caused a fatal coronary on Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day. But for the most part, guns are a tad more dangerous than greasy chicken sandwiches, especially in the hands of morons. 

So we had this..

 A person who was loading a gun outside of the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show at the State Fairgrounds was accidentally shot when his gun discharged Saturday afternoon.

The man, identified as Emory L. Cozee, 54, was walking back to his car... loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic and accidentally shot himself in the hand...

And this...

An accidental shooting at a northeast Ohio gun show has left one man with injuries in his arm and leg, according to police.

The shooting happened Saturday afternoon in Medina at the county gun show being held at the Medina County Community Center (on Medina Fair Grounds).

Medina police Chief Pat Berarducci said a gun dealer was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he had just bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger.

Investigators believe the round hit the floor and struck a man standing nearby in the leg and arm.

And this... 

A retired sheriff's deputy and two bystanders were hurt when gunfire erupted at a large gun show at North Carolina's state fairgrounds on Saturday — a shooting that officials and witnesses are calling accidental.

A 12-gauge shotgun discharged while its owner removed it from its case at a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, fairgrounds Police Chief Joel Keith said Saturday.

The punch-line for that last one is that the gun show will now be a gun-free zone. "By Saturday evening, the event's website clearly stipulated: 'No personal firearms are to be brought into the show.'"

A friend of mine is a combat veteran and a military instructor. He sent an email describing how a real expert views these events, and gave me permission to share it with AlterNet's readers:

One of the most disturbing things I found at gun shows is how many drooling morons think that they can cultivate an air of "knowing" about guns by behaving casually with, and around them.

One show I attended in riverside was the shortest. Upon entering the door, and taking about 20 steps I had been muzzle flagged at least three times by people waving shit around. I backed the fuck out of that room most ricky tick.

Maybe the strongest lesson taught on the teams is muzzle discipline. Moving quickly in close quarters with loaded, cocked weapons with fingers on the triggers ready to shoot means that extreme attention must be paid to where the fuck you point that son of a bitch.

Countless drills were done with light pointers in the barrel instead of rounds so that the habit of awareness and attention was bored into the middle of our bones.

Transgressions were given swift, physical, ruthless, and unforgettable attention.

I have never once had a gun in my hands just "go off." I have never had an "accident."

When I am with, or around firearms every single thing I do is On. Fucking. Purpose. That's what I learned. That's what I teach.

This was all mildly entertaining because nobody was actually killed at Gun Appreciation Day events. I certainly had some fun with it...

But the issue isn't at all funny.

Last night, a 15 year-old in New Mexico reportedly killed 5 people, including 3 children and the teen's father, with a semi-automatic rifle. All of the victims were shot repeatedly, according to authorities.

And a family in Georgia will be forever traumatized by another tragedy that happened to take place on Gun Appreciation Day.

A 14-year-old in Henry County, Georgia unintentionally shot and killed his 15-year-old brother early Saturday morning while playing with his mother’s gun, according to police. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that charges may be brought against the teenager and his mother, who have not yet been named. Though the mother left the handgun unloaded, the brothers were apparently still able to use it.

 

Joshua Holland is Senior Digital Producer at BillMoyers.com, and host of Politics and Reality Radio. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter

 
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