Queen will no longer wear clothes with real fur, Her Majesty’s dresser reveals

The Queen will no longer be wearing fur in any of her new garments
The Queen will no longer be wearing fur in any of her new garments CREDIT: POOL/TIM GRAHAM PICTURE LIBRARY

She has long enjoyed wrapping up in a long fur coat, with a particular favourite that has been on rotation for decades.

But Buckingham Palace has signalled that the Queen is finally ready to move with the times, acknowledging that attitudes towards fur have shifted.

Any new garments made for the monarch from now on, including coats, hats and ceremonial robes requiring fur, will be made with the fake variety.

Angela Kelly, the Queen’s long time dressmaker and confidante, reveals in her new memoir: “If Her Majesty is due to attend an engagement in particularly cold weather, from 2019 onwards fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm”.

In the book, The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, The Dresser And The Wardrobe, Ms Kelly notes that a coat worn by the Queen in Slovakia in 2008 has since been altered, the mink trim replaced with fake fur.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed: “As new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake.”

However, sources confirmed that the change in direction will only concern new garments.

The Queen in a fur-trimmed robe at her coronation
The Queen in a fur-trimmed robe at her coronation CREDIT: DEUTSCH COLLECTION/GETTY

The monarch will continue to wear the existing pieces in her wardrobe made with fur, from coats and hats to ceremonial robes.

The Queen has repeatedly been criticised by animal rights charities for continuing to wear fur, despite multiple high-fashion houses abandoning use of the “cruel” product.

Her new approach was welcomed by activists.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International said: “We are thrilled that Her Majesty has officially gone fur-free.

“Queen Elizabeth’s decision to ‘go faux’ is the perfect reflection of the mood of the British public, the vast majority of whom detest cruel fur, and want nothing to do with it.

“Our Head of State going fur-free sends a powerful message that fur is firmly out of fashion and does not belong with Brand Britain.

“The UK banned fur farming almost two decades ago because it was deemed too cruel, now we must finish the job and ban fur sales too.

The Queen in her much-worn fur coat in 1969
The Queen in her much-worn fur coat in 1969 CREDIT:  EVENING STANDARD/GETTY/ HULTON ROYALS COLLECTION

“We are calling on the British Government to follow Her Majesty’s example and make the UK the first country in the world to ban the sale of animal fur.”

The Duchess of Cambridge wears fur, but ensures it comes from ethical sources.

One of her favourite items, in which she has been seen multiple times, is a brown hat made from the pelts of alpacas which died of natural causes.

She is such a fan of the Fairtrade brand Peruvian Connection that she has many of their alpaca hats in different colours.

The UK was the first country in the world to ban fur farming on ethical grounds, although it still allows animal fur to be imported from other countries including Finland, Poland and China.

Many fashion houses have banned real fur after protests from animal rights organisations, including Gucci,  Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, Armarni and Hugo Boss.

However, the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) has warned against banning the item, arguing that it is sustainable, plastic-free and lasts a long time.

A BFTA spokesperson said: “The Royal Family have been at forefront of championing animal welfare and conservation efforts across the globe for many years something that aligns fully with responsibly sourced fur.

“Natural fur is one of the most sustainable and long lasting natural products available, so despite what animal rights groups would claim, we are sure that the Royal Family will continue wear responsibly sourced fur as many on the high street continue to do.”

Deputy: Officers searched hours before finding hunter’s body

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Law enforcement officials have testified that it took them several hours to find the body of a slain Iowa hunter after he was reported missing.

The Daily Iowegian reports that Appanoose County Deputy Jonathan Printy testified Friday in the murder trial of Ethan Davis that he was the first officer to respond in the early morning hours of Nov. 24 after 31-year-old Curtis Ross was reported missing. Printy says he and others searched a wooded area of southwestern Rathbun Lake for three to four hours before breaking to wait for daylight.

Deputy Cody Jellison found Ross’ body in a creek around 8 a.m.

Davis is charged with first-degree murder in Ross’ death. Prosecutors say Davis perched from a hilltop and used an AR-15 to shoot Ross, who was also stabbed more than two dozen times. Officials say they don’t have a motive for the killing.


Information from: The Daily Iowegian, http://www.dailyiowegian.com

From Gandhi to guns: An Indian woman explores the NRA convention


The author, an Indian-American, visiting her first NRA convention on Friday.

Atlanta (CNN)Guns are not a part of the culture of my homeland, except perhaps for the occasional Bollywood movie in which the bad guy meets his demise staring down the wrong end of a barrel.

My childhood in India was steeped in ahimsa, the tenet of nonviolence toward all living things.
The Indians may have succeeded in ousting the British, but we won with Gandhian-style civil disobedience, not a revolutionary war.
Trump: Eight-year assault has come to end

Trump: Eight-year assault has come to end 01:07
I grew up not knowing a single gun owner, and even today India has one of the strictest gun laws on the planet. Few Indians buy and keep firearms at home, and gun violence is nowhere near the problem it is in the United States. An American is 12 times more likely than an Indian to be killed by a firearm, according to a recent study.
It’s no wonder then that every time I visit India, my friends and family want to know more about America’s “love affair” with guns.
I get the same questions when I visit my brother in Canada or on my business travels to other countries, where many people remain perplexed, maybe even downright mystified, by Americans’ defense of gun rights.
I admit I do not fully understand it myself, despite having become an American citizen nearly a decade ago. So when I learn the National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention here in Atlanta, right next to the CNN Center, I decide to go and find out more.
My eyes open wide inside the vast and cavernous Georgia World Congress Center. I take in countless exhibits by the firearms industry and even check out a few guns. Among them are the Mossberg Blaze .22 semiautomatic Rimfire Rifle and an FN 509 semi-automatic 9mm pistol.
I’ve never had the desire to own a gun. I try hard to experience the excitement of others who are admiring these products.
Around me are 80,000 of America’s fiercest patriots and defenders of guns. Many are wearing American flag attire and T-shirts with slogans like: “Veterans before refugees” and “God loves guns.”
Few people here look like me. Most appear to be white and male. Many view the media, including my employer, with disdain — and they do not hesitate to let me know.
I walk around with some trepidation, but I’m determined to strike up conversations. I begin with this question: “Why do you want to own an object that can kill another human being?”
The answers are varied, but they center on three main themes: freedom, self-defense and sport. The first type of response is rooted in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows for the ownership of more than 300 million guns in America. How many other countries have the right to bear arms written into their very foundation? It’s unique and because of that, foreigners often have trouble grasping it.
I meet Chris Styskal at a booth set up by the NRA Wine Club. Yes, a wine club for the almost 5 million members of the organization.
“Eat, sleep, go fishing. Drink, sleep, go shooting. In that order,” Styskal jokes.
But then we get into serious talk. Gun ownership, he tells me, has its roots in the birth of this country.
“George Washington’s army fought off the British with rifles,” he says. “They overthrew an oppressive government.”
His statement gives me pause. The gun laws in India stem from colonial rule, when the British aimed to quell their subjects by disarming them. Perhaps my Indian compatriots should consider the right to own guns from this perspective.
Styskal, 41, earned a degree in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and tells me the prevailing belief that gun owners are not educated is simply wrong. He owns a collection of rifles and pistols at his home in Port Carbon, Pennsylvania, and last year he fired 100 rounds every week at a shooting range.
He says the Second Amendment is about much more than the right to bear arms. It’s about freedom.
“We don’t want any government telling us what we can and cannot do.”
It’s a thought echoed by Brickell “Brooke” Clark, otherwise known as the American Gun Chic. She has a website by that name and also a YouTube channel. Both are bathed in hues of pink and dedicated to her recently formed passion for guns.
I introduce myself to Clark as we await President Donald Trump’s arrival at the convention. The darkened room is booming with NRA clips bashing everyone from Hillary Clinton to George Clooney.
“What would you tell my friends in India who say Americans are infatuated with guns?”
“I wouldn’t say Americans have an obsession with guns,” Clark says. “We have an obsession with being free.”
I ask what the Second Amendment means to her.
“It means I can live my life without anyone overpowering me,” she says. “It makes me equal with everyone else.”
The great equalizer. I never thought of the Second Amendment in that way.
Self-protection, I discover, is a huge reason many Americans own firearms.
Take Chloe Morris. She was born in Atlanta to Filipino parents; on this day, she’s brought her mother along to hear Trump, the first sitting President to speak at an NRA convention since Ronald Reagan.
Morris is 35, petite and soft-spoken, but she’s fierce about her opinions on guns.
“I’m 5 feet tall and 100 pounds,” she tells me. “I cannot wait for a cop to come save me when I am threatened with rape or death.”
Morris was once opposed to guns. “Extremely opposed,” she says.
She earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University. “I know the law,” she says. “For me guns were not the answer.”
But a few years ago, a dear friend was assaulted in her own home in an upscale Atlanta subdivision. The incident struck fear in Morris. She would never let herself become a victim.
She took shooting classes and became a Glock instructor. “I teach for free. I want women to be safe.
“I own 10 guns. I have a 14-year-old son. I started teaching him to shoot when he was 5. I’m a lifetime member of the NRA.”
She pauses, and her next sentence surprises me.
“I don’t think I can even kill another person — except when my life is in danger.”
In a way, I understand her position. My first real exposure to guns came after I embedded with the US Army and Marines to report the Iraq War. As a journalist I never carried a weapon, though soldiers coaxed me to learn how to shoot an M16. My conversation with Morris reminded me of a night when we came under threat, and the platoon sergeant placed a 9mm pistol on my Humvee seat. I refused to take it but knew instantly what he was trying to tell me. What if I were the last one alive? How would I save myself?
Luckily, we were safe that night. But I’ve always wondered how I might have acted under a dreadful scenario.
Other NRA members I speak with also tell me they don’t trust the police to arrive in time when they are in danger. Scott Long, 55, lives out in the country in Piketon, Ohio — 25 miles away from the county sheriff.
“The police can’t be there all the time,” he says, looking at his wife, DeeDee, and their three young children, whom he’s brought along to the convention for a mini family vacation. Their son Brody, 9, has been shooting at the pellet range and is excited about his first 20-gauge shotgun.
“Where we live, we can shoot in our backyard,” says Long, who owns 25 guns and is enjoying checking out all the shiny new weapons exhibited here.
Such remoteness, too, is alien to me. I grew up in a city that now brims with some 16 million people on a working day. Firing guns in my grandfather’s garden would not have been a good thing. I think about all the space we have in America. So many of us live far from other human beings. Like the Long family. Perhaps isolation adds to the need to own guns.
I move forward in my quest to know more.
I hear gun proponents express a dislike for big government. They stress individual liberties over the collective. For people who live in more socialist countries, it’s another obstacle to understanding American gun culture.
Near a stairway emblazoned with a giant Beretta, I speak with Derrick Adams. He’s a 32-year-old electric lineman from Nottingham, Pennsylvania. He describes himself as part black, part Puerto Rican and part Caucasian.
“How many guns do you own?” I ask.
“Not enough,” he replies.
He picked up his first Glock when he was 22, and his first shot shattered a whole bunch of stereotypes.
“People look at guns as this evil tool whose job it is to kill,” he says. “They’re not at all that. They are about protection.”
Adams believes that if all law-abiding citizens were armed, crime would drastically go down. He tells me that Chicago would not have such a high gun homicide rate if good folks in the inner cities were armed to fight “thugs and gangs.”
“Stop looking to government to help us. They are not our parents,” Adams says.
Liberals in America who want more gun control, says Adams, want to keep minorities and poor people dependent on government. Gun control started after slavery ended and was a way to keep black people disarmed, he says.
“You idiots,” Adams says, referring to all people of color. “It was invented to suppress you.”
He looks at me as though to say: You should know better.
Again, I think of colonialism in my homeland and how the British passed strict gun control to keep Indians from rising up.
Fighting tyranny and oppression is something Jaasiel Rubeck considers, too. The 29-year-old wife and mother from Columbus, Ohio, immigrated to this country from her native Venezuela when she was 6. People who live under authoritarian regimes should all understand the need to own a gun, she tells me.
Rubeck’s words remind me of a friend from Iraq who wished she could own a gun during Saddam Hussein’s rule. After he was overthrown, she slept with an AK-47 under her pillow at the height of the insurgency. She has always spoken of her love-hate relationship with guns. She wants to protect her family, but she is tired of the eternal violence plaguing her land. She wishes now that every gun would disappear from Iraq.
What I hear from speakers at the NRA convention, though, is that a peaceful world is a utopian fantasy — and that the need for guns will always exist.
“The NRA saved the soul of America,” says Chris Cox, the executive director of the organization.
I leave the convention trying to reconcile what I’ve gathered on this day with the philosophy of nonviolence with which I was raised. I am not certain that vast cultural differences can be bridged in a few hours, but I am glad I got a glimpse into the world of guns. I have much to consider.

As Election Day Nears, 1 in 6 Americans Say They’re Buying Guns and Half of Voters Expect Violence


How long will it be before someone gets shot by a Donald Trump supporter in what the shooter may likely consider an act of patriotic civil disobedience? Or before someone uses a gun against right-wing vigilantes?

There is no shortage of evidence pointing toward some violent outburst surrounding the presidential election results. Reporters interviewing Trump supporters at rallies, national polls showing likely voters are expecting Election Day violence, consumer-trend tracking firms saying demand is rising for gun purchases, and rhetoric from the longstanding cadre of right-wing loudmouths, all suggest some type of ugly response.

“Sixteen percent of Americans plan on buying a gun as a result of the upcoming election,” said a press release Thursday from Elementum, “the real-time supply chain platform company, who polled 2,000 Americans from October 20-24 and found that among those living in the South, 19 percent will buy guns and among Gen Xers, the number is nearly 23 percent, especially among women, 24 percent.”

Wrapping oneself in the flag and taking up arms is a staple of the far-right militia-embracing fringe. But the urge has found a new home in the Trump campaign, led by a presidential candidate who says the vote will be stolen unless he wins, a manager who publishes bomb-throwing Breitbart News, and backers who get their “news” from even more extreme sources like conspiracist Alex Jones ofInfoWars.

Just this week, conservative talk radio hosts like Joe Walsh, the former Illinois congressman-turned-AM shouter, were promoting this militant line. “On November 8, I’m voting for Trump. On November 9, if Trump loses, I’m grabbing my musket,” Walsh tweeted.

When CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted back, “#WalshFreedom what exactly does that mean?” the self-styled revolutionary replied, “Protesting… Acts of civil disobedience. Doing what it takes to get our country back.”

Walsh, when pressed by other news outlets, ever so slickly declared he was referring to a firearm used in colonial times, meaning it was symbolic posturing. An ex-congressman should know better—and he is playing with fire.

But other Trump true believers do not know better.

“People are going to march on the capitols,” Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, told the New York Times in a piece posted Thursday based on interviewing 50 supporters in swing states. “They’re going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there… [Clinton] has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.”

There is mounting evidence that the Trump-led faction of the Republican Party is preparing to take their rage into the streets. Half of likely voters expect Election Day will be violent, a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesdayfound.

“Hillary Clinton has built a formidable lead over Donald Trump approaching 10 percentage points,” the national newspaper reported. “But she faces a deeply divided nation that is alarmed about the prospect of Election Day violence and what may be ahead. A 51 percent majority of likely voters express at least some concern about the possibility of violence on Election Day; one in five are ‘very concerned.’”

Digging deeper, USAToday echoed what Trump supporters at rallies were saying, according to the Times.

“More than four in 10 of Trump supporters say they won’t recognize the legitimacy of Clinton as president, if she prevails, because they say she wouldn’t have won fair and square,” USAToday said. This confirms the far right is taking Trump’s repeated claims that the election will be rigged as their new political gospel, even though a majority of top state election officials—who are Republicans—have said that’s not true.

There have been almost no post-debate polls by credible pollsters (not counting instant Internet surveys on right-wing websites like the Drudge Report) showing Trump with a path to the 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. But facts have never mattered to the Trump campaign and his flock. He has said they need to patrol the polls on Election Day, raising the specter of right-wing vigilantes intimidating voters in non-white population centers, an image last widely seen in the pre-Civil Rights Movement south.

Clinton, in her latest speeches, has said Trump’s talk of rigged elections and his threat not to accept certified vote counts is targeting American democracy itself.

“Donald Trump is attacking everything that has set our country apart for 240 years,” she said Tuesday in Florida. “After spending his entire campaign attacking one group of Americans after another … now his final target is democracy itself.”

And in addition to democracy, the target includes all Americans who reject Trump and the far right’s machinations.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of “Count My Vote: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting” (AlterNet Books, 2008).

Sarah Palin Endorses Anti-Climate Change Film

Sarah Palin Endorses Anti-Climate Change Film (EXCLUSIVE)


<!–Film Reporter–>

Sarah Palin Anti Climate Change Movie

Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

April 11, 2016 | 08:12AM PT

Fathom Events and SpectiCast are giving a major push to the anti-global warming documentary “Climate Hustle,” with plans for showings at nearly 400 theaters on May 2.

Variety has learned exclusively that former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is participating in the event. The screening of the documentary, produced by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot.com, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Palin, with opening remarks by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

The discussion will be moderated by Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. Bill Nye, best known as “the science guy,” is also scheduled to appear. The invitation-only panel discussion will take place Thursday in Washington, D.C., following a screening of “Climate Hustle.”

“I’m very passionate about this issue,” Palin told Variety. “We’ve been told by fearmongers that global warming is due to man’s activities and this presents strong arguments against that in a very relatable way.”

Palin noted that, while governor in 2008, she sued the U.S. government over placing the polar bear on the threatened species list because of the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice. Palin pointed to the high population of polar bears in 2008 and dismissed climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice as “unreliable,” “uncertain” and “unproven,” but a federal judge backed the government scientists’ finding in 2011.

“I wanted facts and real numbers,” Palin said. “The polar bear population is stable, if not growing and the designation would have stymied Alaska’s pursuit of developing its natural resources.”

The “Climate Hustle” presentation by Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains, represents a departure from its usual fare of music and family films.

Among the largest past presentations for the company, co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group: “The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary” at 800 locations; “Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith” screened at 637 sites; “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts” at 584 theaters; and “Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark,” a documentary about Christian comedian, at 512 locations.

Palin said “Climate Hustle” offers a countering view to Al Gore’s global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which grossed nearly $50 million and won Academy Awards for best documentary feature and original song.

“People who do not believe in American exceptionalism have made this into a campaign issue, so it’s vital that the other side be heard,” she added. “I’m very pleased that this is written and spoken in layman’s terms. My dad taught science to fifth and sixth graders, and it was very important to him that science be presented in an understandable way.”

Marc Morano, host of “Climate Hustle” said, “This film is truly unique among climate documentaries. ‘Climate Hustle’ presents viewers with facts and compelling video footage going back four decades, and delivers a powerful presentation of dissenting science, best of all, in a humorous way. This film may change the way you think about ‘global warming.’”

The film profiles Georgia Tech climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, former NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John Theon, and French physicist and Socialist Party member Claude Allègre.

“Climate change is certainly one of the hot-button issues at the forefront of some of the fiercest political debates. This event aims to shed light on varied perspectives and initiate healthy and timely conversation around this important topic,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh.

“‘Climate Hustle’ is an extremely timely event, especially given the relevant political discussion surrounding global warming,” said Mark Rupp, co-founder and president of SpectiCast Entertainment. “We feel it is important to share all viewpoints on the climate change issue and ‘Climate Hustle’ provides a perspective not generally shared with the public at large in an informative and engaging way.”

Morano founded the anti-climate change website Climatedepot.com in 2009. Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, named Morano the “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year” in 2012.

U.S. Gun Owners Outnumbered Hunters by 5 to 1 in 2011

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February 4, 2013 – 3:05 PM

(CNSNews.com) — In 2011, gun owners in the United States outnumbered hunters by 5 to 1.

There were 13.7 million hunters in the United States over age 16 — 12.7 million of whom used rifles, shotguns or handguns for hunting, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

That means hunters constituted only 15.9 to 18.1 percent of the estimated 70-80 million gun owners in the U.S. in 2011 — the latest year for which statistics are available.

In a Dec. 28 national report, USF&W said 13.7 million individuals over age 16 self-identified as hunters, and that 12.7 million used guns (shotguns, rifles or handguns) while hunting.

Another 2.9 million hunters used antique muzzleloaders to hunt, but according to USF&W, there is overlap between this figure and other figures due to self-reporting.

Around 4.5 million hunted with bows and arrows.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), meanwhile, estimates there were between 70 and 80 million American gun owners as of January 2011.

Those 70-80 million gun owners had in their possession almost 300 million firearms, about 100 million of which were handguns.

A spokesperson for the NRA told CNSNews.com that gun-owner estimates are conservative because they may not take into account those who inherit firearms from family members or other instances when gun owners wouldn’t be reflected in data sets.

According to a Gallup poll from October 2011, 47 percent of all Americans reported ownership of a gun in their home or on their property. Gallup estimated that 34 percent of Americans age 18 and over personally own a gun.

The Dec. 28 report, titled “2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation” compiled statistics on fishing and hunting trends in the United States for 2011. The Survey is released every five years.

The government also found that hunters age 16 and over spent more than $3 billion on firearms in 2011 and spent $1.3 billion on ammunition. Approximately 52 percent of all hunters went target shooting in 2011 and 22 percent went to shooting ranges.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Spring Break, 2014: Girls gone to the hospital!

[I heard distant gunshots after midnight last night. They went on so long that it was likely kids around the campfire with no idea what they might hit. What happened to roasting marshmallows and sing-alongs.]


byDavid WaldmanFollow

attribution: The TSA Blog
Five of 38 guns discovered in carry-on bags by TSA agents across the country last week.

Another week heavy on the accidental self-shooters. I’m getting the impression that this was always the case, since the stream seems fairly regular and consistent. But it wasn’t until recently that I really began counting them as a distinct category. This list includes 21 people who accidentally shot themselves, plus one 8-year-old injured by the recoil of a handgun he found and fired. In combing through the posts from early 2013, and keeping tabs as we go through 2014, it seems we can expect to find about 75 such cases each month.All the regular categories were represented: four gun-cleaning accidents, one “home invasion” shooting (in which one “Second Amendments” a neighbor’s property), two holster accidents, four guns dropped and discharged, two cop and/or security guard mishaps, and an assortment of target shooting accidents, “just trying to scare someone” accidents, and “just wanted to show off my gun” accidents.

On the more unusual side, we had our second gun show accidental discharge of the year, plus our first television set shooting in a little while.

The week also took a heavy toll on the kids, with 13 accidentally shot or otherwise injured, ages 2, two 3 year olds, 8, 9, 11, 12, two 13 year olds, 14, and three 17 year olds. Plus one spring break vacationer was accidentally shot with her fiancé’s gun, which discharged when the bag it was packed in was tossed from the trunk of the car onto the sidewalk upon arrival in Panama City Beach. Ah, young love!

In related news, the Seattle Times reported over the weekend that in 2012, more Washington state residents were seriously hurt in accidental shootings than in any year since 1995. It made for an interesting study, because when it comes to accidental deaths due to firearms, the trend is usually downward, which may have as much to do with improved medical care (and available airlifts to that improved medical care) as with improved safety features on modern guns. But injury has its own unique costs, and shouldn’t be ignored in our surveys. Especially if the numbers are trending in the wrong direction. (Though I suppose it’s possible that some of those who in the past might have been killed in their gun accidents were saved by the aforementioned improvements in medical care, only to end up boosting the injury statistics, which would make it hard to argue that such incidents are, on an individual basis, part of a trend in the “wrong” direction.)

I’ll leave that to you to debate, if you like. In the meantime, the latest list is below the fold.

  1. KING CO., WA, February 2014: Earlier in the month, a man cleaning his pistol accidentally shot himself in the thigh. He then tried to drive himself to the fire station but pulled over into a parking lot and called 911 after becoming lightheaded from shock. He was treated and transported to Harborview Trauma Center.
  2. ST. MARIES, ID, 2/27/14: A Benewah County deputy will return to regular duty this week after he suffered a gunshot wound. Deputy Bryan Dickenson was on temporary leave after his 45-caliber pistol accidently discharged, shooting him in the lower leg, according to Sheriff Dave Resser. The incident happened Feb. 27. Sheriff Resser said the incident happened when he was out of town. He said Deputy Dickenson immediately notified dispatch and an investigation into the incident was conducted by the St. Maries City Police Department. “The consensus is that he was getting ready to come on duty and he had retrieved his pistol from the shelf to holster it. When he holstered it, it went off. The only thing he said he thought might have happened is that he inadvertently put his finger on the trigger,” Sheriff Resser said/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Gazette Record.
  3. MEMPHIS, TN, 3/05/14: Bartlett Police Chief Gary Rikard says one of his officers did not shoot a suspect when they served a warrant in Memphis, rather it was a bullet from another suspects gun that hit the man. The information came out during the Memphis Police Department’s investigation into the March 5 incident. Marcus Allen was shot in the hip as Bartlett officers tried to service a warrant for drugs. Rikard says Lontrelle Green accidentally shot Allen during the raid. Bartlett police officers said Green pointed a gun at them so they fired ten shots but did not hit either man.
  4. BUCKLEY, WA, 3/07/14: Officers were dispatched the afternoon of March 7 to an address of 272nd Avenue after taking a report of an accident, self-inflicted gunshot. Officers contacted a 21-year-old man who had discharged the firearm. He was transported for treatment.
  5. COLUMBUS, OH, 3/08/14: A man died in an accidental shooting that occurred early Saturday morning. Columbus police were called to the 1900 block of West Mound Street on a report of a shooting at 2:24 a.m. Saturday. Minutes later, responding medics pronounced the 70-year-old shooting victim dead at the scene. According to police, evidence at the scene indicates the shooting was accidental. Police say they have talked to the shooter, but no charges have been filed at this time. The victim has not been identified as police are working to notify the next of kin. UPDATE: Gerald Irvin, 70, died from a single shotgun wound to his upper body, according to Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak. Police have not named the shooter, but a dispatcher said he is Irvin’s brother. He has not been charged.
  6. CONGRESS TOWNSHIP, OH, 3/08/14: A Mansfield man accidentally shot himself in the hand Saturday after his firearm malfunctioned and it discharged while he attempted to fix it. The 21-year-old man was at a residence on the 7200 block of Palmer Road target shooting with two other individuals when the firearm discharged, according to a report taken by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
  7. GLEASON, WI, 3/08/14: A Gleason man is recovering from a gunshot wound. The shooting happened just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday at the residence of a 52-year-old man, who was able to call 9-1-1 and report he had been shot. The man told deputies he threw a bag containing a loaded pistol on the bedroom floor, and when it hit the ground, the .38 caliber Derringer discharged and shot him in the leg. The man is hospitalized at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. The man’s name and present condition have not been released. No criminal charges will be filed.
  8. MCPHERSON, KS, 3/08/14: A McPherson boy was taken to the emergency room Saturday for a gunshot wound. At about 11:40 a.m. Saturday, two 12-year-old boys were shooting .22 rifles behind one of the boys’ houses, and one accidentally shot the other in the right foot. The injured boy was taken to McPherson Emergency Room. Charges will not be filed.
  9. CHEHALIS, WA, 3/08/14: A vendor who attended a gun show at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds this weekend now faces reckless endangerment charges after a rifle he purchased from another seller accidentally discharged, causing a bullet to ricochet off the concrete floor and go into a display case. Though the gun fired in a room full of people, no one was hurt, said Linda Bailey of the Chehalis Police Department. Chehalis police responded to the fairgrounds at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
  10. DECATUR, AL, 3/09/14: Two people were injured when a handgun went off while being dismantled. The shooting occurred at 112 George Drive around 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. Decatur police say a Jeff David Massey, 24, and his girlfriend, Tammy Lynn Harris, 41, were living in a homemade shed behind the residence and were about to clean a handgun when it fired. The shot struck the Massey in the left hand, and then the bullet struck the Harris in her right leg. Both were transported to Decatur Morgan Hospital. They were treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released. The shooting has been ruled accidental, police said.
  11. EASTPOINTE, MI, 3/09/14: A teenager was shot in the stomach by another young man who was “flashing” a gun while visiting friends in Eastpointe on Sunday, according to police and witnesses. The injured teen is expected to survive, first responders said. The incident took place about 4:30 p.m. when a teen invited several friends over to his grandmother’s house on the 23000 block of Normandy near Nine Mile and Kelly roads. According to the grandmother, Marie Bates, one of the teens had brought over a handgun to the house and was showing it to the other youngsters in the house when the weapon discharged accidentally. “The young man was flashing a gun and it went off accidentally,” Bates said. Eastpointe Fire and Rescue crews responded to the house and provided initial aid to the injured teen, who is believed to be 16 or 17 years of age. The teen was transported to St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit for treatment.
  12. PARMA, OH, 3/09/14: Casualty/Discharging Firearms, Decker Drive: A Parma man, 25, was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center after he accidentally shot himself in the hand March 9 in his home. The shot also injured a dog.
  13. ST. HELENA ISLAND, SC, 3/09/14: The March 9 shooting of a former Beaufort High School basketball and football player was an accident, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. Witnesses have told investigators that Thomas Parker, 19, was shot in the face when a 16-year-old boy accidentally discharged a gun he was handling, Sgt. Robin McIntosh said. Parker was shot about 6:30 p.m. near Jenkins Point Road on St. Helena Island. Parker, a former wide receiver on the school’s football team and forward on its basketball team, has been released from the hospital, McIntosh said. McIntosh said the investigation continues, but no charges have been filed.
  14. EUREKA, TX, 3/10/14: The Navarro County Sheriff is investigating the shooting death of a three-year old child. The sheriff’s office confirms an 8-year-old shot the toddler once in the head.  The relationship between the two children has not been released at this time. The shooting happened at a home on SE 3144 in Eureka around noon. Deputies are currently pursuing the investigation as an accidental shooting, but have not determined yet if it was an accident. The Sheriff’s office is holding a 3 p.m. news conference to release more details about the shooting.
  15. BRUNSWICK, GA, 3/10/14: Police responded to an accidental shooting Monday. The incident occurred when two men were in the woods target practicing off Camp Road, according to Glynn County Police. Gary Drury, 65 was allegedly shooting at a target, but was unaware his friend 66-year-old William Joseph Crooms had walked into the woods behind the target. Drury noticed Crooms was missing and searched for him in the woods, finding him behind the target in the woods. Crooms was pronounced deceased of a single gunshot wound at 7:09 p.m. No charges have been filed against Drury at this time and a further investigation is underway.
  16. PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL, 3/10/14: A 19-year-old Alabama woman was accidentally shot in the leg as she attempted to unpack for a Spring Break vacation at the Shores of Panama on Monday night. Katlin Brianna Moore, of Quinton, northwest of Birmingham, and several fellow travelers were pulling bags out of a vehicle on the 12th floor of the condominium when Moore tossed a red duffel bag on the concrete, according to a Panama City Beach Police incident report. Inside the bag was a two-shot 9 mm Cobra Derringer pistol owned by 21-year-old Ancelmo Avilez Diaz, the report states. When the bag hit the ground, the pistol fired, hitting Moore in the left calf. Police on scene reported that the bullet went straight through Moore’s calf and grazed the back of her right leg. Moore’s friends tended to the wound until medical professionals arrived on scene. “Ms. Moore was alert and conscious and advised she was in serious pain,” according to the incident report. Panama City Beach Chief Drew Whitman said that officials are ruling the shooting an accident and charges are not expected.
  17. SUISUN, CA, 3/10/14: A Fairfield man was hospitalized Monday afternoon after police say he shot himself in the leg outside a Suisun City apartment complex. Officers were dispatched to the 600 block of Civic Center Boulevard at 3:01 p.m. after dispatchers received a report of a person suffering from a gunshot wound, Suisun City police Cmdr. Tim Mattos said. Officers arrived to find a crowd of people gathered in the area and the unidentified 21-year-old male lying on the sidewalk in a portion of the Village Apartments complex, which local authorities commonly refer to as “the maze” because of the clusters of apartment buildings scattered throughout the area. According to Mattos, the “victim,” who was conscious and breathing, was bleeding from a gunshot wound to his right upper thigh. He provided police with “a small amount of information” regarding the circumstances surrounding the shooting, however, through additional investigation, Mattos said, officers determined that the gunshot had been self-inflicted. The man later admitted to tossing the handgun, which resulted in officers and Suisun fire personnel scouring the area for the gun — including rooftops — but they were unable to recover it. Mattos said foul play is not suspected in the shooting.
  18. OLEAN, NY, 3/10/14: A 28-year-old Olean woman is in critical condition at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo today after being struck by a bullet from a handgun fired accidentally in her Martin Street home Monday night. Olean Police Capt. Robert Blovsky identified the injured woman as Connie Mascho of 1530 Martin St. The shooting occurred about 8:53 p.m. She was struck in the right shoulder with a bullet from a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol fired accidentally by another resident of the house, Logan Cooper, 24, who also suffered a gunshot wound to one of his fingers. No charges have been filed, according to Capt. Blovsky. The investigation is continuing. Olean city firefighters transported both gunshot victims in a city ambulance to Olean General Hospital. Ms. Mascho was transported via Mercyflight to ECMC and is in critical condition. Mr. Cooper was treated and released from Olean General Hospital. “At this time it appears that this incident was accidental,” said Capt. Blovsky.
  19. FREDONIA, AZ, 3/10/14: Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an accidental shooting Monday afternoon in the Arizona Strip. At about 1:16 p.m., deputies responded to the area of Cane Beds Road and Highway 389. Investigations determined a 17-year-old boy shot himself when he drew his gun from the holster while he was hunting in the area. The victim was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
  20. FAYETTEVILLE, NC, 3/10/14: A 48-year-old man accused in a shooting in the Gates Four community last week turned himself in to authorities Monday, according to a news release. Gerald Hilton Lord, 48, spent nearly a week at Womack Army Medical Center after authorities said he shot himself in the forearm during an argument with 18-year-old Thomas Earl Jacobs on March 10, a news release from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said. Jacobs suffered a superficial wound during the shooting, the release said. Lord, a delivery driver with GoWaiter.com, an online restaurant delivery service, went to an incorrect address March 10, a Sheriff’s Office attorney said last week. Lord initially pulled his vehicle into the driveway at the home of Thomas Earl Jacobs, 18, on the 6800 block of Towbridge Court, a news release said. After Jacobs twice asked him to leave the property, the department’s attorney said, Lord left and delivered the order to the correct address. As Lord was leaving, the attorney said, Lord claimed Jacobs was standing in his driveway and holding a baseball bat. Lord got out of the vehicle and approached Jacobs, a release said, and later produced a handgun. At some point, the attorney said, Lord was knocked to the ground, and his gun discharged.
  21. FLORENCE, AL, 3/11/14: Police are at a residence in the 400 block of Winona Street, in north Florence, investigating what was called in to 911 as an accidental shooting. Emergency personnel said one woman was shot and was flown from the scene to Huntsville Hospital. Reports were called in to 911 that the shooting happened when the woman dropped a gun on the floor and it discharged and the bullet hit her. Neither the identity of the woman nor her condition was immediately available. The shooting took place just after 11 a.m.
  22. BAKERSFIELD, CA, 3/11/14: The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting by an 8-year-old boy, who suffered a minor cut Tuesday morning after accidentally firing a gun, which recoiled back and hit him in the head. The incident happened at a school bus stop on the 2600 block of North Inyo Street in east Bakersfield. No one was injured was by the gunshot. A KCSO official told Eyewitness News the child found the gun in the street. Officials are investigating whether the gun may have been stolen.
  23. FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 3/11/14: Police have suspended a manhunt in Farmington Hills after the victim’s story didn’t add up. Officers were searching Tuesday for a gunman after an 18-year-old man was shot at apartment complex at the Hunters Ridge Apartments and Townhomes, a gated community along 14 Mile, just west of Orchard Lake Road. Officers arriving at the scene early Tuesday morning were told by the victim that he knew the shooter and that the shooter had already fled in a vehicle. Some Bloomfield Hills schools in the area were put into “secure mode” as the victim, who police say was not a student, was rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. West Bloomfield police officers were aiding in the search for the suspect who authorities described as armed and dangerous. Police later said, in a statement, that an investigation revealed the victim’s story was inconsistent with some of the evidence discovered at the scene.  Therefore, police ceased their search and were exploring the possibility that the victim may have accidentally shot himself on the way to work. The victim was in surgery Tuesday afternoon. His name has not been released. An investigation is ongoing.
  24. CHICO, CA, 3/11/14: A man who accidently fired his gun attempting to scare away a man he was arguing with was arrested by the Chico Police Department early this morning. Chico police received reports of gunshots in the 800 block of Rancheria Drive at about 1:20 a.m., according to a press release. The person who called police stated she and her friends were on a balcony when they were involved in an argument with a passing bicyclist, according to the Police Department. The woman then claimed the bicyclist shot at them several times before fleeing. Officers were conducting interviews and investigating the incident when a bicyclist flagged down other officers and stated he had been shot at, according to the press release. The bicyclist returned with officers to the scene and while investigating, Joshua Douglas, 30, reportedly walked out of his apartment and allegedly “spontaneously stated” he had accidentally fired his firearm while arguing with someone in front of his residence. Douglas was positively identified by the bicyclist as the man who fired a gun and Douglas identified the bicyclist as the person he had been arguing with, according to police. The person who reported the incident was friends with Douglas and had allegedly given a false statement to officers to protect him. According to Chico police, it appears Douglas was attempting to scare the bicyclist away while holding a firearm. No one was injured. Douglas was arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm. The weapon was collected as evidence.
  25. INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 3/11/14: A toddler has been shot on the city’s east side, police dispatch confirms. The shooting occurred in the 2100 block of Mitthoeffer Rd. just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. When officers arrived, they found a three year old girl suffering from a gunshot wound to the hand. The girl was immediately transported by EMS crews to Riley Hospital for Children in good condition. Detectives interviewed the father of the child who told detectives that the child had retrieved the firearm from the couch area and shot herself accidentally. The dad and the child were the only individuals in the apartment at the time of the shooting. Based on the physical evidence, detectives were able corroborate the dad’s version of events and currently have not made an arrest in this incident. Representatives from Child Protective Services have been notified. The investigation is ongoing.
  26. GREENSBURG, IN, 3/11/14: A Greensburg boy died Tuesday night in what police believe was an accidental shooting at his home. Craig Roberts, a 13-year-old Greensburg Junior High School students was shot and killed in a home in the 1000 block of Carver Street, according to our news-gathering partners at RTV6. Police are still sorting out details, but a neighbor told the TV station that a father had been cleaning his gun in his home Tuesday night when he put it down and left the room for a few moments. That’s when a younger sibling picked up the gun and shot his brother. This marks the second shooting death of a student at the school in the last three weeks. In the last incident, 14-year-old Tyler Hall was killed by his father in a murder-suicide. UPDATE: Police said the teen’s 6-year-old brother accidentally shot him. Greensburg Junior High School Principal Matt Clifford said the victim was a student there and involved in drama groups, the school’s television production, the archery team and school choir. Family members said the teen was getting ready to go to an awards ceremony because he just made the honor roll. He also was an inductee into the National Junior Honor Society.
  27. DENVER, CO, 3/11/14: A police officer’s weapon was unintentionally fired while chasing a suspect in an apartment building and a woman was injured Tuesday afternoon. It happened at E. 33rd Avenue and High Street. Officers were pursuing a man they say was wanted for a parole violation. He ran into the apartment complex and hid in one of the units. Investigators initially said a round was fired into the door. There were several people inside the unit. It’s not yet clear if the woman inside who was hurt was hit by the bullet or shrapnel. Her injury was described as “superficial” and she will be OK. She was treated and released from the hospital. Officers arrested the suspect, 28-year-old Lorenzo Banks, on a probation violation warrant.
  28. BROKEN ARROW, OK, 3/11/14: A Broken Arrow boy was hospitalized after he accidentally shot himself with a handgun, police said. Officers responded to a home in the 3500 block of East Aurora Street about 8:55 p.m. Tuesday “for what was determined to be a reported accidental discharge,” according to Broken Arrow Cpl. Leon Calhoun.  An unidentified boy was discovered at the scene with a gunshot wound and transported to a local hospital, Calhoun said. His condition is unknown, police said. Investigators did not disclose the type of gun used or how the boy was able to access the weapon. UPDATE: The child later died. The identity of the child has not yet been released.
  29. CHARLESTON, SC, 3/11/14: Charleston police are investigating after a person shot himself in the hand this morning. Authorities were notified about the shooting at 9:20 a.m., according to officials with Charleston County’s Consolidated Dispatch Center. Charleston police were told that the shot was fired at the corner of America and Amherst streets in Charleston’s East Side community. Investigators, however, did not find any shell casings in that area, police spokesman Charles Francis said. The wounded man later told police he shot himself, Francis said.
  30. BURTON, SC, 3/11/14: A man accidentally shot himself in the face Tuesday in Burton after a handgun he dropped while trying to open his truck door went off, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report. The man, whose name and age were withheld, shot himself in the jaw and cheek at about 3 p.m. He had wrapped his gun inside his jacket, but it fell out when he reached for his keys, the report said. The handgun fired when it hit the truck bed, the report said. His condition was not available Wednesday.
  31. UNION CO., SC, 3/12/14: A Union County woman was arrested after deputies say she was drunk and shot herself in the foot. Lauren Vassey, 34, is charged with use of a firearm under the influence of alcohol or drugs by the Union County Sheriff’s Office after the shooting early Wednesday morning. Deputies and emergency medical personnel were sent to the home on Belvue Drive where they found Massey and a man in the driveway of the home. The man said Vassey took his gun from his truck and began playing around with it. The incident report states the gun owner said Vassey pointed it at her head at one point. The gun owner said he told her repeatedly to put the weapon down before it went off and shot her in the foot. Vassey was taken to Wallace Thomson Hospital for treatment. She was arrested after being released from the emergency room. Deputies report Vassey was tested and recorded a blood alcohol content of .23.
  32. RAINS CO., TX, 3/12/14: A 13-year-old boy is dead after an accidental shooting Wednesday afternoon in Rains County. Rains County Justice of the Peace Don Smith said the 13-year-old was at a 15-year-old friend’s house on County Road 2130 when the incident took place. The teen died of a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. The 13-year-old and his friend were in a bedroom of the home when the 15-year-old pulled the trigger of a 12-gauge shotgun not realizing it was loaded. The friend’s father was in the kitchen of the home when the accident occurred. The shooting appears to be an accident, but the Rains County Sheriff’s Office will investigate thoroughly. The teen’s name will not be released until next of kin has been notified. Both teens were students at Rains Junior High.
  33. FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, OH, 3/12/14: Kent City Schools is mourning the loss of one of its students today. An 11-year-old boy was killed in Franklin Township on Wednesday in what appears to be an accidental shooting. The alleged shooter is his 15-year-old cousin. According to the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, the two were home enjoying a snow day when it quickly turned tragic. The boys were playing with a gun when it went off. Channel 3 News has decided not to disclose their names, but we did obtain a recording of the 911 call. On the phone with 911, a young male caller yells, “Oh my god! He shot him with a pistol. … They were messing with the guns downstairs.” The 911 dispatcher asks, “So it was an accident?” The caller responds, “Yea, it was a total accident.” It happened on Johnson Road at around 11:30 a.m. When emergency crews arrived at the home within minutes, the 11-year-old Stanton Middle School student was dead.
  34. BOYCEVILLE, WI, 3/12/14: A 19-year- old man is dead after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning a rifle. It happened Wednesday night at the man’s home in Boyceville. The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department says there’s no indication the shooting was intentional or that there was any foul play involved. Emergency crews responded but the medical examiner pronounced him dead at the scene.
  35. MERIDEN, CT, 3/12/14: Police say a Hobart Street man’s gun discharged while he was cleaning it, firing a round through his television and into the wall of his home. Leo Gregoire, 37, of 101 Hobart St., was arrested Wednesday night and charged with illegal discharge of a firearm. Lt. Sal Nesci, the police spokesman, said Gregoire called police about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that his handgun had discharged and one bullet had gone through his television and into a wall of his home. Nesci said the handgun was a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson. Officers found one bullet lodged in the wall, Nesci said. There were no injuries and Gregoire surrendered the gun along with three other handguns, Nesci said. Gregoire had a valid pistol permit, Nesci said.
  36. WARNER ROBINS, GA, 3/12/14: A Warner Robins man is charged with Reckless Conduct and Involuntary Manslaughter after a shooting Wednesday afternoon left another man dead. The incident happened around 4:45 Wednesday at Southland Station Drive Apartments on Southland Station Drive. WRPD says the investigation revealed 19-year-old Aaron Taylor of Elko was struck in the head by a bullet from a gun that was in the possession of 19-year-old Marcus Dewayne Sallette. Taylor was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Sallette was charged in the shooting, which detectives have determined was unintentional. The case will now be turned over to the Houston County District Attorney’s Office for further review.
  37. PRATVILLE, AL, 3/13/14: The Thursday afternoon shooting of a 9-year-old boy appears to be accidental, said Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson. At this time there is nothing to point to foul play being involved the chief said. The boy was transfered by helicopter to Prattville Baptist Hospital about 6:30 p.m. Thursday to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Radio dispatch logs show Prattville fire medics were dispatched to a home in the 600 block of Upper Kingston Road at about 5:10 p.m. Thursday for a male subject shot. UPDATE 9 a.m.- Prattville police just reported that the 9-year-old boy victim of Thursday night’s shooting was shot in the chest with a small caliber pistol. Chief Mark Thompson said the bullet missed anything vital and the child is in stable condition. Officials say the case appears to be an accidental shooting.
  38. LUMBERTON, NC, 3/13/14: A Pembroke teenager is facing gun charges after accidentally shooting himself at a Lumberton motel early Thursday. Keno Chavis, 17, was treated and released for a wound to a hand at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, according to a hospital spokesman. Capt. Terry Parker said police went to Motel 6 on Lackey Street just after midnight Wednesday following a call from the hotel that shots had been fired and were told someone had gone to Southeastern Regional Medical Center with a gunshot wound. Officers went to the hospital and interviewed Chavis. “He wasn’t playing with the gun, but he was handling the gun when it discharged,” Parker said. Parker said the gun belonged to a member of Chavis’ family. Chavis, who was alone when the gun went off, was charged with possession of a handgun by a minor and discharging a firearm in city limits. A window in the motel room was damaged, but it’s unclear whether the damage, which amounted to $250, was caused by a bullet.
  39. BRONX, NY, 3/13/14: Two men were shot on the second floor of a Vyse Ave. apartment building in the West Farms section of the Bronx about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, cops said. Officers arrived and found Sage Chebere mortally wounded. It appears that Chebere was shot by a 32-year-old man following an argument over marijuana. The suspect shot also shot himself in the leg by accident, a source said. A 9-mm handgun was found near Chebere and a duffel bag of marijuana was found on the fourth floor, cops said. The older man was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in stable condition.
  40. QUEENS, NY, 3/14/14:  A 12-year-old Queens boy accidentally shot his 14-year-old sister early Friday, police said. The boy’s blasted his sibling in the abdomen about 2:25 a.m. in the family’s home on 164th St. in Jamaica, cops said. She was rushed to Jamaica Hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.  The boy told cops he had found the .22-caliber Colt revolver he fired one time. The boy and his mother were being questioned by cops Friday morning. If his parents were unaware he had found the gun, they would likely not be charged, a police source said.
  41. SAN BERNARDINO, CA, 3/14/14: A security guard at a medical marijuana dispensary accidentally shot himself in a foot on Friday night, March 14, San Bernardino police said. The shooting, with the guard’s own .40 caliber gun, occurred just after 9 p.m. at 3386 E. Highland Ave. The guard was expected to recover, Lt. Travis Walker said. San Bernardino police planned to write a report recommending that the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office charge the guard with negligent discharge of a firearm, Walker said.
  42. CROSS CREEK TOWNSHIP, PA, 3/14/14:  A Washington County woman said she accidentally shot one of her roommates in the head during an argument late Friday, state police said. Louis E. Ruscello, 39, was in critical but stable condition Saturday in UPMC Presbyterian, state Trooper Douglas Rush said. Roommate Tracy J. Chechuck, 26, remained in the Washington County Correctional Facility on Saturday, charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. Rush said Chechuck, her fiance, Lowe M. Hawkins Jr., and Ruscello were drinking in an Avella bar on Friday before returning to the Cross Creek, Washington County, home they have shared since December. There, Hawkins and Ruscello began to fight, with some pushing, shoving and yelling, Rush said. Chechuck got a .45-caliber pistol registered to Hawkins, Rush said. She briefly sat down in the living room with the gun, before entering the kitchen where Ruscello was pushing Hawkins against a stove, and Chechuck tried to intervene. She chambered a round in the gun, Rush said. “For whatever reason, the accused decides to go get a gun to try to scare the victim,” Rush said. “She put it up to the victim’s head, and it went off.” Chechuck dialed 911 to summon police and medical help for Ruscello, Rush said. When police arrived, Chechuck and Hawkins insisted that the gun went off by accident, and she hadn’t intended to shoot Ruscello.
  43. PORT DEPOSIT, MD, 3/14/14: Deputies are investigating yet another careless shooting case — this time after a woman discovered that a stray bullet had shattered a window at her Port Deposit-area home and then lodged in a nearby wall, according to the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office. The woman called authorities on Friday night after finding a bullet hole in the bedroom off the master bedroom inside the home on Pilot Town Road and a corresponding hole in the drywall behind that window, police said. Investigators do not believe the house was targeted, but, rather, that a person shooting a gun at an unknown spot in the woods near the residence did not consider his or her surroundings and the trajectory of the fired bullet, Holmes reported. The Port Deposit-area case was reported about six weeks after a homeowner called authorities in February to report finding three random bullet holes inside his house on AJS Court in Elk Neck — not far from the home where a 10-year-old girl died from a “celebratory” bullet fired on New Year’s Eve more than 14 months ago.
  44. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, 3/14/14: A Virginia Beach house sitter looking after a home filled with pot and guns accidentally shot himself, leading police to the home filled with pot and guns. Police records show a 35-year-old man called 911 last Friday after the accident. A Beach police officer, identified as J. Lopresti, raced to the home in the 1400 block of Partlett Court to help the wounded man. When he got inside, the officer “observed marijuana, smoking devices, plastic baggies, several cellular phones, several firearms and security cameras in plain view,” according to a search-warrant affidavit. Just before the wounded man was taken to the hospital, he told a second police officer he was house sitting for a friend. Police said the homeowner had a minor criminal record, mainly for alcohol problems. Police seized marijuana and handguns from the house, according to the search warrant. A police spokeswoman said Wednesday no one has been arrested.

What’s Not to Like about Guns

Guns. Sure, I own a few. What good god-fearin’ American doesn’t? I figure it’s my duty to keep the arms manufacturers afloat. Of course, mine are just to keep those other gun nuts at bay. I hope I never have to use them, but if someone’s spoilin’ for a gunfight, well that’s ok too.

So, what’s not to like about guns? Well, for starters, they’re noisy, and they’re made for killing. And since it’s illegal to shoot each other, most people use them against non-human animals.

Some folks out here in rural America are so proud of their guns they wear it like a badge. They advertise it all over their loud pickup trucks so no one seeing the cute little Pomeranians in their cab mistakes them for some kind of anti-gun pinko.

Mostly, I don’t like the noise they make. And I guess I empathize with the animals too much. Whenever you hear gunfire, ya have to wonder who the hell’s out there shooting now and what, or who, are they shooting at this time.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.