How Is This Not Manslaughter?
William DeHayes was showing Hoover his gun collection. While he was showing her his .22 caliber revolver, it accidentally fired and shot Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. [More at the Tampa Bay Times.]
Hoover died in the ER yesterday; the child she was carrying died with her.
This is, of course, merely the ordinary awful that necessarily flows from Second Amendment fundamentalism. I’ll say one thing: anyone who chalks an incident like this to the necessary cost of preserving freedom cannot be said to be pro-life. If abortion by gun is OK by you…
In any event, the blunt fact of unfettered gun ownership and the celebration of a culture of the gun is that those most at risk of gun violence remain those who own them and their friends and family. Put together the gun-suicides, “accidents” like these,* and shootings of intimate partners and or others known to the shooter, and you have well over half of all gun deaths in the US — a number which in total is essentially the same as those we lose to road accidents.
The fantasy of the gun? It’s all fun and games until the reaper lays hold of its victim’s cloak:
There’s more. Here’s the bit that I just can’t stand:
Police are still investigating the incident, but believe it was an accidental shooting, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
An accident? Not a charge of involuntary manslaughter?
Maybe that’ll come, but sweet FSM! You pick up a gun and shoot someone dead — even if you didn’t mean to — and that’s not a crime?
The NRA, ammosexuals, and all their enablers in politics and the media tell us that the term “responsible gun owners” has actual meaning. It doesn’t, as this case demonstrates . I’ll update this post if it turns out that Mr. DeHayes faces actual consequences for taking another person’s life, but until then, I’m going to vent:
Responsible means that whatever happens with your gun is your fault. Period. You accidentally discharge it and no-one gets hurt? How’s this: big fine, confiscate the weapon involved, lose the right to bear arms for a year for the first incident, forever if you repeat. Someone gets hurt or dies? Jail. Civil liability. Loss of gun rights for life. That’s responsibility.
But of course, I dream. That’s not how we roll. Instead, we’ll just water the tree of liberty with a newlywed, and celebrate life by burying her fetus — and wait (not long) for the next red harvest.
*Scare quotes because such shootings are not acts of god — the deer that darts across the road just at the moment when you have to swerve into a tree or take a 400 pound antlered rodent through the windshield. They are the statistically predictable outcomes of handing guns out freely to a population in which only half of the folks are above average. That is, even though there is no way to predict that Ms. Hoover would fall victim to this awfulness, we knwo we can expect some number per year or month of folks felled by stupidity, carelessness, and general fuck ups with a gun.
Image: Hans Baldung, The Knight, the Young Girl, and Death, c. 1505.