It’s a Gun Nut Twofer

From my old town of Morgantown:

Monongalia County Delegate Tony Barill is hospitalized and recovering from a bullet wound. Barill was admitted to WVU hospital early Saturday morning after being shot. Sources tell MetroNews Barill was shot in the ankle and underwent surgery. He is recovering and listed in fair condition.

House Speaker Tim Miley was told by a family member that Barill was at home when he was accidentally struck by an errant bullet fired from another room by his son, Brad, during an apparent suicide.

Barill was the Sheriff in Morgantown for decades, it seems.

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73 replies
  1. 1

    But the only thing I have to give
    To make you smile, to win you with
    Are all the mornings still to live…

    Whatever we do, let’s don’t talk about the guns. Let’s talk about mental illness some more.

  2. 2
    Snark Based Reality says:

    “It’s a Gun Nut Twofer”

    Mind clue-ing us non-locals in on why you felt this was an appropriate title for what seems like a very tragic family incident?

  3. 3
    raven says:

    @Snark Based Reality: Because two gun nuts got shot?

  4. 4
    Ivan X says:

    @Snark Based Reality:
    I had the same question.

  5. 5
    Aimai says:

    Horrible story. Tragic.

  6. 6
    some guy says:

    Darwinism in action

  7. 7
    🎂 Martin says:

    If only someone in that household had a gun to stop this terrible tragedy from happening.

  8. 8
    some guy says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    Guns don’t kill people, angry assholes with psychological issues kill people.

  9. 9
    John Cole says:

    @Snark Based Reality: Because every one on the planet but pistol owners and the NRA realize that the presence of guns in the household increases the likelihood of murder, suicide, or damage. Here, we got two out of the three.

    Yes, it is a tragic family matter. But if I had my way it would not have happened. For that I would have been called unAmerican and a gun grabber. So fuck them.

    You have guns, you’re asking for this shit to happen. Full stop.

  10. 10
    Cervantes says:

    Barill was the Sheriff in Morgantown for decades, it seems.

    Only four or five years, actually.

  11. 11
    Joel says:

    A bullet went through a person, a wall, and into another person?

  12. 12
    PurpleGirl says:

    @PhoenixRising: I wonder if the son had tried previously to kill himself. Was he in therapy? Was he taking medication — long term or just started recently? It sometimes happens that a person who has recently begun a medication routine now feels the energy with which to successfully suicide. It’s something therapists are sensitive too and why just taking medication isn’t good.

    I feel sorry for the family — losing a son and the wounding of the father. A situation I don’t feel snarky about.

    ETA: A long time ago, a grad student I knew was depressed and tried to kill himself. He began therapy but was just taking medication. He tried again and succeeded. He was just starting to feel good and have the energy to do things.

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    Well now, doesn’t that just shave the cat’s ass?

    As guns become more popular than crescent wrenches, bolts go untightened while residents are well-ventilated. I’d rather have a nice tool box, thanks.

  14. 14
    eric says:

    @John Cole: it is worse than that. they also brag that guns in the home stop more crimes than there are accidental shootings and deaths and by all accounts they are very dead wrong.

  15. 15

    @Joel: More likely the poor slob (fils) killed his 80 year old father with a hesitation mark when his razor blade slipped.

    Oh wait…he had a gun, which raised the chances that his attempt to take his own life would be successful.

  16. 16
    Snark Based Reality says:

    @John Cole:

    I guess I’m more responding you jumping to angry on what is obviously a mental health suicide incident. I’m finding it hard to have more than a “oh man… I feel for that family.” Is there a history with this particular father that is triggering the “ARGH!!@#!BLARG!!@#!NRA” moment?

    I guess I’m not a fan of people jumping on a family tragedy where one family member chose to off themselves as an argument for gun control. And I say this as a person who doesn’t own a gun and frankly doesn’t care to.

  17. 17
    RaflW says:

    Off topic (but sort of not, since AZ is gun-nut heaven):

    Arizona GOP censures McCain for ‘disastrous’ record
    The Republic | azcentral.com
    Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:16 PM

    Delivering a strong rebuke to U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republicans passed a resolution to censure the one-time presidential nominee for what they characterize as a liberal record that has been “disastrous and harmful” to the state and nation.

    While McCain is a political star on the national stage, for years he has had to contend with vocal critics in his home state, who accuse him of betraying the Grand Old Party’s principles.

    Saturday’s censure came two weeks after the Maricopa County Republican Party passed a resolution to censure the senator on a 1,150-to-351 vote.

    The state GOP party’s censure passed by acclamation, meaning by a voice vote. It has no practical effect, but serves as an attempt to embarrass the senator.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    @Snark Based Reality:

    When there aren’t guns in the home the people don’t succeed in killing themselves anywhere near as often. We have a much higher suicide rate than other developed nations. The only variable is the number of guns, not the number of mentally disturbed people.

  19. 19

    @PurpleGirl: Yep. Friend of ours, who had been trying for years, finally succeeded when her meds had been properly adjusted. We learned that it’s common for suicidal ideation to become reality when the fog of major depression is lifted by medication.

    If she had ever had a gun in the home, she wouldn’t have lived into her 30s at all.

  20. 20
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @John Cole: Seems a lot of folks fail to understand that the Second Amendment isn’t absolute-there”s that little tidbit about ‘A Well Regulated Militia’ that gets glossed over while the Worshippers of Zardoz pray….

  21. 21
    some guy says:

    Barrill is a sponsor of WV House Bill 2502, which would make “oral or written inquiry of a patient about possession, ownership or storage of firearms as a reason for invoking disciplinary proceedings against physicians.”

    Cuz the last thing you want a an MD to ask about is if you own a weapon

  22. 22
    Snark Based Reality says:

    @some guy:

    And there we go. John Cole has my permission to carry on now. (As if he needed it. Hah.)

    Thanks.

  23. 23
    Cervantes says:

    @John Cole:

    Yes, it is a tragic family matter. But if I had my way it would not have happened. For that I would have been called unAmerican and a gun grabber. So fuck them.

    It’s one thing to have private thoughts, quite another to publish them for all the world to see. If I may misapply the Bard slightly: “The better part of Valour, is Discretion; in the which better part, I haue saued my life.”

    Your call, obviously.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    @Howard Beale IV: The Second Amendment needs to be fixed or flushed. Nobody can convince me that the Founding Fathers would be anything but appalled by what the Second Amendment has become.

  25. 25
    Mandalay says:

    Meanwhile, across the pond in Great Gunmania…

    An armed police officer was today in hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. The male officer, a member of the Met’s Flying Squad, was holstering a police-issued firearm at a station in Putney, south London, when it went off.

    An investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident. The officer was alone in the armoury at the time.

    But wait! There’s more…

    Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, wants handguns legalized and registered in Britain again, 18 years after the horrific massacre of 16 schoolchildren and a teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, led to tightened gun control laws and essentially made handguns illegal. Farage, who has a long and controversial history in politics, said during a radio appearance that the “ludicrous” ban on handguns was a “kneejerk” reaction to Dunblane and should be removed.

  26. 26
    Anne Laurie says:

    Speaking of family tragedies and improving our terrible mental health system, Creigh Deeds will be on 60 Minutes tomorrow. The VA State Senator survived a brutal non-gun assault by his mentally ill son, who then found a gun and killed himself…

  27. 27
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @some guy: Maybe now this Zardoz Worshipper will see his folly after this incident.

    He’s fucking lucky his offspring didn’t off him before he tried to take his own life.

  28. 28
    Mandalay says:

    @John Cole: It is possible to agree with everything you wrote there, but still find your thread title in very poor taste.

  29. 29
    seaboogie says:

    @some guy: When I lived in Canada my husband worked in props in the film and TV biz, and was required to have a valid carry permit to handle firearms on set. When he was getting his permit, I received a call from the RCMP notifying me that he had applied for a gun permit and was queried about his mental stability and whether I had any cause to fear for my safety, before the permit was issued. Which I thought was very awesome. Hope that they still have the same practices in place in the Great White Nort!

  30. 30
    gbear says:

    @some guy: I just stopped feeling sorry for the guy. Somehow now it seems like just rewards.

  31. 31
    Skerry says:

    Shooter at the mall in Maryland today had 2 crude, homemade bombs in a backpack. They were safely disabled. 2 victims were 21 and 25 yrs old. He shot them at point blank range. My daughter knew the 25 yr old. It was just luck that more weren’t killed. He fired multiple shots into the mall after leaving the store on the upper level. Only one bullet hit a person’s ankle on the lower level food court. The rest missed anyone. Then he killed himself. 5 people injured trying to escape. One guy broke his jaw pretty badly while pulling his kids off a carousel.

    I am also a Purdue alum. Electrical engineering. I spent many hours in the building where the kid was killed earlier this week

    This shit has to stop.

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    We have a much higher suicide rate than other developed nations. The only variable is the number of guns, not the number of mentally disturbed people.

    What statistics on mental illness back this up?

  33. 33
    2liberal says:

    @Snark Based Reality:

    “It’s a Gun Nut Twofer”Mind clue-ing us non-locals in on why you felt this was an appropriate title for what seems like a very tragic family incident?

    i didn’t like the title either.

  34. 34
    Mandalay says:

    @some guy:

    Barrill is a sponsor of WV House Bill 2502, which would make “oral or written inquiry of a patient about possession, ownership or storage of firearms as a reason for invoking disciplinary proceedings against physicians.”

    Barrill has also sponsored several other gun nut bills in the past year, including:
    HB2787 “Permitting family court judges and magistrates to carry concealed handguns without a permit”.
    HB2832 “providing that any federal law which attempts to ban semiautomatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm or other limitation on firearms in this state is unenforceable in West Virginia”.
    HB 2967 “Prohibiting the publication of the identities of persons who have been issued licenses to carry a concealed deadly weapon”.

    And how the heck can HB2832 be valid?

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    Which statistic are you asking for, the prevalence of mental illness or the suicide rate? Rates of mental illness are pretty similar across the globe.

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    @gbear: I can’t see losing a son or daughter to suicide as just deserts for anything. If justice were to come of this, it would be in the form of making it more difficult for mentally compromised people to get their hands on guns. Unfortunately, this nation collectively values the Second Amendment over the people the Constitution was actually designed to serve. And as long as that’s the case, nothing will improve.

  37. 37
    some guy says:

    in 2011 Barrill was given a C+ by the NRA Victory Fund. one year later he was rated at 92% by the NRA Victory Fund. a telling turnaround. He was given an A+ by the WV Citizens Defense League (gun nut lobby) for cosponsoring a Concealed Carry bill in 2013.

    so yeah, gun nut.

  38. 38
    amk says:

    @some guy: Hope the attending doctor asked him the same fucking question just to piss off the fucker.

  39. 39
    some guy says:

    @Mandalay:

    And how the heck can HB2832 be valid?

    States rights. Nullification. Stop the Kenyan Muslim Gun Grabber!

  40. 40
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Cervantes: The problem that you run into is that outside of the US, guns aren’t readily/easily available. A quick glance shows that the US is somewhere between 15-20th of all OECD nations in suicide rate, but the nations with higher suicide rates also have a much smaller total population (i.e., Greenland) whick skews the numbers.

  41. 41
    wuzzat says:

    @2liberal: Part of the issue that I have with the title is that, as far as I know, there’s nothing indicating that the son was a gun nut, and not, say, a suicidal man in a home with guns in it who realized that guns are a quick and easy way to kill oneself. Sure, I’m also a little leery of mocking people who kill themselves or the parents of people who kill themselves, particularly this soon after the event takes place, but it’s John’s party and he can post what he wants to.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    @Howard Beale IV:
    Seem to recall a study from the last couple of years showing that US service people stationed in countries with restrictive gun laws having a notably lower suicide rate. Too lazy too google this.

    There’s no meaningful data counter to the premise that the presence of guns results in more deaths, of all sorts.

  43. 43
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Ash Can: Problem is that the NRA’s belief that the big bad government is out to take your weapons fail to realize that the Feds don’t need to take their weapons–the oligarchs have already taken control of the government via the bailouts of the finance industry during the Great Recession.

  44. 44
    James E. Powell says:

    @Ash Can:

    The Second Amendment needs to be fixed or flushed. Nobody can convince me that the Founding Fathers would be anything but appalled by what the Second Amendment has become.

    One of the many absurdities of American politics is that we are all supposed to care about what we imagine the founders of the country might think about our lives right now. Isn’t what we think what matters?

  45. 45
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @trollhattan: The US is 14th of all nations by firearm deaths per capita-and since we’re a big nation it’s rather signifcant.

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Give John Adams five minutes with an M-15 (now, available at Wild Bill’s Shootin’ Sports) and I wonder what he’d think of the whole thing?

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    From your table, interesting company we’re keeping. Squeaking past Argentina but Colombia is totally kicking our butts.

  48. 48
    Stonetools says:

    If only gunfire just killed gun nuts, we’d solve this whole gun problem in a few years. Sadly, that is not how it works.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @James E. Powell: “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

    — A. Lincoln (attributed)

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan: Surprising how low the Middle east is on those charts.

  51. 51
    2liberal says:

    every year 30K die (20K suicides) and there are another 50K gunshot wounds in the US. There are supposedly 300,000,000 US guns in private hands. I have researched these numbers in the past and don’t have the links handy.

    what kind of regulations could be written to make any sort of significant dent in these numbers?

  52. 52
    Ash Can says:

    @James E. Powell: I don’t disagree with you. It’s just that people get the vapors in droves over anyone casting a jaundiced eye upon the Constitution guaranteeing us all the right to own firearms. The main problem is that the American legal system has so severely curtailed the government’s ability to regulate ownership of guns and has forced us all to live in an environment made appreciably more dangerous as a result. The pious pronouncements about fundamental constitutional rights all get trotted out when gun debates break out. Fuck that. The Second Amendment is doing this nation more harm than good at this point, and it drives me to distraction that this nation collectively cites the amendment as the word of God and shuts the gun debate down on the basis of it.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    Suicide rates are strongly tied into culture and IIRC Islam prohibits suicide, so that’s probably the determining factor there.

    WereBear mentioned a book or article she read that said that groups who recruit suicide bombers target people who are already suicidal, because “jihad” gives them an excuse to do what they’re culturally prohibited from doing.

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Rates of mental illness are pretty similar across the globe.

    Really?

    From the Wikipedia page you cited (“Prevalence of mental disorders”):

    The World Health Organization is currently undertaking a global survey of 26 countries in all regions of the world, based on ICD and DSM criteria. The first published figures on the 14 country surveys completed to date, indicate that, of those disorders assessed, anxiety disorders are the most common in all but 1 country (prevalence in the prior 12-month period of 2.4% to 18.2%) and mood disorders next most common in all but 2 countries (12-month prevalence of 0.8% to 9.6%), while substance disorders (0.1%–6.4%) and impulse-control disorders (0.0%–6.8%) were consistently less prevalent. The United States, Colombia, the Netherlands and Ukraine tended to have higher prevalence estimates across most classes of disorder, while Nigeria, Shanghai and Italy were consistently low, and prevalence was lower in Asian countries in general.

    Look at those ranges.

    Delving deeper into Wikipedia (from a link provided on the page you cited):

    Despite the received wisdom that schizophrenia occurs at similar rates worldwide, its prevalence varies across the world, within countries, and at the local and neighborhood level. […] The rate of schizophrenia varies up to threefold depending on how it is defined.

    From the information you cited, how do you reach the conclusion that “[r]ates of mental illness are pretty similar across the globe”?

    (Not to mention things like eating disorders which are much more common inside the USA than outside it.)

    Anyhow, thanks for the link.

  55. 55
    Cervantes says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    The problem that you run into is that outside of the US, guns aren’t readily/easily available. A quick glance shows that the US is somewhere between 15-20th of all OECD nations in suicide rate, but the nations with higher suicide rates also have a much smaller total population (i.e., Greenland) whick skews the numbers.

    Sure. I was asking specifically about the second half of this statement:

    The only variable is the number of guns, not the number of mentally disturbed people.

    I don’t know that it’s true, or false — hence the question.

  56. 56
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Suicide rates are strongly tied into culture and IIRC Islam prohibits suicide, so that’s probably the determining factor there.

    Looking at the list, I notice that the two highest entries (the USA is third) are Uruguay (plurality Catholic) and Montenegro (majority Eastern Orthodox). Does anyone know how suicide is viewed in these two faith traditions?

    (Also, bear in mind that the list does not include all suicides, only “firearm-related” ones.)

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Do you think that the US is crazier than other countries? I know that you are data driven, but what does common sense say? Humans are humans everywhere. Our gun laws are a difference maker. Aren’t they? Do you disagree, and if so why?

  58. 58
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Do you think that the US is crazier than other countries?

    No idea — hence the question.

    (I guess I should point out again what Wikipedia says: “The United States, Colombia, the Netherlands and Ukraine tended to have higher prevalence estimates across most classes of disorder.”)

    I know that you are data driven, but what does common sense say?

    Show me the data on the reliability of “common sense” and I’ll address your question.

    Humans are humans everywhere.

    Really?

    Our gun laws are a difference maker. Aren’t they? Do you disagree, and if so why?

    Of course, no, and N/A, respectively.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: You are unconvinced that the comparatively lax gun laws of the US have led to our higher gun violence rate? I am sorry, but sometimes res ipsa loquitur. Politics don’t require absolute proof. A reasonable conclusion is sufficient.

  60. 60
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You are unconvinced that the comparatively lax gun laws of the US have led to our higher gun violence rate? I am sorry, but sometimes res ipsa loquitur. Politics don’t require absolute proof. A reasonable conclusion is sufficient.

    All that because I asked about a statement someone made about mental illness?

    Surely, you jest.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: You picked apart my comment. I tried to cut to the chase. Did I miss something? I need to know because I need to get some sleep at some point.

  62. 62
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You picked apart my comment. I tried to cut to the chase. Did I miss something? I need to know because I need to get some sleep at some point.

    “Picked apart”? Sorry, I was just trying to answer your good-faith questions as succinctly as possible.

    If you missed anything, it was only that my question focused exclusively on the notion that “the number of mentally disturbed people” is pretty much the same around the world (where by “number” I assume “proportion” was meant).

    How does one know such a thing, I asked.

    I was simply asking that question, not making some sort of veiled comment about gun laws.

    Get some sleep.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Seriously, do you think Americans are nuttier than people from other countries? Or is it the guns? Why the gun violence? What is your opinion? Make a choice. Don’t play Hamlet.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Seriously, do you think Americans are nuttier than people from other countries? Or is it the guns? Why the gun violence? What is your opinion? Make a choice. Don’t play Hamlet.

    Don’t be silly!

    I’ll say this much (because I know this much): if I were appointing people to the Supreme Court, I’d want to know where they stand on the Second Amendment. (Doesn’t mean I’d ask them that, of course.)

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    I see you carefully left out the most relevant quote:

    However, these are widely believed to be underestimates, due to poor diagnosis (especially in countries without affordable access to mental health services) and low reporting rates, in part because of the predominant use of self-report data, rather than semi-structured instruments such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID); actual lifetime prevalence rates for mental disorders are estimated to be between 65% and 85%. (emphasis mine)

    You can believe what you want, but the World Health Organization says otherwise. They have science and research. What do you bring to the discussion?

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    @Cervantes: I see you carefully left out the most relevant quote:
    However, these are widely believed to be underestimates, due to poor diagnosis (especially in countries without affordable access to mental health services) and low reporting rates, in part because of the predominant use of self-report data, rather than semi-structured instruments such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID); actual lifetime prevalence rates for mental disorders are estimated to be between 65% and 85%. (emphasis mine)

    The paragraph you quote ends with a note: “citation needed.” In case you don’t know what that means, here’s how it’s explained when you click on it: “Exercise caution before relying upon unsourced claims.” (Emphasis mine.)

    You can believe what you want, but the World Health Organization says otherwise.

    Really? Show me where.

    They have science and research. What do you bring to the discussion?

    You’ll have to answer that question yourself.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    Really? Show me where.

    See how the words “World Health Organization” are highlighted in blue in the part that you quoted? That means there’s a link secretly hidden in there. Try clicking on it.

  68. 68
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    See how the words “World Health Organization” are highlighted in blue in the part that you quoted? That means there’s a link secretly hidden in there. Try clicking on it.

    You know, there is a way out of the maze you’re in.

    Persevere!

  69. 69
    Nutella says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Suicide rates are strongly tied into culture and IIRC Islam prohibits suicide, so that’s probably the determining factor there.

    Christianity also prohibits suicide but our majority-Christian culture venerates all kinds of violence. Perhaps Muslim countries’ cultures are more consistent with their religion? Hard to say.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    What, to go along with your proto-white supremacist insistence that white people have higher rates of mental illness because the brains of lower peoples just aren’t complex enough to develop mental illness? No, thanks. Go tell it to your buddies at Stormfront — you’ll find all kinds of “research” over there to support your beliefs.

  71. 71
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: What on earth are you talking about now? We can see it’s not the point at hand — but what is it?

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’m trying to divine your point from your comments. So far, they seem to be that people in developing countries don’t suffer from mental illness in the same way that people in first-world countries do. So, why do you believe that people in developing countries are biologically different than other humans in a way that spares them from mental illness?

  73. 73
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m trying to divine your point from your comments.

    Stop “trying.” Here is what you wrote originally:

    Rates of mental illness are pretty similar across the globe.

    That’s a declarative statement — an assertion you made — that I simply asked you to substantiate. This is not rocket surgery. Asking you to back up something you assert is not me trying to make a point that you need to “divine.”

    As for the result of your “divination”:

    So far, they seem to be that people in developing countries don’t suffer from mental illness in the same way that people in first-world countries do. So, why do you believe that people in developing countries are biologically different than other humans in a way that spares them from mental illness?

    To put it bluntly: your process of “divining” things is utter and complete rubbish. None of the above can you infer from anything I have ever written anywhere at any time. The very idea that you interpret my words in this way should tell you plenty about your powers of interpretation.

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