Because We Haven’t Had A Good Second Amendment Imbrolgio Around Here Lately

I know that I’ve been even more than usually AWOL around here lately — and that’s not going to change very much for the next while, given the awesome comprehensiveness of the ass-kicking my day job is giving me these days.  It’s hard, really, because the more or less total collapse of the GOP primary field is turning some of my favorite media star-hacks into clattering, gibbering, addled parodies of what were pretty much cartoons to begin with.  What we might call a target-rich environment. (A singularly poor choice of image, as you will read in a moment.)

But there you go. Astonishingly, those who pay me daily expect me to respond daily.  The nerve!

And thus it is that I drop in just to offer up this, which isn’t funny at all.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Authorities say the daughter of a pastor was accidentally shot in the head at a church in St. Petersburg.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Grace Connection Church Sunday at about 12:24 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators say Moises Zambrana was showing his gun in a small closet to another church member – the victim’s boyfriend, according to CBS affiliate WTSP – who was interested in buying a firearm. Zambrana reportedly took out the magazine of the Reuger 9mm weapon but did not know there was a bullet in the chamber.

The gun went off and fired through a wall, striking 20-year-old Hannah Kelley. She was transported to Bayfront Medical Center to undergo surgery and remained in critical condition late Sunday.

“There is a big level of concern ’cause she may or may not survive. But we’re all praying for her and, right now, I guess that’s the best we can do,” church member Tony Diehl told WTSP.

Deputies said Zambrana has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

No charges have been filed. [CBS/AP via th]

Y’all may recall that  I’m no fan of guns — I think a gun is a damn stupid thing to have around the house, and I especially disdain the notion that a more heavily armed society is safer than one less well strapped…

….Still, I wouldn’t say that no one should have a gun.

I’ve shot at targets before and enjoyed it, and I come from a couple of generations of career gunners in the Royal Artillery, so it would be hypocritical (as well as insufficiently filial) to  suggest otherwise.

But I do think we are lax in the demand of absolute responsibility of those who choose to own guns.  I’m a strict liability kind of guy in this area.  If  you decide to own a gun, you own all of it.  It’s your job to secure it — if someone steals it and uses it to cause harm, that’s at least in part your problem. You fail as utterly Mr. Zambrana did, you should have criminal and civil liability to deal with…and so on.  A gun is a tool that is designed to apply deadly force at a distance.  Owning such a tool should carry the most rigorous obligations with it.  Anything less is disrespectful of the machine itself.

Your mileage may vary.   Have at it (and me).

Image: Antonia de Pereda y Salgado, Allegory, c. 1654

They Grow Up So Fast

Stay classy, Arizona:

A picture that shows several teens, a few of them carrying guns, displaying a bullet-riddled Obama T-shirt has led the U.S. Secret Service to investigate.

The Peoria Police Department is also doing its own investigation since the person who took the photograph is a Sergeant for the department.

There are just so many things to love about this- that a bunch of kids are running around posing with guns, that they thought it was appropriate to shoot up an Obama t-shirt, and that a cop was the person snapping the picture, and that then, in their infinite wisdom, they decided to post it on the internet.

And y’all wonder how Jan Brewer got elected.

More Fair Weather Federalism

Speaking of gun nuts:

This week, the House of Representatives took time out of its busy schedule of going home for vacation to remind us, once again, why it has the strong support of about as many people who believe Rick Perry should be the next president of the United States. It approved a bill requiring states with strict gun regulations to honor concealed weapon carry permits issued in states where the gun rules are slightly more lax than the restrictions on who can dispense ice cream cones from a truck.

“This bill is about freedom,” said Representative Chris Gibson, a Republican from upstate New York. In this Congress, it’s hard to find anything that isn’t. Cutting Social Security is about freedom. Killing funds for Planned Parenthood is about freedom. Once again, we are reminded that, as Janis Joplin used to sing, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

Here’s an example of the way the House plan would work. California has very strict limits on who can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, involving extensive background checks by local law enforcement. Utah, on the other hand, is really mellow about the whole thing. You don’t even have to live there to get a Utah permit. Just ask the 215,000 non-Utah folks who’ve gotten one. And, in Florida, “it is so easy that a staffer in one of our offices was able to complete the form in less than 30 minutes,” said Representative Alcee Hastings, a Florida Democrat.

Under this bill, California’s strict rules on gun permits are now expanded to include anybody who drives into the state waving a Florida or Utah permission slip.

The bill passed 272 to 154. It’s a law-enforcement nightmare for states that take gun regulation seriously. There’s no national database cops can check if they stop someone who’s carrying a gun with an out-of-state permit. Some state records aren’t available at all.

They hate Democracy unless the people vote the way they want. Sure, all you folks might have voted on sensible gun laws for your state, but Chris Gibson knows better.