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Responsible Gun Owners Improve Safety Record, Only Maim Selves
Time for another roundup of just a few exciting stories of Responsible Gun Owners keeping themselves safe from crime and from the threat of tyrannical government overreach! We'll ease into our Gun Fun with a story that's happily non-lethal -- so far, at least.
Florida Man Has Convenient Home Gun Range, Terrified Neighbors
Responsible Gun Owner Joseph Carannate, 21, can't figure out why his neighbors in St. Petersburg, Florida, are so nervous about the homemade gun range in his yard, which is built to the highest possible standards using wooden pallets and sand:
"I don't want to hurt myself or any neighbors. I don't want to hurt anybody. I just want to use this as my enjoyment,” Carannate told News Channel 8. “I don't want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door.”
And yes, this is a completely different guy from the other Florida guy with a gun range in his yard who was profiled on the Colbert Report. Florida apparently has home gun ranges like Colorado has brew pubs.
Carannate says he has all the proper permits for his gun, he only plans to fire his 9mm semiautomatic handgun at the rickety target every other weekend, and will even tell neighbors before he starts shooting. Neighbors, several of whom have children, don't seem especially reassured for some reason. This being Florida, of course, where the state Legislature is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA, the home gun range is perfectly legal. An editorial in the Sun Sentinel notes that Florida law places virtually no restrictions on backyard gun ranges -- they're open to all types of weapons, can be used at any time, and have no limits on how they must be constructed or how far away they have to be from neighbors' property or from schools or playgrounds. Freedom! And thanks to NRA pressure on the state legislature, it's actually illegal for local governments to impose any restrictions on home gun ranges. The only limit is that the person with the gun range can't be "negligent or reckless" in their use of live fire in residential neighborhoods. Yes, we know, some people might say that "firing live ammo in a residential neighborhood" is inherently both negligent and reckless, but this is Florida.
Some cities have called on the legislature to change the law to allow local control over backyard gun ranges, but that's not likely to change, because if you can't fire live ammo just a few yards from your neighbor's window, how will you be ready to defend a tyrannical government when it comes to shut down your backyard gun range?
Three-Year-Old Marksman Injures Mom, Dad With Single Shot
In a motel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a 3-year-old boy reached into his Responsible Gun-Owning mom's purse on Saturday, found a loaded handgun, and fired a single shot that managed to hit both his mother and father:
Justin Reynolds told KEB that he and his pregnant girlfriend, Monique Villescas, were about to order a pizza to their hotel room when the gun went off.
"It was like if I was to get up shake your hand and sat back down. That's how fast it happened," Reynolds recalled. "All of a sudden we heard a gun go off and the next minute I realized my girlfriend was bleeding. Then I sat down and realized I was shot too."
An initial investigation determined that the boy removed the handgun from his mother's purse, and was able to fire a single round. The bullet traveled through Reynolds' buttocks, and then struck Villescas in the right shoulder.
That's one magic bullet! Reynolds said that he rushed to help Ms. Villescas and to calm his son, "because I didn't know if he had shot himself or not. He was shocked and crying. It was traumatizing."
Both parents are expected to be fine, although doctors are "keeping Villescas under hospital care until she goes into labor" (and presumably after, let's hope?). The Albuquerque Police Department believes the shooting was an accident and emphasized the importance of keeping guns locked up and secure, not realizing that you may need a gun at any moment to protect yourself from some maniac with a gun in her purse.
Good Guy With Gun Shoots Bad Kid With Snowball
On January 24, Responsible Gun Owner Jerquan Dickson, 22, defended his automobile's paint job from a group of snowball-wielding thugs in York, Pennsylvania:
A witness told police that he had seen a group of juveniles running in the neighborhood, and at least one of them was carrying a snowball. The witness recalled hearing around six gunshots. Then, he allegedly saw 22-year-old Jerquan Dickson come out of a nearby alley, and speed off in a maroon sedan.
Dickson initially told police that several kids had thrown snowballs at his car; he said that he had followed the young miscreants and fired one shot into the air, and several more into the snow. It would appear that a 15-year-old boy was blocking Dickson's access to his snowy target, as the boy was admitted to York Hospital with multiple non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. You know how it is -- you want to shoot some snow, and a kid gets in the way. Dickson was charged with two felony counts of Aggravated Assault and Reckless Endangerment; we would urge Jerquan Dickson to move to Florida where he can shoot at things without the law getting in his way. We might also suggest a name change, as both his first and last names seem to have influenced his personality.