Blog: Irony of five shot on 'Gun Appreciation Day'

9:38 PM, Jan 20, 2013   |    comments
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Saturday was "Gun Appreciation Day." It was also the day that five people were accidentally shot at three separate gun shows.

The shows -- in Indiana, North Carolina and Medina, Ohio -- were all packed with buyers who, likely fearing tougher gun controls on the horizon, put down money to buy many of the guns that may be unavailable sooner rather than later.

Reports from the Medina show have buyers spending hundreds of dollars on guns whose prices have, in some cases, doubled or tripled, as well as rounds and rounds of ammunition that may soon be restricted.

Restricted? The ammunition will be available but, just like some cold medicines that contain the main ingredient that is used to illegally manufacture meth, the amount you can buy in a 30-day period may be greatly reduced.

First, know that 'Gun Appreciation Day' was an effort of dozens of organizations who have been vocal opponents of gun control advocates' efforts to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on our streets and prevent them from ending up in the hands of people with criminal backgrounds or a history of mental illness.

I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. But I am also a realist and realize that so many guns are already in the hands of criminals.

There is also the argument that guns should be kept aware from the mentally ill but they always seem to be able to get their hands on guns one way or the other, like from a family who bought the gun for hunting or self-protection.

I don't know what the answer is but, just like politics and religion, this is a hot-button issue in any of the discussions. 

And to be perfectly clear about the accidental shootings:

In Medina, police say a man was shot while at a local gun show around 3:30 p.m. According to police, a man who came to the event sold his gun to one of the exhibitors.

After the sale, the exhibitor opened the box containing the gun in order to look at it and "make it safe." That's went the gun went off. The bullet struck the exhibitor's partner who was sitting next to him. The victim was shot in the arm and thigh by the single round. He was taken by LifeFlight to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment. The injuries are not life-threatening.

This is the first shooting incident in the gun show's 35-year history. Bad timing for gun advocates, though.

In Indianapolis, a man walking out of the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show shot himself in the hand as he was loading his .45-caliber semi-automatic firearm, Indiana State Police said in a statement.

The 54-year-old Indianapolis man was sent to Wishard Hospital for treatment after being "slightly" injured. "The investigation determined the shooting to be accidental, and no charges will be filed," police said.

In North Carolina, officials say three people were wounded when gunfire erupted at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the state fairgrounds, a quarterly event that usually draws thousands of people.

State agriculture department spokesman Brian Long says a 12-gauge shotgun discharged while its owner unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check it at a security entrance. Two bystanders were hit by shotgun pellets and taken to a hospital. A retired deputy sheriff suffered a slight hand injury.

Long says the shotgun's owner, Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, brought the weapon to the show to find a private buyer. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says it's too early to know whether Wilson might be charged.The show shut down early Saturday but reopened Sunday.

This is one issue that will rage for quite some time.


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