While tracking the latest madcap misadventures of our Second Amendment “well-regulated militia,” I’ve tried in vain to determine which is the most pathetic. So I’m leaving that task to you. What follows are true-life episodes in that uniquely American show, Have Gun, Will Fumble:
The Bra Lady
On New Year’s Day, a Michigan woman was fiddling with her holster when her .22-caliber gun put a bullet in her eye. Bye bye.
After her death, a public safety official explained what went wrong: “She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to. She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon.”
Hey, come on. She died for Freedom.
Last Thursday, in the state of Washington, a 29-year-old guy brought his gun to the cinema because — as he later told police — he wanted to protect himself just in case someone else tried to shoot the place up.
So he was sitting there with his gun, watching the new Benghazi movie, and clearly intoxicated (according to witnesses), when all of a sudden — D’oh! — he dropped the gun, it hit the floor, it fired … and presto, the 40-year-old woman sitting in front of the citizen militiaman never got to finish the movie. She wound up in the hospital, in serious condition, thanks to a bullet that pierced the back of her seat and wedged in her torso.
NRA moral of the story: Only a sober guy with a gun can stop a drunk guy with a gun can stop a terrorist with a gun.
Not long ago — in Florida, natch — a citizen militiaman was walking through a crowded Cracker Barrel restaurant, during the Sunday breakfast rush, when … oh, dear … his gun somehow fell out of his holster, hit the floor, discharged a bullet, the bullet hit a kettle, and shrapnel flew.
Three people were hit. One customer didn’t get to finish his breakfast. He was peaceably chomping away when, all of a sudden, a mysterious fragment embedded itself in his shin. Goodbye, breakfast; hello, hospital. He didn’t even get to buy candy buttons or a country-western CD.
The screwup with the holster said he was sorry, and naturally that was good enough. As a legal analyst on Florida TV explained, “This shooting doesn’t appear to be intentional and the conduct doesn’t appear to be so reckless that it would support the charge of criminal negligence.”
Hey, this is America. There’s always a doofus exemption.
But wait, there’s more …
I could also regale you with other true tales — like the Ohio guy in the john who was pulling up his pants in a Chick-fil-A bathroom when (oops!) his Glock went off and grazed his leg (no problem, Ohio is an open-carry state) — but this one is a classic. Call it The Gun Shop Shootout. It’s like a scene from Fargo:
Last week, according to police in Louisiana, two militia members — a father and son — went to their local shop to pick up a gun that had gone in for repairs. But they weren’t satisifed with the repairs. They quarreled with the gun shop owner and the owner’s son. They didn’t want to pay the $25 service charge. As a cop later explained, “There might have been some pushing and shoving.”
Pushing and shoving?! That’s for wimps. What you need, to truly settle a gun repair dispute, is a functioning gun. And so it was that the father and son customers shot to death the father and son proprietors.
No charges have been filed, because it appears that everybody was shooting at everybody, and it’s not clear who fired first.
Two deaths over a dispute of 25 bucks. A doofus sprays shrapnel in a Cracker Barrel. A woman with a bra holster blows out her eye. A drunk puts a bullet into a movie-goer. All told, the Second Amendment’s authors might well be wondering what they’ve wrought.
Meanwhile, this news story is so delicious that it tingles the taste buds:
In Texas not long ago, right-wing lieutenant governor Dan Patrick demanded a grand jury investigation of Planned Parenthood. Besotted by the anti-abortion activists’ sting videos, he assailed “what appears to be [PP’s] profiteering from selling body parts from aborted babies.”
Well, the grand jury released its findings yesterday:
Planned Parenthood was cleared, just like it has been cleared in all the probes conducted elsewhere.
This is the fun part. Two anti-abortion activists were indicted.
They made those sting videos at Planned Parenthood after falsely representing themselves with fake government IDs. And according to the Texas grand jury, “tampering with a governmental record” is a felony.
Planned Parenthood’s foes were rooting for the opposite outcome, but, alas, District Attorney Devon Anderson — a Republican appointed by Rick Perry — said yesterday that the DA’s office, the Houston police, and the Texas Rangers had a duty to follow the facts: “We must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision.”
Will the right-wing liars apologize? Nah, never. As the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey sputtered last week, “Your facts or mine? Mine are the true facts!”