Further Proof That NRA Fascist Gun Nuts Are Absolute Morons

Firearms Dealer Shoots Woman While Teaching Concealed Carry Safety at Pennsylvania Gun Show

A woman was hospitalized in Pennsylvania after she was shot at a gun show in Bloomsburg

 

Firearms dealer accidentally shoots woman while demonstrating concealed carry safetyGun show in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 

A local gun show in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania left one woman hospitalized after she was accidentally shot in the leg, local station WNEP is reporting.

On Saturday, Krysta Gearhart, was shot by Geoffrey Hawk, “In Case of Emergency” owner, while he was demonstrating the usage of a concealed and carry holster. According to WNEP, police said a plastic model of a gun is typically used during demonstrations.

“Often times that is what is utilized,” explained Sergeant Leonard Rogutski, of the Bloomsburg Police. “This time the vendor used a real gun.”

In this case Hawk demonstrated with a semi-automatic .380, and though no magazine was attached, there was one round in the chamber.

Eric Bower, a man attending the show, told WPNE that he heard the gun go off and the woman scream.

“Everybody paused for a second and their initial reaction was making sure there wasn’t more, and then they rushed to her aid,” Bower explained. Bower also said that vendors were pissed because the incident made them “look bad.”

There were signs outside of the gun show warning folks that loaded guns were not allowed.

NRA’s Fascist Mysoginy Kills American Women

NRA Misogyny Kills American Women

NRA Misogyny Kills American Women

The National Rifle Association is fighting proposed federal legislation that would prohibit those convicted of stalking and of domestic violence against dating partners from buying guns, according to a letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

Federal law already bars persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing firearms. S. 1290, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would add convicted stalkers to that group of offenders and would expand the current definition of those convicted of domestic violence against “intimate partners” to include those who harmed dating partners.

Aides from two different senators’ offices confirm that the NRA sent a letter to lawmakers describing Klobuchar’s legislation as “a bill to turn disputes between family members and social acquaintances into lifetime firearm prohibitions.” The nation’s largest gun lobby wrote that it “strongly opposes” the bill because the measure “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.”

The NRA’s letter imagines a “single shoving match” between two gay men as an example of how the domestic violence legislation could be misused. “Under S. 1290, for example, two men of equal size, strength, and economic status joined by a civil union or merely engaged (or formerly engaged) in an intimate ‘social relationship,’ could be subject to this prohibition for conviction of simple ‘assault’ arising from a single shoving match,” the letter says.

The NRA also argues in the letter that “stalking” is too broad of a term to indicate any danger to women. “‘Stalking’ offenses do not necessarily include violent or even threatening behavior,” the letter claims. “Under federal law, for example, stalking includes ‘a course of conduct’ that never involves any personal contact whatsoever, occurs wholly through the mail, online media, or telephone service, is undertaken with the intent to ‘harass’ and would be reasonably expected to cause (even if it doesn’t succeed in causing) ‘substantial emotional distress’ to another person.”

The letter adds that the federal stalking law on the books is “so broadly written that some constitutional scholars even claim it could reach speech protected under the First Amendment.”

The NRA did not respond to a request for comment. A source familiar with the lobbying push forwarded to HuffPost the letter emailed out by the NRA’s federal affairs office.

“As a former prosecutor, I know how domestic violence and stalking can take lives and tear apart families,” Klobuchar said in an email to HuffPost. “This is a commonsense bill that would protect victims and keep our families safe, and I will continue to work to move this legislation forward.”

Domestic abusers who have access to guns are over seven times more likely to kill their partners than those who don’t have such access. A report released by the Center for American Progress last week shows that stalkers and physically abusive dating partners can be just as deadly as a violent spouse. One study of female murder victims in 10 cities found that three-quarters of the women killed, and 85 percent of women who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner, had been stalked in the previous year. And almost half of all intimate-partner homicides are committed by a non-married, non-cohabitating dating partner who was not covered by federal gun restrictions.

Legislation to prevent all convicted domestic abusers from purchasing guns has been gaining momentum in the states, and the NRA has actually relaxed its stanceon such bills over the past year — ever since one of its top officials was convicted of domestic violence and stripped of his guns.

But the federal push for domestic violence gun bans may be sounding a few alarm bells for gun rights activists. Klobuchar, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) have all introduced legislation to expand and strengthen gun restrictions on persons who have been convicted of domestic abuse or stalking, or who have been issued an emergency temporary restraining order.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the congresswoman who survived a gunshot to the head in 2011, held an off-the-record lunch last week with House and Senate leadership, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, numerous other lawmakers and policy experts to discuss what Congress can do to protect women from gun violence at the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. Giffords’ gun violence prevention PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, recently conducted research that found that women in the gun-friendly state of Texas strongly favor a law requiring that stalkers turn in their firearms.

“Protecting women from gun violence means ensuring we have laws that keep guns out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers. By opposing this commonsense bill, [NRA chief] Wayne LaPierre and the NRA leadership has once again shown it is out of step with the vast majority of Americans and responsible gun owners,” Hayley Zachary, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, told HuffPost in an email. “Now, the question for NRA-backed candidates around the country is: do they share the NRA’s position?”

NRA Gun Nuts Are A Disturbing Piece Of All-American Deadly Garbage

9 Signs America’s Gun Obsession Is Getting Worse

It goes beyond open carry activists displaying their firearms in restaurant chains. Even the NRA seems perplexed

 

9 signs America's gun obsession is getting worse

The recent news has been filled with anything but acceptable behavior by gun nuts. A Montana man sets a trap for burglars and  executes a teenage intruder. A Virginia man strapping on a holster shoots himself in the penis. So-called open-carry  activists keep walking into Texas malls and restaurant  chains with assault rifles. And federal airport screeners say 2014 will set a record for travelers  forgetting they are carrying guns.

In response, millions of women  protested the misogynist rampage near Santa Barbara that killed six, placing violence against women in the national spotlight. In 2014, five states  passed laws limiting domestic abusers’ access to guns, and several bills allowing guns on school grounds were blocked. Longtime gun defenders know that the ghastly  statistics on gun violence against women is a powerful avenue for control advocates, yet they can’t stop their side’s fanatics from taunting the public with assault rifles.

These are some of the dots to be connected in the national landscape over gun violence, gun control efforts and pro-gun extremism. In some respects, gun nuts are losing ground in the battle for public opinion because of their provocations—such as carrying assault rifles into the  baby section of Target stores. But even as new groups like Moms Demand Action are helping to pass new controls and blocking pro-gun laws, decades of NRA electioneering has made the states, not Congress, the frontline for real reform.

What follows are nine points showing the craziness and changing factors over guns.

1. Women, Not Students, Are The Target Of Most Mass Gun Murder. There have been 74 shootings at schools across the U.S. since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012, according to  Everytown For Gun Safety—which, astoundingly, the pro-gun side claims is an inflated figure. As headline-grabbing as school shootings are, the under-reported daily target and toll from gun violence involves women. More American women have been  murdered by their intimate partners using guns since 2001 (6,410) than U.S. troops have been killed in combat (5,315) in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Center for American Progress  reports. Guns are involved in at least 34 percent of all murders of women commited by their partners, an average of five a day, CAP found from crime statistics.

2. States With The Laxest Gun Laws Have The Most Violence. America has so many guns that not a week goes by without something stupid or deadly occurring. It’s easy to smirk at the Virginia man who  shot his penis while strapping on a holster. It’s more serious as federal airport screeners  report that states with the fewest gun controls see the most people “forgetting” they’re carrying a gun as try to board planes. It gets deadly when a gun owner takes the law into his own hands and sets up an ambush in his home  killing the young intruder—as happened in Montana. Study after study  finds that states with the laxest gun laws have the most gun-related violence—including murder.

3. Absurdly, Gun Nuts Say They Are Threatened. There is no better illustration of the selfish, irresponsible and anti-democratic nature of the pro-gun side than to look at what their extremists are doing as most people are repulsed by the rash of school shootings. In Texas, the open-carry movement has seen dozens of young men and a few women march into restaurants and chain stores catering to women—like  Target—toting military-style rifles. These jerks claim they are asserting their Second Amendment rights and freedoms. Their antics have prompted people to panic, leave and call in the police. These incidents have disgusted longtime NRA defenders, such as  BearingArms.com editor Bob Owens, who  wrote, “If someone has an idea of how to break through to them that they are not only hurting their alleged cause but gun owners as well, I’d love to hear your advice.”

4. Gun Nuts Admit They Cannot Control Gun Nuts. To be fair, many readers commenting on Owens’ latest open-carry column  agree that these fanatics have crossed a line. But some of them are so out-of-touch with their sides’ extremists that they think they are secretly being paid by gun control groups to act. “They are probably being paid by [ex-New York mayor Michael] Bloomberg,”  wrote one pro-gun commenter. But it would be a mistake to think that these homegrown terrorists—as Hillary Clinton just  called them in a speech—are outliers on the pro-gun side. When a low-level NRA staffer recently wrote a memo criticizing them, top NRA brass quickly  apologized to the Texas activists. What the NRA considers acceptable is anything but.

5. Americans Aren’t Standing For This—Starting With Big Business. Chains such as Starbucks, Chipotle, Chili’s, Sonic and Jack in the Box have all drawn a line against the open carry activists, saying gun-toting customers aren’t welcome. So have Costco, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Food Lion, Whole Foods and IKEA, according to the relatively new gun-control group,  MomsDemandAction.org. It has launched a campaign, #OffTarget, to push the retailer to do likewise. “Semi-automatic assault rifles don’t belong in the baby aisle—or anywhere else in Target,” its website says. “Nearly 90 percent of Target customers are women; they need to know we expect them to get gun sense.”

6. The NRA Is Facing Opposition and Losing. After the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012, both gun-control and gun rights groups mobilized. More than 1,500 bills on both sides were  introduced in legislatures in 2013. While most went nowhere, a handful of red states, like Georgia, bought the NRA line that the answer to gun violence was more guns and looser gun laws. On the other hand, the gun control side saw some big victories, said Laura Cutilletto, senior staff attorney at the  Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence. “Several states last year closed the private sale loophole. That is the biggest priority of our movement,” she said, noting that New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Colorado now join California and Rhode Island in requiring a background check for all gun sales. Three of those states and Illinois also beat the NRA and now require gun owners to report lost and stolen weapons. And four states that previously banned military assault-style weapons have tightened those laws.

7. Women-Centered Gun Control Groups Getting Results. The post-Sandy Hook landscape has seen new groups emerge, such as  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. With Congress deadlocked on gun controls, they have been very active in state legislatures. They could not  stop Indiana’s bill allowing people to keep guns in their cars on school grounds, but they helped  block a similar bill in Rhode Island. They  stopped an Oklahoma bill that would have lowered the criminal penalty from carrying a hidden and loaded gun into a school. They also were part of a bipartisan coalition in Wisconsin that  helped to pass a bill barring domestic abusers from owning or possessing guns—one of five states to do that in 2014. And, along with  Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-founded by New York City’s Michael Bloomberg and Boston’s Tom Menino, they are tracking and speaking out on what’s happening in city halls, legislatures and courts nationwide.

8. Gun Nuts React With New Big Lie And CNN Buys It. According to Everytown, which grew out of the Mayors’ group, there have been  74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. That tally threatens the NRA, as does the number of women killed by guns during domestic violence. There’s nothing new about gun nuts feeling aggrieved and fighting back. But, as the Daily Beast’sBrandy Zadrozny writes, one pro-gun writer has been waging a Twitter campaign to debunk the Everytown count. As she noted, “In what may be the most tortuous sentence ever constructed, he wrote, ‘It’s not a school shooting when someone goes and shoots a specific person on campus. It’s a shooting that happens to take place at school.” Believe it or not, CNN has followed this illogic and reported that only 15 of these rampages should be called school shootings. Not included are guns accidentally firing in school hallways, suicides by students after threats to other students, and other deeply traumatizing incidents.

9. Gun Control Groups Are Making Progress, But The Road Is Long. Before Sandy Hook, no one would have predicted that a handful of even blue states would pass laws closing the gun sale loophole, requiring lost and stolen guns be reported, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Moreover, few would have predicted that women-centered gun control groups would emerge and forcefully challenge and in some instances break the NRA’s spell over state legislators. Nor would many people have predicted that millions of women would join an online campaign against misogyny and gun-related domestic violence.

But despite all that progress, the biggest hurdle is one that’s been out front all along—breaking the congressional deadlock on gun control. According to Larry Sabato’s  Crystal Ball, there are nine U.S. House races in 2014 that are “toss-ups,” or too close to call. Six of those are in states with C or worse  ratings by the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. And most are not in states with recent school shootings. That suggests guns aren’t going to be a top issue in those 2014 campaigns, underscoring how hard it is to convince Congress to get real about the epidemic of gun violence in America.

The Scary Reason Some Men Like Guns Better Than Women

The Bigger The Gun, The Smaller The Dick's Dick

The Bigger The Gun, The Smaller The Dick’s Dick

 

The first time I lived alone, my third year of college, I rented a tiny apartment from the type of university-town pseudo-slumlord you’re familiar with if you went to a big state school in a smallish city. His name was Rob, and I wasn’t scared of him — or of living on my own — until I sat down in his office to go over the lease and saw a sign hanging above his desk. It said, “10 reasons why a handgun is better than a woman.”

(8) If you admire a friend’s handgun, and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times. (6) Your handgun will stay with you even if you are out of ammo. (4) Handguns function normally every day of the month.

I have been lucky enough not to know too many violent men in my life. And even though I grew up in a part of the country where hunting and gun shows are common, and gun laws are relatively lax, I didn’t know many gun enthusiasts, either. The landlord’s list rattled me. I thought of that scene in Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, where the drill sergeant barks, “You will give your rifle a girl’s name, because this is the only pussy you people are going to get.”

When I read that list over my landlord’s shoulder, it was years before George Sodini mass-murdered women in a fitness center in 2009. Before Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree to teach women a lesson. Before social media helped us catalogue dozens of disparate murdersevery month in which women were killed by men they knew and, at one point in time, loved. The headlines have come to reflect the message of the list in a way that is chillingly consistent: These men control guns. These men wish they controlled women. These men use guns to control women. What was once perceived as the stuff of women’s-studies classes has become routine news analysis.

Rather than back away from the theme, the gun lobby is leaning into it. A recent episode of “Noir,” a National Rifle Association–sponsored web series by a popular YouTube vlogger and gun enthusiast named Colion Noir, features a sexy shot of a woman in Jimmy Choos, alone on a dark street. “Unaffected elegance. Too cool elegance. Not for you elegance, you say. There’s got to be something wrong with her; that attitude, high maintenance, hiding something.” The voice-over continues, “She’s not easy, and she’s not flawless. But she’s never wasted her time thinking about it.” It’s the sort of feminine ideal put forth in a million lad-mag profiles.

“She is the HK MR556.”

Oh, wait. She’s a gun. “The HK MR556 is that gun that if — it’s like that girl who’s unbelievably attractive, she has this presence about her that seems untouchable, and she’s not apologetic about her beauty,” Noir goes on to say. A good gun is like a good woman. Seemingly unattainable, but actually available for purchase. Difficult, but something you can master and control. The woman in the Jimmy Choos might decide to leave you, sue you for alimony, take up with another man. But the gun, which has all of the woman’s best attributes, will always be there and never ask you for anything. The NRA video aired less than a month after the Isla Vista killings, which were committed by a guy who failed to own the best women, so he bought the best guns instead.

Conflating women and guns is nothing new. Anyone who’s been to a gun show will tell you they’re rife with bumper stickers commenting on the relative utility of women versus firearms (like: “My wife YES, My dog MAYBE, My gun NEVER!”) and jokes about bloodsucking ex-wives. In her book Gun Show Nation, Joan Burbick tells a storyabout being barred from a firearms show because she was carrying a camera. When she asked why no photography was allowed, the organizer gave her a one-word answer: alimony. The gun enthusiasts didn’t want their photos showing up anywhere their ex-wives might see them.

“Wives were threats. Girlfriends were threats. Women who talked too much were threats,” Burdick continues. “And women who held public office and wouldn’t shut up were the scourge of the land. I have also picked up bumper stickers at gun shows that said: I JUST GOT A GUN FOR MY WIFE. IT’S THE BEST TRADE I EVER MADE.” You can own a gun. Physically and legally take possession of it. There’s no fear of rejection. It can’t divorce you. It can’t ask for alimony payments. You pull the trigger, it responds.

Paradoxically, the NRA also actively courts female members. “Come explore, connect, celebrate and unite with the women of NRA,”beckons the NRA Women’s channel, alongside clips with names like “Armed and Fabulous” and “Love at First Shot.” (They’re “stories of empowered women like you,” per the site.) Companies offering products like pink rifles and bra holsters promise to help women “look feminine, look good, and still feel safe.”

In light of all the messages comparing women to guns, it’s strangely easy to see the you-go-girl appeal of these pseudo-feminist campaigns: If you’re in control of a firearm, it’s harder for men to conflate you with it. But they can still use it against you. Whenwomen are on the receiving end of so much intimate gun violence, it’s difficult to argue that widespread, easy access can only empower them. For years the NRA defended laws that kept guns in the hands of known domestic abusers. Which makes it all the more chilling to recall the No. 1 reason on my college landlord’s list of reasons why guns are better than women: “You can buy a silencer for a handgun.” The sickening truth is you can buy a silencer for a woman. It’s a called a handgun.

Why Does The NRA Keep Comparing Women To Guns?

 

Noir – a weekly program aired by the National Rifle Association as part of its efforts to reach a younger audience — has run two segments that fetishize an assault weapon as an attractive woman.

Over the past year the NRA has launched a number of initiatives to engage with women, minorities, andyounger Americans. Noir, a Sunday web series hosted by popular gun blogger turned NRA News commentator Colion Noir, is packaged for a Millennial audience, although the show has been widely mockedby critics as a phony and out-of-touch attempt at messaging.

A segment during the June 15 edition of Noir opened with a black-and-white scene of a stylishly-dressed woman standing in an alley. Doing voice-over work, Noir appeared to describe the woman, ranging from her clothing (“Her Jimmy Choo’s can’t be comfortable, but you’d never know it”), to her intellect (“Chess, yeah it’s a men’s game, but when she plays, men pay”), to her actions (“Flirts more than you can handle too. She’s the kind to tell the bartender how to make her drink”).

In the final shot, the woman is seen holding a Heckler & Koch MR556 assault weapon and Noir reveals he was talking about the firearm the whole time:

http://mediamatters.org/embed/static/clips/2014/06/16/35705/nrafreestyle-noir-20140615-hknoir

NOIR: Why is she alone on this dark street? On this cold night? You care, but she doesn’t. Her Jimmy Choo’s can’t be comfortable, but you’d never know it. Unaffected elegance. Too cool elegance. Not for you elegance, you say. There’s got to be something wrong with her; that attitude, high maintenance, hiding something. She’s taller than you can handle. Flirts more than you can handle too. She’s the kind to tell the bartender how to make her drink. And Chess, yeah it’s a men’s game, but when she plays, men pay. Say you don’t like her, until she looks your way. She’s not easy and she’s not flawless. But she’s never wasted her time thinking about it. She is the HK MR556.

As Noir explained in the following segment, “It’s like the words really do mean what I’m saying in the video. The HK MR556 is that gun that if — it’s like that girl who’s unbelievably attractive, she has this presence about her that seems untouchable and she’s not apologetic about her beauty. But because of that it’s easy to — and she’s largely out of a lot of people’s leagues.” One of his guests took the comparison further, responding to Noir’s description of the “heavy” and “expensive as hell” gun by saying, “sounds like some of my recent experiences in Vegas like this past weekend … you still want to have fun with them and they’re a little dangerous.” Noir’s co-host Amy Robbins laughed, saying “Oh my god.”

Earlier this season Noir used a similar format of objectifying women by reducing them to descriptions of assault weapons in an advertisement for manufacturer Daniel Defense. Gun manufacturer Mossberg and Daniel Defense are the two primary sponsors of NRA Freestyle, which airs Noir and other NRA web series and is the home of the NRA’s lifestyle blog NRA Sharp.

The Daniel Defense advertisement, which aired during Noir earlier this season, also features a voice-over of Noir as he seems to describe a woman. At the end of the ad, however, it is revealed that Noir was instead describing the M4-A1 assault weapon:

This ad was panned by Wonkette, which pointed out it aired days after a California man went on a killing spree reportedly motivated by the killer’s hatred of women:

Hey, hip cool millennial hipsters! Noir, the NRA’s hip cool new web series for the Youngs, is going all Lifestyles of the Sleek and Carefully Waxed in this exciting ad touting the merits of a Perfect Companion:

She knows that she’s made it… comfortable alone, steady among others… she leaves you sad for all of the moments you missed, but grateful for the thrills ahead … because hidden underneath, is an adventure. She is: the Daniel Defense M4-A1

Hahaha, you think he is talking about a LADY, but he is actually talking about a GUN! Seems pretty classy, just a few days after a guy used a gun to get revenge on women who he treated as objects.

Because The Purpose of Semi-Automatic Weapons Is To Kill People, They Deserve To Be Banned

 

Because The Purpose of Semi-Automatic Weapons Is To Kill People, They Deserve To Be Banned

The Purpose of Semi-Automatic Weapons Is To Kill People

The Purpose of Semi-Automatic Weapons Is To Kill People

The Dangers of Guns: Guns Kill American Children Everyday

In our town, guns never appeared to be an issue — until my daughter’s fourth-grade classmate was shot.

 

Guns Kill American Children Everyday

Guns Kill American Children Everyday

Last year, when my daughter Nina was in third grade, she invited her friend Sophie* over to play. This was Sophie’s first visit to our house. Her mother, Eliza*, stood in our foyer while we discussed a pick-up time. Then, as an impatient Nina started tugging Sophie up the stairs, Eliza asked me, “Do you keep guns in your house?”

I stared at her, taken aback. My husband and I have had no contact with guns of any kind; we don’t know people who hunt or otherwise enjoy firearms. Most of our friends have little affection for the Second Amendment.

So when Eliza asked me whether we kept guns, it seemed ludicrous. We’d sooner keep a boa constrictor! I could see she was serious, though, so I assured her that ours was a gun-free establishment. As she walked back to her car, I thought, “I’m glad I’m not that overprotective.”

In the four years we’ve lived in Belmont, MA., guns never appeared to be an issue. Our town is known for its excellent schools, cozy small-town setting with easy access to Boston, and well-heeled residents including our governor, Mitt Romney. Our police officers spend most of their time handing out speeding tickets and tracking down “missing persons” who wander off the picturesque grounds of McLean Hospital, an expensive mental health facility. We occasionally read about shootings in the Boston Globe, but those incidents seem far away.

Consequently, I forgot all about Eliza’s startling question until a few months ago when I went to pick Nina up after school. She came running to me, her cheeks flushed. “Mom,” she gasped. I expected some heartwarming news: Had the class bunny rabbit had babies? Had she snagged the part of Wendy in the school production of Peter Pan? “Henry got shot!” she blurted. “He’s in the hospital, but he’s going to be okay.” Henry was a new boy who’d just joined Nina’s fourth-grade class. I didn’t know anything about him, but the fact that her 9-year-old classmate had been shot in Belmont was incredible news.

That night, there happened to be a PTA meeting scheduled. After routine matters like the fourth-grade graduation ceremony were discussed, the meeting was adjourned. But many parents, including me, stuck around hoping to learn more about what had happened to Henry. A few parents knew the families involved.

“So I heard this boy was shot,” someone said. “What happened, exactly?” It turned out that Henry had been visiting his cousin, a Belmont sixth-grader, when the older boy decided to show his young cousin the unlicensed handgun his father kept in his closet, inside an unlocked briefcase. He didn’t know it was loaded; the gun accidentally fired, ramming a bullet through Henry’s arm in two places.

One woman pointed out that Henry’s uncle had once owned a restaurant. “Maybe,” she wondered aloud, “he got the gun to protect himself from robbers.” The other parents and I looked at each other, shaking our heads. Even if he had a good reason for owning a weapon, which seemed questionable at best, the fact remained that keeping a loaded, unlocked gun in a house where one’s own children and their friends might gain access to it was grossly and inexcusably negligent.

I turned to Eliza, who was standing nearby, and confessed that while I’d thought it bizarre when she’d asked me the gun question, I now understood why she did: Our children could have been in that house. Eliza confided that having grown up in Minnesota, where hunting is popular and guns are commonplace, she’d known several children who’d been killed or maimed in gun accidents. “My dad and brother are hunters,” she said. “But they always keep their guns unloaded and locked up, with the ammunition locked away elsewhere. Unfortunately, not everyone is that careful.”

She knows what she’s talking about. Last week in our town, gun violence erupted again, with far worse consequences. A father of three, ages 20, 18, and 13, was furious with his wife because she’d told him she wanted to divorce him and move to Florida with their youngest child. While the couple argued in their bedroom, the man locked their door and got out his semiautomatic pistol. He shot and killed his wife before blowing himself away. Their two younger children were home at the time; they broke down the bedroom door to get to their parents and found a bloody scene.

Despite these recent bursts of gun violence, Belmont is still considered a very safe town; the crimes that occur here are well below the national average. Apparently, it’s only when you — or your children — go inside the houses that you need to worry: You never know who has a loaded gun. This is true, I’ve learned, no matter where you live.

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