Alternate title: Teen Killed While Acting Like Jackass With Gun. I’m sorry, was that too clear and explanatory a title for you? Because that’s what happened to a 16 year-old from Harmony, Indiana yesterday. Sure, it might sound harsh when a kid ends up dead. Something that’s always a tragedy. No one wants to speak ill of the dead. Especially when you can couch what happened in terms that make him sound more like an unfortunate casualty than a dumb kid screwing around. And if you can also lead readers to conclude the real problem was the gun, well that’s just a bonus…
It seems to have been too clear and explanatory for the AP. They chose to title their brief report, W. Indiana Teen Fatally Shot While Handling Gun. That poor unsuspecting kid…sounds like all he did was pick up a gun and boom, he’s dead. How awful. Damned guns.
Not really, though. The unnamed kid was screwing around with a gun, showing off for his siblings and his girlfriend. ‘Don’t worry! It’s not loaded.’
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton says the teen’s two siblings and girlfriend were with him at the home in the town of Harmony when the shooting happened Sunday afternoon. Heaton tells the Tribune-Star of Terre Haute (http://bit.ly/qOaBzU ) that the teen was pulling the gun’s slide back and forth when it went off while being pointed at his head.
Follow that link to the original story in the Terre Haute Tribune Star and things are marginally more honest, not to mention slightly clearer. Clay County Teen Dies From Accidental Shooting.
According to (Coroner) Heaton, the youth was “pulling the slide back and forth.”
At some point, “for whatever reason,” he put the handgun to his head and it went off, Heaton said.
In both accounts, the only assumption the reader can come to is that one of these precocious Hogwarts wizards probably zigged his wand when he should have zagged at just the wrong time, causing the gun to magically “go off”.
The fact that the kid pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger under the mistaken assumption that it was unloaded never quite made it into the copy. Somehow. No, it’s easier to paint the kid as a hapless victim of yet another evil NRA-promoted gun. Chalk up another “gun violence” death for the gun-grabber community.
Kid doesn’t sound like (as much of) a moron. Guns are painted as evil. Everyone wins.