From the miamiherald.com: “Tampa Teen Shot by Gun She Found in Bedroom” That’s a lot to process. A poor, unsuspecting teen found a gun in her bedroom. God only knows how it got there. Most likely, it crawled in when she wasn’t looking. For some reason, the gun was upset with the girl and decided to shoot her. Wait. No, maybe she found the gun somewhere else, and brought in into her room. There, she argued with it and, in its insensate rage, the gun decided to plug her. Everyone knows the little bastards can be awfully moody. Hold on, that’s not not what happened either. Actually, there seems to have been someone else involved. . .

Deputies say a 15-year-old girl is in critical condition after a handgun she found in her home went off while her mother’s boyfriend tried to take it away from her.

Ahh. From the title of the piece, a reader could be forgiven for thinking that the evil gun went on a rampage on its own, shooting the poor girl in her own bedroom. But it turns out someone else was involved. Which almost never happens really. As almost everyone knows, the guns usually just go off on their own. They’re awfully unpredictable that way. It’s good that this one was apprehended before it could do even more damage.

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31 Responses to Headline of the Day: Miami Herald Edition

  1. “Man Killed by Chevy Camaro found in driveway”

    “In further details, a 16 year old high on marijuana drove his 1999 Z28 SS into a highway divider at 120 MPH, killing him on impact.The 16 year old found the vehicle in his driveway, which he started and drove away in after a heated argument with another about getting ‘the munchies’.”

    • Boyfriend was probably having a fight with mom, daughter got involved and was “accidentally” shot by moms boyfriend.

  2. I know where these guys are coming from. Just the other day I was slicing an apple and my knife attacked me out of nowhere, cutting my finger. I gave it a stern talking to and made it sit in the corner for a few hours. Hopefully, it’s learned its lesson and won’t follow the bad examples of guns anymore.

  3. Maybe anything could have happened. Maybe the girl is retarded or is not retarded and has talked suicide recently, and the boyfriend really was physically trying to take it away from her. Maybe the boyfriend never touched her, and the girl just backed and turned away from him (when he asked her for the gun) with the girl accidentally pulling the trigger. Everything is conjecture.

    • Of course it’s conjecture. Everything printed in the Heraldo is conjecture. That’s why the newspaper can be found underneath macaw tushies throughout the Sunshine State.

      When it comes to truly awful reporting, the Herald is on a par with the Richmond News Leader and the Providence Journal.

  4. Having lived in the Tampa Bay area for several years I prmise you it’s par for the course in the southern half of the state. It’s the heat, I think.

  5. I LOVE this headline. It is a classic example of the power of words, and of the ways in which biases creep into our language. This is not a small thing – this is almost like programming. This is why when I brought out an unloaded .38, barrel pointed away, cylinder open, to show my brother-in-law, he recoiled as if I had a cobra by the tail.

    • he recoiled as if I had a cobra by the tail.

      By any chance, was it a Colt Cobra second model with a 2″ barrel? Or am I being too literal?

      • I wish it had been a Colt Cobra, would love to have one. No such luck – it was a late model (but no lock) S&W 442 (which is a great little gun, btw). But, seriously, he would not even touch the thing. I’m being literal here, I think I could have chased him around the room with it. And I stay with my original point – it’s this sort of language (“Teen Shot By Gun”) that leads non-gun-owning people to think that these almost relentlessly reliable machines are actually so untrustworthy that they cannot even be touched.

  6. I know exactly what happened.

    The gun was in the bedroom having some “alone time” when the girl walked in without knocking first. Surprised, the gun accidentally “went off” discharged his payload into the girl.

  7. Deputies say the girl’s mother and two other children – a 10-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl – were in another room when the gun fired.

    Notice the way these stories are always written. It’s the gun’s fault. Therefore, it only makes sense to banish these misbehaving machines.

    • You’re joking around, I know, but you’re really hit on something important. As Phil H experienced (see his comment above), in a lot of places the average person would react to the presence of a gun as though it really might just “go off” all of a sudden.

      Why would they think this?

      Well, first, they weren’t raised around guns, and, second, every single time they read/hear news items about shootings, the gun is always described as “going off” or “firing” or “discharging a bullet into her chest.” Combined with the fact that so many of these stories involve such complete and utter knuckleheads, it’s pretty easy to subconsciously form the impression that anyone who has a gun is also one of those, and then, further, that any second now that thing is going to “go off.”

      I don’t know what is to be done, exactly: news organizations aren’t going to start using active sentence constructions that detail or even imply that a human caused the gun to go off, for the same reason they tack “allegedly” onto any mention of who committed a crime. The risk of being sued for libel is too high, the costs of defending against that suit are non-zero, and the benefits of saying “he pulled the trigger and fired a bullet into her abdomen” are, for the newspaper, exactly zero….

      • +1

        The problem is that many Americans have never even SEEN a gun, and so they form their impressions of guns from the barrage of semi-stupid information about them that they are exposed to every day.

        It really is not their fault. If you are not brought up with guns, you have no reliable, first-hand information about them. They remain “the other” – these dangerous things that will hurt or kill you or your loved ones, and are best avoided completely. That’s why I really liked the TTAG story recently about the young guy that one of the writers here took to the range, so he could shoot a gun for the first time in his life. That’s the ticket – that’s the way out of this situation.

  8. The Miami Herald, like most newspapers, isn’t even good for lining the cat’s litter box … the cat has more sense than anyone at The Herald

  9. People, we are looking at this story the wrong way . Its actually a good thing,this liberal approach to blaming objects!It makes life much easier.

    Why so? Well for one I will never be late for work again. The clock was obviously moving too fast.

    Was I speeding? Officer, I am simply a passenger behind the wheel of this Ferrari 458.The car decided to travel at 155 MPH when I passed you. Its tragic , isn’t it? Someone should pass a law restricting horsepower on cars sir.

    Pay my mortgage? My job didn’t send me enough money .Clearly this is a problem the bank should take up with payroll.

    Honey, put down the frying pan and listen.I didn’t choose to sleep with your sister, it was the condom that did it…….

    • My favorite case of an inanimate object up to no good. From a TV sitcom.

      Mallory to her Dad: “You know that big tree at the end of the driveway?”
      Dad: ” Yes.”
      Mallory: “Well it just hit our car!”

  10. I just want to say as a resident of Miami, the Miami Herald is not regarded as a legitimate news source. There is a reason the Miami Herald building was foreclosed on and short-saled to the Jenting group.

    • As a former snowbird with a condo on Key Biscayne, I have to agree. Even back in the day, there were only two good things about the Herald — Dave Barry, and the very absorbent paper that was great for cleaning windows.

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