Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Albert Eid

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We’ve chronicled the irresponsible use of firearms here enough to know when someone rises above and beyond the merely careless. Looking back over the huddled masses of IGOTD laureates, most of them are people who, while certainly irresponsible, suffered a momentary lapse of judgement and did something they probably wouldn’t have done if given half a chance to think it over first. OK, maybe not Jan Morgan, but most of them. Then there are the few who transcend mundane, everyday irresponsibility. Those who did exactly what they planned to do, but – as can happen when you combine bright shining stupidity and a gun – had things go south. Fast. Albert Eid is one of those few . . .

Albert (not pictured above) is a member of the Southside Masonic Lodge in Suffolk County, New York. Something evidently akin to Fred and Barney’s Water Buffaloes. And he had the solemn duty of participating in an initiation ceremony for William James earlier this week.

The great minds at Southside dreamed up a nice little hazing ritual designed to “create a state of anxiety” in the the new member. Because having to wear one of those sporty little hats in public isn’t already upsetting enough. So the membership’s brain trust set up some cans on a little platform over James’ head. According to, that’s when Eid pulled out his heater.

The alleged shooter, Albert Eid, was standing approximately 20 feet away holding a gun, (Detective Lt. Jack) Fitzpatrick said at a news conference. When the gun was fired, a man who had been holding a stick out of sight was supposed to knock the cans off the platform to make the inductee think they had been struck by bullets, he said.

Eid had two guns — one with blanks and one with real bullets — and apparently pulled the wrong one out of his pocket and fired, shooting James in the face, the lieutenant said.

James is dead because an old man got confused between the gun with real bullets and the one with the blanks. And because this little Algonquin Roundtable thought it would be cool to see if they could get the new guy to mess his shorts. Never mind the fact that Albert couldn’t manage keep the gun aimed above James’ head and at the cans from 20 feet away. Now Eid’s facing a manslaughter charge and a 47-year-old guy who just wanted to have a place to get away from the wife and kids and drink a few beers every week is dead.

Groucho once said he wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. It’s too bad William James wasn’t a Marx Brothers fan.