"Members of the Tampa Bay Gun Runners along with Davien Martinez, a five-year-old Bradenton boy wounded during a drive-by shooting last year. Members of the gun club raised more than $14,000 to purchase a service dog for the young boy." (caption and phot courtesy heraldtribune.com)

“A stray bullet hit [five-year-old] Davien Martinez during a drive by shooting last year in Manatee County,” myfoxtampabay.com reports. “‘This little piece is a piece of skull that is still logged in his brain,” [Diana] Lopez pointed out. The bullet entered his head and lodged in his jaw. It tore through Davien’s optic nerve and left him blind in his right eye. The scars of his injuries are still visible physically and emotionally. ‘Right now he gets impulses and he doesn’t have that safety filter,’ she said. Lopez said he suffers from PTSD, anxiety and mood issues.” The drive-by victim’s caregivers recommended a service dog. The family didn’t have the required $14k. Enter the ironically named (unless you work for the ATF) Tampa Bay Gun Runners club . . .

It is a phone call Diana Lopez prayed would come.

“I was a little shocked at first,” she said.

Who the call came from was a bigger surprise.

“It kind of clicked that maybe these are good people that have guns. Not all gun owners are bad,” she said.

On the other end of the call was the Tampa Bay Gun Runners club.

They call themselves a gun club with a family friendly atmosphere.

They offered their assistance in helping the family purchase a service dog for her son, Davien Martinez.

“I never knew people could be so kind to strangers somebody they don’t even know,” she said.

A firearms-oriented group that’s kind to strangers. Who’d a thunk it? I can’t wait to see the MSNBC report on this act of generosity — because I’d die waiting.

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34 Responses to FL Gun Group Gives Service Dog to Drive-By Victim

  1. Good on them. I can get behind this kind of activism. We should take their lead and have gun club food drives, community clean-ups, etc. Don’t even talk about gun rights, just do good deeds while wearing gun club/manufacturer gear. Those who are curious will ask (and there will be more than a few), and even those who don’t like guns won’t be able to say anything other than “yeah, they were really nice guys/gals, guess they aren’t so bad after all”, which ends up being a win for us.

    • You make an excellent point. I don’t recall ever seeing Bloomberg’s Mothers doing anything remotely like that.

  2. “I can’t wait to see the MSNBC report on this act of generosity…”

    I LOL’d. 😀

    Thumbs up for the Tampa Bay Gun Runners club. We need more of this.

    • Arthur Brooks in his book Who Really Cares? went in search of data about charitable giving and found, to his surprise, that conservatives and groups like “gun owners” as a group tend to be far more personally generous than liberals. Among other things, he noted that if liberals donated blood at the same rate conservatives do, the nation’s blood supply would jump by 45 percent.

      Economist Bryan Caplan’s observation that while voluntary charity is costly to the giver, voting for charity is virtually free. Would like guess what liberals and left leaning countries normally do?

      The more liberal the person or country, it was found that the person or country was more likely than not to renege on charitable pledge promise.

      • if liberals donated blood at the same rate conservatives do, the nation’s blood supply would jump by 45 percent

        I think they should donate enough to make the blood supply jump by 3000%.

      • Free people (who own guns) giving freely, and getting very little (if any) credit from the lamestream media.

        Sums up the difference between conservatives and leftists:

        * conservatives tend to quietly contribute to society through hard work and charity
        * leftists tend to make a lot of noise about the poor and disadvantaged, but contribute less

        A few examples of other gun groups doing charity here and across the pond.

        SFC Liam Nevins Memorial Trap Shoot
        http://www.westchestergunclub.com/nevins/

        VSSA’s 16th Annual Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
        http://www.myvssa.org/content/crushn-clays

        2014 Autism Charity Match at Hawkeye Gun Club, Lake Lure, NC
        https://www.facebook.com/events/1437008543231982/?ref=22

        Rathcormac Gun Club Bike n Hike Charity Event (Ireland)
        http://www.rathcormacgunclub.ie/section422927_189563.html

        Disabled Shooting Project (UK)
        http://disabledshooting.org.uk/

      • Gun owners are good blood donors because Red Cross sets up blood drive booths outside of gun shows. If you donate, free admission to the show, and cookies!

      • And, apparently, socialists cheat more.

        Socialists Are Cheaters Says New Study
        http://tinyurl.com/qaphzxa (Reason.com)

        ” “The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task,” according to a new study, “The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems,” from Duke University and the University of Munich. The team of researchers concluded this after working with 259 participants from Berlin who grew up on opposite sides of the infamous wall.

        The results were that “East Germans cheated twice as much as West Germans overall,” leaving the researchers to conclude the “the political regime of socialism has a lasting impact on citizens’ basic morality.” “

  3. Maybe community outreach in general is a good idea. Imagine actually working with communities to provide at risk teens with mentors and activities and actually do something about not just gun violence but violence in general

  4. As the cofounder of the Tampa Bay Gun Runners, I want to personally thank you for writing this article. Any awareness we can get to Davien’s cause is much appreciated. He has such a great smile and personality and we can’t wait to see him grow.

    • Well done guys. It is not often that people of the gun are put in a positive light by the mainstream press. Carry On…………

      • Back in the 40s and 50s, the public image of motorcycles consisted of gangs and violence, misfits and malcontents, and extreme danger to riders. Honda’s ad agency came up with a campaign in the early 60s based on the tag line “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” It featured regular everyday nice people using little Honda motorcycle for fun, inexpensive, casual and comfortable transportation. It helped transform the public image of motorcycles and boosted Honda sales.

        I like the idea of taking control of firearms’ image and how the public is introduced to them. Think of it as “You meet the nicest people carrying a Glock.” Or something similar, but in more general terms not tied to a specific brand. Best example out there I’ve seen is that group out of, Michigan, I think, who produced those “….and I carry.” videos.

        • I grew up in a slave state where guns are regularly maligned, gun owners demonized and laws never go “far enough.”

          As a result, I had quite a bit of ingrained thinking to overcome when I got into shooting in my 30s.

          Some of the nicest, politest people I’ve met are gun owners.

          I was grateful the day the scales fell from my eyes.

    • Proud to be a member of TBGR and as Thomas said, thank you to the author and all who commented for the kind words. 🙂

  5. gret job guys! I really like the idea above about community service as a gun rights group. Instead of open carry marches, how about open carry road detail, or open carry serving at a soup kitchen, or deliver food packages to needy families, presents at christmas? dont try to preach a message just side arms holstered and unnoticed.

  6. You would like to see MSNBC report this? Here you go; “gun nuts in tampa florida, driven by guilt, have purchased a help dog for one of their 5 year old victims. The blatant mea culpa comes as the NRA is pushing a slew of “guns everywhere” bills that are sure to make these kinds of tragedies that much more common.”

    Rachel: “This is a good first step toward getting these people to understand that they’re responsible for all gun use everywhere.”

    Guy who looks like Rachel: “Indeed, the next step is a federal law mandating the purchase of a help dog for every shooting victim, to be funded by a tax on ‘kid killer’ bullets (all bullets.)

    Rachel: “Not so fast, Chris; what about victims of gun violence in other countries? After all, it’s a fact that most crime guns in the world come from the US…”

    Guy who looks like Rachel: “Right; the UN will have to take charge of this…”

    (both stroke beards)

    • Poe’s Law: without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism.

      Well done.

  7. Thank you for sharing my sons story. We are forever grateful to the Tampa Bay Gun Runners for helping us. They have been nothing but amazing throught this whole process. Davien will grow up to educate people about the safety of gun use. I will make sure that he always makes a positive out of a negative situation. He will always have the TBGR’s looking out for him. Still, I am so amazed from the out pour of generosity of what once were complete strangers.

  8. PROUD TBGR member. Did you know we raised the $14,200 in 5 days!! Thanks so much for the write up !! Please follow up on Daviens story as he just met his new pup Bruno ( named after his favorite singer Bruno Mars lol ) all I know now is that Davien has 3500 bodyguards !!

  9. Thanks for the nod. As a proud member of the Gun Runners, this goes way beyond getting Davien his dog. Diana and Davien just adopted 3,000 big brothers and sisters. Our group never ceases to amaze me, and you can bet this will continue with this great group of guys and gals.

  10. Thank you for the exposure you have given to this great cause. As a proud Gun Runner, I do my damndest to educate anti-gunners about the responsibility and safety precautions taken by most of my fellow 2A supporters. That being said, I try just as hard to educate my more conservative brothers and sisters in arms about the fact that being a liberal and an anti-gunner are not one and the same. As a more liberal minded individual, it is disheartening to be thrown into the muck along with anti-gunners just because we agree on some topics. If we want to stop the negative generalizations about gun owners, shouldn’t we stop using negative generalizations about other groups as well? Food for thought, I hope. Have a wonderful evening ladies and gents 🙂

  11. I’m not sure what possessed Tom Ouellette and Scott Baldwin to allow me to become a member of this group of people…but it was a fortunate day for me to meet and become involved with people of this caliber. You don’t have to be a gun carrying person to need help and the Gun Runners have proved this thru their sincere concern about Davien. There’s no payback for the Gun Runners beyond the growth and health of this fine young man, Daven Martinez…That will be their payback. I’ve never felt more proud of anything compared to the pride I feel in being A Tampa Bay Gun Runner.

  12. as a fellow TBGR member, i was very honored to be a part of this for Davien. seeing what a small community of gun owners and firearms enthusiasts can do, makes me proud to be associated with it. more to come out of TBGR….stay tuned!! #TBGR #2ASupporters #GoodGuysWithGuns

    thanks kindly for the write up….made me smile again seeing it. kudos!!

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