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Reader 2ASux writes:

Many may know we have been backing and forthing about the number of people killed due to negligent gun handling. Now we have a news report of a firefighter killed by a gun owner. Firefighters were executing a forced entry to perform a “welfare check.” According to the story, “a source told WTTG that the man awoke to the sound of the first-responders and thought they were intruders.” Given what we know from the news report (which is still probably incomplete), the gun owner was at great risk of a diabetic coma, or loss of clear thinking and controlled faculties due to diabetes . . .

Any one here want to meet the family of the dead firefighter and tell them that life is tough and stuff happens, because guns? That they should ignore the shooting, because statistically his death is insignificant?

No? Didn’t think so.

The dead firefighter is not a member of your family, he’s simply one of the dismissable 500 who will be killed this year due to a gun owner not responsibly handling his firearm. Life’s a bitch, then you die.

354 Responses to Maryland Firefighter Shot and Killed by Homeowner Who’s Since Been Released

  1. 1. Why are we platforming a troll?
    2. Please explain how a “wellness check” justified breaking and entering into someone’s home.

      • Wellllll technically speaking you can’t discover granny has shuffled off this mortal coil without beating in her door. But, this is a splendid way to circumvent the 4th amendment.

        Police will be sent as “backup” when the goal is actually to break and enter the house without a warrant (kinda like EMTs go through people’s pockets looking for “clues” to help decide on treatment while the cops hover overhead like vultures looking for a loose joint, and leave once they discover there is not profit for the department).

        This has to happen every once in a while if you want firefighters to think twice before acting as a constitutional bypass for the police. They sure won’t take the initiative to protect anyone from police abuse. That has been proved beyond discussion.

    • 1. 2Asux is a troll, everyone knows it. He parrots the asinine talking points of anti-freedom talking heads and therefore gives us a glimpse into the thought process of an anti-gunner.

      2. As a firefighter, I am authorized by force of law to enter a private residence if there is reasonable suspicion a life is in danger. I don’t care, let alone have authority to act, if you are doing anything, legal or illegal, in your own home. I am there to try to save your life. I do not need your permission to do so, simply for the fact a person in need of help usually cannot grant permission for me to help them.

      You asked, I answered honestly. It is a damn shame my brothers were wounded and killed in the line of duty. They knew the risks of the job and showed up anyway. It is a reality of the world we live in, I mourn the death of the fallen firefighter. The homeowner did not handle his weapon irresponsibly, he was suffering a medical emergency and thought he was in danger. It is tragic, and regrettable, but that’s the world we live in. To those who blame guns, shame on you. To those who blame the firefighters, go to hell.

      • On 2:

        Fair enough, but if you are breaking down a door of a house that isn’t on fire, you better be announcing who you are and why you’re there loud and proud. The shooter in this story was obviously not close to a diabetic coma or an insulin reaction because people in that condition are not capable of shooting straight. Ergo, entry was unwarranted. It would be nice to know how the entry took place, was there any announcement immediately before or after the entry, etc.

        • “As a firefighter, I am authorized by force of law to enter a private residence if there is reasonable suspicion a life is in danger.” (DaveWI says)

          FoxNews:
          “…first-responders, who were responding to a call for help at the home in Temple Hills, …”

          “After arriving on the scene and receiving no answer to knocks on the door…”

          Officials doing wellness checks do not arrive and immediately kick-in a door.

          Wellness check visits are not “unwarranted”.

        • They are when they require forceful entry. That’s a clear violation of the 4th amendment. No visible emergency? Go wake up a judge.

        • Clearly you have not dealt with many diabetics. Hypo or hyperglycemia symptoms are not immediately obvious in their presentations but rather usually take a great deal of time to set in. Some Hypoglycemic persons in particular are notorious for being incredibly combative and violent and are often not only capable of communicating, but also able to perform most skills they have learned, such as use of firearms and knives. They simply arent in their right mind if you will. Eventually, they will be completely obtunded. But that is obviously not what happened here.

        • The 4th protects against unlawful searches and seizures.
          A welfare check is neither searching for your property nor seizing it.
          If your health has degraded to the point you cannot convey your wants or needs its considered implied consent to do everything to help you.
          Almost nobody ever says “if the door to my house is locked, just let me die”

          Just as breaking and entering only applies when its done for an unlawful purpose.
          Hard to prove it was unlawful when you’re not EMS and its the middle of the night.
          Easier if you are EMS sent there by 911 dispatch.

          To everyone claiming its a rights violation.
          That is as dumb as calling the police for help and then trying to sue them for trespassing when they knock on your door.
          Good luck with being stupid.

        • A welfare check is neither searching for your property nor seizing it.

          I’m fairly certain that the courts would disagree with you regarding the fourth-amendment implications of non-consensual home entry for the purposes of a “welfare check”.

          If your health has degraded to the point you cannot convey your wants or needs its considered implied consent to do everything to help you.

          Making such an assertion requires evidence to support probable cause of its veracity. A brother phoning the police to say that someone is not answering his phone does not establish such probable cause. Failure to answer a knock on one’s door does not establish such probable cause.

          To everyone claiming its a rights violation.
          That is as dumb as calling the police for help and then trying to sue them for trespassing when they knock on your door.

          Straw Man FTW

          It was not the homeowner who called the police. It was the homeowner’s brother, who did not live with the homeowner, and did not have authority to consent to the police breaking into the home.

        • Chip –

          There are two angles to this.

          1) the need to enter for purpose of a wellness check. While the FD will be required to announce its presence before entering (and we are required to have the po-po observe we are doing so) for a wellness check, my understanding is that dispatch confirms the caller and relationship before proceeding. I can’t call a wellness check on Farago just for the joy of waking him up at 3am.

          2) the wellness check is not a home search. As mentioned before, we are not there to conduct a search of the premises. That joint you were smoking isn’t my problem as long as it doesn’t set your home on fire. Anything we do find, especially in a forced entry situation, would be inadmissible anyway. In a voluntary entry, I seem to recall I can tell the cops, but I have no interest in doing so – but I may be wrong about that (telling them).

        • Phone calls had been made (unanswered), firefighters attempted to raise the shooter by knocking and shouting; no response. What part did they do wrong?

        • We may have identified the rotten smell at the heart of this discussion.

          Nobody here believes the firefighters enjoy bursting into people’s homes uninvited. The firefighter higher up in the comments said

          “As a firefighter, I am authorized by force of law to enter a private residence if there is reasonable suspicion a life is in danger. I don’t care, let alone have authority to act, if you are doing anything, legal or illegal, in your own home.”

          Ok, sure thing. He sounds like a great guy…just trying to suit up every day and save lives right? Well he might be a good person, but he can’t bury his head in the sand and pretend that he and his department act in a vacuum. They will be used by less scrupulous departments (who also have badges, hint hint) to bypass constitutional protections. They ARE used by those badges to violate the constitution already.

          If police are following these guys, they will not be doing so because they want to see another stiff. They will deploy on “welfare checks” with the firefighters when they think they have a decent chance of finding one alive, one with no medical problem, one who simply doesn’t want their door kicked in. One who has something valuable behind that door, and isn’t answering the phone.

          10/10 times says it will be in the hopes of stealing some cash via civil forfeiture, or catching someone doing something that was made illegal before any of our parents were born so as to jail the person and justify their department’s existence.

          “I don’t care, let alone have authority to act, if you are doing anything, legal or illegal…” —-We know you don’t, but it isn’t you we’re worried about. It’s the Gestapo 2.0 who will be riding your coattails, sneaking in under the 4th amendment.

        • “no response. What part did they do wrong?”

          The part where they need a warrant, supported by oath or affirmation, before they are to kick doors in? The part where there must be an OBVIOUS probable cause(like fire coming out of a window!) BEFORE forced entry? The problem is; so many have been suckered in by the “I must help everyone” media line that now the ones to be ‘helped'(whether they want it or not!) are now forced to shoot the ‘helpers’ in self defense!
          Please explain to me in what way that is not a sign of a society in the last throws of self destruction….
          Bye, Bye. ‘Murica. It was nice knowing you, WHILE you were still alive.
          🙁

        • You are an idiot and need to understand what we do. If thIs is what you think don’t bother calling when you can not reach your granny. I am sure the neighbors will appreciate the wonderful smell after a few days. Btw, go f ur self!

        • Hey, KR, you don’t need to be coming to my house with that asshat attitude. Meanwhile, the first thing which is really, really obvious, here, is that waiting to break down the door until 9 AM would give opportunity to get a warrant, AND to let me recover from the bottle of Jack I finished at 9 PM. Breaking down a door at 3 AM? You may have the authority, but you should realize that the resident also has the authority to kill you for it. Less smartass and a trifle of actual thinking would be a good plan.

      • I did not blame guns, I blamed the wild proliferation of guns in the hands of people not truly qualified to safely operate them.

        As to the use of the gun being nothing more than a frightened homeowner responding to a break-in, the fact the shooter did not respond to phone calls and shouted inquiries at the door indicates the shooter was possibly not in full command of his mental condition, not capable of determining what was going on, and used a gun in a muddled mental state. If such was the case, the shooter acted irresponsibly (people with diabetes are not left unaware of the consequences of not staying on top of their medication for diabetes; they are drilled in what to do, and what happens if they don’t).

        I definitely do not blame the firefighters. A member of my family was in a diabetic stupor for several days before we decided rescue was needed. Sheriff sent a car, and the deputy broke open the door. Family member thought the deputy was the newspaper delivery boy. A muddled mental state explained the inability to recognize that the phone was even ringing over the previous two days. Fortunately, no one in the family has firearms, so there was no way for our situation to end as did this recent event.

        So what I am saying is we have yet another unnecessary killing resulting from an inadequately prepared gun owner. But the pro-gun crowd will simply tsk, tsk, and slot this firefighter’s death into the “statistically insignificantf” category. But no one wants to go and tell the family that. Why?

        • I don’t see any portion of that article saying the firefighters announced themselves. I do see one very adequately prepared gun owner, prepared to defend himself when someone kicks in his door.

          Plus, your precious State seems to admit that he was in the right, what with the lack of charges and all.

        • “I did not blame guns, I blamed the wild proliferation of guns in the hands of people not truly qualified to safely operate them.”

          “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

          Excuse me, but where, exactly, in the above verbatim quote of the Second Amendment to The Constitution of the United States of America, do you see ANY reference to qualifications for safe handling? Much less any authorization of any government agency to determine those qualifications.

          The Constitution, in its body, describes what the government may do and how it should go about doing it. The Bill of Rights specifically enumerates those things the government IS NOT ALLOWED TO DO. This is not complicated.

        • @Cliff

          Almost there… the BOR enumerates SOME of the things the government is not allowed to do. Not All of them.

          (Maybe that’s what you meant, but it didn’t come across clearly to me, if you did.)

        • “I blamed the wild proliferation of guns”

          There was more than one gun? Because otherwise this is nonsense. You’re talking rubbish, wishing for unicorns. There was no wild proliferation, there was one person with one gun, defending his home from an invading and violent stranger in the middle of the night.

        • “There was more than one gun?”

          No. The comment I was replying related to an ongoing proposition that there are too many guns in the hands of too many people. The direct statement presented in a reply to me indicated I blame(d) an inanimate object for having a mind and capability of its own, devoid of human involvement. I do not find tools to have lives, spirits, moods, or intentions, most assuredly guns.

      • Not sure I can +1 here since in not a firefighter, but if you don’t have the cred to speak on it im not sure who does. Good answer, im sorry about your brother firefighter, much respect.

      • Not sure I can +1 because im not a firefighter, but if anyone is qualified to speak on this it seams you are. Im sorry about your fallen brother, much respect to him and you for giving such a candid answer.

      • Not answering the phone or door does not constitute reasonable suspicion of a medical emergency.

        Multiple people breaking down a door DOES constitute reasonable suspicion of a home invasion.

        I appreciate the hard, dangerous work you do to keep your community safe, but if you break into someone’s home without direct, first-hand evidence that their life is in danger, you should EXPECT to get shot.

        • When one is lying unconscious on the floor bleeding out from an unintentional injury, or in a coma from misused drugs, or suffering electric shock, or hundreds of other possible injuries, and one does not respond to phone calls and people outside shouting for you to open the door, will you be content to just die because there is no “direct evidence” you are dying?

        • His brother called emergency services because he had diabetes and did not answer the phone. You’re a prick. I hope someone shoots you next time you attempt to help someone.

        • waldengr: If the homeowner didn’t invite you inside, and you don’t have direct first-hand evidence of an emergency, you shouldn’t break into the home.

          Not answering the phone, or the door, or shouts outside, is not evidence of an emergency.

        • Poop said “I hope someone shoots you next time you attempt to help someone.”

          Unlikely, as I DON’T BREAK INTO PEOPLE’S HOMES.

        • “will you be content to just die because there is no “direct evidence” you are dying?”

          Will YOU be content to die because you just could not wait until morning?

        • “Will YOU be content to die because you just could not wait until morning?”

          Not finding the connection here.

          My question was whether one would be satisfied to simply die unattended, unassisted because 2A, 4A and related laws. There are real, live incidents where a family member is in capable of assisting themselves, family become distressed at lack of contact, and ask for someone to be sent to check on whether the incapacitated family member is literally dead or alive. Thus the question is would you (given you are an unreachable family member with medical problems) rather your 2A/4A rights be strictly respected, even if it means you dying when otherwise you might have been rescued?

        • Hi Power Toter –
          Not answering calls or your door does constitute exigent circumstances, when emergency responders are called to your resident with reasonable expectation of an emergency:

          Johnson v. City of Memphis – 2010 – 6th Circuit Court
          Stricker v. Twp. of Cambridge – 2013 – 6th Circuit Court

          The patient does not even have to be the one to call 9-1-1, nor does the caller have to speak with the 9-1-1 calltaker; a hang up can be considered a contributing factor to the existance of an exigent circumstance.

          Emergency medical professionals are not specifically called out in case law or statutes, as they are not law enforcement personnel. However, the reasonableness of the 4th Amendment is often interpreted that a reasonable person would want emergency medical personnel to enter their residence and treat them in the event the reasonable person were unable to open the door on their own; in short, implied consent.

          The other extreme: http://www.wisn.com/news/ems-crew-waits-for-police-before-entering-stabbed-womans-home/31124066 Fortunately, the patient did not die in this instance.

      • “I am there to try to save your life. I do not need your permission to do so.”

        I usually save a bit of venom for LEO’s, but now I’ll direct it to fireman. What a load of if vile bile infested crap. By that argument you can be directed by your higher to violate any number of constitutional rights. Frankly it none of your business what I’m doing in my home, what my condition is, or why I’m not responding to my door.

        And finally if your “brothers” we’re sooo concerned about protecting life and property, why did they stand down and watch Hoodlums burn Baltimore. Oh yeah, firemen were concerned for their safety. Got it…bust a door down get shot (not concerned about safety). Hoodlums chucking rocks, no go.

        • You miserable, shortsighted, arrogant, fool. I sincerely hope and pray you never require assistance from police or firefighters. I swore an oath to protect life, preserve property, and conserve the environment – in that order. I also swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. I will not stand for your defamation of my BROTHERS, or myself. Please kindly take a long walk off a short pier.

        • Ok Dave, please explain how a warrantless intrusion into a private residence without readily apparent exigent circumstances does not constitute a violation of the 4th amendment.

        • If a person is conscious, you need their permission to give aid. Unconscious, you have implied consent.

        • He clearly wasn’t unconscious. I feel bad that firefighter died. I feel even worse that society has convinced cops and firefighters that a flashing lights, a badge, and matching outfits magically makes them immune to the consequences of breaking down someone’s door in the middle of the night.

        • PwrSurge –

          Any evidence would clearly be inadmissible in that case, and thus the forced entry not a 4A violation.

          DaveWI –

          I expect protocol to change to having the police be part of any forced entry and take point. As they should always have been – if entering into a scene you cannot confirm is safe, especially involving potential altered mental status, you let the guy in the vest with a gun take point.

          You guys are discussing from different perspectives.

        • pwrserge – demonstrate again your asshatedness.

          As a Fire Chief (volunteer) I can, lawfully, do damn near anything (a reasonable person would do) to:
          – Put out a fire/resolve an emergency on any property. The law/gov’t/courts assume that that you are not the only party with a financial interest in a property (as a bank, insurance co, spouse, etc). If you light the house then sit in your lazyboy while it burns, I am REQUIRED to make my best effort to put it out. This includes an abandoned structure
          – Prevent your structure fire from spreading to your neighbors property. This is the main area of interest. The world assumes your emergency will get bigger/worse until someone fixes it. Demonstrated over and over thru history (see any number of huge urban fires of the 1800s).
          – Prevent your wildland fire from spreading to the neighbors property. Still a frequent BIG problem in sprawling suburban areas.

          You don’t have to like it or consent. As time is of the essence, I don’t have to get a warrant as I’m not there on a popo/law enforcement task. We are lawfully exempt in doing whatever may be required (that a reasonable person would do) to accomplish our mission.

          I can confiscate ANY equipment, property, and put you to work, as required to accomplish my mission. And I get to define the extent of this mission. As a Constitutional Conservative I’ll be very careful when/how I would do such. I’ll ASK you to help me by bringing your tractor/disk to the burning corn field but I’ll tell you what to do and how to do it. When I do so I’m adding you and your to my equipment insurance policy and you work for me. But I WILL put the fire out. I will call in any and all assistance from other FD and agencies going as far out as needed until the fire/problem has gone away.

          As FD have picked up the EMS business (typically because no one else would do the BS) the same rules have extended to this mission. Some conflict between fire and EMS, at least in rural area, as FF are typically rather conservative and EMS focused people are of the warm squishy handholding types. I’d certainly prefer NOT be in the EMS business.

          Our tour of you property is limited to the areas concerned with the mission we were sent to perform. We aren’t to open doors, drawers, or containers or go to other areas unless it is relevant to our mission. If you have an electrical fire I’ll go looking for the overload and likely I will find you idiot pot operation. BUT nothing I saw on your property will be admissible in a court other than as it might relate to your fire/medical emergency BUT if you’re a moron or PITA who gets in the way of completing my mission, then I might mention to the local cop that some funny looking vegetation I stumbled across. Shit does roll down hill.

          The FD is called when someone is having a bad day and we will do whatever we can to improve things. Same is not true when you call a cop. Call a cop if you want something shot or arrested those are the only tools they have. FD has all kinds of trained people and a Big Red Truck (BRT) full of tools and equipment to be used for problem solving. Any we know lots of other people with additional equipment and training. A FD operates much like an infantry unit – people + equipment on a mission. When I got out of the Infantry I signed up as a vol FF not a cop for this reason.

          Unfortunately, there are MANY cops that dislike/hate FD. Basically jealous that aren’t FF, don’t have the have the cool BRT and people general like the FD. Popo thought if they got MRAPs and Rambo style uniforms/equipment etc they would be all military like too. Hasn’t lead to more public love/respect though has it?

          So keep in mine that FF are NOT cops. In general FD get along with cops as long as the cops stay out for the way while men are working (vs doing whatever it is cops do when not eating donuts). If you’re a pain in the ass and getting in the way of my mission I’ll have the cop arrest you and haul you off to jail.

          That said, Prince Georges Co FD (and popo) have a nationwide reputation as marginally under control cowboys. Various FD is actual races to get to fires with occasional hand to hand fights over who is going to fight the fire (shades of 1800s). The PGC cops be statist thugs (the local Cedar Rapids Iowa Police Chief being an alum of PFC).

          Don’t equate ME with a cop. And if possible don’t be an asshole. We’ll consider you may be having a really bad day if we are talking to you but you might consider we just might also be packing (concealed). I certainly don’t care if my FF are (see the 2nd).

          A side note from a recent call – I may put the cop to work helping to carry the backboard with your fat ass on it out of the kitchen to the ambulance (just standing with his thumb up his …… get to work). I don’t know how something he might see would be treated.

        • @neiowa

          That’s sort of my point. No actual emergency was objectively apparent. They broke into somebody’s house on the word of a person who had no legal right to consent access to the property.

          The right to be secure in your property is not limited to searches and seizures and you damn well know it.

          Nobody is questioning what you have to do when exigent circumstances are objectively present. But in this case, all they had was the word of some guy and no real apparent emergency. For all they knew, the subject of the “wellness check” was not even home.

        • What he says is not necessarily true. If you are unconscious, we have implied consent.

          If there is an emergency at your house or property that creates a risk to life and property we are required to mitigate the situation. In doing so we will certainly weigh risk vs results. Baltimore and issues such as that are in a different category. You know you are going to a hostile environment. Welfare calls are ran every day by the FD with a far different outcome.

          But it is true, once we are on scene for fire’s and similar incidents we OWN the scene. We are responsible. We control it and if one doesn’t comply, police will get involved. To take it one step further if a crime was committed or believed to have been committed we must keep someone on scene for the entire investigation. If we (fire and police) leave the scene without keeping someone there, we have to have a warrant to go back on the property. Proper chain of custody.

      • It seams odd that there are not better protocols in place to prevent this. I mean it wasn’t a building on fire. This was a wellness check. They certainly announced themselves and had time to go a little slower.

        Of course if the guy has a diminished capacity , not much else you can do. He may have mishandled the weapon considering he likely shot at a target he could not identify.

    • When someone is in danger of falling into a coma, it is a medical emergency. When someone is in a raving stupor (not the case here) and fully incoherent, it is a medical emergency. When someone alone at home is at grave risk of injury or death, it is a medical emergency. When someone with a debilitating illness does not respond to phone calls and or door knocks, that someone may be in danger of serious, permanent or deadly injury; it is a medical emergency. This is what “wellness checks” are all about. The alternative is to tell family members, “Meh, stuff happens, let him work it out; we are busy”. Then the family loses a loved one because no one local (family may be in another state) would bother to see about the “at risk” person.

      • That’s called “freedom”. In a free country, you don’t have the right to bust down my door just because you “think” something is wrong. That’s what sirens and lights are for.

        • Yes, they do, just as the homeowner had the right to defend himself. How about identify the threat before pulling the trigger, huh? I wasn’t there but I would bet my life they identified as firefighters before and during entry.

        • No search or seizure, and the brother of the shooter affirmed there was reasonable cause to enter the home. They did not violate the 4th A rights of the shooter. See yourself out now.

        • I’d consider breaking and entering looking for a non-crime to be an unreasonable search. Oh, and the brother had no authority to give consent. It was not his home.

        • I would advise you take it up with any of the 50 states or their counties that allow firefighters and police to enter a residence when they have reason to believe an emergency is taking place. Life always takes precedence over property. If you don’t answer a door and there is reason to believe you may be having an emergency the responders have implied consent. Look it up. It applies to both medical emergencies and entering a residence. Sorry that the world doesn’t fit into your little box.

        • a temporary and minor deprivation of freedom is better than a permanent and foolish loss of life. I have had several patients whose lives have been saved by either police or friends breaking into their homes. Diabetics, alcoholics, depressed patients, psychotic patients, or elderly dementia patients etc often have a temporary loss of rational thought due to temporary medical conditions that result in them making decisions that they will completely regret when they regain rational thought. For example, such patients will sometimes refuse minor medical treatment when such a refusal would result in permanent disfigurement or life-changing disability. In such cases, we uniformly ignore the patient’s drunken/confused/delirious demands to refuse treatment. When they eventually return to a sound state of mind, they uniformly thanks us for ignoring their ridiculous demands to be free to leave the hospital.

        • Pwrserge –

          (Un)fortunately, the US courts, up to and including the US Supreme Court, disagree with you. Reasonable expectations of an emergency situation existing constitute exigent circumstances, allowing public safety officials to enter a private dwelling with out a warrant. I cited two cases from the 6th District Courts alone in another response; there are plenty more to choose from.

          If it not carte blanche “whenever we want” permission to enter your home. Like most things, it is based upon what a “reasonable person” would do or want done, in the eyes of the court. There are certainly incidents and cases where the courts determined that exigent circumstances did not exist, and evidence or testimony was suppressed because of it. There is no clear-cut line in the concrete to go with here.

          Based on the last update (April 20th); the shooter has been subpeonaed to appear before a grand jury, so charges may still be pressed. And the families could file civil suits for wrongful death, especially if evidence shows the shooter was in fact medically or mentally altered and fired recklessly. It will probably be a year before we have all the information in this case, if ever.

          I say this is fortunate for you because should you ever find yourself incapacitated in your home from a medical emergency, current case law allows responders to enter your home to treat you and try to save your life.

          Unfortunately for you, your current position is rather short sighted, and you come off like an uneducated baffoon.

      • When crimanls break into an occupied home, that is an attack. Women women are raped while walking home or beaten by an ex, that is an attack. It is unreasonable and inhumane to require these people to defend thier lives with lessor weapons. It is unfortunate that mistaken identity happens and a good man dies, but there are two points i would like to make. First, mistaken identity leading to a shooting is extremely rare and there are many other cases of mistaken identity that leads to similarly horrible outcomes such as false imprisonment. Yet, in these cases we don’t try and ban trials. Second, you are right that no one wants to go to this man’s family and say meh, stuff happens. Fortune has horrible endings for all of us but for some it is just unbearable to speak of to thier loved ones. With that said I’ll make you a deal. You appologise to Carol Bowne’s family on the behalf of the anti-self defense crowd and I’ll apologize to this fsmily for thier loss.

      • Question: Who reported the emergency? How was the report verified? If the man inside was alone and did not respond to loud noises at his door other than to shoot intruders, how did the responders know or suspect that they had probable cause to break down the door in the first place?

        As a former Army Medic and EMT I know the mindset that some medical personnel get into that they have the right and responsibility to “save” someone in a medical emergency, come hell or high water. I also know that sometimes you can’t save them. At some point you have to get over the hero complex and take the time to think things through at the scene.

        If you really think it is necessary to break the door down, break the door down, then call from outside to announce yourselves BEFORE bursting into the building. If the victim is conscious he will respond and everyone will be safe. If he is unconscious you can go about your mission.

        Carry one.

        • “If the victim is conscious he will respond and everyone will be safe.”

          In the instance of my family member requiring a “wellness check” confusion was so complete that phone calls went unanswered for days, the inability to connect with reality was on display when the sheriff deputies broke into the house (after much door banging and shouting). My relative was conscious and could not respond, and, no, everything was not alright.

          The firefighters were doing the right thing.

        • @2asux. Your family member was obviously in a state where they could not hear a forced entry, retreave a weapon, aim and fire it. That is most definitely deffierent from these circumstances. But none the less your point of misidentification shootings still theatrically holds true. So lets cut the crap and you appologize for every rape victim, domestic abuse case, assault, and murder where the victim wanted a gun but couldn’t have one and I’ll apologize for every negligent discharge and misidentification shooting. Lets see who finishes first.

        • “…you appologize for every rape victim, domestic abuse case, assault, and murder where the victim wanted a gun but couldn’t have one and I’ll apologize for every negligent discharge and misidentification shooting. Lets see who finishes first.”

          Deflection, again. “You solve every other problem, then maybe we will maybe get around to the one you are interested in.”

          You’re better than this, Steve.

        • There is no problem here smart one. The issue was not the gun, it was the idiot firefighter who decided that a “wellness check” with no objective evidence of an actual emergency justified him pulling a Kool-aid man on someone’s front door.

      • “When someone is in danger of falling into a coma, it is a medical emergency.”

        Great. Was there *any* evidence that was the case, here? If I call your fire department at 3AM and tell that story about *YOU*, do you expect your door to be broken down by application of jackboots?

        • Initial caller being the brother reported diabetic history. Sounds from recent news they pounded and pounded to wake the occupant. Along with making known who they were and what they were there for. When you throw the relative on the scene it compounds the problem. It adds emotions to the equation the firefighter’s usually leave at home. In my experience I would have cleared the scene if there was no evidence pointing to a emergency. We can only assume being none of us were there.

        • Read beyond the print on the page. The condition of the unresponsive homeowner was unknown, other than being non-responsive to attempts to contact, before and during the episode. The unresponsiveness was cause for alarm and action. The possible reasons why an unresponsive person might constitute an emergency were what I was outlining. If one objects to a forced entry in such circumstances, the remaining course is to allow an unresponsive person to likely die unnecessarily.

        • “Initial caller being the brother reported diabetic history”

          I saw that. Says who? Was this brother present at the scene with ID showing him to be somebody’s brother, or was that just a story he told over the phone? If he was present, why didn’t the firefighter hand him a crowbar and tell him to have at it? Something here is terribly wrong. You can tell any story at all on the phone, you can spend weeks making up a good story, what makes anybody think it is true? If nobody has noticed before, there seem to be a lot of people who just do not open their door for anyone, ever, including children who have been instructed to never open the door until a parent is home. There was an instance last year where a 13-year-old girl refused to answer the door because she was home alone. When the people beating on the doors and windows finally broke down the door and entered, she killed them both with a shotgun. In that case, they were career criminals, not giving and caring public servants, but the actions were precisely the same.

        • Last time I checked career criminals don’t show up in front of your house with $500,000 fire apparatus. But then again I wouldn’t expect you to see that. Perhaps if you would cut the eye holes bigger in your foil hat you would see the big red ding ding out front.

    • “2. Please explain how a “wellness check” justified breaking and entering into someone’s home.”

      Paramedic here. Because a majority of the time when a family calls a welfare check, it’s for a specific reason: They have a history of a health issue that can leave them incapacitated (diabetes, etc) and they haven’t been heard from in a while, which is not normal for them. I’d wager about 50% of the welfare checks we go on we find a body or someone in need of medical assistance. The other 50% is either they were deeply sleeping (rare) or no one home.

      We know how dangerous it is entering a house uninvited by the person inside, for this very reason. As such, unless we see a body on the ground through a window, we spend a good length of time pound on every door and window, shining lights in every cranny, and generally making a raucous. Even then, the unwritten rule is PD is generally the first through the door because they’re the ones with the vest on.

      99/100 I’m having PD or FD break down the door (unless I see a body right away). If nothing else, they’re the ones blamed for being jerks and breaking a door frame.

      • Do you embark on any of those courses at 3 AM? Cuz I’m sorry, that is just stupid, even in a nice, gated community.

    • I am a firefighter in Kansas. When we preform a wellness check on someone it generally falls into two categories: we don’t know them or we run that address all the time.

      If we don’t know them, we generally won’t force the door unless we truly believe there may be something inside that needs our attention like a person with a history of epilepsy who’s gone into status epilepticus before, which is a seriously life threat for the patient or if there is the strong smell of smoke, or we can see smoke.

      If we do know the address, then we have no problem with forcing the door if we have to. Generally, once we begin to run the person repeatedly we will ask the person if they keep a spare key in a lockbox or hidden somewhere, and if they feel comfortable telling us, then we will give that information to dispatch so it will pop up on our CAD reports for the call on our mobile data terminals in our trucks. If it’s someone with a history of hypoglycemia, or a similar condition that can kill someone, we have no hesitation in forcing the door to try and help. It’s generally advised to leave the truck running, with all emergency lights on, in easy view in the driveway or in the street in front of the house, and announce yourselves as firefighters and announce that you are there for a medical call.

      Even following those precautions, me and my crew have been shot at twice before. Both times were before we even tried to force the door. Both times were people in a stupor from having a medical emergency (one was just after a seizure and one was someone who had hypoglycemia)

    • I’m retired from a neighboring county.

      Our county and PG County have performed “Welfare Checks” since there has been organized fire departments as far as I know. Sometimes with the police, sometimes without the police. The call taker decides that when taking the call. The 30 years I was involved with fire and rescue I’ve forced entry on quite a few welfare checks as well as left without entering the dwelling. It’s all about information you have and what you find when you get there. If you have a car in the driveway and mail piled up on the porch, an odor, haven’t showed up for work in a few days, we will push further to make sure you are not inside with an emergency.

      Information is slowly coming out. It’s not clear what exactly happened. Knowing the experience someone obtains in PG County over a 13 year career, I’m sure they were VERY vocal about who they were and why they were there.

      At no time was the police trying to concoct work for them. That’s paranoia. You can’t get people to swap information on property damage accidents when an officer isn’t needed. The police are over burdened with BS. Period!

      I personally feel (without any proof) the brother seeking help swayed the firefighter’s to make an entry they normally may not have made. If a family member is adamant his brother is in there and having an emergency we are going in. It’s who we are and what we do.

      Charges can still be filed. MD does not have a Castle Doctrine to my knowledge. Just this year House Bill 252 was to rectify it and it failed unfavorably.

      Unfortunately my friend shared his recruit class with the young man who lost his life. So it hits home hard. Truly horrific.

      Rest in peace brother!

      • How does a voice on a phone gain such influence as to cause a forced entry? That could have been a prankster, or a competing drug gang. Or a cop attempting a new way to collect evidence.

        • It was the guys brother. He was also on scene. When a call comes in the call taker processes the call as quick and efficient as possible. Adding and updating as the call continues sometimes. The call taker has to take the caller information as reliable until proven otherwise. Phase 2 cell information probably put the brother on scene. If it were you having the medical emergency and your family called 911, I’m sure you’d like them to be taken as credible callers and provide you help.

        • Thanks for the additional info. As for what I would want, that would be for government personnel to stay out of my home unless I invite them. If they are going to break into my home, whether I am present or not, on the word of someone else, I would hope they have that person’s identification rock solid, like if he’s calling from another location, go to the police and present ID, and have them confirm that for you before you do anything at all to “help” me. Because if it is a bogus call, someone should pay for it, preferably by breaking some rocks behind bars. The concept is not amusing to me.

        • I ran a call mutual aide to Howard County. We were using map books provided by them. None of the houses or mailboxes were numbered. I forced entry on a $800,000 home because the homeowner wasn’t answering. After I force entry the Howard County Ambulance drove up the street and made a left turn away from us. We were at the wrong house! Call was a cardiac related emergency.

    • Because you are an idiot you moron. All this killer had to do was shout out in reply to his brother.

        • Chip, old bean, just because you don’t like an action does not make it “unlawful”, or even “illegal”. When the voters permitted (or voted for) the local government to make “wellness checks”, and included the provision that lack of response to multiple, loud entreaties constituted “implied consent” to do whatever it takes to get to the distressed person, that made the action “lawful” and “legal”. No law is absolute, ever. Provisions exist for “exigent circumstances” permitting the temporary and immediate suspension of whatever law or “right” might otherwise prevent that action. In the case here, the choice is between rendering aid, or allowing the possibility that the distressed person will die unassisted. The majority of voters of the municipality decided it was inhumane to simply shrug their collective shoulders and let the man die.

          BTW, if I had not had this subject posted, we would not be having a quite useful discussion amongst ourselves about when and if a government agency should intervene in an attempt to save a life. Discussions about guns can never be proper in a vacuum.

        • When the voters permitted (or voted for) the local government to make “wellness checks”, and included the provision that lack of response to multiple, loud entreaties constituted “implied consent” to do whatever it takes to get to the distressed person, that made the action “lawful” and “legal”.

          Voters cannot vote away constitutionally protected rights, including rights protected by the fourth amendment. While courts have held that those rights could be violated under certain circumstances, those circumstances are limited by things such as probable cause and exigent circumstances. In this instance, there was no probable cause of a “distressed person”; thus, there was neither probable cause nor “implied consent.”

        • You must have better resources than I. As far as I know it’s still being investigated. No idea what transpired on scene to form an opinion one way or another.

        • “Voters cannot vote away constitutionally protected rights, including rights protected by the fourth amendment.”

          Oh, but they can (and do). There are two ways: constitutional amendment removing or restricting a “right”; by virtue of incremental modifications to existing laws (or new ones) that slowly eat away at the behavior considered undesirable. Courts are generally amenable to the “compelling interest” justification for sensible restrictions on people’s actions. Just yesterday, in arguments at the SC, justices were parsing words of laws that allow criminal charges for people refusing breathalyzer tests at traffic stops. The thinking was/is that blood and DNA samples are invasive, and require official warrants, but blowing into a straw is not invasive, not unconstitutional. Decision isn’t in yet, but you get my drift.

          Rights are not absolute. The founders of America understood that.

  2. Seems to me that he was handling his firearm very responsibly. Should have been a better way to wake him than cracking through the door.

      • we know that he was able to be woken up by the sound of a crashing door, and had enough time to arm himself and place well aimed shots. I’ve got a hard time believing that protocol for announcing was followed.

        • When I was in college, my Mom could sleep through essentially anything happening outside the house. She was also armed, because I saw to it. When I came home, once, without warning and in the middle of the night, I was completely unable to wake her, including beating on the window of her bedroom, a couple feet from her head. Finally, I got the spare key and entered the back door, then stayed completely out of her line of sight while I called to her quietly, and she awoke instantly. I refused to come further in until she turned on her light and confirmed that yes, she knew I was home. I am not certain your analysis is correct, the sound of a door crashing in might be a much stronger call to action than pounding on the outside.

  3. I’ve been wondering, since I first heard about this, why the brother didn’t have a key. Most people I know leave a key or two with family or trusted friends.

    So … Was there maybe a reason the guy didn’t want his brother to have access to his place?

    • I want to preface this response by stating I am a staunch 2A supporter; I think all current legislation regarding firearms is unconstitutional and should be repealed. Try to keep that in mind when I say…

      I’ve never particularly understood this “bloody shirt” argument. Why is it a bad thing? Now I imagine the vast majority of a response will be that it’s disrespectful to the victim and only serves to forward a political agenda which, sure. I get that. But then why is it that us people of the gun then turn around and use a very similar anecdote, “it should’ve been a defensive gun use”, to further our side of the argument? Are we not also waiving a bloody shirt in that sense? The major difference between the two seems to be an interchangeable “if only so and so had a gun/didn’t have a gun, they’d still be alive today.”

      For the record, this is not a rhetorical question, nor am I entirely against this type of argument. I sincerely request that others more philosophically inclined than I respectfully help me understand our use of a very similar anecdote. Please?

      • The bloody shirt works both ways.

        One use is to rally sympathy/empathy for “unjustified” casualties, encourage others to take up the cause and seed vindication/revenge/justice.

        The other use is simply the reverse. Rally to my idea/cause (offense or defense); the enemy will take/kill/wreck your person/belongings/rights.

        In the case of DGUs, the difference from “bloody shirt” is rather subtle. Pro-gun advocates seem to be saying, “See, if you believed like me, if the victim believed like me, the outcome would have been different (or, “might have been different”), which supports/proves/justifies our cause.”

      • My interpretation of a “bloody shirt” is using a horrible occurrence, let’s say Sandy Hook for example, as evidence demanding actions be implemented which would have made no difference to the occurrence you’re yelling about. Following that example, just exactly like Obama pushing and pushing for universal background checks, using Sandy Hook as the example of how desperately we need UBC, when UBC (even if it had been in place for 20 years) would have made absolutely no difference in that event. The “bloody shirt” is to drive panicky people to act in ways demonstrably stupid, hurry up and “do something” because children died. Do something, even if it’s wrong.

        • I’m a retired fireman. Started when I was 15. Certified to fight fire at 16. Had a great career. I am not asking for changes because of the death of a brother. I do however as a gun owner feel our actions should be proactive with the attacks being made against our 2a. Using common sense and knowing what or who you are shooting at should be paramount to avoid events like this. Somewhere fire/rescue and the 2a have to be able to interact. The firefighter’s were making it well known who they were. As a shooter know what you are shooting. I’ve been on welfare checks that were BS and ones that saved lives.

  4. I’m having trouble seeing any irresponsible gun use here. I do see a victim of irresponsible State authority, however.

    • Until it was your family member who was dead because you shot blindly. Smh. Taking a life is worth the effort of knowing you are shooting the right person.

  5. Is it irresponsible to shoot someone who is breaking down your door? Isn’t that one of the main reasons why people own guns?

    The whole concept of a “forcible entry wellness check” seems like a terrible idea, if you ask me. Breaking down doors because someone is a heavy sleeper? Ridiculous.

    • Good question.

      The vast majority of people likely do not live in a state of mind where home invasion, government storm troopers attack the public, or the need to be on edge to shoot an assailant anytime, anywhere. The majority likely live peaceable lives, and expect the rest do also, even firefighters and EMTs.

      So….

      Turn this around a bit. Imagine you have a close relative you are in frequent phone contact with. Imagine that for some number of days, all you calls go unanswered or acknowledged in any way. Now imagine you know that relative has a medical condition that, if mis-managed can lead to death or serious injury. Now what? Let’s say you drive over to the relative’s home and find the car in the drive, . Then you bang on the door and call out the name; no response. You cannot see the relative through any window.Now what?

      Then you call 911 and report an emergency (or you call some agency and request a wellness check). Fire department and EMTs respond. The surround the house, call out loudly, bang on the door; no response. Now what? Fire and EMTs declare nothing more to be done, and depart. You continue to bang on the door, then give up and go home. Continued phone calls over the next days result in no response. A week or so later, you get a call from police notifying you that your relative was found dead at home, apparently dying days ago (after all the efforts to contact the relative). Now what?

      • If I’m so close with this relative that I know has a medical condition that might require intervention, I’d probably ask for a key to his house before an emergency occurred. It’s called “planning ahead”, and it’s what I did with my elderly neighbor who has had a couple of falling accidents. Someone as concerned with “responsible behavior” as you claim to be should appreciate that.

        • I called 2Asux on the same issue and he tried dancing around it. He’d rather harp on the event than admit it could have been prevented with just a bit of preparation. He’s a troll of the first order.

        • “I called 2Asux on the same issue and he tried dancing around it.”

          Danced around what? I told you I did not have a key, no one nearby had a key. Under the circumstances, after fire and EMT could not get a response, what would you have done? The fact that you would have a key does not alter what was my situation, the situation I was dealing with. Telling me I should have had a key does not exactly respond to my question, “What would you have done in my circumstance”.

        • Well, obviously I would never find myself in your situation, so I’ll have to mull that over…

      • I’ve lived in good areas my entire life. So if someone were to come breaking down my door the only rational explanation is that they are trying to break into my home. Why were firemen doing a wellness check and not the police?

        • The FD and EMS will run the call since there is a presumed medical emergency. But, I am concerned that the police were not there to secure the scene.

      • OK, mulling complete. All I see from your original post is a hypothetical questioning if I wanted to meet the slain firefighter’s family and “tell them that life is tough and stuff happens, because guns? That they should ignore the shooting, because statistically his death is insignificant?”.

        No, I would not like that. But I also wouldn’t tell them their son died “because guns”. Not only because of the intentionally bad grammar, but because they are grief-stricken, yet fully aware that a firefighter’s job is fraught with risk. More firefighters die from fire than guns – many more.

        Your concern for 500 statistical lives is admirable, if misplaced. Would that you devoted so much time to ensuring hot car deaths didn’t occur, even though “only” 600+ of them have occurred since 1998.

        You have your pet project, and your nickname, so keep on keeping on. Just don’t expect a lot of support here. And I’ll stay away from your “gun sense” sites, wherever they are.

        Deal?

        • There are others to fight the good fight for whichever societal risk is the hot button. The 500, I guess, are my burden.

          So, okey-doekey; deal.

  6. Still… good shootin’… I’m a diabetic myself and I am well aware of the responsibilities that entails. But a relative unable to contact him by phone should never SWAT his ass. Stupid people doing stupid things. Not an ounce of brainpower displayed anywhere here.

  7. “a source told WTTG that the man awoke to the sound of the first-responders and thought they were intruders.”

    “Thought” they were intruders? They WERE intruders.

    Here in South Carolina ANY illegal/forceful entry into a home is considered presumption of reasonable fear of imminent peril, with very limited exceptions (legal tenants or police basically). There is no firefighter exemption, and if I don’t hear a fire alarm, feel heat, or smell smoke I am presuming my house isn’t on fire and there is no need for someone to be breaking down my door

    • Firefighters make legal forceful entries into home fairly often. All they need is implied consent. Look it up. In this case, a relative called expressing fear that something wa wrong. Then, firefighters knock on the door. If there’s no answer to any hails, usually the lock is forced open. Judging from your
      Comments, you may not realize firefighters don’t just fight fire, but also handle medical emergencies. And there are laws in all 50 states regarding forced entry and implied consent for firefighters and police alike.

      • Sorry Dane, but a third party can’t consent on your behalf. For all the firefighters knew, the resident wasn’t even home.

      • “Firefighters make legal forceful entries into home fairly often”

        They might wish to revisit their policies. They could get shot. Legally.

        • And they also could go to jail legally. The case in Maryland is under investigation. There is no Castle Doctrine here.

          It’s all cool to talk tough until you kill someone who’s only intent was to save your life. That’s good for us gun owners. Great publicity! Just what I want to do is give Liberals more fuel for their fire.

        • I recommend caution here. Shooting an agent of a despotic, tyrannical, totalitarian government (any government employee) may not always be considered something to avoid. And will get you a whole bunch of enlightening commentary.

          Too late to prevent this one from being fuel to the liberal fire.

    • There was a case a few years ago where a homeowner shot a fleeing thief in the back of the head while he was driving away in his car. The thief had broken into his car and stolen his radio. No charges filed. James Island, Dills Bluff Rd if I remember it right. It took place after midnight. Something about after midnight in SC law allowed the shooting of a fleeing thief.

  8. Don’t break into people’s houses, don’t get shot. Everyone goes home happy.

    Obviously he wasn’t in a diabetic coma cause people in diabetic comas can barely sit up much less work a gun.

  9. I feel for the firefighter and his family.

    However, if someone broke my door I’d still shoot.

    If there is no fire how was he supposed to know they were firemen.

    Why should he wake up and answer the door or phone if he is sleeping?

    I would ignore it too. And grab the pistol under my pillow if someone broke in.

    Police, fire, and emt’s know it’s dangerous to brake in. They volunteer to take the risk.

    • Yes we do. Most of us are gun owners and steadfastly pro 2A as well. My agency has a policy that doesn’t allow us to break in on welfare checks. Problem solved.

    • I have kids. I wouldn’t shoot blindly into the dark. Even if I lived by myself I wouldn’t shoot blindly. This man put at least 6 rounds on target. He should have been able to identify the target. MD is extremely liberal with no castle doctrine. You need to use discretion.

      • I see your point, but if I was in my own house, I would know exactly where the front door is. If I live alone and am not expecting company, when someone kicks my door down they will be met with gunfire, whether it was dark or not, although I can’t imagine why it would be dark, turn on a light!

        • So you have your gun, you turn the light on, then what? You hear: “Fire and Rescue here Mr. so and So. Are you OK?”. You’ve thought this situation out in your head. Your responses tell that. You wouldn’t from a safe position, firearm trained answer the fireman? If you answer and they keep pounding on the door, I’d be ready to shoot. But so many things could have easily changed the outcome. What if your house were on fire and fire rescue was there trying to save you. Been involved in that scenario too. Big red ding ding in fron yard and man yelling fire department should be dead giveaway.

  10. It never ceases to amaze me how many foreigners barf out their hate & vitriol of the good ‘ol USofA and the freedoms and natural rights we protect.

    It also amazes me how Americans typically don’t go out of their way sh!t on other countries & their laws.

    must be because we’re happier here. 🙂

    • Hi,

      “It never ceases to amaze me how many foreigners barf out their hate…”
      – If that line was/is directed at me, it has not been conclusively determined where I reside (if, in fact, I reside anywhere).

      BTW, via which authority do you get to decide that wanting to improve America is hate? That wanting to improve gun safety and operation is hate?

      “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”.

      • 1. This has nothing to do with “improving America” or “gun safety”. Idiot broke into a home. Idiot got shot. Don’t want to get shot? Don’t break and enter. There is no firefighter exception to the 4th amendment. Knocking on a door is a wellness check. Knocking down the door is a felony.
        2. If you’re going to quote the bard, at least get the context right. That line is about suspiciously specific denials, not projection.

        • >Knocking on a door is a wellness check. Knocking down the door is a felony.

          This should be an episode of Good Idea/Bad Idea

        • I find it ironic that someone who learned English as a fourth language has a better command of it than an alleged native speaker.

  11. Stupidity has no bounds a person in a diabetic COMA can’t use a gun, all he wants to do lay down and sleep. I know from experience you become unconscious

    • “I know from experience you become unconscious…”

      Experience from my family shows me that the person becomes jittery, loses some local awareness, becomes uncoordinated, all on the way to falling down, in a coma. Have no claim that every diabetic goes through that spectrum of effects, but that may not be related to my one relative.

      • Indeed… some even get in their car and drive around while under VERY impaired consciousness without realizing it.

  12. Why do we have to blame anybody? This was a tragic accident, and I don’t really believe that anyone did anything wrong. There’s 100 ways that this could have been avoided, but none reasonably foreseeable except in hindsight. Not EVERYTHING is preventable.

  13. I would like to know how the firemen were dressed.

    Did they show up looking like thugs or did they have on their hat and coat? If they were in uniform and the man properly identified his target then this shooting should not have occurred.

  14. I’m in the “why the hell was this published” camp. This is The TRUTH About Guns. I can see publishing the other side, but 2Asux has admitted, almost daily, in the comments that he doesn’t give two shits about the truth, only feelings and colors.

    • “2Asux has admitted….he doesn’t give two shits about the truth, only feelings and colors.”

      There is always more to the words on a screen than that which is in front of your face.

      The truth about guns is that not everyone is always, 100% of the time, a safe and responsible gun owner. Thus, the number of NDs that happen each year, not a one of which should have happened, resulting in deaths and injuries that should not have happened.

      The truth about guns is that if a person (law-abiding or not) could not possess a gun at all, injury and death due to negligent and irresponsible gun handling could never happen (No, I don’t care about all the other sources of death and injury when talking about guns. Agitating for improvements to safety for other products is appropriate on other blogs.).

      The truth about guns is that the “four rules” depend on the absolute weakest element of the system: humans. Humans fail. Humans fail to believe they are fallible. Belief in personal infallibility leads to overconfidence, which leads to failure (Pride goeth before a fall?)

      The truth about guns is many people commenting here create the image of gun lovers that we anti-gunners love to publicize. You are the “face” of the pro-gun movement; arrogant, insensitive, lacking in self-reflection and evaluation, focused solely on your own interests to the exclusion (and damage) of others, self-absorbed, limited in social skills, bent on finding an opportunity to harm others. This is an image you have earned for yourselves, we just promote it to the remaining “undecideds”.

      The truth about guns is that the courts are still in flux about whether individuals can be allowed to use a gun in self-defense outside the home. The behavior of gun owners (which we anti-gun types publish and announce in bold print) impresses lawmakers and judges, not universally to the advantage of gun owners.

      The truth about guns is owning and carrying one requires a level of character and proficiency that are not universally demonstrated to be present wherever there is a gun.

      The truth about guns is that gun owners too often are unable to grasp the larger issues (public perception is reality), and retreat into slogans and personal attacks on anyone who disagrees or refuses to bend to the notion that gun owners should not have their pet beliefs challenged.

      The truth about guns is there are gun owners (many posting here) who would quash free speech if it offends their preconceived notions of right or wrong. If you can’t tolerate difference and dissent, you opponents are under no obligation to tolerate your “rights”. To borrow a favorite “conservative meme”, it is unpopular (undesirable?) speech that the first amendment protects (yes, I know this blog is not “government” and 1A doesn’t apply to private venues), but intolerance for speech is unlikely to be restricted to this blog.

      • This has nothing to do with free speech. You have every right to be a retard, and TTAG has every right to deny you a platform for said idiocy. If they fail to do so, we have a right to call them out on said poor decision.

        • “…TTAG has every right to deny you a platform for said idiocy. If they fail to do so, we have a right to call them out on said poor decision.”

          Yes and Yes. What’s the problem?

          Don’t want to read things you don’t like? Change the channel, eh?

      • Your speech has met such “intolerance” here that your submissions go up as posts and you post here freely. On the anti-gun side, in the rare cases that they even allow comments, anyone making pro-gun comments is quickly has those comments deleted, and is banned or blocked.

        • “…you post here freely. On the anti-gun side, in the rare cases that they even allow comments, anyone making pro-gun comments is quickly has those comments deleted, and is banned or blocked.”

          Yes and yes.

          I post freely, and many gun owners here prove themselves just as intolerant as all too many gun sense outlets. Gun owners likely go into anti-gun blogs expecting an uncouth welcoming because gun owners think gun sense people are low information toads. I come here looking to see if gun owners are actually as superior as they like to believe; some actually are. On the whole, regarding the individual commenters, intolerance for disagreement is just as rampant and gun owners claim to experience on anti-gun blogs.

          Pro-gun people claim to hold the high ground intellectually (facts and logic drive all), but actually conduct themselves not really differently from their enemies. If pro-gun people want to really reside on the high ground, then step up to the challenge, drop the name-calling, personal aspersions (which you often do to yourselves), and fit-throwing whenever an opposing thought or idea is published. If gun owners here do not want to reside on the high ground, that is perfectly acceptable, but…..drop the arrogance and admit you actually like the mud as much as your erstwhile opponents.

        • “but…..drop the arrogance and admit you actually like the mud as much as your erstwhile opponents.”

          Damn, 2ASux lecturing on arrogance.

          That was such a nice Irony meter I had, 1920’s manufacture and all, and now it’s ruined, the needle wrapped 4 times around the stop peg….

      • You, sir, completely whiffed on my primary point by posting a rebuttal chock full of feel. I’ll gladly have a debate with anyone that’s willing to put their unicorns aside.

        That may make me anti social, but brother, I’m an engineer. Anti social is what we do best.

        • “You, sir, completely whiffed on my primary point…”

          In all seriousness, I am not tracking your comment. Not trying to be difficult, but I truly cannot reconcile the response above with previous comments (my failing, I’m afraid).

          But I will attempt to address part of the comment block from which I culled the quote above:

          Feelings and imaginings are important elements of the message to America that more needs to be done about improving gun safety. Feelings drive actions, logic not so much. People respond not so much to the height of your logic, but to the depth of the emotion with which you appeal to them. Why throw away that useful lever? On my side, I get much heat for telling pro-gun people how to win the argument, but I am confident that introspective learning is not common for gun rights folks, so no danger. And as noted on many threads, the “audience” for debate is not the opposition, but the larger body of observers yet persuaded.

          BTW, amateurs built the Ark, engineers gave us Titanic (joke here, joke).

        • Irish engineers gave us Titanic. An entire nation, nearly wiped out by a potato….

          My point is not that you can’t win an argument with feelings. It is that there is no argument with feelings. That would be why “your side” as you’ve called them before (apologies for not providing a link, collecting references on my phone is more than a minor pain) resorts to using ONLY feelings. It is effective, because there is no defense. It has been a political strategy for as long as there has been politics.

          Further, on this particular topic, your side CAN’T use facts. There simply aren’t any that support your calls for civilian disarmament.

          On a side note, if RF happens to read down this far, I FEEL that forcing me this far out of my snarky comfort zone is deserving of an Israeli supermodel link or two…..

        • “People respond not so much to the height of your logic, but to the depth of the emotion with which you appeal to them. Why throw away that useful lever?”

          I’ll concede that point.

          “BTW, amateurs built the Ark, engineers gave us Titanic”

          Uhmm, yes about that:

          The engineering was roughly in line with the standards of the day, but what sank it (figuratively and more important, literally) was the shoddy workmanship (some rivets the wrong size for the holes they were set in) and most critically, 3X as much slag in the iron, making them rather brittle and prone to shattering, which, as it turned out, they did, when they hit that oversized icecube in the cold waters of the North Atlantic.

          (Insert bubbling sounds *here*)

          “(joke here, joke)”

          I *could* make a sneering reference to the stereotype of perpetually drunken Irish workers, but I most certainly won’t stoop that level of boorish behavior…

          🙂

        • Serious comment….

          Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable because of the ability to suffer water breach in, I think, 4 watertight compartments, but not 5. So far, so good. It seems the vaunted watertight compartments were open at the top, forming a sort of ice cube tray where as the bow went down, water from one compartment flooded over the top and into the next, and so on. But, even if the ship had sunk even keel, bow to stern, water would have eventually risen above the bulkheads, flowing into the next compartment. Do you happen to know if engineers of the day were just too unimaginative to consider the ice tray effect?

        • “God invented whisky to keep the Irish from ruling the world…”

          Perhaps that explains much about the way the world operates.

        • “Do you happen to know if engineers of the day were just too unimaginative to consider the ice tray effect?”

          I don’t know on that, however, engineering arrogance has historically, bitten time and time again. (It can’t happen!) Engineers can get blinded by the majesty of the project, and the Olympic-class ships were the preeminent ship designs of the day. The substandard metallurgical quality of the rivets and sloppy workmanship of their installation certainly didn’t help. A whole string of ‘iffs’ led to a classic accident chain…

        • Actually, no. People used other deadly weapons in offense and defense (including self-defense). There were alternatives to gun powder that were (and still are) very effective for killing.

          Please, do not fall into the thinking trap that the only meaning of, or tool for, self-defense is a gun. Guns are not the only effective weapon for defense. They might be more fun, but they are not the start and finish of weapons for self-defense.

        • Actually, no. People used other deadly weapons in offense and defense (including self-defense). There were alternatives to gun powder that were (and still are) very effective for killing.

          First, the objective is not to kill, but rather to stop the threat. Doing so may require/result in killing, but that outcome is a(n infrequent) byproduct of stopping the threat.

          Second, a firearm is the most effective tool to stop the threat. I would much rather my wife carry a handgun than a sword, mace, or other weapon.

          Third, a firearm is the most effective tool to stop the threat without causing harm, up to and including death. Most defensive gun uses do not even involve discharge of the firearm, and of those that do, very few result in death. Since the objective is to stop the threat, and not necessarily to kill (or even to injure), no other tool even comes close to the efficacy of the firearm.

        • Should I conclude that faced with any other weapon, a threat can never be stopped (which is code for “kill”)? No other weapon can prevent an attack? Citation, please.

        • No, “stop the threat” is not code for “kill.” Something like 98% of all defensive gun uses do not result in death.

        • Anyone entering your home illegally with intent to harm you or family members risks being shot and killed. Now don’t read to far into when I say “intent to harm”. It’s not a questionnaire. It’s situational. As long as I have the upper hand in the situation there will always be an attempt to safely identify the target. I have 2 kids who constantly have friends coming and going at all times of the evening and night. I’m prepared to take a life for the safety of my family. Remember, you are getting ready to take a life, you have one chance to get this right. I rehearsed shooting angles in my house to know where I need to be to place me between my family and someone entered. I plan and train to make accurate decisions. If that threat is identified as armed, unknown, unrecognizable, unwanted, and family is in danger…. It’s going to be an ugly day for someone.

          Despite being armed I think we have an obligation to ensure who our targets are, who is down range, and only at that point do you send rounds out that you can’t take back.

        • Despite being armed I think we have an obligation to ensure who our targets are, who is down range, and only at that point do you send rounds out that you can’t take back.

          Lost in this whole mess of a discussion is a valid criticism: the homeowner shot through the front door, thereby violating Rule Four.

        • New information is the brother and firefighters had entered the house. In Maryland I think the shooter may still be found in the wrong.

          Personally believe the rising crime rates, current economy, news reporters, have people in a state of paranoia.

          I am total 2a supporter but gun owners need to know their abilities if used for self defense. And I’m not just talking about the ability to aim. Like driving, more time behind the wheel increases reaction times, decision making, and just general safety.

          We want people to stop attacking our rights. We need to make better decisions when we exercise our rights.

        • New information is the brother and firefighters had entered the house. In Maryland I think the shooter may still be found in the wrong.

          We want people to stop attacking our rights. We need to make better decisions when we exercise our rights.

          If that is accurate, then I can find no fault with the homeowner. The outcome was tragic, but not criminal in any way.

        • MD has no Castle Doctrine. Shooting blindly still may have consequences. You are entitled to your opinion nor am I debating them. I believe in confirming my target. Shooting blindly is just not a responsible use of a firearm.

        • “No, “stop the threat” is not code for “kill.” Something like 98% of all defensive gun uses do not result in death.”

          Yes, it is code for “kill”, or try to kill. “Kill” is the most effective means of stopping the threat; dead means no longer a threat. But that aside, the rest of my question was whether you are asserting that no weapon other than a gun ever was, or ever can be, effective in defense. If so, do you have studies supporting?

        • Yes, it is code for “kill”, or try to kill. “Kill” is the most effective means of stopping the threat; dead means no longer a threat.

          Ex hoc ergo propter hoc FTL. Thanks for playing.

          But that aside, the rest of my question was whether you are asserting that no weapon other than a gun ever was, or ever can be, effective in defense. If so, do you have studies supporting?

          And followed up with a straw man. I never said no other weapon could be effective. I said that a firearm was the most effective.

        • “And followed up with a straw man. I never said no other weapon could be effective. I said that a firearm was the most effective.”

          – No straw man. You posited that essentially gun is the only means of self-defense. I asked if you were truly making the assertion that no other weapon could be as effective in defense. Where’s the straw man? You declare now that it is the most effective. I already asked, but based on what analysis do you conclude it is the most effective self-defense weapon in all circumstances?

        • You posited that essentially gun is the only means of self-defense.

          No. I said that a firearm is the most effective.

          Most and only have different definitions, and are not interchangeable. But then, you know that.

        • Let me ask again, upon what analysis do you conclude a gun is the most effective defensive weapon, in all circumstances?

          Let me put forward some caveats: “most” effective must mean least effort for the result. That means zero misses, and one-shot stops.

          I can believe that in certain circumstances, a gun can be more likely to end a threat (like that term better?) than certain other defensive weapons, but less effective in certain circumstances than some other non-gun defensive weapons.

        • Let me ask again, upon what analysis do you conclude a gun is the most effective defensive weapon, in all circumstances?

          Just a sampling of reasons:

          A firearm can be used by anyone, regardless of age, physical prowess, fitness/health level, gender, etc.
          A firearm requires very little training/skill to use competently.
          A firearm can be carried almost anywhere, easily.
          A firearm can be deployed outside of contact distance.
          A firearm – as happens in 2/3 of all DGUs – can effectively stop a threat without ever being discharged, by presenting a threat of deadly force.

          Let me put forward some caveats: “most” effective must mean least effort for the result. That means zero misses, and one-shot stops.

          I do not accept your caveats. You exclude zero-shot stops, and unless a firearm is designed to fire only a single shot, you arbitrarily and incorrectly exclude stops that may require more than one shot.

          I can believe that in certain circumstances, a gun can be more likely to end a threat (like that term better?) than certain other defensive weapons, but less effective in certain circumstances than some other non-gun defensive weapons.

          No single tool is universally the most effective in every circumstance. I believe that the firearm is the most effective tool, in the broadest range of circumstances.

          I’m curious about the circumstances in which you believe a firearm to be less effective than other non-gun defensive weapons. Can you elaborate?

        • “I’m curious about the circumstances in which you believe a firearm to be less effective than other non-gun defensive weapons. Can you elaborate?”

          – One that comes immediately to mind is the armed person who is nose-to-nose with an assailant. A person armed with a semi-automatic pistol can no longer just whip-out a gun and use it at leisure. The assailant is upon you, grabbing and grasping, or pointing a loaded gun at you. The average “anyone, regardless of age, physical prowess, fitness/health level, gender, etc.” cannot effectively deploy a gun (most people will literally attempt to jam their gun against the body of the attacker), without serious training in technique and tactics. A semi-auto jammed against the body of an attacker may work once (maybe), but is likely to fail to go into battery for a second shot (on-shot stops are not something to be counted upon). A victim wielding a knife can effectively jab into clothing and flesh, maybe more than once (for some reason, humans seem to have a rabid fear of being stabbed/cut). A person with Mace, or a hammer, or a broken beer bottle can still deliver multiple hits because there is no recoil system to be disrupted. Regarding a knife, it is almost reflex reaction for almost “anyone, regardless of age, physical prowess, fitness/health level, gender, etc.” to stab, slash and jab. An attacker suffering knife wounds may not be susceptible to the “I didn’t know I was shot” syndrome. Cuts seem to deliver a most immediate, undeniable warning to the brain.

  15. Something like this happened to me many years ago in a NE apartment complex. The Maintenance department was doing ” in home light replacement upgrades.” They obviously didn’t send out a 2 week advanced “notice of entry to repairs.” Because they had a Residential Security officer with them as they were doing it. My self, at the time. I was working overnights at a city hospital in the maintenance department. I told these property management types that I needed the required notice so I could take a day out for any unusual in home maintenance. This way I didn’t lose any sleep if they took forever, or kept comeback and forth though out the day. Unfortunately, In this event. I had a long shift and was extremely tired and wasn’t expecting any interruptions. I had a set an in home security brace system that I had for my front door. Since my home was burglarized once before. While I was in a deep sleep with a/c on. The maintenance personnel, and security officer knocked on my door a number of times. I was “out cold” and didn’t here them. So, the maintenance personnel and the security officer decided they would use their “master keys ” to enter my dwelling to “effect repairs. .” Well, guess what? They ran into my security door brace. They couldn’t get in .So, here is where the story gets bizzare. A stranger in hallway saw the commotion near my apartment . He informed the security person, and the maintenance personnel that he was an EMT and he would help “perform an emergency well fare check!” So this big guy starts kicking in my door. Well it sure eventually woke me up, and all I was hearing was a racket that scared the shit out of me! Noone was identifying themselves while they were doing this! So this guy defeated my lock and door brace violently kicking in my door! I didn’t own any firearms *(because my state is restrictive)* I was in my boxers in the living room confronting this guy while wrapped in a blanket! He comes in, sees me, and reversed coarse straight out the door. Right past the security officer in the maintenance people without saying a word. The maintenance people and the security office just stood there looking at each other I suddenly went berserk and started yelling as a security officer in the maintenance personnel. I demanded to know who the person was they kicked in my door who just ran out. Suddenly it dawned on the security person and the maintenance personnel that didn’t even ask the person for identification or if you had any backup present. I yelled at the property management Personnel tell him that they were incompetent for not issuing out any immediate notice two people who worked on 3rd Shift. After all that was said and done. The security officer came back as the man was trying to flee in his car. And found out from a neighbor that the man who kicked in my door was actually a home health aide. Could just decided to take advantage of the moment and play Hero. The property management people told me that because they acting landlords. That they will be banning me from possessing a security door brace or any other security devices in my home to prevent property management Personnel from entry. I said take me to court! I had called the police, and they were just as baffled and incompetent as the property management people with their overzealous entries into apartments, and extremely poor judgment .Especially when it came to strangers operating on the clock with them! I don’t live there anymore. I told them to go f#/& themselves with their prison living!

  16. So if the man had had a sword and killed the fireman, that would be ok? Or would the ass sandwich (just making my dislike of your existence clear) that is 2ASux blather on about sword training? Killed them with his bare hands = hand training?

    It does suck hard the foreman got killed. They only broke down the door because they cared, it wasn’t for fun. I don’t know how you “fix” something like this. I don’t think enough details of the situation are there to arm chair quarterback

  17. My mother had type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes. She went into a Diabetic shock and was not discovered until may hours had passed, at which point she had entered a coma from which she stayed for several months until her death.

    The firefighters had every right to forcibly enter the premises. Had they not done so and the victim entered a coma or even died, they would have been sued for being negligent in the discharge of their duty. Furthermore, as the NRA and many others note:

    Know your target and what is beyond. — Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.

    • Government employees do not have rights. They have delegated powers.

      If someone kicks in my door, they are an intruder and will catch a bullet, period.

  18. I’m a firefighter, and I’ve entered homes without posted addresses. Each time I loudly yelled “Fire Dept! Is there an emergency here?” Multple times while knocking loudly. The doors were unlocked, and I placed only one foot over the threshold. The homeowners were understanding. If the door was locked, I would need to see fire or smoke to break and enter. Absent smoke, I think the entry is at police discretion. My condolences to the fire fighters families. This was manslaughter at minimum. Time to add kevlar to the nomex.

    • How is this manslaughter? By your own statement you would only enter if you saw evidence of fire otherwise leave it to the police.

      • First there is no Castle Doctrine in Maryland. He still could be charged. Now reading the county I retired from had an incident of smoke in the building, was evacuating the building and forced entry to an apartment who would not answer and was believed to be the origination of smoke. They were met by an armed woman. They backed out and talked the situation down. Easily could have been a dead firefighter. The woman verified her target that God.

  19. Tragedy for for sure.

    I am VFD, and there is no way I am forcing myself into a home that is not on fire, or no apparent emergency exists.

  20. You’re all delusional if you think the emergency response medic deserved to be shot for trying to save a man from going into a coma. You can replace a door. If you’re so paranoid that your first reaction is to shoot anything that spooks you it’s time to lock the gun away.

  21. The entire comment section of this could be posted verbatim with a title “Why gun nuts are nuts” in any popular tabloid. And it would be pretty damn convincing.

    2Asux scores again.

  22. 26 years on a Truck co. In a very urban city last 10 years as an LT . We force entry all the time on these calls as well as a Host of others, such as fumes calls , water coming through the ceilings and a million other reasons .

    Sorry once the call is made and we’re on scene, we control it . Smoke showing lol! It’s an ems call…..

    In this case a relitive was on scene and concerned because of the medical issues of the resident . They should of course knock loudly over and over , have scene lights on, yell over and over , do a 360 after that forced enrty is legal and warranted . Done it 100’s of times.

    Oh and you may not want to shoot blindly through doors, identifying targets and all that ……

  23. ECON100 was waiting for you at college

    I said the condom on cucumber hotdog down a hallway thing last time so I wont say it again

    I wont dignify your lack of economic understanding with a answer that educates you with such

    So google away

    “Opportunity Cost”

  24. Why oh why are you lowering your site standards to have a troll post “articles” RF? I’d rather hear from Grindstone or Paul McCain again Pretty sure I annoy some folks but I am rabidly pro-gun. I don’t see that from Mr.(?) Sux. Are you sure he isn’t the latest incarnation of Mike “the dumb guy” Weiser? FWIW I’m sorry to see a fireman get killed but I also see no compelling reason to break in. Diabetic coma prone folks give a spare key to “concerned” friends/relatives…BTW this is the 1st time in a week I was able to get through without a glitch.

  25. “ECON100 was waiting for you at college”

    Ok, you have me here. I am not making the connection to anything before, but if you would be so good as to remind me the context into which the comment above, I would take the time to evaluate and reply.

    Thank you,

  26. I’m willing to go on the point of saying this was a tragic accident by someone who likely needed to have in home living and plausibly didn’t want it. If he was older there’s a chance he was hard of hearing, and if diabetic that is more likely. He was also likely of an age where he didn’t have the best reflexes and/or wasn’t all there mentally and even if he was who is 100% functional when woken up via adrenaline dump due to your door being kicked in?

    The other thing is the firefighter knew what he signed up for. It’s a job with about 3X the mortality rate of the national average. While far from the most dangerous job it’s still higher than average risk. This is by no means a justification nor does it down play the fact that a good person was shot to death. It could have happened just as easily in a burning building or getting hit by another motorist while working an accident on the Interstate. My condolences to the family.

  27. Also, lest we forget, absolutely NOTHING in the linked story tells us about the homeowner. There’s a lot of speculation as to his condition and the circumstances surrounding this incident.

    There was no reason to post this “article” from the poster who submitted it except to gain clicks and create some forum drama. Very childish, TTAG.

    • I’d like to think it was posted because it is a story of another yet innocent victim of gun use. Something that should be important to gun owners, to analyze, discuss, something to reflect on and maybe learn from.

  28. Anti-gun troller aside, I think the case brings up interesting questions. First, at what point can/shoud first-responders use force to enters someone’s property in order to try and save them? After blowing sirens and banging on the door while worried family members look on? What if they see the subject of a welfare check laying on the floor unresponsive (which ended in a similar tragic situation once)? What if there IS a fire? If someone blows away a firefighter in that case because the fire wasn’t in their room (or they had too much to drink, etc)is there any culpability?

    Should we tell people “you better not get injured or ill in your home because you’re on your own?” Fine, then let’s say that. Maybe institute a registry that either prohibits officials from entering your home to try and render aid or one that specifically says “yes, please come save me and I won’t shoot you.” Maybe we should hand the brother (or whomever) an axe and let him do it. But we should make it clear, because this firefighter didn’t deserve to get shot for trying to save someone’s life.

    • Exigent circumstances are what you are describing, and it’s an exception to 4A protection.

      To do that without being shot, there is this technique called breach and wait, instead of the call of duty breach and clear.

      If the fire team needs access to my apartment to douse a fire in the next unit, which I’m not aware of and would interpret such as a warantless search / police imposter home invasion, the fire team could legally breach the door and stay outside to verbally communicate the situation. They do not have to just rush in at the next moment. After their clear, legitimate announcement, were I to reach out of my residence and shoot them, or shoot through the wall without target identification, that’s flat out murder. If I were a psycho who would think it right to shoot people in such a situation, I’d have already killed someone else long before this.

      Problem solved

      • Very good. Like probably many, my thinking about forceful entry for wellness check was breach and clear. Your’s is a nice idea. Hope it is already the “norm”, and others will follow.

      • If the firefighter broke down the door and charged in with an axe yelling “AHHHHHHHH! I’m coming to save y..” then I agree that there’s a problem. But I doubt that’s what happened, based on my experience.

        And let’s say that the firefighter in question did everything possible- shouting through every door, dressed in firefighting gear, etc. Just for argument, he still gets shot and killed. I think, based on some of the comments I see on this post, that some would still say the homeowner was legally in the right. That’s where I have a problem; we can’t simultaneously ask these guys to do a job and say it’s no legal problem to shoot them while they are doing that job. So we should pick one.

    • Oh and no I cannot shoot through the door just because somebody is breaching

      Capability, opportunity and intent to deal lethal harm must be there before justifiable lethal force can be used

      I’d be charged and convicted if I kill somebody through the door just because there is a perceived breaching going on. Capability and intent cannot be determined just by banging on or breaching, the door

      • You may be right about intent, but I’d say it’s at least a fair assumption that someone who has the strength and/or tools to bust down a locked door certainly has the capability to cause you serious harm.

        • There is a reason ‘no-knock’ warrants are (or should be) more difficult to get than ‘regular’ ones. Still, I can’t imagine these firefighters just decided to break down a door without doing their best to get the attention of occupants. It just doesn’t jive with everything I’ve experienced of these situations.

  29. Kicking down a person’s door without notification is STUPID. The gun owner had reason to feel threatened. Reasonable fear for one’s life is justification for deadly physical force.

    As a side note, I think these so-called “welfare checks” are jack-booted warrantless searches pretending to be manners. Take a look at the link I just posted about this. It’s an evil loophole in the 4th amendment, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they started doing this sh** in NY and CT in an effort to find those unregistered AR-15’s.

    This death is on the fire department, NOT on the gun owner. The family of the fire department should sue the fire department for their stupidity. Maybe they’ll think twice next time before smashing down someone’s door and scaring the h**l out of them!

    If the home owner didn’t have a gun, the fire fighter could still have had his head smashed by a baseball bat. Any red-blooded American is going to defend himself with the closest weapon available in a home invasion.

    Finally, this bleeding heart liberal troll just admitted a number of 500, which is lower than cars, drowning, falling, and most other causes if accidental deaths out there. I wonder if this d-bag has a swimming pool…

    • I’m sorry I disagree. I’m very pro gun! A responsible gun owner identifies their target, insures missed rounds don’t strike innocent bystanders down range, and can do so in a manner while still providing safety for themselves. Taking that extra second to ensure I don’t harm a family member, first responder, or confused bystander is worth that second.

    • Yes, once “they” remove all the guns from criminals and gangers. And only then.

      Maybe if people don’t conclude they are living under an occupying army that can excuse shooting down rappers and peaceful demonstrators, maybe then the public will support a “war” on guns amongst the worst elements. When guns are pretty much taken out of society, police are safer, with no need to use guns against each other.

      • Won’t work.

        A modest home workshop can build an improvised gun. The criminals will be cranking them out to sell to other criminals to defend their criminal empire.

        Therefore, law enforcement must always have guns, and some of them will be killed to get their gun.

        You can’t put the genie of knowledge back in the metaphoric bottle The weak and elderly have a right to get to the supermarket without getting their pension check stolen from them by a thug, no matter who they are.

        All human life has a right to defend themselves from human predators…

        • “A modest home workshop can build an improvised gun.”

          Yes, of course. Which brings the question, “Are Americans genetically defective?” By that, I mean is there something about being in this nation that alters humanity? Europe (and any industrialized country) has machine shops, home work benches, all the materials to make a crude gun (there is a Sten gun blueprint on the internet), and plenty of criminals. Why is it that the bad guys in other countries do not present the same threat of home brew guns? Why is the home made gun only a likely phenomena in the US? Are Americans simply more violence-prone than anywhere else on the planet?

        • Are Americans simply more violence-prone than anywhere else on the planet?

          No; we’re merely more freedom-prone. (At least, we used to be.)

        • Based on your note, it is most difficult not to conclude Americans equate freedom and violence; can’t have one without the other.

        • Based on your note, it is most difficult not to conclude Americans equate freedom and violence; can’t have one without the other.

          You can’t have humans without violence. That said: yes, it is true that some people will abuse freedom to engage in violence. I would not trade freedom for the mere perception of reduction in risk of violence – and it is indeed mere perception, because anything that would restrict freedom would only compel the law-abiding.

          Restricting the freedom of the law-abiding only facilitates the violent to act with greater impunity.

        • Maybe rather than buy more guns, more should be done to remove some of the major reasons for crime. The F-35 is going to cost a projected $1.4 trillion over it designed effective life. A country that rich should be able to devise ways to become the lowest crime incident nation of the world.

        • What, you mean, like, reduce economic inequality, increase social mobility, and provide a better safety net for catastrophic life events, like public healthcare?

          What are you, some kind of commie? Did you see what these policies did to Sweden? Their gulags are so brutal that there are literally no survivors (which is why we don’t know anything about them – other than the fact that they exist, because they surely have to, them being commies and all).

        • I did not know that Americans (and America) is so bankrupt of ideas that the only way to improve society is to adopt draconian government programs. Maybe not such a good place to move to.

          Your are right about the gulags in Sweden, though.

        • >> I did not know that Americans (and America) is so bankrupt of ideas that the only way to improve society is to adopt draconian government programs.

          It has been going downhill all the way since 1789, when those statist assholes ruined the Articles of Confederation. It was only a matter of time before we got to gulags from there. ~

        • “It has been going downhill all the way since 1789, when those statist assholes ruined the Articles of Confederation. ”

          I always liked that “sovereign state” idea.

          Hi, Chris !

        • If you mean build more prisons, and keep violent offenders locked up in them permanently, then yes: there is something a rich nation can do to deal with crime.

        • “If you mean build more prisons, and keep violent offenders locked up in them permanently, then yes: there is something a rich nation can do to deal with crime.”

          That’s it? That’s the best America can think of to reduce crime?

        • “2asux, where are you from?”

          Here. (unless you apply the Heisenberg theory of uncertainty)

          Is location really relevant?

        • “If you are not from America then you are not relevant to the discussion.”

          – Only America has firefighters, EMTs and individuals with handguns at home? You do realize there is more to the world than the continental US, right? Places where the same things that happen in America happen elsewhere, and might be of interest to a wider audience?

        • We are discussing America’s 2nd amendment right? How does that apply to any other country? It doesn’t. You want to talk about SOP’s, let’s do it. That bridges the gap of the discussion, not our 2nd Amendment.

        • We must be reading two different articles. The one I read was about an attempt to check on the health of an unresponsive individual that resulted in death of a firefighter. There are nations around the world who have no 2A, but have citizens possessing handguns who could pose the same scenario. Generally, private possession of guns poses philosophical difficulties. Whether a private individual should need or have a gun for personal protection is a question of interest beyond America. If I were someone looking to move to America, the politics of guns would be of great interest because of the threat guns (people with guns) pose to society.

        • Yeah, we must be reading two different things. I don’t see any discussion by you on firefighter and EMT’s being shot. You seem more concerned about our freedoms.

        • The entire premise of the posting was about an unnecessary death during an attempted rescue. If the unresponsive homeowner did not have a gun, the firefighter could not have been shot. The unresponsive homeowner acted in complete, uninformed, un-analyzed reflex. If the unresponsive homeowner held a defensive weapon other than a gun, the outcome probably would not have even made the papers. The upshot of the posting was that a gun owner (one of the most law-abiding, responsible people on the planet) killed an innocent. An innocent whose death is relegated to the “statistically insignificant” rubbish bin of concern. An innocent whose life I cannot ever deem “just the cost of freedom”, especially since the innocent firefighter no longer has any freedom, while his killer is walking about freely.

        • That’s it? That’s the best America can think of to reduce crime?

          Almost all violent crime in the US is committed by about 2% of the population. Put enough of them in prison, for good, and a) violent crime is immediately reduced, and b) more and more of the not-incarcerated 2% will suddenly realize that their time and effort might be better spent on other pursuits.

          (This comment dedicated to Fox Butterfield.)

        • “Put enough of them in prison, for good, and a) violent crime is immediately reduced, and b) more and more of the not-incarcerated 2% will suddenly realize that their time and effort might be better spent on other pursuits.”

          – There is attractive logic in your reasoning; prison as punishment forming a deterrent. However…..Is not your nation’s theory of criminal justice rehabilitation over punishment? Does long-term incarceration deter alone, or is there more to it, such as certainty of detection, certainty of apprehension, certainty of conviction? Your legal system seems to be less than efficient at those points. There is an old rubric that if innocent, but accused, I favor the British system because it operates on near certainty that a person arrested is indeed guilty and highly likely to be convicted. On the other hand, if guilty, I favor the American justice system because the guilty have a high likelihood to not be convicted. Makes crime more attractive under the legal casino known as American jurisprudence.

        • However…..Is not your nation’s theory of criminal justice rehabilitation over punishment? Does long-term incarceration deter alone, or is there more to it, such as certainty of detection, certainty of apprehension, certainty of conviction?

          The typical murder convict has a lengthy rap sheet full of prior convictions for violent crimes. If someone is in prison, one cannot be committing violent crimes among free society. So, yes: incarcerating a violent criminal will first and foremost prevent occurrence of violent crime.

          I couldn’t care less about “rehabilitation”. Such is, for the most part, not possible with violent criminals. I care only about separating them, permanently if need be, from free society.

          As for deterrence: our current, revolving-door “justice” system certainly can’t accomplish any meaningful deterrence. That’s why we need to prosecute/convict more violent criminals, and give them sentences that stick.

        • Regardless of background, location, occupation, politics, we do agree that removing criminals from society at the very least deters that criminal from committing crimes against society whilst that criminal is locked up. Not a bad thing, at all.

        • I have 30 years of Fire/Rescue experience in the PG County/ DC area. You want answers or discussion. Shoot! No pun intended.

        • I slipped the track here. Not understanding you note, in relation to my response to Chip.

        • You said you were discussing fire, ems, etc. And not our 2a. Ask away. I’m overly qualified to answer your fire/rescue questions.

        • Right. The premise was/is that the situation involved another negligent use of a firearm (based on the first report) resulting in the death of an innocent. An innocent likely to be tossed on the trash heap of “statistically insignificant” casualties of negligent and irresponsible use of a gun. Not only was the death someone who was not a threat, but someone trying to save a life.

          I simply cannot meekly accept the notion that anyone with a gun is somehow exempt from responsibility to the society to use the gun so as to not harm innocents.

        • I’m a retired firefighter. The loss of a brother firefighter is like losing family.

          That being said we have a second amendment and it shall not be infringed. I personally hold us gun owners to a higher standard and absolutely think a blind shooting is unacceptable under most circumstances. This one included.

          What pisses me off about you anti 2a people is you cherry pick what you want to stand up for. The typical person (underline typical) that frequents a site like this are experienced or more proficient and safe with firearms than people you really should be talking to. You come here to chastise folks who typically are not committing crimes with firearms. There are far more broader groups to preach to. But that wouldn’t satisfy you would it?

          If you don’t have the balls to go knock on drug dealer and gang member doors, don’t come here and preach your crap. Are their lives not good enough for you to stand up for?

          How about putting your energy that could make a difference towards something that is not a protected right. Go talk to kids about drug addiction, drunk driving, Dr prescribed drug deaths.

          It eats you up because you don’t have control of something. That is what you Liberals like right? Control? Sell our country out at all cost for control? Smh I don’t agree with this shooting and the loss of a brother but it really pisses me off that you use the loss of a brother for a podium to spit your hate. Pathetic!

        • “What pisses me off about you anti 2a people is you cherry pick what you want to stand up for. The typical person (underline typical) that frequents a site like this are experienced or more proficient and safe with firearms than people you really should be talking to. You come here to chastise folks who typically are not committing crimes with firearms. There are far more broader groups to preach to. But that wouldn’t satisfy you would it”?

          First, thank you and all the others who serve as firefighters and EMTs. Of all the government services, yours is beyond question service to all.

          Not to start an old argument, but 2A is not absolute; courts have ruled such.

          As to the comment inserted above (and probably all of the comment). Maybe you are satisfying yourself with a cursory glance and a knee-jerk reaction. Maybe there is more here than meets the eye.

          But to make some of it more plain, any gun owner, any gun owner who thinks they do not need training needs training (thanks, SMajor). Respectable gun owners here should be leading the chorus among all their gun friends for more and better among gun owners. I don’t know all your contacts, so I cannot get to them individually with the message.

          Again, my overt theme here is that another innocent victim of gun handling will be added to the “statistically insignificant”, and that is abominable. Other than you and other firefighters/EMTs, almost all the people commenting on this forum are and will intellectually remain unaffected by innocent death by gunfire. What a signal tragedy. It is that callousness the reinforces the “gun nut” image gun owners project to the public (with able assist by anti-gun groups).

          The issue my post was highlighting was not gun possession right or wrong, but the senseless death of someone at the hands of a gun owner who (shooting through the door) acted irresponsibly (if the news reports are correct). There are numerous “Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day) postings, but most of the follow-up commentary is repetitious echo chamber, snark, outright disgust for other commenters, and very little about measures to prevent a recurrence (other than “follow the four rules”). It is the overall thrust of the conversations, the small-thinking environment fertilized by people who wish no one would notice their school-child behavior.

          The perception allowed due to the characteristics presented here and other gun blogs is the reality you earned with the public. Have your guns, but recognize if you were truly winning the battle for unrestricted gun rights, you would not be on permanent defense.

        • Here’s where you’re wrong:

          Again, my overt theme here is that another innocent victim of gun handling will be added to the “statistically insignificant”

          This incident was tragic, and involved a victim. But that victim put himself in position to be victimized, because his actions caused the homeowner reasonably to fear for his life.

          This was not an instance of unsafe or negligent gun handling. It was a tragic miscommunication, the root cause of which was the attempt to break open the door of a homeowner.

        • So not knowing your target, what’s behind your target, is good gun handling? Perhaps it was a legal kill. That’s still to be determined. We don’t have a Castle Doctrine here. But good gun handling would have prevented this accident.

        • So not knowing your target, what’s behind your target, is good gun handling? Perhaps it was a legal kill. That’s still to be determined. We don’t have a Castle Doctrine here. But good gun handling would have prevented this accident.

          When someone is put in reasonable fear of threat to life or limb, that person often reasonably does not have the luxury of taking more than a split second to decide how to respond to the threat of which he reasonably fears. Waiting until the person forcibly entering one’s home clearly identifies himself may only serve to reduce or eliminate the opportunity to defend oneself.

          You keep saying that the People’s Republic of Maryland (my parents lived in Calvert County for over a decade while they worked at Pax River; I know exactly how things work there) doesn’t have a Castle Doctrine, as if that somehow absolves the State if it chooses to bring charges. Every human being has natural rights, including the right to defense of oneself, especially in one’s home.

          This incident hinges on the decision to violate the homeowner’s fourth amendment-protected rights in the absence of probable cause or exigent circumstances. Those who chose to break into his home for a specious “wellness check” took the risk of putting the homeowner in reasonable mortal fear, and tragically, that’s exactly what happened.

        • You can say what you want. I live here and Ave my entire life. Closely intertwined with local and state police. I know what is expected from MD before using deadly force. Furthermore, if you wish to cower in fear and not know who you are shooting, where bullets are going down range, or even notify someone you are in hear and armed, you may choose to do so. Myself as a responsible gun owner is going to try to verify the target or alleviate the problem. Turning light’s on could have changed it, asking who was at the door could have changed it, verifying target could have changed it. You want to shoot innocent people and stand on here and puff out the chest, so be it. I will choose to not make a mistake that results in an innocent life being taken. I know my hone layout, I know my capabilities, and I will know before choosing to take a life.

          History in Maryland BTW is to retreat safely to the furthest point in your home before using deadly force.

        • Turning light’s on could have changed it, asking who was at the door could have changed it, verifying target could have changed it.

          Yes, those things could have changed it. But you miss the most important one: not breaking down someone’s door without probable cause would have changed it.

        • Neither you nor I knows what was said or found that night to lead them in that door. Fire and ems are goal driven and something motivated them to go above and beyond. If that was your mother, you on the scene asking for help, I know what you would want the FD to do.

        • If that was your mother, you on the scene asking for help, I know what you would want the FD to do.

          If that was my mother, I wouldn’t need the FD’s help entering her home, because my family has made appropriate preparations/precautions in that regard. The same was true of my grandmother, before we needed to move her to assisted living.

        • Boy, FD wouldn’t have a job if everyone was prepared as you. Unfortunately that isn’t real world experience. We interact with all kinds of people from different races, background, education. We still have a job to do. For the record if your neighbor called the FD for your parents because they thought she was in trouble, and evidence pointed she was in trouble, I’d still do my job and force entry to save her. You can’t plan out everything.

        • For the record if your neighbor called the FD for your parents because they thought she was in trouble, and evidence pointed she was in trouble, I’d still do my job and force entry to save her.

          That’s a rather important caveat, and one that does not appear to apply to the situation under discussion. In fact: what constitutes probable cause is the key question here. With imperfect information, it isn’t a question that we can answer definitively.

          But I will say this much: if the “evidence” was limited to “my brother won’t answer his phone”, then I assert that such evidence does not constitute probable cause of a medical emergency necessitating breaking into the home.

        • Neither you nor I know what really happened that night. We are both making assumptions. Knowing my brother firefighter’s from PG County they are very experienced. I’d like to think every step was done in a manner to let the homeowner know they were there to help. I also think if the brother had not been there they wouldn’t have forced entry. You are assuming the fire department just forced entry. Usually we look for many signs before entering like car in driveway and mail piled up or newspapers. Believe me the fire department just don’t show up with the intention of entering.

        • I can only analyze based on known, imperfect information. But it doesn’t help that some firefighters (not you, to my knowledge) commenting here, and saying in essence, “I can and will come into your home, if I deem it necessary” does not give me great confidence that establishing probable cause is always held sacrosanct before conducting such a forced entry.

          Smoke coming out of the house? Exigent circumstances.
          Fire next door that could spread? Exigent circumstances.
          But “my brother isn’t answering the phone”, absent other evidence? Not exigent circumstances.

          The line isn’t always clear, but I’ve seen some firefighters conflating the above circumstances, instead of recognizing, at a minimum, that this situation was a gray area.

        • Liability wise we are caught between a rock and a hard place. Miss a clue and leave grandma on the floor for days, she dies, etc., we are in trouble, we force entry and this happens. I would put any money they came in loud and proud letting the homeowner know they were there to help. I’m saying I have kids and family members that cone and go through the night. As a responsible gun owner I’m going to make sure the life I’m taking is not a mistake.

        • “This was not an instance of unsafe or negligent gun handling.”

          While we do not have the requisite excruciating detail necessary to know everything about the shoot, why would one rule-out the possibilities that the shooter was/is: untrained, unqualified to employ the 4 rules (and violated #4), unprepared for the extreme tension of facing an actual break-in (not my word), did not actually hit his target because he was firing wildly and bullets gotta go somewhere? Why assume the shooter was an experienced pistolero who was in complete control of his mind and body at the time of the shoot?

          Is it just possible, eh, that gun owners are so terrified of an imagined gang of storm troopers coming for guns that gun owners refuse to hear or consider anything that might indicate a serious short-coming in the implementation of 2A? Sorta like “gun grabbers” refuse to even allow children to see or speak the word “gun” (no Eddie Eagle in my child’s school !)?

        • “Where exactly are you from again?”

          Here, where English is the national language. Being interested in, and knowledgeable of certain things does not require a physical presence, does it? I mean, internet and all. Sometimes when you don’t have something, it is useful, encouraging, helpful to be amongst those who do. (however you get there)

        • My point is you choose to attack typical law abiding citizens with your BS on here as apposed to go to the larger problem and address it. Go talk to gang bangers and get back to me on how it goes. Go talk to suicidal folks and talk them into using a more painful means of taking their life. Surely antagonizing law abiding citizens doesn’t gets you off that much.

        • Going to ignore the fact you are a first-responder, and treat this as a conversation with yet another short-sighted gun owner.

          “My point is you choose to attack typical law abiding citizens with your BS on here as apposed to go to the larger problem and address it.”

          – Guns are the larger problem. Without them, no negligent gun deaths among the law-abiding.

          “Go talk to gang bangers and get back to me on how it goes.”

          – Why is it that 100 million law-abiding gun owners have had no effect on gang bangers and inner-city crime? More guns equal less crime, except it doesn’t, else gang bangers and criminals wouldn’t present such a problem. If the sum of all the free guns held by law abiding people is to keep crime (and homicide by gunfire) generally level over 15 years, you live in a very sad place.

          “Go talk to suicidal folks and talk them into using a more painful means of taking their life.”

          – Really? Coming from a first-responder? You know drugs are virtually a painless death. But, I digress. I find no moral, logical, economic or societal obligation to interfere with someone’s decision to do what they want with their body, such as kill it. BTW, even suicides miss with guns. That is less painful?

          Again…”My point is you choose to attack typical law abiding citizens with your BS on here as apposed to go to the larger problem and address it.”

          – Do all of you view any opposing viewpoint as an attack? Do you categorize a challenge to group think as an attack? Do you folks realize your life view is one of attack and counter attack as the social norm? Only in a child-like mind is a caution considered an attack on a person’s being, legitimacy, self-image. The image of immature children, wanna be cowboys, un-reachable, unreasonable, dull-witted, trigger-happy loons is one constructed by the guns everywhere advocates. That image was not manufactured out of the clouds by the anti-gun lobby. It is why your side is always on the defensive, which is curious because if the public perception about the proliferation of guns was overwhelmingly supportive, you either would not be on the defense, or the matter would not even register with the vast majority of the public.

          If you want to really see “attack”, venture over into the “nutty liberal” anti-gun forums. What I pose here is completely tame.

        • Your argument makes no sense. First, my state restricts me from concealed or open carry. How exactly am I supposed to protect myself or family when my right is infringed? I can’t!

          So how is me having guns affecting the gang bangers? Last I checked as a law abiding gun owner I would be breaking the law if I were to address them the appropriate way.

          You subtract suicides and gang related murders and quite frankly your argument falls apart. There will always be violence and you will never get rid of guns in America. You refuse to direct your energy towards the people who are taking the most lives. Doctors, drunk drivers or hammers would be killing more people than guns. But hey, if you can get the law passed that us law abiding citizens can deal with the trash and I’m sure you would have people lining up to clean up our streets.

          Suicide. Forgive me. You seem the type that wants to control how I choose to die. Painless? I’ve seen more successful suicides by firearm than failures. You forget, I’ve seen it, smelled it, heard it. To many times! Why people choose firearms is beyond me. Someone gets to clean it up!

          You get rid of the firearm deaths that you can legally deal with. The ones that don’t follow the law. Then we can talk. Seems counter intuitive to remove firearms from law abiding citizens so the criminals have no reason to worry about committing crimes. Make sense?

          As for Liberals wanting their hands in everything… Some things you just can’t change. Call it paranoia or fear. You got me why they have to try and control everything.

          Outlawing guns will only make criminals out of law abiding citizens. Pout all you want but guns are here to stay.

          Let’s outlaw automobiles. Can you imagine how many lives would be saved. No more drinking and driving, texting and driving, air pollution, noise pollution, reliance on fossil fuels? You want to save lives right now, let’s do that. Hey, no more car jackings, drive by shootings, high speed police chases.

          Sound outrageous? Kind of like attacking the minority group of gun owners for the gun violence or gun issue in America.

        • What is with you people, and the idea that a person without a gun is a helpless, defenseless child among bears? A gun is not the sum total, and single effective means of self-defense against a deadly weapon. If other weapons did not exist that were considered deadly, no one could use deadly force in defense. The internet is a great source for finding effective defensive weapons that are not guns.

          Beware that the thought that a gun makes you bigger, stronger, tougher is the image of gun owners the gun sense capitalizes on. My side loves to point out that gun people feel inadequate, need the self-validating sensation having a gun brings, are paranoid that disaster looms in every shadow, in every civil encounter, and that the government is plotting every hour to come take their guns. The paranoia bit really sings to the near one-half the population that doesn’t have a gun and fears the fear of gun owners.

          “I’ve seen more successful suicides by firearm than failures. You forget, I’ve seen it, smelled it, heard it.”
          – Making my point that without a gun, they cannot check-out that way; leaving things not quite so messy. (You complain about the mess, but don’t want your choice of suicide method constrained?)

          “Outlawing guns will only make criminals out of law abiding citizens”.

          – This mantra is having some popularity, but it is false premise. Outlawing guns makes criminals of only those who illegally posses firearms after guns are outlawed. So, gun owners have a dilemma: “We are the most law-abiding sub-group of people in the country” (until we aren’t, because we only obey the laws we like, and refuse to obey laws prohibiting possession of firearms). Perhaps you have read/heard the anti-gun slogan that there are no law-abiding gun owners, just ones that haven’t committed a crime, yet? Gun owners refusing to surrender their firearms (when required by law), fulfill that slogan.

          “Let’s outlaw automobiles”.

          – Deflection again. Kinds the thing people do when they are out of airspeed and ideas at the same time. If you want to discuss ridding society of personal transportation, let’s go find a forum for that, where such discussion would be germane. We are talking about guns, here. Guns.

          “Kind of like attacking the minority group of gun owners…”

          – Again with the “attacking”. Opposing ideas is not attacking. Disagreeing with someone is not “attacking”. Challenging preconceptions is not “attacking”. Except, apparently, where gun owners are concerned. Living in the belief you are under constant attack leaves you constantly defending, which is not a winning solution.

        • Lmao. You got all the answers and no right on your side. All you’ve done is deflect. Have a great day. I have to go polish and tuck in my guns. Maybe roll my own ammo for this hunting season. Peace.

        • “You got all the answers and no right on your side. All you’ve done is deflect.”

          – I clearly do not understand the first sentence. As to the second, an example would be useful. If I failed to stay on subject (guns), it should have only been as an illustration using analogy.

        • Beware that the thought that a gun makes you bigger, stronger, tougher is the image of gun owners the gun sense capitalizes on. My side loves to point out that gun people feel inadequate, need the self-validating sensation having a gun brings, are paranoid that disaster looms in every shadow, in every civil encounter, and that the government is plotting every hour to come take their guns. The paranoia bit really sings to the near one-half the population that doesn’t have a gun and fears the fear of gun owners.

          Thank you for providing a textbook example of typical, progressive, psychological projection.

        • “Thank you for providing a textbook example of typical, progressive, psychological projection.”

          – Simply pointing out the natural interpretation of his claim of defenselessness without a gun. Asking if he really wants to feed the image gun owners created.

        • Simply pointing out the natural interpretation of his claim of defenselessness without a gun.

          Except that, it isn’t the “natural interpretation” of such a claim; rather, it is a projection of your own beliefs.

        • From the man, himself: “How exactly am I supposed to protect myself or family when my right is infringed? I can’t!”

          – Where am I projecting my alleged sense of helplessness?

        • From the man, himself: “How exactly am I supposed to protect myself or family when my right is infringed? I can’t!”

          – Where am I projecting my alleged sense of helplessness?

          The difference is that one side recognizes the firearm as the single, most-effective means of self-defense, and the other side (including you) doesn’t. Thus, being denied the single, most-effective means of self-defense (and thereby being forced to use less-effective means) is effectively the same thing as being denied the ability to protect oneself and one’s family, because it forces one to use a less-effective, more dangerous, more inherently risky, and even a more barbaric means of self-defense.

          What other self-defense tools do you believe exist that would render such a position untrue?

          And, by the way, the projection comes when you impart the following on the above position: a person without a gun is a helpless, defenseless child among bears.

        • “And, by the way, the projection comes when you impart the following on the above position: a person without a gun is a helpless, defenseless child among bears.”

          – When someone writes they are HELPLESS (meaning zero capability, zero capacity), then they are describing thenselves as “a helpless, defenseless child among bears”; intentionally or not. The implication should cause every gun owner to re-evaluate everything. “I am without any capability, resource, or capacity to defend myself and/or others, under any circumstance, because I do not have a gun”. Is that true? Is that a condition you want broadcast among your friends and family? I can imagine a gun owner who, for whatever reason, finds themselves without a gun, and tells his/her family, “We are going out now, and if someone attacks us, you are all dead because I don’t have my gun, and there is no way at all can defend you from an attack. Love ya'”.

          Of course, not.

      • A woman has the right to use deadly force to defend herself against even an unarmed rapist.

        Your vilification of an inanimate object would set society back to the stone age, where the strong could prey on the weak, with impunity.

        • “A woman has the right to use deadly force to defend herself against even an unarmed rapist.”

          “Oh, do come along, Bond.”

          Get over helpless woman meme. Self-defense using deadly weapons against deadly attack is a natural right. My position all along has been that guns are not the only effective weapon existing for self-defense. “Gun” is not the universally accepted, sole definition of “self-defense”, except among gun owners.

          Question: Instead of salivating over next shiny killing machine, why is there so little effective effort by the gun culture to eliminate the sources of the crimes you must rely on a gun to solve? I would think gun owners capable of doing both, simultaneously. I am not aware of everything POTG do, but have yet to see any notable gun organization involved in solving social problems that incubate crime. Willing to be informed.

        • Question: Instead of salivating over next shiny killing machine, why is there so little effective effort by the gun culture to eliminate the sources of the crimes you must rely on a gun to solve?

          That’s rich, coming from the same person who said that we must ignore the root causes 99.9% of accidental fatalities in the US, because guns.

          Crime has existed for as long as humans have existed. There is nothing we can do to eliminate the proclivity of some humans to murder, assault, rape, steal, and otherwise violently victimize other humans. But providing would-be victims with the most-effective means of defending themselves is entirely within our purview.

        • Are guns more effective in many situations than would be alternative weapons? It would be useful information to have, but such comparison involves too many speculated circumstances. Can almost all alternative deadly weapons create as much havoc, as fast or from such long distances? Not very likely. The problem with guns is targeting and aim control. Bullets that miss are a danger to everyone in line with the barrel, out to 100 yards or more. Bullets accidentally sent on their way are a danger to everyone in line with the barrel, out to 100 yards or more. Do the vast (almost total) majority of alternative deadly weapons threaten people at such distances? The answer was, is, and always will be “NO”. Guns in the hands of undisciplined (untrained, unprofessional, unfamiliar) pose a risk that alternate deadly weapons cannot approach.

          But alternative deadly weapons are deadly when used in defense.

  30. I have no opinion about whether the shooter was in the right or not yet. Not enough information in that news article for me to be comfortable passing judgement.

    As to 2asux’s question; “Any one here want to meet the family of the dead firefighter and tell them that life is tough and stuff happens, because guns? That they should ignore the shooting, because statistically his death is insignificant?”

    I though you knew me better than that, man. I have no qualms about telling people exactly that, about guns or any other issue.

    You know, I’ve had friends murdered-by nutjobs with guns, no less. Yet I don’t favor additional government oversight of firearms. Why?

    The existing attempts at mitigating undesirable gun homicides through government oversight have not been shown to have any measurable impact on those numbers at all, but they have provably, consistently, been used to harass, intimidate, inconvenience and otherwise discourage legal gun ownership.

    As a California resident, the evidence of the failure of the anti-gun side’s proposals to do what they claim while simultaneously allowing and even encouraging widespread, systemic abuse is all around me.

    The only logically sound conclusion is that support for increasingly restrictive gun laws is prima facie evidence of a serious deficiency in critical thinking skills and/or a deliberate attempt to make an end run around the second amendment by making gun ownership as difficult and inconvenient as possible, ideally to the effect of slowly eliminating it entirely.

    Both of these positions are products of emotion run amok (which, incidentally, is usually the precursor to a massive injustice on a societal scale). Emotion is a very ancient and very simplistic biological system; it serves two main purposes in social animals, neither of which have any place in civilized society:

    -To facilitate coarse decision making in fight-or-flight scenarios
    -To encourage behavioral responses that are likely to produce desirable outcomes not necessarily for the individual, but for that individual’s social group, often even when that behavior is detrimental to the individual in question. (Semi-related: http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/01/humans-arent-as-cooperative-as-we-thought-but-make-up-for-it-via-stupidity/ )

    By any rational benchmark, firearms deaths in the United States are irrelevant. I understand the pain of people who have lost someone to a nutjob with a gun; I’ve experienced it firsthand. That pain is a “you” problem, not an “us” problem. You don’t get to make “you” problems “us” problems, especially when the only justification for doing so is “but it hurts!!!” It’s illogical, unethical, and immoral in the extreme.

    • “The existing attempts at mitigating undesirable gun homicides through government oversight have not been shown to have any measurable impact on those numbers at all…”
      – Then how about widespread, voluntary annual gun safety and proficiency training for all gun owners? Training conducted by the name-brand gun rights organizations, or consortium of FFLs? Given the speculated “danger” to gun rights of mandated government initiatives, and the moral obligation of users of deadly weapons to constantly work to lower the risk to innocent citizens, why is there no observable, universal demand from the gun industry (anyone engaged in the gun culture) to attempt to drive down the innocent deaths and injuries far below where that number is today?

      The pain of a negligent death is definitely a problem laid squarely at the feet of the “you” that you call “us”. The gun owners cause the negligent deaths, not the innocent victims. The gun owners possessed the aggressive ability to do negligent harm from near-by, or long distance. The victim owes no debt to the aggressor, nor the responsibility to fade quietly into the “forgotten”. The aggressor bears the full measure and burden of negligence. There is no moral defense for the negligent and irresponsible shooter. Victims of sloppy gun handling should not be casually dismissed as “reality”.

      • Why do you think the number of accidental firearms deaths has fallen so steadily over the years? The NRA and the NSSF have put millions of dollars into gun safety training and education, long before the anti-gun people decided to make “gun safety” a euphemism for gun control.

        I’m seeing an interesting pattern: when you try to “reach out” to us and lecture us about the things we could be doing without government intervention, if they’re not horrible ideas, they’re things people have been doing already, for years.

        There seem to be two underlying premises to your approach, 1: we’re just ignoring firearms accidents because they’re politically inconvenient, or something, and 2: we could reduce the number of such accidents if we just [insert text here].

        The fact is, a sense of perspective and knowledge of safe firearms handling is what keeps firearms accidents from being an obsession for most of us. And when we look for sources of knowledge on safe handling, storage, and all other aspects of firearms, who will have it? Not you and your so-called “gun safety” movement. It will be the NRA and other people of the gun.

        Because if anyone is going to come up with something to fill in that blank and actually have it work, I trust the NRA and the POTG over you lot, every time.

        • “2: we could reduce the number of such accidents if we just [insert text here].”

          Inserted text: “spread out the effort, fund it better, advertise it better, make it movement more people want to join, offer incentives for participation.”

          Actually, I “inserted text here” last month. “Create a professional certifying organization similar to any other profession, whereby members want to advertise their adherence to the organization’s principles. Generate an enthusiasm for gun owners to display their safety and proficiency certifications.”

          There is no recognized, industry endorsed, safety and proficiency organization (there are multiple, disparate efforts by organizations who are very turf-protective). Establishing a single banner is almost impossible for name-brand organizations who jealously guard their income streams, but it could be done. Better would be a completely independent organization recognized and endorsed by the big names.

          (If any of the above is being done today, I admit to not being fully informed. But if it is not being done, point: me for being innovative when it should have been a gun owner thinking it.)

          But I understand you. “Someone else is already doing something, so no need to see if more could be done, or current efforts could be improved”, and “It would cost money”.

        • Actually, I “inserted text here” last month. “Create a professional certifying organization similar to any other profession, whereby members want to advertise their adherence to the organization’s principles. Generate an enthusiasm for gun owners to display their safety and proficiency certifications.”
          – There already is, the NRA. The thing that makes it so much better than the other certifying organizations is that it is NOT government run. That is one of the benefits of the NRA, not a drawback. As for generating enthusiasm . . . if there is anything both sides can agree on it is that gun owners are enthusiastic. The only reasons most of us don’t shoot more are cost and logistics.

          There is no recognized, industry endorsed, safety and proficiency organization (there are multiple, disparate efforts by organizations who are very turf-protective). Establishing a single banner is almost impossible for name-brand organizations who jealously guard their income streams, but it could be done. Better would be a completely independent organization recognized and endorsed by the big names.
          – Incorrect. The NRA is the worlds leading firearms safety and training organization. They are industry endorsed and focus on safety and proficiency. All of the disparate smaller organizations have NRA trained and certified instructors.

          (If any of the above is being done today, I admit to not being fully informed. But if it is not being done, point: me for being innovative when it should have been a gun owner thinking it.)
          – It is being done, by the NRA.

          But I understand you. “Someone else is already doing something, so no need to see if more could be done, or current efforts could be improved”, and “It would cost money”.
          – It would cost money is only important if there is a monetary requirement limiting a civil right. Shooting is expensive. The rights of the poor and middle class are the same as anybody who can afford a private security detail.

          If you want to promote more safety and training you are preaching to the choir here. We would all love to practice and train as often as possible. The only sticking point on that topic is ANY mandatory requirement. When trying to promote regular voluntary training I suggest you change your target audience. The next time you see somebody pushing for an ammunition tax, that will raise prices and make training more difficult. Anybody trying to shut down or prevent opening a new range, that makes it both more difficult and expensive to get to training. When you hear people calling the NRA a terrorist group, trying to silence their message, rallying to shield children the Eddie Eagle program, etc., etc., they are in fact putting up roadblocks in the way of the largest and most recognizable safety and training organization in the world. When somebody is pushing to eliminate references to guns or advertising, that makes it more difficult for people to find resources and training. Lower cost, simplify logistics and stop suppression of information and you will see a huge spike in the amount of training people do. Raise cost, increase hurdles and perpetuate the notion that anybody who owns a gun is mentally ill and you not only reduce the ability to train, but the willingness of those who may benefit from it most.

        • “– There already is, the NRA. The thing that makes it so much better than the other certifying organizations is that it is NOT government run. That is one of the benefits of the NRA, not a drawback. As for generating enthusiasm . . . if there is anything both sides can agree on it is that gun owners are enthusiastic. The only reasons most of us don’t shoot more are cost and logistics.”

          – – I went to the NRA site. There is nothing on the NRA site like this: http://asq.org/index.aspx,

          Which leads to this: http://asq.org/cert

          Which leads to this:http://asq.org/cert/right-for-you

          NRA certifies instructors, but there is no on-going, certified training for just gun owners.
          Go take another look: https://home.nra.org/

          – Incorrect. The NRA is the worlds leading firearms safety and training organization. They are industry endorsed and focus on safety and proficiency. All of the disparate smaller organizations have NRA trained and certified instructors.

          – – Again, training for instructors. Where is the certification for safety and proficiency training for gun owners, general?

          “– It is being done, by the NRA.”

          – – Not for the general public to receive general gun handling certification and annual re-training.

          “- Shooting is expensive. The rights of the poor and middle class are the same as anybody”

          – – Sounds like there is work to be done making shooting less expensive; hard to do in a profit environment, eh? But if it is the poor you are concerned about, the industry has an obligation to make gun proficiency and safety training free. If one side pushes the costs up, the other better figure out how to push the cost down; complaining will not improve pricing.

          The remainder of your comment lists some interesting and important issues that need gun industry solutions, which don’t seem to be quite so effective. But the point about professional certification is a freebie idea to POTG to prove themselves (don’t start on rights here, we are talking about a PR battle) high responsible, considerate of the worries of others that gun people are rampantly irresponsible, interested in publicly doing the things that make gun ownership safer.

          Why do I make such an issue about professionalism of POTG? Two reasons: Any improvement to gun handling benefits society; giving away ideas to make this a fair fight (it’s no fun when your opponent intentionally only ties their hands behind their backs).

      • “Then how about widespread, voluntary annual gun safety and proficiency training for all gun owners? Training conducted by the name-brand gun rights organizations, or consortium of FFLs?”

        In principle, I have no objection to this at all. Conceptually, it’s not much different from the AKC’s “Canine Good Citizen” program or credentialing programs offered by professional associations in other industries.

        Why not supplement that by bringing age-appropriate firearm safety curriculum—e.g. the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program and Jeff Cooper’s Four Rules—into schools? To a man, everyone that is on the “anti-gun” side that I can recall pitching that proposal at has opposed it. Why?

        There are more guns in this country than there are people, and all of the components necessary to produce a functional firearm—down to the projectiles and the propellant—can be procured at a hardware store and assembled in a garage. Pandora’s Box has been opened; for better or for worse, there is no way to eliminate firearms. Thus, knowing how to deal with a gun in a safe manner should be considered a life skill, no different than being able to feed yourself or balance a checkbook. Why is this met with such opposition by the “anti-gun” side?

        For that matter, why not offer age-appropriate firearm electives in schools? “Progressives” handle gun education the way “Conservatives” handle sex education: Badly. “OH GOD DON’T TELL THEM ABOUT THAT, IT MIGHT GIVE THEM IDEAS!!”

        An incomplete understanding of a topic is rarely sufficient to deter a child or teenager from experimenting on their own, as rates of drug and alcohol use and underage sex in teenagers demonstrate. Indeed, often times the fact that adults treat a subject as taboo serves as additional incentive for them to get into things they should not. Firearms are no different.

        Offering electives or after-school programs would afford children that are interested in firearms the opportunity to experience them in a safe, controlled environment. This eliminates the “taboo” factor associated with guns and—with it—that scare-thrill rush that people get from doing something “naughty,” which is usually what provides the incentive for a child to play with a gun in the first place.

        Is it not possible that the net effect of such a move would be to lower the overall rate of accidental injuries and deaths? Does this not at least merit serious evaluation? If not, why?

        ”(…) speculated “danger” to gun rights of mandated government initiatives”

        I’d like to throw this out there: My County is “may-issue” with a population of ~2,000,000 people. We have about 100 residents with CCW permits. I have been told by numerous, credible sources that the only way to get a permit here is to make a 5-figure-or-larger “donation” to the sheriff’s re-election campaign. With open carry banned outright statewide, the government is on the one hand telling me that there are legal avenues for people who wish to carry a firearm, whilst deliberately undermining all of those avenues on the other. Do you recognize the duplicitousness of the government’s role this situation?

        Further, granting that this is only one item on a lengthy list of things the local and state governments of California have done to impose arbitrary and nonsensical restrictions on the exercise of a right, would it not be logical for me to be suspicious of any further government-backed intervention? Or would you consider the “say-one-thing-whilst-doing-another” approach the state of California has taken a feature instead of a bug?

        “Why is there no observable, universal demand from the gun industry (anyone engaged in the gun culture) to attempt to drive down the innocent deaths and injuries far below where that number is today?”

        I would argue that there is.

        The aforementioned Eddie Eagle program, run by the NRA, is an attempt at just exactly that; it’s intended to teach young children what they need to do if they should encounter a gun so as to prevent a tragic and needless injury or loss of life. Every time the pro-gun side brings up bringing it into schools, we’re rebuffed and dismissed as gun nuts.

        The NSSF has “Project ChildSafe,” which is backed industry members-Cabela’s, for instance. Part of the scope of the program is freely available gun safety kits, as well as a series of videos and pdf documents covering everything from teaching your kids about how to be safe around firearms to range etiquette. A number of prominent “anti-gun” organizations have come out against this program (Src: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/09/18/3702591/gun-safety-grant-to-gun-industry-nssf/ )

        They also have the FixNICS initiative, which is aimed more at addressing issues relating to prohibited persons passing NICS checks due to issues with the NICS database than at the “village idiot with a gun” scenario that I’ve understood to be something of your pet project, but it is, nevertheless, an attempt to reduce innocent deaths/injuries by fixing issues with laws that are already in place. The NSSF also has a program (“Don’t Lie For The Other Guy”) which attempts to do the same, but with straw purchases.

        Even SAAMI has a pamphlet on what they’ve done to contribute to making firearms safer for everyone as a standards organization: http://www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/publications/download/SAAMI_ITEM_221-A_Century_of_Success_in_Reducing_Firearms_Accidents.pdf

        And on an individual level, all you have to do is read the comments on TTAG’s “Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day” articles. It’s a fact of life that if you ask 100 people to give you an opinion on something you’ll get 137 answers. Nevertheless, the majority of those comments castigate the responsible party, and rightly so. There are also plenty of responsible gun owners that take novices to the range and teach them how to be responsible and safe with firearms, which is, in itself, a grassroots safety campaign.

        You may or may not agree with any of these programs, and you may or may not think that they’re targeting the correct issues. That’s a separate discussion. And, as you pointed out in your reply to Carlos T, it is not one cohesive organization but several distinct groups. I suspect that you consider this insufficient, and likely believe that a single group would somehow be more effective. If that is the case, what evidence can you provide to support such an assertion?

        Either way, claiming “there (is) no observable attempt (by the gun industry) to drive down the innocent deaths and injuries,” is simply not correct.

        You state that gun owners-“users of deadly weapons”-have a moral obligation to “constantly work to lower the risk to innocent citizens,” and go on to say that, “The pain of a negligent death is definitely a problem laid squarely at the feet of the ‘you’ that you call ‘us’. The gun owners cause the negligent deaths, not the innocent victims. (…)The aggressor bears the full measure and burden of negligence. There is no moral defense for the negligent and irresponsible shooter.”

        I’m not quite sure if you view this as an individual or group obligation, so I’ll address both.

        A negligent act that results in the death of an innocent person by gunshot wound is inflicted upon that innocent persons by an individual with a firearm. is not inflicted upon people by “gun owners” as an aggregate entity. The responsibility and accountability for that action lies with the individual who took the action, not with the group.

        Ownership of firearms does not confer any obligation to ensure that your neighbor is legal, safe, or competent with theirs, nor does it extend culpability for the negligent, irresponsible or malicious actions of the individual to the group. Why would it? Name any other industry, group, good or service that such a standard-imposed either by law or by social norms-is applied to, justify its original application and explain how it’s relevant to the firearm industry.

        With respect to individual moral obligations conferred by firearm ownership, it is my position that individuals have an ethical responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that would meet the “reasonable person” standard. “(C)onstantly work(ing) to lower the risk to innocent(s),” taken at face value and as an unbounded statement, is not a workable or valid ideology. Unless you would like to define some constraints for that concept to operate within, the basic ideological construct is logically fallacious.

        The position that “the pain of a negligent death is (the responsibility of gun owners)” necessarily requires a corollary assertion that individuals—in this case the people who have been victimized—are incapable of controlling or taking responsibility for their own emotions, and that we must therefore allow them to externalize their despair and take it out on people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the individual or the action that created the situation that they feel despair about in the first place.

        Basically, “HE MADE ME FEEL THIS WAY!” was not valid when you were six, it is not valid now, and extending that statement to include “EVERYONE WITH A GUN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO ME, THEY NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PAIN THEY CAUSED ME!’ is also a logical fallacy.

        Victims of sloppy gun handling should not be casually dismissed as “reality”.

        As I understand it, you believe that innocent people who have been victimized by gun violence, especially those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in harm’s way through no fault of their own and due to someone else’s stupidity, have suffered a grave injustice that needs to be acknowledged.

        I agree.

        And the universe is a cruel and imperfect mistress.

        Eliminating all injustice in the world is a noble cause. It is also fundamentally unachievable. The cost/benefit curve is asymptotic; as injustice approaches zero, human and economic costs both approach infinity. The only sustainable course of action is to pick a point on the curve at or near the point where the cost-benefit ratio is maximized and work to achieve and maintain that balance.

        Now, I’ve got four questions for you:
        1. If you were granted unconditional leeway to rewrite, re-interpret, repeal and reshape gun laws in the United States—if you had omniscient power to do whatever you wanted—what actions would you take? What would the reasoning and justification for each individual action be?

        2. “Guns,” and specifically, “negligent misuse resulting in injury or death” appear to be your pet issue. Why? As a cause of accidental death in the United States firearms don’t even make the top 10. Heart disease kills nearly 600,000 people per year in the US. Diabetes kills almost 75,000. Why choose to take on an issue that, by your own numbers, affects something like 500 people per year when there are other issues that affect orders of magnitude more lives? It strikes me that the same amount of effort devoted to a more widespread cause would likely have a larger net impact.
        3. In many respects, the United States is a unique construct, unlike anything seen at any point in human history. There is no other society—extant or extinct—that places such an emphasis on maximizing individual freedoms, sometimes even to the point that it comes expense of the greater good. On the other hand, there are any number of first-world countries whose belief systems, from what I’ve understood, would seem to be a better fit for your own. Assuming you live in the US, how do you justify attempting to impose your ethics on the one and only society in recorded human history that has broadly rejected them, and why would you not simply move to Canada, Australia, or somewhere in the EU? I am not saying that you do not have the right to be here, nor am I saying that you should not be here; I am simply trying to understand why you would choose to stay and fight over this when there are so many better options available to you. As a hardcore libertarian born and raised in California, I’m faced with a similar issue and I see no logic in staying and fighting when I could have what I want right now somewhere else.

        Assuming you do NOT live in the US: why are you invested in this issue at all, and why would you attempt to change one of the most fundamental tenents of a culture to which you do not ?
        4. This one is a thought experiment; I’ll copy and paste it, as I posed it to someone else the other night:
        Someone walks up to you out of the blue and says, “Siorus is dying, but you have (x). If you’ll just give us (x) we can save him!”

        You don’t know me, you’ve never met me. I’m just some random person. What are you willing to give them? Your life? Your house? Your spouse? A decade’s pay? The contents of your wallet? An hour of your time? A revolver that’s been handed down in your family for three generations? Some pocket lint? A framed 2x4ft one-off oil portrait of Dianne Feinstein, complete with her autograph?

        Imagine you’ve got some tangible thing that is the difference between life and death for someone else. How valuable does that item have to be to you before you’ll say “no, I’m sorry, I can’t help?”

        Would it matter if I was one of your heros? What about if I was that professor you really, really hated? That one awful ex that just absolutely screwed you over? Your best friend? Someone that you were sexually attracted to? What if, in return for your help, I took over your job for the next 5 years so you could take an extended vacation?

        How much are you willing to sacrifice to protect the life of another human being? And how does your opinion of—and relationship with—that person change that amount?

        • Wow. Very neat and professional. Thank you.

          Your commentary is most unusual in form and tenor. I do not want to just blast a response, off the cuff so to speak. Would you mind if I take tonight to re-read and formulate a response?

        • No, I wouldn’t mind at all.

          You know, (and this isn’t directed specifically at you, I’m just making a general observation) the majority of what I see coming from both sides at this point is screaming and poo flinging. And, to some degree, that’s understandable; there’s plenty of anger to go around, for a lot of very valid reasons. The situation is further exacerbated by the media and politicians of all stripes, both of whom have a tendency to kick the hornet’s nest. Add a dash of internet pseudo-anonymity, and, well… It’s not exactly a shock that the result is a brobdingnagian shitstorm.

          I suspect that you recognize as well as I do that from the perspective of “the powers that be,” mild discord amongst the constituency on ANY issue is not necessarily an undesirable situation, at least so long as the bickering is kept to a dull roar. It shuts down productive discussion and prevents people from reaching a consensus. And consensus among any significant percentage of the voting base is potentially very dangerous to politicians; it tends to lead to job loss.

          I think it’s important to recognize that it’s impossible to have a conversation at all when none of the involved parties will even validate each others’ opinions. I believe it’s critical to establish whether there is some common ground here that reasonable representatives of both sides can reasonably agree on, or if-as a country-our respective philosophies of life are now so divergent that a mutual understanding is no longer possible. Many of the endgames available in those two scenarios are very different, as are the appropriate methodologies for resolving either situation.

          To that end, I’m curious to get some detailed insight into your perspective and an understanding of the thought processes behind it.

        • “To that end, I’m curious to get some detailed insight into your perspective and an understanding of the thought processes behind it.”

          Two main avenues: improved safety and gun handling discipline; challenge pro-gun supporters to up their game in the war over guns/no guns.

          I am puzzled and disappointed that so many commenters here declare a rather callous disregard for the innocent victims of law abiding gun owners who unintentionally kill or injure someone through negligence or irresponsible gun handling. The utter disgust demonstrated here (and who can really know if people are revealing their true beliefs and experiences?) for any action that publicly declares that gun owners are reasonable, responsible, and constantly working to improve their capabilities, while providing some assurance that gun owners respect the positive outcomes and influence of being professionally, continuously trained. The image projected is one of menace, an image not created by gun sense people, but by gun owners themselves.

          The second avenue is an attempt to ramp-up gun owner capability to actually hold a civil discussion, abandon knee-jerk reactions that reflect mindless adherence to religious beliefs, begin to understand that slogans and aspersions do not qualify gun owners to compete in the marketplace of ideas. I want a fair fight over the issue of gun proliferation, I would like to see gun owners off the defensive (iron sharpens iron; bringing a cupcake to a knife fight is a losing proposition). The conflict over guns is becoming so one-sided that it almost isn’t any fun to beat your competitor.

          I suppose underlying it all is the conviction that society in industrialized nations is so large and complex that believing and operating as if one is isolated from events, other people, or lifeboat Earth, we can no longer afford the cost of not taking care of ourselves and our shipmates. The needs of the one no longer can rationally outweigh the needs of the many, every day, every way. Cooperation (not subjugation) is the rising tide that lifts all boats.

        • Apparently the response is too large, WordlPress times-out. Please send an email where I can forward the complete response.

          Thanx.

        • I’d rather keep it public than go to e-mail, just because one of the chief benefits of public discourse is that observers get to see both sides of a topic. Lobbing ideas back and forth by e-mail is all well and good but it doesn’t have nearly the same reach. When I run out of room I usually either do multiple posts or throw up a page on one of the text-posting sites.

          shorttext.com and pastie.org are probably the two best ones I know of, there’s also
          Pastebin.com, which is popular, reliable, and has been around forever. Site design is a little ugly, but functional.

        • I agree, but WordPress cannot absorb the bulk using this comment box. Good stuff, too.

          Oh well…

        • Hhhhmmm, even pastebin timed-out: trying two uploads

          “Then how about widespread, voluntary annual gun safety and proficiency training for all gun owners? Training conducted by the name-brand gun rights organizations, or consortium of FFLs?”
          In principle, I have no objection to this at all. Conceptually, it’s not much different from the AKC’s “Canine Good Citizen” program or credentialing programs offered by professional associations in other industries.
          Why not supplement that by bringing age-appropriate firearm safety curriculum—e.g. the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program and Jeff Cooper’s Four Rules—into schools? To a man, everyone that is on the “anti-gun” side that I can recall pitching that proposal at has opposed it. Why?
          – You have two questions, here. First: I support any formal, recurring gun safety and proficiency training, preferably certified by an industry-wide professional organization (get the brands out of it). School is a good start. Second: Hyperbole and shrieking get attention, and actually persuade. When you view the majority of gun sense people and statements, apply Rules for Radicals. To entertain the other side is not one of the rules, no matter what you really believe. Then there is the social consideration, respect and acceptance of/by peers. Once the goal is set (no guns), winning absolutely becomes the only acceptable outcome. Radicals are radicals.
          There are more guns in this country than there are people, and all of the components necessary to produce a functional firearm—down to the projectiles and the propellant—can be procured at a hardware store and assembled in a garage. Pandora’s Box has been opened; for better or for worse, there is no way to eliminate firearms. Thus, knowing how to deal with a gun in a safe manner should be considered a life skill, no different than being able to feed yourself or balance a checkbook. Why is this met with such opposition by the “anti-gun” side?
          – Two ideas, again (not a criticism). First: All the other industrialized nations have the same capability for home-grown guns, but that is not a pressing issue, or consideration anywhere else (why?). Nothing is 100%, but refusing to take an action because 100% is not assured is a recipe for remaining in caves. Second: In the US, one quick familiarization slide show about gun safety seems to satisfy the majority of gun owners that they are trained, competent, safe, insured for life against any need for recurring training, or improvement in gun handing skills. Opposition to training is pretty much the same reasoning I gave above.
          For that matter, why not offer age-appropriate firearm electives in schools? “Progressives” handle gun education the way “Conservatives” handle sex education: Badly. “OH GOD DON’T TELL THEM ABOUT THAT, IT MIGHT GIVE THEM IDEAS!!”
          – Two ideas, again (not a criticism). First: All the other industrialized nations have the same capability for home-grown guns, but that is not a pressing issue, or consideration anywhere else (why?). Nothing is 100%, but refusing to take an action because 100% is not assured is a recipe for remaining in caves. Second: In the US, one quick familiarization slide show about gun safety seems to satisfy the majority of gun owners that they are trained, competent, safe, insured for life against any need for recurring training, or improvement in gun handing skills. Opposition to training is pretty much the same reasoning I gave above.
          An incomplete understanding of a topic is rarely sufficient to deter a child or teenager from experimenting on their own, as rates of drug and alcohol use and underage sex in teenagers demonstrate. Indeed, often times the fact that adults treat a subject as taboo serves as additional incentive for them to get into things they should not. Firearms are no different.
          – Agree, except firearms are very different, unique in fact. No other tool can do so much unintentional damage at such range, so quickly. It is the idea that guns are no different from a drill press that presents anti-gun supports with an image of gun owners as clueless, and irresponsible. Image is more important than fact.
          Offering electives or after-school programs would afford children that are interested in firearms the opportunity to experience them in a safe, controlled environment. This eliminates the “taboo” factor associated with guns and—with it—that scare-thrill rush that people get from doing something “naughty,” which is usually what provides the incentive for a child to play with a gun in the first place.
          Is it not possible that the net effect of such a move would be to lower the overall rate of accidental injuries and deaths? Does this not at least merit serious evaluation? If not, why?
          – Anything that heightens gun safety is a positive, all around. Pro-gun advocates seem to see the world as a system of absolutes (unless to their advantage to do otherwise). Guns are some sort of golden calf, not to be limited by anyone, in anyway. An image anti-gun advocated do not create. Not to beat a dead horse, but anti-gun opposition to any improvements in safety and use of guns is explained by understanding Rules for Radicals (opposition can never be seen as human or worthy of respect). I will let questions further down about “Why?” alone.
          ”(…) speculated “danger” to gun rights of mandated government initiatives”
          I’d like to throw this out there: My County is “may-issue” with a population of ~2,000,000 people. We have about 100 residents with CCW permits. I have been told by numerous, credible sources that the only way to get a permit here is to make a 5-figure-or-larger “donation” to the sheriff’s re-election campaign. With open carry banned outright statewide, the government is on the one hand telling me that there are legal avenues for people who wish to carry a firearm, whilst deliberately undermining all of those avenues on the other. Do you recognize the duplicitousness of the government’s role this situation?
          – Absolutely. Non-compliance through appearance of compliance is a standard bureaucratic dodge. Even used internally, along with over-compliance and work slowdowns. But why give up an effective tool to get the results you want?
          Further, granting that this is only one item on a lengthy list of things the local and state governments of California have done to impose arbitrary and nonsensical restrictions on the exercise of a right, would it not be logical for me to be suspicious of any further government-backed intervention? Or would you consider the “say-one-thing-whilst-doing-another” approach the state of California has taken a feature instead of a bug?
          – The tactics you describe only work when politicians have the support of the majority of the voters (voters, not eligible voters, likely voters or “the people” at large). The difficulty your side faces is that you do not represent a majority of voters. Complaining (which is not what you are doing here) doesn’t alter voter outcomes, nor actions of government. An appeal to “fairness” from the victorious politicians and agencies is simply pointless ad nauseam. If you want government responsive to your philosophy, take it over through the ballot. Otherwise, as the Borg say, “Resistance is futile”. Power does not change masters of its own accord; masters capture, keep and use power.

          “Why is there no observable, universal demand from the gun industry (anyone engaged in the gun culture) to attempt to drive down the innocent deaths and injuries far below where that number is today?”
          I would argue that there is.

          The aforementioned Eddie Eagle program, run by the NRA, is an attempt at just exactly that; it’s intended to teach young children what they need to do if they should encounter a gun so as to prevent a tragic and needless injury or loss of life. Every time the pro-gun side brings up bringing it into schools, we’re rebuffed and dismissed as gun nuts.

          The NSSF has “Project ChildSafe,” which is backed industry members-Cabela’s, for instance. Part of the scope of the program is freely available gun safety kits, as well as a series of videos and pdf documents covering everything from teaching your kids about how to be safe around firearms to range etiquette. A number of prominent “anti-gun” organizations have come out against this program (Src: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/09/18/3702591/gun-safety-grant-to-gun-industry-nssf/ )
          They also have the FixNICS initiative, which is aimed more at addressing issues relating to prohibited persons passing NICS checks due to issues with the NICS database than at the “village idiot with a gun” scenario that I’ve understood to be something of your pet project, but it is, nevertheless, an attempt to reduce innocent deaths/injuries by fixing issues with laws that are already in place. The NSSF also has a program (“Don’t Lie For The Other Guy”) which attempts to do the same, but with straw purchases.

          Even SAAMI has a pamphlet on what they’ve done to contribute to making firearms safer for everyone as a standards oganization http://www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/publications/download/SAAMI_ITEM_221-A_Century_of_Success_in_Reducing_Firearms_Accidents.pdf
          And on an individual level, all you have to do is read the comments on TTAG’s “Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day” articles. It’s a fact of life that if you ask 100 people to give you an opinion on something you’ll get 137 answers. Nevertheless, the majority of those comments castigate the responsible party, and rightly so. There are also plenty of responsible gun owners that take novices to the range and teach them how to be responsible and safe with firearms, which is, in itself, a grassroots safety campaign.
          You may or may not agree with any of these programs, and you may or may not think that they’re targeting the correct issues. That’s a separate discussion. And, as you pointed out in your reply to Carlos T, it is not one cohesive organization but several distinct groups. I suspect that you consider this insufficient, and likely believe that a single group would somehow be more effective. If that is the case, what evidence can you provide to support such an assertion? Either way, claiming “there (is) no observable attempt (by the gun industry) to drive down the innocent deaths and injuries,” is simply not correct.
          – Covering everything above: The gun industry is fractured and incoherent. My idea of a unified, standardized approach is to form a professional organization of training, certification and research, just like professional associations for accountants, real estate agents, quality engineers, professional engineers. Virtually all of the current gun industry safety initiatives ignore improving the competency of individual gun owners. Random classes and booklets and slogans are not a cohesive movement. Gun owners should, I think, want to “prove” through generalized agreement that guns are a serious business and every gun owner wants to be publicly known as a professional.

          You state that gun owners-“users of deadly weapons”-have a moral obligation to “constantly work to lower the risk to innocent citizens,” and go on to say that, “The pain of a negligent death is definitely a problem laid squarely at the feet of the ‘you’ that you call ‘us’. The gun owners cause the negligent deaths, not the innocent victims. (…)The aggressor bears the full measure and burden of negligence. There is no moral defense for the negligent and irresponsible shooter.”
          I’m not quite sure if you view this as an individual or group obligation, so I’ll address both.
          – Both. Individuals constitute the group. A person with a gun has a moral obligation to ensure they are highly competent in deployment of that gun; no one is obligated to become an innocent victim of negligence. As a group, gun owners owe the moral responsibility to establish and oversee a rigorous set of training and proficiency standards that work to ensure that death and injury to innocents is reduced to as near zero as can be done. From 500 incidents a year to 400 is a huge improvement, 500 to 300 is greater, and so on. So let’s say a 98% reduction in 5 years is an achievable and laudable goal, something to dangle in front of people who think gun owners are impossibly stubborn and ignorant.
          A negligent act that results in the death of an innocent person by gunshot wound is inflicted upon that innocent persons by an individual with a firearm. is not inflicted upon people by “gun owners” as an aggregate entity. The responsibility and accountability for that action lies with the individual who took the action, not with the group.
          – Negligence is, indeed, inflicted by the group because the individuals in the group generally see negligent death as “statistically insignificant”, establishing a culture where negligent gun deaths are someone else’s problem, a culture of dodging responsibility (and you must have seen how many objected to even the idea that gun owners have sufficient resources to “set right” victims of their potential negligence). An image of insensitivity and irresponsibility created and fostered by gun owners.
          Ownership of firearms does not confer any obligation to ensure that your neighbor is legal, safe, or competent with theirs, nor does it extend culpability for the negligent, irresponsible or malicious actions of the individual to the group. Why would it? Name any other industry, group, good or service that such a standard-imposed either by law or by social norms-is applied to, justify its original application and explain how it’s relevant to the firearm industry.
          – See immediately above

          With respect to individual moral obligations conferred by firearm ownership, it is my position that individuals have an ethical responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that would meet the “reasonable person” standard. “(C)onstantly work(ing) to lower the risk to innocent(s),” taken at face value and as an unbounded statement, is not a workable or valid ideology. Unless you would like to define some constraints for that concept to operate within, the basic ideological construct is logically fallacious.

        • pg 2

          – Performance measurement noted in previous comment, above. I have not previously mentioned a measurement because there is no agreement that a measurement is necessary, therefore arguing over measures would be fruitless.

          The position that “the pain of a negligent death is (the responsibility of gun owners)” necessarily requires a corollary assertion that individuals—in this case the people who have been victimized—are incapable of controlling or taking responsibility for their own emotions, and that we must therefore allow them to externalize their despair and take it out on people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the individual or the action that created the situation that they feel despair about in the first place.
          – No. Substitute “damage”, “destruction”, “carnage”. Point is the result of negligence is squarely on the attacker/aggressor, no one else shares blame. No emotion involved; action/consequence.
          Basically, “HE MADE ME FEEL THIS WAY!” was not valid when you were six, it is not valid now, and extending that statement to include “EVERYONE WITH A GUN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO ME, THEY NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PAIN THEY CAUSED ME!’ is also a logical fallacy.
          – “Everyone with a gun” is the collection of individuals with a gun. The gun culture dismisses NDs as a matter worthy of any real thought or action. Everyone with a gun is responsible for the culture of the gun. Again, not talking about “feelings”.
          Victims of sloppy gun handling should not be casually dismissed as “reality”.
          As I understand it, you believe that innocent people who have been victimized by gun violence, especially those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in harm’s way through no fault of their own and due to someone else’s stupidity, have suffered a grave injustice that needs to be acknowledged.
          I agree.
          And the universe is a cruel and imperfect mistress.
          – Yes. This thought can be used to absolve anyone of anything.
          Eliminating all injustice in the world is a noble cause. It is also fundamentally unachievable. The cost/benefit curve is asymptotic; as injustice approaches zero, human and economic costs both approach infinity. The only sustainable course of action is to pick a point on the curve at or near the point where the cost-benefit ratio is maximized and work to achieve and maintain that balance.
          – As noted on many other postings, I care nothing about any risk other than that posed by gun owners. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS BLOG (emphasis, not shouting). My concern is gun owners doing more, much more to assure the rest of the public that gun owners go the distance to ensure the public and be comfortable that a person with a gun is not just going to fumble and shoot someone (as did the gun owner two months ago who shot a movie patron because he was adjusting the position of his gun while he sat in a theater seat. This is the sort of thing that results in highly elevated sense of fear for non-gun owners.
          Now, I’ve got four questions for you:

          1. If you were granted unconditional leeway to rewrite, re-interpret, repeal and reshape gun laws in the United States—if you had omniscient power to do whatever you wanted—what actions would you take? What would the reasoning and justification for each individual action be?

          – Too broad. Gazillion gun laws. But to name a few:
          – – NICS for purchase of guns…along with the requirement DOJ prosecute criminals who attempt to buy guns legally. Without both, ditch the NICS requirement (although it may not be possible to get anywhere if the public does not have a sense that there is some sort of screening in place…appearance/perception is reality)
          – – Gun owners obtain and maintain current certificate of proficiency in gun safety and handling
          – – Gun owners demonstrate sufficient resources (liability insurance?) to compensate for property and personal damage achieved through negligent or irresponsible gun handling
          – – Gun owners with certificate of professionalism can carry a gun anywhere allowed by federal law.
          – – Gun owners complete one “combat” gun-handling course every 5 years
          – – No laws allowed that serve to effectively prevent a person from purchasing a gun, such as punitive taxes.
          – – Some people just simply cannot be responsible with a gun. It is a very tricky proposition, but consideration must be given to finding a way to, as best possible, prevent reckless and dangerous people from owning. Tough thing to do, but does not warrant an absolutist refusal to even investigate.
          – – License all gun owners, or license none. No denial of ownership or possession of guns if owner provided proficiency cert and proof of liability resources.
          2. “Guns,” and specifically, “negligent misuse resulting in injury or death” appear to be your pet issue. Why? As a cause of accidental death in the United States firearms don’t even make the top 10. Heart disease kills nearly 600,000 people per year in the US. Diabetes kills almost 75,000. Why choose to take on an issue that, by your own numbers, affects something like 500 people per year when there are other issues that affect orders of magnitude more lives? It strikes me that the same amount of effort devoted to a more widespread cause would likely have a larger net impact.
          – It is inhumane to prioritize human life based on cause of injury. No negligent death is insignificant, to be relegated to some sort of sliding scale of value based on frequency of injury. Every other source of risk could be eliminated, that that would do nothing to reduce death due to gun owner negligence. Refusing to “fix” any or all of the other cause of injury does nothing to increase the likelihood of future negligent deaths due to negligent gun handling. For purposed of TTAG, the issue is guns, nothing more, nothing else. Deflecting action by declaring “they/that is worse” is simple abrogation of personal responsibility. It is an attempt to avoid the issue at hand.
          3. In many respects, the United States is a unique construct, unlike anything seen at any point in human history. There is no other society—extant or extinct—that places such an emphasis on maximizing individual freedoms, sometimes even to the point that it comes expense of the greater good. On the other hand, there are any number of first-world countries whose belief systems, from what I’ve understood, would seem to be a better fit for your own.
          – Let me address these one at a time: All law is the result of imposing someone’s view point on everyone else. Imposing zero government control through elimination of all restrictions on human activity is imposing a viewpoint on people who can see that human behavior is not self-controlled, but responsive to limits placed on personal selfishness. One cannot have a society where there are no limits, nor can one justify a society with only a few limits (chosen by whom?) on human behavior and interaction. It is popular among some to believe that they can never do anything that interacts with another person, therefore no limits should be placed on behavior that affects only a single person (society is too complex and interconnected for that). To borrow a quote, “No man is an island”. Pretending to operate among a huge population such as America as if one were a complete hermit is unbridled narcissism. In the perfect theory of a “free” citizenry, the society (the majority of those voting) determine the “norms”. No person can simply chose to ignore society and conduct themselves however they please. All law is the result of imposing someone’s idea of “right/wrong” on the society as a whole. There are, however, personal decisions no government should be allowed to control. For instance, I find no logic, in a large society (forget small tribes off somewhere) for rules and laws that seek to prevent suicide. If a person has the right to do want they want with their prized possession (their body), up to and including murdering the unborn, then by what sense of grand wisdom and logic do they dare thwart someone’s decision to end their own life? Like most things human, we like what we like, and don’t like what we don’t; who cares if it is illogical.
          Assuming you live in the US, how do you justify attempting to impose your ethics on the one and only society in recorded human history that has broadly rejected them, and why would you not simply move to Canada, Australia, or somewhere in the EU?
          – I am old enough to remember when America was in a lather over the Vietnam conflict. The cry from the right was, “If you don’t like it here, get out”! Some eventually did. Before that there was the cry that if one wanted to live in a communist state, move to Russia or Cuba. Both attitudes were understandable, and ignored the idea that maybe, just maybe the country was going about things wrong at the time. “America, love it or leave it” means no one with alternate ideas deserves to be an American, or to live in America. Much progress (of whatever type) in a nation is due to the unwelcomed efforts of a few who were first to discover, “There is a more excellent way.”
          I am not saying that you do not have the right to be here, nor am I saying that you should not be here; I am simply trying to understand why you would choose to stay and fight over this when there are so many better options available to you. As a hardcore libertarian born and raised in California, I’m faced with a similar issue and I see no logic in staying and fighting when I could have what I want right now somewhere else.
          – The eternal question: When do you cut your losses and live to fight another day? Apart from knowing there are just some things worth dying for in vain hope, the decision about how much personal sacrifice is enough cannot be answered in the whole. Sometimes we just have to accept reality and do our best to endure. Sometimes we have resources that allow us to maneuver. In most truly democratic societies (yes, the US is a republic, Ben Franklin said so), the losers of a political season agree to abide peacefully with whatever the winning side (majority of those voting – I hope you get that the majority of those voting is not the same as the majority of voters, nor the majority of a society) propagates, until the next election. If it were not so, there would be eternal civil war. I have read some pro-gun people encourage people in California and states politically similar, to stay and fight the fight where the fight is, rather than re-deploy to where their ideas are more welcome. Others have said it is better to re-locate, re-group and throw up an impassable barrier in friendly territory. Military tactics may not be suitable to deciding what to do in these circumstances. In the end, we are where we are planted. We are there to do good for others (I have no idea what the others are for). Each of us must look inward and decide where we can do the most good. (I know, none of this is a useful answer to your question)

          Assuming you do NOT live in the US: why are you invested in this issue at all, and why would you attempt to change one of the most fundamental tenents of a culture to which you do not ?
          – Would you not expect someone who is, or knows someone who is, considering moving to America, and maybe becoming a citizen to be highly interested in the status of personal gun ownership? Because of the number of mass shootings? Because of the risk of neighbors shooting through a wall and into your head?

          4. This one is a thought experiment; I’ll copy and paste it, as I posed it to someone else the other night:
          Someone walks up to you out of the blue and says, “Siorus is dying, but you have (x). If you’ll just give us (x) we can save him!”
          You don’t know me, you’ve never met me. I’m just some random person. What are you willing to give them? Your life? Your house? Your spouse? A decade’s pay? The contents of your wallet? An hour of your time? A revolver that’s been handed down in your family for three generations? Some pocket lint? A framed 2x4ft one-off oil portrait of Dianne Feinstein, complete with her autograph?
          Imagine you’ve got some tangible thing that is the difference between life and death for someone else. How valuable does that item have to be to you before you’ll say “no, I’m sorry, I can’t help?”
          Would it matter if I was one of your heros? What about if I was that professor you really, really hated? That one awful ex that just absolutely screwed you over? Your best friend? Someone that you were sexually attracted to? What if, in return for your help, I took over your job for the next 5 years so you could take an extended vacation?
          How much are you willing to sacrifice to protect the life of another human being? And how does your opinion of—and relationship with—that person change that amount?
          – Kobayashi Maru. Change the game.

        • Formatting got a bit mangled, but it looks like it’s all there; I’ll take a look at it, thanks. Google docs might also be an option here, now that i think about it.

        • Just look for the hyphens.

          I stay away from Google things; most hacked company in the world.

  31. Really ttag? Of all the comments, replies, and posts, your gonna platform this moron?? Dont feed attention to it. It trolls this website as nothing more than a one sided instigator who goes as far as denying cold hard facts. Very very dissapointed in this website right now…

    • “…your gonna platform this moron??”
      – well, this “moron” knows how to spell “you’re”
      (and occasionally most other words used)

      But otherwise, yours (correct spelling) is yet another flag planted on the intellectual high ground.

      Don’t like what you are reading? Change the channel, eh?

      Not that there is a risk you will learn from it, but comments like yours add to the image you earned with the gun sense movement, and the general population (BTW, given 100 million gun owners, 2/3s of the populace doesn’t agree with your proposition that guns are good).

        • “Nobody likes you…”

          True. Now we two can form a club. Let’s off to the pub to hoist a pint !

      • (BTW, given 100 million gun owners, 2/3s of the populace doesn’t agree with your proposition that guns are good)

        Logical fallacy, and your math needs work.

        (Protip: minors can’t own firearms, and just because an adult doesn’t own a firearm, that lack of ownership doesn’t prove said adult holds any particular position on gun rights.)

        • Ok, then let’s look at numbers you like: the concept of individual ownership of guns receives a near equal opinion, pro and con. If people supporting unlimited gun rights were the stable and effective majority, the discussion about guns wouldn’t be significant. Using a poll cited often here, the balance is about 53% support near absolute gun rights, about 47% do not (the difference could simply be the margin of error, either way). SCOTUS is split, and a one vote majority will not secure forever the notions of gun owners about the RTKBA. The public is not with you in a significant manner, the question is still in doubt. Gun sense people are taking on the matter in dozens of different ways; gun owners are still a random, disorganized movement (a few big name gun organizations are not equal to the continuous pin pricks, all along the line, everywhere, everyday (Rule 8).

          You underestimate the power of “general knowledge” (what you might call “emotion”). If we broadcast often enough the 2/3s of the nation oppose unlimited gun rights (or just the private ownership of guns for any reason), 2/3s soon becomes reality you must defend against.

        • You underestimate the power of “general knowledge” (what you might call “emotion”). If we broadcast often enough the 2/3s of the nation oppose unlimited gun rights (or just the private ownership of guns for any reason), 2/3s soon becomes reality you must defend against.

          Yes, Joseph Goebbels had the same idea:

          If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

          The problem for you is: the State can no longer shield the people from the consequences of such lies.

        • “…the State can no longer shield the people from the consequences of such lies.”

          Just the sort of naive belief that helps Progressives win, and stay in power.

          Did you not notice (I guess not) how since Barack Obama became president, the government agents and Progressive legislators act as if they will be in power forever; no fear of government turning on them? How do you think they arrived at that notion? It is to the advantage of the gifted elites that so many people believe them stupid and incompetent.

        • Unlike many others, I’ve never believed Obama to be either incompetent or stupid. He quite effectively did many things, exactly as he intended to do them.

  32. I come to the blog to read about guns, law, politics, developments about things gun. What I do not understand is the internal nastiness toward each other, or even to venom that gets pointed to “outsiders”. What is that all about? Is the common bond here that anyone with a differing opinion is somehow sub-human, unworthy of respect? There is a lot more gun information here than on many other forums (which are also trashy), but this one looked to be much better, more professional. Until I spent some time here. I could just go look for another forum, no one forcing me to be here, but golly, wow. Can’t we dress this up a bit?

    • “I will admit that I do go out of my way to try and educate you “gun nuts”

      Quiet ! I told you to stop talking like that; not nice. And people will think there is something wrong with you.

      Not.

      Too.

      Not.

      Too.

      Quiet !

    • Educate? When you avoid a factual discussion because the more convenient one involves your “feels” there is no point in having a discussion. You are entitled to your opinion but your “education” is more akin to sensitivity training and should be kept to you “gun grabbers.”

  33. It sucks that the guy was killed. Even more because it was a wellness check. It sounds to me like someone should have done a better job announcing themselves before and after trespassing.

    No one I know would be comfortable with the idea of waking up with a stranger in their home. Could the homeowner have shown some discretion? Sure, but that discretion could end poorly for him under other circumstances.

    Best take this lesson and ensure first responders make a point to ensure that there presence is known.

    • My grandma- who was a mean old thing in many ways- slept very soundly. Often this had something to do with the scotch she kept in every room. There was also a shotgun in her bedroom. If someone were to go into her house trying to save her while she was passe.. er… ‘sleeping’ I can see them doing everything right and still not disturbing her ‘sleep.’ Or maybe disturbing her just enough for her to grab the gun and start shooting.

      Not saying that’s what happened here, but I think it’s a far jump to assume that the firefighter didn’t do a good enough job of announcing himself.

  34. Facts are facts. You “trigger fingers” refuse to listen. I am entitled to my opinion, you are right. Because mine is right and yours is wrong. You probably disagree with my sexual preferences and my political views but we’ll save that for a later date.

    • There you go, again. Stop it. People are watching….and talking.

      What people? I don’t see no people.

      The people out there who think we’re crazy.

      There are crazy people out there?

      No. There are crazy people in here (like you). Just stop it.

  35. I find it funny that liberals such as 2ASux wave the bloody shirt over a fireman’s death, but have no problem with abortion. Consider the firemen retroactively aborted and the problem goes away. Maybe we should reclassify fire arms as abortion aides and 2Asux and his cronies will suddenly love them. Please spare me your fake concern over the fireman and his family. Say what you mean. No guns for anyone but the mighty government and criminals. I think people will be more receptive to you.

    • “No guns for anyone but the mighty government and criminals.”

      There are a bunch of comments about criminals and guns; you may not have read them all, yet.

      One of the places where my gun sense associates and I part company often is my insistence that if gun confiscation takes place, once the guns are completely gone from people without criminal or gang associations, then gun sense advocates, government agencies and progressive political leaders absolutely are morally bound to launch a virtual war on guns among the gangs, drug dealer and criminals, wherever they are found. This divide is one reason why I agitate for voluntary methods of improving gun safety, and getting guns out of the hands of people who demonstrate their inability to be responsible. Volunteer methods will likely not reach the same end result as mandatory gun confiscation, it is a good trade-off if progressives refuse to tackle the criminal element. The biggest push back about taking on the gangs, etc., is the entrenched belief that good people don’t live around, or go anywhere near where criminals are likely to be, so there is no reason to suffer casualties trying to wrest guns from the underworld.

      To tie this all together, once guns are virtually non-existent among non-LE, there is no reason for agencies to be armed, either (except maybe situations where terrorists are involved). Drastically restricting firearms for LE would prevent a right-wing, fascist government from being able to mount a police force that could take away the rights of citizens (standing armies are as difficult proposition today as they were in the beginning).

      So, ultimately, no guns for anyone. That may be totally impossible to achieve, but that doesn’t rule-out trying to get as close to the goal as possible. There is no immovable reason the US cannot create a society as peaceable and prosperous as Switzerland (no, that doesn’t mean all wealth in the hands of the .001%, and the rest in abject poverty…which is not how it is in Switzerland).

      • There is, actually. Our societies are nothing alike. Look at the economic and demographic makeups and the ‘non-gun’ crime. We are more similar to a country like Mexico where, even though they have a very stringent gun control regime, there’s still more murders than you can shake a stick at.

        • I do understand all the arguments about never being able to stop all guns from being obtainable (but are your people required to do nothing because a thing cannot be 100% successful?).

          Question is why the rest of the industrialized world does not have the same level of overall violence as does the US? The ability to make crude guns exists wherever there are cutting tools and pipe, yet the home grown gun is not a serious threat anywhere else? What is it about living in America that nurtures such a large criminal segment? Why are American criminals more violent than elsewhere? Must one accept that the trade-off for “capitalism” and “free markets” is more violence?

        • Violent America citation: Rampage Shooting Index – http://www.rampageshooting.com/ (http://archive.is/f4gbv)

          As of Jan 2013 –

          US rampage shootings rank below:
          Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel, and Switzerland

          US rampage shootings rank above:
          Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Spain, Poland, Australia, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Slovenia, Estonia, Luxembourg.

          Rampages are the scariest because the generally do not occur in areas of high crime. Peaceable people, going about their business (not going stupid places, doing stupid things) have greater fear of a rampage than of an attack by the “average” criminal.

          As you know, data is not information, polls are skewed to favor, facts have facets. For gun lovers, however, it is the impression that “normal” people can all too easily go on a rampage that perhaps is the largest impediment to your “guns everywhere” messages. Impressions (emotions?) are powerful things, often not subject to what you would call “facts and logic”. The impression/image gun owners allow Progressives to publicize is what wins the social battle. We thank you.

        • You said “violence”. Why are you arbitrarily limiting violence to shooting rampages?

        • “You said “violence”. Why are you arbitrarily limiting violence to shooting rampages?”

          Because it is the most publicized type crime in America, and hence throughout the world. It is the impression left to the general public(s). Rampages (as I noted) are the scariest form of violence because they generally are conducted by “normal” people, meaning not someone noted as being a criminal or ganger.

  36. Us “liberal cronies” want to be free to play tiddlywinks, stinkyfinger, and share “ice cream cones” with one another, regardless of how you cottonheadedninnymuggins gun toting fools may think. I refuse to let you persuade me. My cronies and I will vote democrat, if nothing more than to make you stubborns miserable.

  37. My only question is: How did phone calls and “loud knocks” and shouts go unanswered, but it was the busting down of the door that woke him up? My only uninformed guess would be they didn’t try hard enough.

  38. “Gun sense” associates…I suppose it’s only fair that they have their own little club so they can bobblehead in agreement at the “wisdom” espoused by 2Asux and his ilk.

    After all this is the “truth” about guns, and 2Asux has no use for it.

    If you have a relative, ANY relative, or friend, OR close acquaintance, and are concerned about their welfare, have someone nearby with this little thing we call a KEY. No door kicking, no shooting.

    My mother is 91 years old, and lives close by, but if I am out of town and I call her and receive no response, I call one of my designated backups in possession of aforementioned key to check on her.

    Kick in MY door without your key, and it’s a different tale.

    Sorry to feed the troll, but just wanted to offer a suggestion to perhaps save a life down the road.

    • I had a relative, 18 travel hours away. The relative was on multiple medications for life-threatening illnesses. There were no relatives in anything approximating nearness. I had a key to the house. Relative became unresponsive over days and I asked the authorities to have a look. Shouts and door banging returned nothing. What should have then happened?

      • Did you read my post? I know comprehension is new to you, but the salient part would be, “have someone *nearby* with this little thing we call a KEY”. Doesn’t have to be a relative, but you appear to be the type that may have a problem making friends, so in this case, I stand corrected. Apologies.

        • You are talking woulda, shoulda, coulda. I’m talking what happened. Life doesn’t unfold neatly according to anyone’s idea of “right”. Given the circumstance (no key locally) what should the authorities have done, knock twice on the ceiling then walk away?

      • I am talking preparation. You obviously didn’t care enough about someone 18 hours away to have a contingency plan. “Wouldn’t” have happened if you “coulda” had a plan in place to prevent what “shouldn’t” have happened in the first place.

        You’ve already beaten the dead horse about what can occur when an American’s home is broken into, so I’m finished. Best this trollbait dies soon.

  39. TTAG, please, don’t start putting 2asux on a platform like you did Shannon and MDA a few years ago.

    I ending up taking a year or so long reprieve from TTAG in part because of it.

    If 2aux becomes a common topic, then I’m going to roll, again.

    • Agree. If I want to read anti-firearm rants, I have many other sites that I can visit.

      Promoting this type of thing on a site like this reminds me of The Fonz jumping the shark.

    • It is curious that people who oppose progressives shutting down discussion seem to like that, themselves. No opposition, please; nothing that I do not like should appear; I want a safe space where I can exchange prejudices only with my fellow bigots; I cannot simply ignore what I detest and must become agitated by the views of anyone who disagrees; I am a special snowflake.

      Actually, I do understand those views. Recommend changing channels when one does not like the programming. If I can take dealing with opposition, shouldn’t POTG be capable of the same?

      No?

      Really?

  40. So, a grown man, responsible for himself, makes a decision to live alone, even knowing that he has a medical condition? Sounds like the exact opposite of “implied consent” for someone to break down his door for a “wellness check.”

    The equivalent of an anonymous tip is not sufficient justification to violate the man’s fourth amendment-protected rights. Moreso, failure to answer a knock at one’s door does not constitute exigent circumstances to violate those rights without a warrant.

    And justifiable homicide – as this death will properly be classified – is not counted among the 500 accidental deaths. “Gun safety” had nothing to do with it.

    Have we had enough promotion of 2ASux’s appeal to emotion logical fallacy yet?

    • Given the number of original posts, I address only a few in comments, and have had exactly 2 original posts of my own. Is it that uncomfortable to have your skin pricked now and then? Would you really want me to take-on every posting and every commenter, everyday? Comfort zones can be politically fatal.

      Progressives terminate accounts, delete comments, shoutdown pro-gun people who “try to engage in civil discussion”. That is the claim. I accept that as truth, uncomfortable as it is. But now POTG are acting (or would like to act) the same way? Be protected from someone not subject to your groupthink?

      Eventually, both sides of a major political struggle end up looking quite alike in means and methods.

  41. This is a tough one. The fact that I no longer trust journalists to report a complete story makes it worse. Seems there should be something in between knocking on a door and busting it open. Did the Firemen or police announce themselves? That’s not what was in the report. We also have no indication of the stare of mind of the shooter.

    I fear the tragic legacy of this event, since it was in Maryland and any excuse will do, will be to conduct welfare checks using an armored vehicle with a battering ram driven across the front lawn.

  42. How did the Firefighter’s know that this man was in a life @ risk situation because of his diabetes? Sounds to me that some one Swatted this guy by using a medical excuse to B&E, hoping that this guy would get his guns taken away! Another Anti-Gun trolling!

  43. I think the guy who called for the welfare check should be thoroughly interviewed by police; perhaps he knew his relative would react in his manner and had some reason for setting it up.

  44. This tragedy took place in Prince Georges County, Maryland. Anyone who lives in the D.C. Beltway metropolitan area knows that PG County is known for its high levels of crime. The firefighters went into the home before police arrived and did so at night (around 7:30PM). A family member had called asking the authorities to check on the man. Another family member (male) who was inside the home was also shot. Although I can understand firefighters wanting to save lives, that does not alleviate the need for risk management. They are working in some high crime areas and decided to take the chance by forcing entry into the home of a person, before the Police arrived on scene and now one firefighter is dead, another shot four times but will survive, and two other firefighters were injured. This just doesn’t add up.

    • I worked that area for 25 years and 30 years total as a firefighter/emt. Knowing how experienced these guys are, I would put money on the brothers interaction with the firefighter’s tipped the scale to force entry. Furthermore I do not know if the police were even responding. Medical calls usually don’t warrant police unless there are violent components to the incident. Even if forcing entry. We are better equipped for forcible entry with equipment and experience.

  45. I’m retired from a neighboring county.

    Our county and PG County have performed “Welfare Checks” since there has been organized fire departments as far as I know. Sometimes with the police, sometimes without the police. The call taker decides that when taking the call. The 30 years I was involved with fire and rescue I’ve forced entry on quite a few welfare checks as well as left without entering the dwelling. It’s all about information you have and what you find when you get there. If you have a car in the driveway and mail piled up on the porch, an odor, haven’t showed up for work in a few days, we will push further to make sure you are not inside with an emergency.

    Information is slowly coming out. It’s not clear what exactly happened. Knowing the experience someone obtains in PG County over a 13 year career, I’m sure they were VERY vocal about who they were and why they were there.

    At no time was the police trying to concoct work for them. That’s paranoia. You can’t get people to swap information on property damage accidents when an officer isn’t needed. The police are over burdened with BS. Period!

    I personally feel (without any proof) the brother seeking help swayed the firefighter’s to make an entry they normally may not have made. If a family member is adamant his brother is in there and having an emergency we are going in. It’s who we are and what we do.

    Charges can still be filed. MD does not have a Castle Doctrine to my knowledge. Just this year House Bill 252 was to rectify it and it failed unfavorably.

    Unfortunately my friend shared his recruit class with the young man who lost his life. So it hits home hard. Truly horrific.

    Rest in peace brother!

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