Pick up a loaded AK clone, point it at your boyfriend’s face at point blank range while you pin him to the bed. The gun just “went off.” He’s dead and the woman is charged with negligent homicide.
According to court paperwork, (Gabriella) Hardee and her boyfriend, Rosario Leon, were getting ready to check out of the room when they jumped onto the bed together.
Hardee admitted to picking up the gun that was on the bed next to Leon. She picked up the weapon, put her hand on the trigger and the weapon discharged. She told officers she pointed the gun at a downward angle that was directly at her boyfriend’s head.
She believed that if she did not squeeze the trigger, it would not discharge.
It no doubt didn’t.
Fatal gun accidents have become quite rare in the United States. There are only about 500 a year. That’s down from 3200 in 1932. The per capita rate of fatal gun accidents has dropped by 94% in that time period.
It doesn’t appear that Hardee had any firearms safety training. From 12news.com:
Police said based on the knowledge Hardee had that Leon usually had ammunition in the weapon and Hardee had seen it being discharged and knew it was a deadly weapon that she was operating carelessly, she will be charged with negligent homicide.
The case seems a classic example of what criminologist Gary Kleck wrote about in “Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America” the classic text on guns, gun use, crime and gun control in America. From Point Blank, page 297 in the chapter on “Reducing Gun Accidents”:
Concerning the second premise, many gun accidents, perhaps the majority of them, involve chronically reckless people whose impulsiveness, emotional immaturity, or alcoholism cannot be eliminated by a few hours of safety training.
When those words were written in 1991, fatal gun accidents were occuring at a rate of .57 per 100,000. In 2013, that figure had been reduced to .16 per 100,000. That is a 67% drop in only 23 years, so Mr. Kleck may have been a little pessimistic. Perhaps a high school course in gun safety would have made a difference. Then again, maybe not.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.