Hospitals in virtually every state — particularly federally-owned hospitals — are designated gun-free zones. There are signs posted everywhere letting everyone who enters know it. And yet…
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A double-amputee Army veteran shot and wounded a doctor just before a mental health evaluation at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida, authorities said.
Larry Ray Bon, 59, of Michigan, arrived at the VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach on Wednesday morning and was combative for hours, according to the FBI. Authorities said Bon was taken to the emergency room that evening for the mental health evaluation, when he pulled out a gun and shot the doctor in the neck.
“During the shooting, in between shots, the doctor saw an opportunity to jump on the suspect and disarm him,” Justin Fleck, the assistant special agent in charge for the FBI’s Miami office, said in a Palm Beach Post report .
“He’s a pretty heroic individual and probably saved a lot of lives,” Fleck said.
It was not clear how Bon was able to bring the gun into the hospital.
Another hospital employee was grazed by a bullet. VA spokeswoman Mary Kay Rutan says the doctor was treated at a West Palm Beach hospital and released. The doctor’s name was not released.
The medical center was scheduled to open for scheduled appointments Thursday.
Bon, who has had both his legs amputated and uses an electric wheelchair, served in the Army in the 1970s, but investigators were not aware of him having any combat-related conditions, Fleck said.
Bon refused to cooperate after he was taken into custody, authorities said.
According to online court records, Bon’s only history in Palm Beach County’s legal system was a case in small claims court in 2017 that was dismissed. His name did not appear in county jail records.
Really? It’s not clear how Bon was able to bring the gun into the hospital?
We’ll say it once again for those in the media, our friends in the gun control community and those who are slow on the uptake (yes, there’s a lot of cross-over there). Criminals — and, in this case, the mentally disturbed — don’t comply with gun-free zone signs.
Depending on signs, laws, orders of protection, felony convictions and the like to keep people safe and gun out of the hands of those who are prohibited is dangerous and foolhardy.
That’s why there are now over 17 million people with concealed carry licenses in the US. And that doesn’t count the growing number of people who live in states where a permit isn’t needed.
The only people who are stopped by gun-free zones are the law-abiding. That leaves them vulnerable to those who couldn’t care less about signs or laws.
Good news, the physician was reportedly treated and released from another hospital.