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Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Two Wrongs Edition

People do dumb things all the time. It’s part of being human and we are all guilty, to some degree. It’s a big window to operate in, from clever to stupid, and when it comes to your health, no one argues, for example, about how dumb it is to smoke. But hey, we’re risk takers, and some folks enjoy lighting up. Not Justin Palmer. In fact he takes healthy living — even that of complete strangers — really seriously. So much so that the 24-year-old Bellingham, Washington resident was arrested for drawing down on a smoker . . .

On complicating factor: the smoker happened to be eight months pregnant. A 28-year-old woman, who should know better than to smoke with one in the oven, was walking down the sidewalk when Palmer shouted from his blue Dodge pickup, “Who the heck smokes when they’re pregnant?”

The woman answered, “I do.” Probably not the first time. Details are sketchy, but the argument that ensued escalated enough, in Palmer’s mind, to pull a Glock .45 on her. We’re guessing that even with the best attorney on his side, proving he felt sufficiently threatened to point his heater at a pregnant pedestrian he was driving past may be a challenge.

Being the self-anointed dumb police is a tough job. The pay sucks, and at the end of the day, you’ll just end up arresting yourself. Don’t fret, Justin. At least you can admire your new Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day trophy. There’s no law against that.


  1. avatar Chas says:

    It’s too damn bad she didn’t have her own CCW to shoot his dumb ass with.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    He threatened a pregneant woman with a gun because she was smoking? This isn’t stupid it’s absurd, surreal and at least insane. Where do we get these people?

    1. avatar MacBeth51 says:

      Yeah. He must think he works for the government

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Maybe he does…

    2. avatar HAVE GUN says:

      dinka dinka dinka dink

      ” Where do we get these people?”

      You have just entered the

      Twilight Zone

    3. avatar CarlosT says:

      Where do we get these people?

      Bellingham. Beautiful area. Lots of hippies. Very granola. It’s a college town, where Western Washington University (double double-U U) is located, and about half an hour away from Canada.

      1. avatar g says:

        Pshhht, the northside has its share of tacticool / survivalists / crazy folks too. Evergreen State College in Olympia is probably more hippie than WWU.

        (self-confessed bias: I’m a U-Dub grad. GO HUSKIES!)

        1. avatar Dan says:

          I’m not sure how TESC is now, but round about 20 years ago, the dorms were a pretty good place for all sorts of strangeness. Neighbors were selling bags of “herbs”. Next building over, a classmate was selling AK’s that he ordered cheap so he could use the profits to get himself a Galil. Yes, at The Evergreen State College. Er, go Geoducks?

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          Yeah, you got me there. Bellingham’s got nothing on Olympia when it comes to wafting patchouli and other odors.

          Also, Go DAWGS!

    4. avatar paintballer says:

      “where do we get these people”

      his mother smoked while pregnant

    5. avatar OODALOOP says:

      Ahh, western Washington breeds them. It’s like Portlandia, just with more Starbucks and opinionated left-wing Birkenstock wearing hippies. The rest of WA pokes fun at them…

      1. avatar WesternWA says:

        Washington is a unique state in that despite the ridiculous amount of liberal-ness concentrated in one area, we still have good, permissive gun laws, unlike Kalifornistan down below. It’s a fantastic state, with lots of beautiful sights, nature, and yes, plenty of firearm owners – although I will be the first to admit that the fact that it’s a hippie/hipster pilgrimage spot really annoys me.

  3. avatar Silver says:

    I feel sorry for that kid and he’s not even born yet.

    1. avatar Ben H says:

      I can already imagine the mother telling her spawn about the incident when it get older.

      Terrible mom – “Ya know, when yous were still in my belly some asshole tried to shoot me”

      Child with clubfoot – “Oh no! Why would someone try to shoot a pregnant woman?!”

      Terrible mom – “Because I was smoking. But put that fucker in his place”

      Child with clubfoot – “I’m glad you were looking out for me before I was even born…”

      1. avatar HAVE GUN says:

        Smoking causes clubfoot?

        1. avatar FourString says:

          Genetic mutations from carcinogens make it possible lol
          Not for the smoker but the baby, duh

        2. avatar Hoth says:

          @Fourstring- Possible, but not probable. Far to many people confuse the two. It’s also possible for clubfoot to just happen without any external cause.

  4. avatar Ben H says:

    Not to generalize here…. But anyone who smokes while they’re pregnant is a pretty shitty person, and shitty people usually raise shitty kids, who grow up to be shitty people. Justin Palmer’s mom probably smoked while she was pregnant with him.

    You see people, we are far to shortsighted in how we approach gun control in America, we need to get to the root of the issue; and focus our efforts beyond just creating shitty superficial laws that are based on fallacious ideals. We, as a nation, need to band together to keep guns out of the hands of shitty people. What I want is for the government to introduce extreme preemptive measures that will make incidents like this a thing of the past. We need to ban shitty people from having shitty kids, and then there would be no shitty kids to grow up and become irresponsible gun owners.

    At the end of the day, the already overpopulated world would probably be better off without any of the people in this story, future shitty people included. So if shitty people who smoke while they are pregnant were banned from procreating, there would be no shitty kids to grow up into shitty adults that irresponsibly brandish guns like a shit-head.

    1. avatar Bill F says:

      Probably eat at “Shitty Wok” and fly “Shitty Airlines” too.

    2. avatar C. Walther says:

      Democrats would never let it happen. Too much of their voter base is tied up in that group.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      Didn’t South Park do an episode where they tried to see how many times they could say “shit”.
      Sorry, got off topic. Don’t know what made me think of that.

      1. avatar Ben H says:

        Yes. It was the shit.

      2. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I thought of exactly the same South Park episode, curiously. Must be something in the water.

        1. avatar Bill F says:

          South Park also had the Chinese restaraunt/airline owner. Enterprises were named City Wok And City Airlines, but he couldn’t pronounce his “S”, s. Hence Shitty Wok and Shitty Airlines.

    4. avatar HAVE GUN says:

      “But anyone who smokes while they’re pregnant is a pretty shitty person,”

      That is the case health nazis make.

      1. avatar FourString says:

        That is the case that public health workers, epidemiologists, and several top tier research universities make.*

        There, fixed it for ya. 🙂

        1. avatar BStacks says:

          top tier universities make the case for man-made global warming as well…

    5. avatar Hoth says:

      “But anyone who smokes while they’re pregnant is a pretty shitty person, and shitty people usually raise shitty kids, who grow up to be shitty people”

      Then I guess damn near everyone born in the 20’s through the 70’s had shitty mothers and grew up to be shitty themselves.

      “What I want is for the government to introduce extreme preemptive measures that will make incidents like this a thing of the past.”

      I think it would be better for everyone if the government did something to make authoritarians like yourself a thing of the past.

      1. avatar Ben H says:

        The 20th century was a different time. Any mother smoking during pregnancy these days is a piece of shit.

        As part of my authoritarian rule over this country, I’m going to eliminate people who don’t understand sarcasm. But seriously, the root cause of every problem is people, get rid of the people and the problem goes away…

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          “The 20th century was a different time.”
          Aw, for fvck’s sake! Now I feel old.

      2. avatar Ben H says:

        The 20th century was a different time. Any mother smoking during pregnancy these days is a piece of shit.

        As part of my authoritarian rule over this country, I’m also going to eliminate people who don’t understand sarcasm. But seriously, the root cause of every problem is people, get rid of the people and the problem goes away…

    6. avatar BStacks says:

      “What I want is for the government to introduce extreme preemptive measures”

      It is called federally subsidized Planned Parenthood.

      1. avatar Ben H says:

        The problem is that the people who shouldn’t have kids don’t use it.

  5. avatar Bob says:

    Do you know how hard it is to quit smoking? Nicotine is more addictive than heroin.
    (scorched flame suit)

    OK. I get it. “for the children” “for the children”

    Chew a Nicorette.

    1. avatar RIGHT! says:

      I quit, it took 90 days to clear my system (don’t quote numbers at me, as a former EMT I know my personal metrics) As a EMT I transported many seniors whose final days were a living hell because of a lifetime of smoking.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I quit smoking in 87. It’s a powerful addiction, I still want one every now and again. But I know not to give in.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          I smoke cigars – but I’m not pregnant and never will be.

  6. avatar cz82mak says:

    Apparently, his mom smoked when she was pregnant with him.

  7. avatar g says:

    Oh, WA state…

    1. avatar RIGHT! says:

      This is the Liberal side of WA State

      1. avatar WesternWA says:

        The liberal side still has plenty of sensible firearm owners, don’t worry.

        How else would the U.S. defend itself from a Canadian invasion? 😀

      2. avatar FTSixties says:

        There are more gunnies at “liberal” Evergreen than you can know. Most lie low and aren’t “that kind of liberal.”

        The self righteous hippies are gun banners. The grown ups have shooting parties. The freakin president of Evergreen is an NRA member…though that’s not advertised.

  8. avatar FourString says:

    That’s some mighty fine reasoning lol.
    This mother is smoking, so let’s save the baby by shooting her in the gut

    On the other hand, mom’s who smoke/drink/drug up while preggers are just going to cost taxpayers more money by having a kid with a disability instead of a working productive citizen.
    Sigh. #peoplemakemelosehope

  9. avatar MotoJB says:

    What a fool…I hope he get’s prison time for it. Then again, I can understand his anger. I hope she loses her parental custody and that kid doesn’t have life long health issues due to her sickening and selfish disregard. Scum like that shouldn’t be allowed to have children.

    1. avatar Hoth says:

      People with attitudes like yours shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

      1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

        Huh? Since when is a mother not responsible for what happens to her body, and by extension, her fetus? Draw me a picture, please.

  10. avatar Chad says:

    The guy is obviously a liberal. This is how they react. I’ve read of a man who set up a video camera after his Hummer, was “keyed” several times. Come to find out, the elderly self proclaimed “environmentalist” that was shown on the video, did it because of all the gas the hummer was burning.

    These people can’t stand people having free will and they think, they can go around yelling at grown adults, because this woman is smoking while pregnant.

    Sounds like, he needs to loose his gun rights, and assault with a deadly weapon, is just the ticket.

    1. avatar karlb says:

      Not really a liberal/conservative issue. It is, instead, an issue of people being so sure of their beliefs that they feel not only the need but the moral authority to impose their world-view on others.

  11. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    I encourage TTAG to keep watch on this story. The initial report I saw indicated that Mr. Palmer denied pointing the gun. There is the possibility, however remote, that the smoker saw that Palmer had a gun and filed a false police report just cause he pissed her off. Any other witnesses to the crime?

    1. Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young told the Herald that the two started yelling at each other until Palmer allegedly pulled out one of his handguns and pointed it at her.
      Officers later pulled over Palmer and he apparently admitted to being confrontational with the woman but denied pulling out a gun.
      Police searched the vehicle and fond two Glock semiautomatic .45-caliber handguns in the center console, according to the Herald

      For now, I’m leaning towards Mr. Palmer pulling a gun.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        For now, I’m going to go with David and the “official version of events.” If he’d been out of his truck, the “she saw a gun and made up the story” thing would be more likely, but according to the article, he was still in his truck, 10 feet away. There’s no way she saw he had a gun at that distance and spatial relationship unless he showed it to her. I suppose if he had a bunch of NRA stickers and a BFL on the back window, it’s possible she could have added that up and invented the story, and then she got lucky that he just happened to have a weapon in the console, but that’s stretching the bounds of reasonable suspicion.

  12. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    What if, after a bit of reflection, the woman decided to quit smoking and her baby was born healthy? Would we be able to consider that a DGU then? I say yes.

  13. avatar carrymagnum says:

    He makes sense this time. I find it disgusting that this woman would smoke with a bun in the oven. But the way this man rationalized his actions is too much for my simple mind to comprehend.

  14. avatar WesternWA says:

    One could (possibly) make the legal argument that it was in self-defense of the fetus (of course, this opens up the can of worms that is the “is a fetus considered a live human being” debate), although it would be on shaky ground. Good for Palmer to do the right thing and confront the mother for ruining her baby’s life. Shame on Palmer for resorting to violence. The right to carry is to be used for protection, and to be used responsibly – not to coerce someone else into doing something, or to level an argument.

  15. avatar FTSixties says:

    That baby is being groomed to attend The Evergreen State College.

    Maybe she could wash down the nicotine with some Everclear and meth.

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