jeffery lovell

Jeffery Lovell, 42, is in jail awaiting murder charges for blast a teenager to death who knocked on his front door, looking for a friend.

A Chicopee man shot and killed a 15-year-old boy who was knocking on his front door Saturday after the teen mistakenly went to the house believing a friend lived there, police said.

The identity of the slain teen — who was shot through the door shortly before 
1 p.m. — was not immediately released.

Jeffery Lovell, 42, is expected to be arraigned for murder today, Chicopee police said yesterday in a statement on Facebook.

“It was determined three parties went to the residence believing it to be a friend,” police said.

“One party, the victim, was banging on the outside door, when the 
homeowner shot through the door, striking the male. The 15-year-old male did pass away last evening at the Baystate Medical Center, and we offer our condolences and sympathies to the family.”

* * *

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and take a wild guess that Lovell is one of many people in this nation who obtained a firearm for self-defense, but who never took a decent class from a reputable on the lawful defensive use of firearms.

The number of people I continue to come across who treat firearms as a talisman against evil never ceases to amaze me. They buy or inherit a firearm, stick it in a nightstand or on a closet shelf or in a gun safe, and then leave the gun there—often times for years—thinking that, “I’ve got a gun. I’m safe.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As Col. Jeff Cooper once noted, “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” He’s entirely right. Owning a firearm that you don’t know how to run is like owning a car, and having never learned how to drive.

People who don’t train and who fail to develop confidence and competence with their firearms tend to  panic and think that they “need” that gun to solve a problem when that is not the best or the legal option. Terrified beyond reason, suddenly aware of their glaring incompetence with the gun they possess, they routinely panic and make bad, tragic and often criminal decisions.

Every single month we cover at least one of these stories, and the saddest thing is that almost all of these instances would have been preventable if the person who fired the gun had simply gone to quality defensive firearm classes, learned the law, developed a moderate level of competence, and practiced regularly to maintain a level of familiarity and skill with their firearm (shooting well is a very perishable skill).

There is no justifiable reason for Jeffery Lowell to shoot through his door because teens were knocking on it, looking for a friend. He panicked, and made a series of deadly choices. The story here is little different than than that of the idiot in Florida who opened fire at Pokemon Go players who weren’t even on his property.

When the Founding Fathers reflected the pre-existing human right to armed self-defense in the Second Amendment, they made perfectly clear that they expected the people to be both well-armed and well-trained. That’s precisely what they meant when they said the militia (the people) should be “well-regulated.”

We encourage Americans to exercise their constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms. That right comes with the responsibility to learn how to use those arms effectively and legally.