Wisconsin Negligent Discharge Shows Futility Of Gun Laws

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

Cats and lasers are an endless source of entertainment as evidenced by hours upon hours of videos on YouTube. However, it is patently stupid and Darwin Award-worthy to play with a cat using the laser sight of a gun.

“Woman using gun’s laser sight to play with cat shoots friend,” reads the headline of an Associated Press article today. Stupidity aside, I immediately felt bad for the woman and her friend who got shot. So, I read the article to understand what happened, and boy was I surprised by the full story.

The woman, who a witness said had been drinking, picked up the handgun, “turned on the laser sight and was pointing it at the floor to get the cat to chase it,” when the gun went off, the complaint filed Thursday said.

Alcohol and guns don’t mix, so there’s the first red flag. (An astute reader will have noticed the “gun went off” passive voice cop-out striking again; guns hardly ever go off on their own without a human actor taking a series of deliberate actions.)

Further down this absurd story, there’s an interesting twist:

The man, who was standing in a doorway, was shot in the thigh, authorities said. He left and went into another apartment, where police found him after responding to a 911 call, the Kenosha News reported.

Weird. Why did the injured person go into another apartment?

There’s no word on his condition, but authorities said he was facing charges for violating bond conditions that prevented him from having a weapon.

Oh! So, the guy who was showing off the gun to the drunk woman was a prohibited person?

The woman told police she thought the magazine had been taken out of the gun and said it “accidentally went off,” according to the complaint.

Not only was the woman drunk, but she was also unfamiliar with how this gun operates. She didn’t know that the magazine could be removed, and a round could still be in the chamber.

As of this writing, Moms Demand, Everytown, and Giffords have said nothing about this incident. They usually jump on any harm that involves guns, especially negligent and accidental discharges.

Their silence can be explained by the lesson of this story that their gun control proposals such as universal background checks, may-issue permit regimes, training requirements, mandatory storage laws, etc. don’t and won’t work.

The man who brought the gun was a prohibited person. No background check law – universal or otherwise – would have worked because this guy clearly didn’t care. A prohibited person in possession is clearly not going to bother about may-issue carry permits as seen in this story. Training requirements would have also failed; the prohibited possessor simply would not have cared. He would have laughed at mandatory storage laws as well. As for the woman, even if we generously assume that she would have jumped through the complicated training hurdles demanded by the Gun Grab Lobby, her state of inebriation would likely have overridden her common sense. Good people can do bad and stupid things when drunk.

This story is a tragicomedy of errors. Negligent and accidental discharges are bad and avoidable by following the Four Rules of Gun Safety.

But this story’s big lesson is the futility of the massive maze of gun laws that only burden lawful gun owners, while those who are prone to breaking laws do so with impunity.

I hope the Gun Grab Lobby eventually wakes up to this, but in the meantime, my thoughts are with the poor cat; I hope he or she isn’t traumatized for life.