Just Another Gun Death Statistic
Tennessee is one of the most gun friendly states. Recently its legislature passed a bill allowing carrying concealed weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol. Governor Phil Bredesen vetoed it, but the house voted to override the governor, and it became law.
Tennessee ranks 7th in gun deaths per 100,000 people. Gun ownership is at 46%.
Saturday Josephine G. Fanning, 48, became a statistic. But Tennessee residents, who love their guns more than their families, will tell you “it’s just a numbers game”.
Daniel and Josephine had a gathering in their home for 15-20 people. Daniel, who works as an elementary school resource officer, wanted to show one of the guests a rifle he owned. He went to his gun cabinet. To access the rifle, he had to take out a loaded handgun. He placed it on the bed. It was only there for a few seconds when a 4-year-old boy pulled the trigger. Josephine Fanning was shot and killed.
“It looks to be a tragic accident,” said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan. “He did not normally have small kids at his house, and his guns were locked prior to coming out. I don’t want the perception that guns were everywhere.”
Bryan was defending Tennessee’s gun laws, not concerned with a tragic death which will affect the little boy, the gun owner husband, and every guest at the party for the rest of their lives.
Sam Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a widely consulted expert on police accountability said that because it was not a service revolver, it is unlikely that any disciplinary action will be taken against 51 year old Daniel Fanning.
“I think that’s common sense,” Walker said. “Anybody who has any kind of experience, a hunter, a veteran, these people understand the danger of these items.”
Tennessee has the 6th highest rate of accidental death by handgun. Between 1999 and 2010, 427 people were killed in Tennessee, more than 8,300 nationwide.
Gun control debate is a foolish term. If you own a firearm, and for one second ignore its life threatening ability, you are a fool and should not be allowed to own the weapon. The verbiage offered by some gun owners tell me they believe guns are grown-up toys.
Attitudes such as, “if you own a gun, you’re a man”, to “If you own a lot of guns, you’re a bigger man”, are the reasons our country is so maniacal about gun ownership.
The reality has nothing to do with home protection, or even the second amendment. What is needed for home protection vs. what is owned by may “gun nuts” is way out of line. And these gun worshippers do not care if someone is killed by a gun unless it is a member of their own family.
In 2011 the firearm industry generated 31 billion dollars in revenue. Gun ownership in the United States averages one for every person in the country.
The NRA is concerned with that growing 31 billion dollar figure, not with the protection and safety of our nation’s people. In every instance where large sums of money are involved, the endless trail of “greenbacks” will lead you to the truth. And the truth is that the NRA does not represent gun owners, it represents gun manufacturers and gun sellers. It is one of those four letter words, a “lobby”.
This was a truly tragic incident. A gathering of family and friends is a joyous event. Love and laughter shared with good food and good drink should never be shattered by an unnecessary loss of life.
Daniel’s carelessness caused him the loss of his wife. His casual attitude about his guns will leave a young boy traumatized for the rest of his life.
But, at least he still has his guns to keep him warm.
Columnist-The Guardian Express