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A gun story with something for everybody

March 21, 2013 - Harry Eagar
First, if you haven't already, you have to read the complete story. A lede graf doesn't quite convey all the sides of this gun story:

"About 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, a woman was in her Ellis County, Texas, home when she heard someone try to open the back door. She contacted her husband, who was in the area. The husband drew a gun on the robbers, who ran from the home, firing as they went, said Jo Ann Livingston, spokeswoman for the Ellis County sheriff's office in Texas.

"Although the husband hit one of the robbers, he apparently died from a self-inflicted wound in an adjacent field. The other robber was found in the pickup stolen in Oklahoma, also dead by his own hand."

So, 2 more firearms deaths in the heartland of gun country. But how are the statisticians to allocate these?

Do we score 2 for armed citizen defending his home?

Or do we score 2 for if you keep firearms at home, the person most likely to get shot is a member of your household?

Or do we assign these 2 deaths to the majority of firearms deaths that are suicides?

Do we score 2 for children shot to death?

Other thoughts obtrude.

The Oklahoma family had (at least) 17 firearms. In a nation with only one gun per person, they were hogging the supply. With about 500% of their share, they were depriving at least a dozen other Americans of the chance to have an event like this at their own homes.

I bet there were at least 17 Bibles in that house. (Personal note: there are about 17 printed bibles in my house, if you count indexes and concordances; and hundreds in translation on a Bible app on my iPhone. But no guns.)

The perp was home schooled. Dunno if that included firearms safety and responsibility.

In the comments on an early story about this incident, a reader opined that she imagined the father would now rather have his son back than all those guns. But she was not from Oklahoma. The father was remarkably (to any non-Oklahoman) casual about it:

“My biggest thing is the family down there and what they're going through. ... I would have done the exact same thing as the homeowner. My heart goes out to them,” Roland Chaffin said.

That's how they roll in Oklahoma.


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