Gun safety instructor shoots Christian preacher in the hip during demonstration

It’s admirable when people actually take steps to learn how to safely use firearms if they are going to have them. But even during gun safety training, you can get shot, as one unfortunate California preacher learned.

The House Modesto Pastor Tom Smith was actually shot in the hip after the teacher in the firearms safety course he was attending switched a dummy gun with a real one, complete with live rounds. The accident occurred at the end of the lesson, when the teacher, Philip Rushing, replaced the class’s rubber gun with his own. Rushing fired the real gun instead of the real one. It has not yet been explained how he got the two confused.

Smith’s congregation said that he is still in “much pain pulling through the physical therapy” after his surgery.

Pastor Tom Smith We love you and we are praying for you!

Posted by The House Modesto on Sunday, December 6, 2015

Folks at the firearms academy where the incident took place are defending Rushing’s carelessness. Trident Firearms Academy owner Dan Gray said:

“If you’re a firearms instructor long enough, you’re going to see accidents happen.”

Rushing supposedly has 43 years experience in this area. How on earth he didn’t know this simple safety rule is beyond the realm of reason.

Watch a local news report on the incident below:

[Raw Story] Featured image: Pastor Tom Smith via Facebook



  1. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    December 16, 2015 at 2:33 am

    This is one of the great truths about fireartms – accidents can happen. That is why it is NOT a good idea to allow all and sundry to have access to lethal weapons. In Europe there are strict restrictions on who can carry a gun. Even so those who are allowed – policemen, soldiers, etc -occasionally have accidents, and people are wounded or killed.
    When will America wake up to these facts and ban the holding of firearms by anyone who feels like it? The fact that Americans in some states can buy military style weapons, for which no sane person can have an appropriate use is both appalling and astonishing to us Europeans.

  2. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    December 16, 2015 at 2:35 am

    And, by the way, what POSSIBLE use can a preacher have for a gun?

  3. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 16, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Perhaps some of the things preachers say require personal protection?

    I worked in law enforcement over 20 years. In all that time, I NEVER had to draw my weapon for protection, and I arrested and cuffed my share of “bad” guys. The last thing any officer wants at an active shooter scene is an unknown, uncoordinated civilian “helping.” It adds to the chaos and is terribly dangerous to both officers and the “good guy with a gun” who is always difficult to distinguish from the “bad guys with guns.” Defensive, trigger-happy mentality kills indiscriminately.

  4. Avatar

    John Sharpnack

    December 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Kind of shows a lack of faith, doesn’t it?

  5. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Accident can always happen, but are incredibly rare compared to the deliberate rapes, murders, and robberies we all face all the time. The threats are over 100,000 to 1 compared to accidents, so there is no excuse for anyone to not be armed.
    You speak of some special few being “allowed” to be armed. Since when is there supposed to be unequal treatment under the law, where an elite few are armed and the rest of us helpless?

  6. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    We register and control most other deadly devices and objects. We don’t allow children and the senile elderly to operate motor vehicles and we require registration and testing. We restrict addictive drugs to physician prescription. We do not allow personal possession of explosive devices, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenade launchers, M-18 Claymore mines or other “protective” devices in the interests of public safety and common sense. High capacity magazines and military grade assault weapons are not “sporting” devices.

    I suspect this whole show is heading to an end as more and more wing-nuts kill our kids in schools, malls, theaters, marathons and other places of public gathering. No one advocates removing guns from the public. There is no way to prevent all firearm deaths. But we do need to outlaw and control military weapons, and perform stringent background checks on anyone who purchases a weapon, place harsh penalties on straw purchases, and those who do not qualify as responsible.

    You can keep your pistol, hunting rifle and shotgun. You don’t need an Uzi for keeping squirrels out of your bird feeder or punching holes in paper targets. The general public is not a “militia” in any sense of the word.

  7. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    No, we do not at all control or register most dangerous devices, like swimming pools, ammonium nitrate explosives, etc. About the only ones we regulate are cars, because they are not a right, not necessary, and require specific skills and training, and firearms. We most certainly do allow personal use of explosive devices, and I can use them to blow up tree stumps, quarry rock, dig tunnels, or whatever I want, without license or registration.
    Sure some rifles are not much sport, but that is not their main purpose. You are wrong that we do not all need them for defensive purposes, and the LA riots proved that, as Korean grocers protected their stores.
    The general public IS the militia according to all state constitutions, and the fact you don’t know that makes you a danger more than firearms do. You can NOT going to stop wackos or terrorists by more gun control laws. That is silly and totally counter productive.

  8. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Preachers in the military are armed. That is so they can defend others.

  9. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Militia – dictionary definition
    a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
    a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
    all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.

    The 2nd Amendment definition was bastardized by a conservative SCOTUS and misinterpreted. The mantra of “good guy with a gun” is a joke and is not in any way supported by statistics.

    I worked the streets in law enforcement for over 20 years. I never once saw a “good guy” with a firearm thwart a crime – never. If I go into an unsettled or hostile environment, the LAST thing I want is some untrained, uncoordinated, unknown citizen trying to play the role of vigilante. Good guys with NO guns get killed by trigger-happy police. Good guys WITH a gun will be in even greater danger as an unknown threat.

    I have no problem using a weapon (shotguns are great) for home protection. I do not want people carrying them on the streets. Those are the gun fanatics who walk around with a chip on their shoulder, just waiting for someone to knock it off, or so they can intimidate someone. There are horrible gun accidents every day, even by “firearms instructors.” The U.S. need to get over this gun fetish and quit being held hostage by a minority at the NRA. I have a closet full of sporting firearms and one duty weapon. I never carry them on the street, and if it ever comes to that, I’ll move out of this country to Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand or somewhere there is common sense and registered gun users.

  10. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    December 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    You are right, Mike, and, more to the point, you know what you are talking about. Unfortunately Kirk is someone, like so many, whose ‘knowledge’ about guns comes from watching too many John Wayne films. I’m afraid that until the culture changes, Amerca is going to cxontinue to be awash with the blood of those killed by guns.Over 90 a day! Unbelievable to anyone from Europe.

  11. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    @Simon Peters, you are ignorant of the law. Here is an example of the constitution of the state of Ohio:
    { … (A) The Ohio organized militia consist of all citizens of the state who are not permanently handicapped, as handicapped is defined in section 4112.01 of the Revised Code, who are more than seventeen years, and not more than sixty-seven years, of age unless exempted as provided in section 5923.02 of the Revised Code … }
    That is because the militia is not just for federal defense, or even state defense, but all levels of defense, including each citizens defending his own home. If you would have thought about this for even a few seconds, you would have realized that the 14th amendment prohibits disarming anyone without cause, while allowing anyone else, such as police, to be armed.
    It is foolish when people claim firearms are not an individual right, because there are ONLY individual rights. There is no other type or source of rights or authority at all, except individual right. And we intend to keep this a democratic republic, so that it stays that way.

  12. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 17, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    The firearms issue is highly polarized, just as our politics have become. There is room for compromise but the NRA has a huge lobby that owns most politicians. In my state alone they have contributed over $100,000 total to a number of politicians to control their votes.

    I think eventually it will backfire. The majority of the country is in favor of reasonable measures such as background checks, magazine size limits and renewing the illegal status of assault rifles which have no business being in civilian hands. I fired both the M14 and M16 in the military and they are not “fun” target rifles in automatic mode. They are just plain dangerous.

    If you look at most of the older, experienced sheriffs and police chiefs, you will find a consensus in favor of some level of gun control. That’s not true of the new kids coming through the police academies (I teach at one, so I know that, too) who are all over guns and a “cuff ’em and stuff ’em” attitude.

    If you fear for your life on the streets of the U.S. then you are in the wrong neighborhood or walking down the wrong street. No terrorist yet has been stopped by a civilian with a gun, and no terrorist is dumb enough to let you know who (s)he is before hiding a backpack with a bomb or walking into a “soft” target like a school, mall, theater or other public place. If you open-carry, you will be ambushed, not confronted. The whole personal carry fetish is a myth.

  13. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 17, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    The U.S. is a free country. The only laws we have are those designed and intended to protect the vast majority from the power of a few. They are designed to protect the weak. If and when we decide that massive distribution and possession of deadly weapons is contrary to public safety of the majority, we will counter with laws similar to Australia, where statistics show their gun policy is clearly working and becoming better with time.

    What I do fear is a backlash so great that legitimate possession and use of firearms will be abridged because we will have become too dangerous for our own good. The longer this goes, the worse it will be.

  14. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Your own dictionary quotes: “all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.”
    That means everyone essentially is the militia, so the 2nd Amendment is about ensuring every one possible is armed. And firearms as an individual rights do not come primarily from the 2nd Amendment, but the 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments. For if individuals do not have firearm rights, then there would be no way for them to delegate is, so then police could not legally be armed. Police can ONLY be armed if all citizens have firearm rights. Equal protection under the law strictly forbids any elitism like police would be if ordinary people had no individual firearm rights.
    And that has to be insane to claim you have never ever heard of a good guy with a gun thwarting a crime. I see it in the papers at least weekly. Especially 7/11 clerks, bartenders, taxi drivers, and others frequently robbed.
    You don’t like armed civilians? We I don’t like armed police. I think police should be like in England, unarmed. They don’t need arms because no one is ever going to try to rob or rape police. It is only average citizens who need to protect against criminals attacking them. Police can just call for more backup.

  15. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Suffice to say that “everyone” is NOT eligible for the “militia” (according to common usage of the term which is being redefined by Ohio and the NRA), and there is no “emergency” that would activate the proper definition, anyway.

    I was in the military in Viet Nam, I spent most of my working life in law enforcement. I’ve been on the streets. I disagree. If our streets are so dangerous we must carry firearms, then we should be wearing bullet-proof vests, not carrying deadly weapons. Anything else is pure paranoia.

    I’m not going to continue to dignify irrational comments with a reply.

  16. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    @Mike Davis, you are wrong. The militia goes back to common law where the Angles had to defend their coastal villages from the Saxon raiders. In the New England colonies, they had to defend against native American attacks, pirates, Spanish, etc. Remember there were no police back then.
    How is a bullet proof vest going to prevent a nurse from getting raped? How is a bullet proof vest going to help when someone sticks a gun in your face?
    Your comments are totally and completely unrealistic. Of course no one tried to rob or rape police. Don’t you realize what the rest of us have to deal with?

  17. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Because the US is not only a free country, but a democratic republic, what is legal to make a law over is very limited. And there is no legal basis to make this country a multi tiered society where not all have equal firearm rights.
    And you are wrong about Australia. The government buyback only reduced firearms by something like 15%, and those were mostly old and broken. No one turned in any of the 3.5 million modern and assault type weapons in Australia.

  18. Avatar

    Mike Davis

    December 17, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Rather than use a right wing source such as which has used Rush Limbaugh as a mouthpiece (indicating its bias), go to a reliable and unbiased source (agreed by polar opposites) such as or Snopes or PolitiFact and take a look at the effect of even a small reduction in firearms in Australia. Yes, gun ownership only dropped from 7% to 5% but the homicide rate dropped even more. Gun buybacks were voluntary. All they have really done is eliminate assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
    Your irrational bias shows clearly when you suggest police not carry weapons. That would turn this country into a lawless, vigilante controlled chaos with roving bands of gun fetish nuts doing whatever the hell they want with no fear of reprisal.
    End of discussion for me. No one will change anyone’s mind. Bye

  19. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    @Mike Davis, no, the 15% drop in firearms did not include a single assault rifle. The drop in firearm homicides absolutely had nothing at all to do with the arms buyback at all.
    And no, disarmed police work better in England because they have more credibility than US police do because we arm them. And we had no police at all about 120 years ago, so clearly police are not needed as much as you think.

  20. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    December 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Kirk you are clearly confused about the second amendment, so let me explain what it actually means. The 2nd amendment was predicated upon the maintenance of state militias—something that has become irrelevant in the face of our federal armed services—and is not something that should have allowed individuals to claim the right to own weapons. State militias had the right to bear arms, but individual, unattached Americans had no such right—this distinction in the difference between the 2ndAmendment being a collective right or an individual right.

    Chief Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger—a Republican—said the following about the proposal that the 2nd Amendment is aimed at protecting every American’s right to own guns:

    “…one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I’ve ever seen in my life time. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies—the militias—would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.”

    As Justice Burger said in no uncertain terms, before gun lobbyists and activists began campaigning to change the understanding of the 2nd Amendment in the late 20th century, nobody considered it to be an individual right. Unfortunately, a decades-long concerted effort by gun lobbyists and big money conservatives has successfully shifted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment so that it can be used to justify letting anybody own any weapon that they choose.
    Clear now?

  21. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 18, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    @Simon Peters, you are easily proven wrong. In 1837
    Georgia passes a law banning handguns. The law is ruled unconstitutional and thrown out. That is when the founders who wrote the Constitution were still alive, and they concurred. So clearly everyone always knew firearms were an individual right, just as the 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments also indicate. So you see your claim that firearms as in individual right is recent, is just silly.

  22. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    December 19, 2015 at 10:16 am

    If the 2nd Amendment may now be interpreted as an individual right this does not mean that it is unlimited.

    Many restriction on who can own firearms (ex. state laws barring felons from owning guns), where guns can be carried (ex. no-gun zones) and which guns are legal (ex. the assault weapons ban) have been held as constitutional. What gun control proponents (people who care more about children being killed then their ability to buy 4 assault rifles in one day) suggest is not a blanket ban on guns, but an expansion of the already constitutional limits that exist. It may not be constitutional for the government to put a blanket ban on weapons, but it is certainly proper for it to enact strong restrictions which keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who cannot responsibly operate them.

    Even in its perverted form, the 2nd Amendment is not the perfect defense for gun ownership and is not an impediment for gun control regulation. After all, if the 2nd Amendment were absolute, imprisoned criminals would have the constitutionally protected right to carry a missile launcher with them while in the prison; using it to hurt people or damage property would be a crime, but carrying it would be a simple exercise of constitutional rights. In this direction, madness and mass killings wait for our society.
    Is that what you advocate?

  23. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    December 19, 2015 at 11:02 am

    @Simon Peters, of course no right is unlimited or unregulated. But the point of the 2nd Amendment is to absolutely bar any federal weapons legislation at all. That amendment leaves jurisdiction totally and completely up to each state.

  24. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 3, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Today’s news: “A New Year’s Eve fight ended in a quadruple killing when a man killed his wife and two others, before his son fatally shot him. The victims were the son’s 48-year-old girlfriend, who also lived at the property in Rowlands Height, California, as well as a 27-year-old man who was visiting.

    “We’re still trying to corroborate the versions of events that occurred and what we’re being told occurred,” sheriff’s lieutenant John Corina said. “It looks like it was a dispute between the dad and the son’s girlfriend, probably over using the washing machine. For some reason, this set the dad off.”

    The 54-year-old father was a heavy drinker with a large gun collection, according to authorities. The mother and brother of the 27-year-old who was killed told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune his name was Ernesto Calzadilla and that he had an eight-month-old daughter.”
    Remind me again, Kirk, why you think it’s a good idea for all and sundry to be able to own guns?

  25. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 8, 2016 at 9:19 am

    January News: A California man opened fire on an apartment complex this Tuesday while ranting about President Obama’s gun control executive action. After firing wildly at the complex, police arrived and shot him dead after attempts to subdue him failed.

    Around 6pm, the gunman, whose name has not been released by police, began firing wildly at an apartment building in Redding, CA.

    “He was aiming at a guy, and then he just got sloppy — he was shooting everywhere” said Kathy Lunsford, a resident of the building.

    The gunman did not hurt anyone in the incident, as residents of the building quickly took cover. Residents describe the gunman as wildly and indiscriminately spraying fire from his 9 mm Beretta handgun while screaming about the President’s executive action.

    “We heard the five shots — everyone was screaming,” said David Rice, who lives near the complex. “He came out screaming ‘Obama! Obama! Obama!’ [Police] told him to come out with [his] hands up, and he kept telling them ‘No, no, no.’”

    One neighbor said that the man shot 30 rounds, while another claims to have heard 70 shots. One neighbor recorded a video of the incident, which was confiscated by police and will likely not be released.

    Police quickly arrived at the scene and attempted to subdue the gunman by firing non-lethal beanbags at him as he paced in and out of the building. The gunman refused to drop his weapon and police shot him dead after he exited the apartment building with his gun drawn.

    A longtime friend of the gunman said that he suffered from a long history of depression, bouts of anger, and confusion, which were the root of his legal issues.

    According to the Redding Record Searchlight, the man had prior felony convictions, which would have legally prevented him from owning a gun. The man had a misdemeanor battery charge in 2004. In a 2009, he pleaded no contest to a charge of illegally discharging a firearm, and was sentenced to jail for 60 days. Later, he was sentenced to 45 days in jail for a parole violation.

    The Searchlight also reported that a letter from the National Rifle Association was posted in the apartment building’s window, addressed to the gunman. The NRA was asking the man to pay for a DVD he ordered, entitled “Combat Shooting and Home Defense Tips.”

    Kirk, you seem to have missed my last request, or maybe you haven’t any answer. Have a look at today’s news above and remind me again why you think guns should be freely available

  26. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 8, 2016 at 10:10 am

    That is easy. There are over 1 million serious felonies every year in the US, such as murder, rape, robbery, etc., so obviously armed citizens probably prevent millions of attempts at serious crimes like this every year. We know what the causes of crime are, like poverty, injustice, inequity, etc., so don’t try to blame firearms. They don’t cause ANYTHING. And in fact it is firearms that prevent things from being much, much worse.

    The most dangerous armed people are the police. They murdered over 2500 people last year alone. It is they who we should disarm, because after all, no one attacks or tries to rob the police. It is we who they try to rob.

  27. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 8, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    You seem to be answering a question I haven’t asked. When you read the accounts I have posted you must surely be aware of the fallacies of your argument. You might also be aware that the States with the most restrictive gun laws have the lowest gun death rates, and that those with the most permissive gun regulations, like Alaska and Louisiana have death rates from gunshot that are 5 times as high!! Look at the facts, and get real.

  28. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    The idea that the countries with the most restrictive gun laws have the least crime or gun deaths is just totally wrong. For example, Mexico has less than 20% of the rate of gun ownership than the US, and yet has near to 5 times the firearm death rate. It does not take many armed criminals to murder people. But it takes most people being armed to prevent crimes and murders.

  29. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 8, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Would you rather be like Russia, where guns are illegal and crime and murders are much higher because there is no protection from the criminals.
    And it is totally fraudulent to try to compare the US with a country that has things like public health care, so it has no crime hardly.

  30. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    You’re flailing about here, Kirk. I am not saying there are no more dangerous places to live than America. I am merely saying your argument that having guns keeps everyone safe is clearly fallacious. Both the accounts posted above make the point that guns enable people to kill each other easily. Drunk people, mad people, all become lethal with guns available to them. Gun control, with proper checks, is what should be in place to make it hard for the deranged or the drunk, or those with a criminal record to get hold of firearms. Your comment about public health care I cannot relate to the discussion in hand.

  31. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Nonsense. What you are really saying is that in countries that do not have crime, then there is no need for guns. But that has nothing at all to do with the false conclusion you are claiming, with is that guns cause crime. There are police who get drunk or abusive and shoot people, so then should be disarm all the police? That is essentially what you are saying. One bad thing so you would eliminate the millions of good things? It makes no sense. And the point of public health care is that we have an awful country, one that deserves and needs MORE crime, until they finally fix the causes of crime.

  32. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Today’s news: Planning for a cross-country march to “restore America” isn’t going as well as the “patriots” responsible for the Oregon nature preserve standoff might have hoped. On Monday afternoon, one of its organizers fatally shot a fellow cofounder during a drunken argument over a gun.

    The Sheriff’s deputies in Grayson County, Texas have not released any official details about the shooting, but social media posts by right-wingers associated with the Oregon militants say otherwise. They have identified the victim and shooter as the organizers of the Paul Revere 2016 Final March To Restore America.

    Seems like yet another person who shouldn’t have a gun. When are we going to have a news item about a ‘good guy; shooting a bad guy’? That, after all, is the argument you deploy to excuse the madness of America’s lack of controls on gun ownership. Over to you, Kirk.

  33. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    The Bundy group have nothing to do with the firearms issues. Texas is a long way from Oregon or Colorado. While good guys shooting bad guys is in the news a lot, that is not the goal. The goal is to scare the bad guy away, and that is what happens over a million times a year.

  34. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 14, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I assume the ‘over a million times a year” that bad guys are’scared away’ each year is your own estimate, as I am unaware of any official count of how mant times that happens.
    It also doesn’t affect my point that guns = shootings, and some of those are by the drunk, the insane, those offended by another’s actions. Better, surely, to have controls? Or do you prefer the tide of death by gunshot that sweeps America every day of every year?
    By the way, do post any news items you find about good guys shooting bad guys, or, of course, frightening them away.

  35. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 14, 2016 at 7:10 am

    No, the 1 million defense firearm uses each year is a DOJ estimate based on the fact more than a million are successful each year. Unofficial estimates go as high as 5 million. Sure guns gun=shooting. But that is vastly superior to rapes, murders, tyranny, extortion, etc. Anyone who is not armed, is irresponsible.
    [ … A potential mass murder in Arizona was prevented by an armed citizen, last weekend. Glendale Police responded to a call in the early hours of Sunday morning, after a 27-year-old man was shot following an argument that broke out during a house party.

    According to reports, the man was involved in a disagreement and was asked to leave the house. He returned a short time later with a rifle and fired an unconfirmed number of shots outside the house. He then pointed the rifle at party guests, one of whom pulled a handgun and shot the man. The wounded man received emergency treatment and was then taken to hospital.

    The armed man who prevented what could have become a mass shooting remained at the scene to await the arrival of police officers. Officer Tracey Breeden said the he had co-operated with the investigation and had not been charged.
    There are more good guys than bad guys, but if you disarm the good guys, the bad guys take over.

  36. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 14, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I am always wary about “unofficial estimates” as they tend to be tailored to fit an argument. I would also add that, unlike many Americans I find it incredible that anyone should be armed at a party, host, or guest. Parties are for fun, guns are for killing. I find the two incompatible.

  37. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 14, 2016 at 7:35 am

    You can’t have fun if you are not safe. Safety requires someone be armed, as long as they are not drinking. Probably the host or security. Many people are required to be armed all the time so they can respond to calls. You seem to ignore the vast size of the threat, and instead worry about the solution. You have it backwards. And in fact, historically the biggest threat any free nation faces is from its own government.

  38. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

    For reasons that are, to me, all too obvious the last thing that would make me feel is safe is having someone with a gun in the room with drink – at, say a party. That is because drink and guns are NEVER a good mix. Are you aware that drink and driving are regarded in all civilised societies as a taboo? And you would surely agree that guns are more dangerous than cars? And you would agree that someone in a car almost never intends to kill someone? So we agree that cars and drink don’t mix. We agree guns and drink don’t mix, but, for some reason you would prefer to be in a room where drink is available where someone, you may not know who, has on them a piece of equipment designed for the sole purpose of killing? Seems an odd kind of logic. In fact it doesn’t sound like logic at all to me. Finally, you should remember that It would violate several laws to carry any kind of weapon in public anywhere in some parts of the US, and be drunk in public.
    Food for thought. I think the gunslinger you think so admirable was lucky not to be arrested.

  39. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 14, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I already pointed out an armed person can’t drink. But clearly there always has to be an armed person when people do drink. All bars have someone armed, for example.
    The main purpose of firearms is to prevent crime, not kill.
    It is perfectly legal to be armed in public. The permit is $50.
    And the “Gunslinger” saved lives. You should be happy. Yet you don’t seem to be?

  40. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 14, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The gunslinger in the report is referred to as a ‘party guest’, not a security guard, or a policeman, just another man with a drink in one hand and a gun in the other. Sounds less than safe to me…

  41. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Oh, and how do you know what the party guest does for a living? How do you know they were drinking? And what other solution do you think would have been preferable?

  42. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 15, 2016 at 3:32 am

    I don’t know what he does for a living, and nor do you. What I cannot understand is why you feel safer in a room with a man with a gun, whereas I do not. Seems simple really. To answer your last question – preferable for me is no guns. Again, simple, and a solution that works very well in many other civilised countries.

  43. Avatar

    Kirk Augustin

    January 15, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Guns are much safer than power tools, swimming pools, electrical appliances, toxic cleaners, etc. Do you feel nervous when you go to a bank or department store with armed security? There are real world threats, and firearms are the only thing keeping us alive. Other countries know how to reduce crime socially. We don’t. But other countries don’t know how to deal with foreign threats, and they rely on us to do it for them. They expect a free ride, so they can afford to disarm. We can’t.

  44. Avatar

    Simon Peters

    January 20, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Today’s news: involves the son of Sarah Palin, drink and guns.
    Track Palin, Sarah Palin’s 26-year-old son, was arrested Monday night in Wasilla, Alaska after reportedly punching his girlfriend in the face and threatening suicide. Gawker has obtained the police report of the incident.

    A 9-11 dispatcher received a call from a woman saying that a man with a gun had punched her in the face. Soon after, the dispatcher received a call from Track, saying that the woman was drunk and nothing was wrong.

    According to the report, Track and the victim were arguing in the driveway immediately after returning home on Monday night. Both were screaming, and the victim said that she had called the police in order to keep Palin from “touching her.” Police say Track then punched the victim on “left side of her head near her eye with a closed fist,” causing her to fall to the ground in a fetal position, fearing what would happen next.

    Track then kicked her in the knee and threw her phone across the driveway before going inside. The victim followed, where she found Track holding a rifle to his head.

    Hmm, Kirk, yet another instance proving that guns and alcohol, and angry young men don’t mix. How much safer for all concerned if there had not been a gun in the house, or if it had been locked up where an excitable drunk young hooligan couldn’t get to it. Luckily there was no suicide, and no homicide, but think how easily there could have been.

    Better, surely, to introduce strict gun controls, as in the UK, for instance, where the rate of deaths by gunshot is .23 per 100,000 of population, as opposed to America at 10.64 per 100,000. That, by the way is 46 times as high – staggering, isn’t it?

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    Kirk Augustin

    January 20, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    @Simon Peters. Track Palin was deployed to Iraq. If you don’t want people to be violent, don’t teach them to murder innocent people.
    Strict gun control measures always eventually results in far higher death rates, as countries like Mexico easily illustrate. The reason the UK has low violence is because have low inequity, low injustice, free public health care, affordable housing, employment and education opportunities, etc. You totally miss the point. The US deserves a high violence and crime rate. It is predictable and totally appropriate until social conditions improve. Trying to control guns is not only going to fail, but is immoral, illegal, and only going to make things worse. If you try to control guns, then who is going to have them? Certainly not the police, who have proven to be far less reliable than even Track Palin.

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