Guns

Guns kill nearly 1,300 US children each year, study says

Rambunctious third-graders filled a classroom in Seattle on a crisp autumn day. One of the students dropped his backpack, and horror ensued.

That student had brought a parent’s gun to school and was carrying it in his backpack. When the bag fell to the floor, the impact caused the gun to fire, sending a bullet straight into another student’s abdomen, said Dr. Thomas Weiser, a trauma surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center.
Weiser treated that third-grader’s gunshot wound while completing a fellowship at Harborview Medical Center in Washington in 2011.

When the student arrived at the hospital, awake and alert with a bullet hole oozing blood just below her heart, she had a jarring expression of confusion in her brown eyes, Weiser said.
“She kind of had this look in her eyes. It wasn’t pain. … There was obviously a little fear … but I remember, my impression was (she had) this question: Why is this happening? She couldn’t really process everything that was happening to her and around her,” Weiser said. “She survived, but she had a terrible injury.”
Now, a study based on data from 2012 to 2014 suggests that, on average, 5,790 children in the United States receive medical treatment in an emergency room each year for a gun-related injury. About 21% of those injuries are unintentional, similar to the third-grader’s case.
From 2012 to 2014, on average, 1,297 children died annually from a gun-related injury in the US, according to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
The study also revealed which states in the US saw most of those deaths among children and which children may be most at risk for a gun-related injury.
“When you start putting numbers like that to real lives, real people every day who are injured by firearms … it confirms a statistic we already know a lot about,” said Weiser, who was not involved in the study.
Doctors also emphasize that there are methods available to safely secure and store firearms, away from children, and they recommend that parents employ those methods when keeping guns in the home.

Boys and guns

The researchers examined national data on fatal firearm injuries from death certificates in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System database.
For nonfatal firearm injuries, the researchers examined data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database.
Specifically looking at deaths and injuries among children up to age 17, the researchers analyzed the data for trends that may have occurred from 2002 to 2014.
They found that, among the deaths, 53% were homicides, 38% were suicides, 6% were unintentional, and 3% were related to law enforcement or undetermined. Among the injuries, 71% were assault, 21% were unintentional, 5% were related to law enforcement or undetermined, and about 3% were from self-harm.
As for unintentional firearm injuries, Weiser said, the third-grade girl he treated was not the only accidental gunshot wound he saw in a child. Another such injury involved a boy around 9 who was given a handgun for his birthday.
“He shot his 6-year-old brother, playing in the backyard,” Weiser said, adding that the new study findings show that boys are much more likely to be injured by firearms than girls.
Boys accounted for 82% of all child firearm deaths and about 84% of all nonfatal firearm injuries that were medically treated in the study. African-American children had the highest rates of firearm homicide, and white and Native American children had the highest rates of firearm suicide.
Those patterns of gun-related deaths appeared to fluctuate by state.

Where children die by firearms

While the District of Columbia and Louisiana had the highest rates of child firearm deaths, several states — including Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and New Hampshire — had 20 or fewer deaths, the researchers found.
The highest rates for homicides were concentrated in the South; across the Midwestern states of Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Ohio; and in California, Nevada, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
For suicides, which were calculated only for children 10 and older in the study, the researchers found that incidents were widely dispersed across the country. However, separate research has found rates of suicide by firearm to be disproportionately higher in rural compared with urban areas.
For Dr. David Wesson, a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital who was not involved in the new study, the rates of suicide that emerged in the data were among the most disturbing trends.
“It’s important for parents to be aware of their children’s state of mind and if they’re depressed,” he said. “Just having access to a gun in a situation where you’re upset with what’s going on at school or with your friends, or your own internal emotional state, it unfortunately can lead to suicide. It’s very important for parents to be aware of that, particularly if they have guns in the home.”
Overall, the researchers found that older children, those 13 to 17, had a rate of fatal firearm injury that was more than 12 times higher than the rate for children 12 and younger.
“These are preventable injuries that have a major public health impact on early death and disability among children,” said Katherine Fowler, a behavioral scientist for the CDC and lead author of the study.
Yet she added that some promising trends also appeared in the data.
“Although firearm homicides of children significantly increased between 2002 and 2007, they significantly declined between 2007 and 2014,” Fowler said.
“This is a very encouraging trend. There are many evidence-based programs and policies that have been found to be effective in preventing youth violence, including youth homicide,” she said. “Preventing such injuries and ensuring that all children have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments remains one of our most important priorities.”
Fowler pointed to a collection of strategies that the CDC has developed to help states and communities build effective programs, policies and practices around violence prevention.
“Firearm-related injuries contribute substantially each year to premature death, illness and disability of children. These injuries are preventable,” she said.
The researchers noted in the study that their findings are subject to limitations.
For instance, unintentional firearm deaths may be significantly underreported, which skews data, and firearm injuries that were not treated in a hospital or similar health care setting were not included.
All in all, the new findings seem to fall in line with previous research on gun violence among children in America.

‘It really is a complex disease’

Based on the findings, the data suggest that about 19 children a day die from or are medically treated in an emergency room for a gunshot wound.
Previously, it was estimated that on average 16 children a day are hospitalized due to firearm injuries in the US, according to research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meetingin San Francisco in May.
Of 23 high-income countries, 91% of children killed by firearms in 2010 were from the US, according to a study published in The American Journal of Medicinelast year.
Dr. Stephen Hargarten, professor and chairman of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, likened gun violence in America to a disease.
“The fact that these children are injured, they are cared for by surgeons, within the health care system, they have fractures, they have brain injuries, they have lacerations to their body and so forth, so that’s the biology of this disease,” said Hargarten, who was not involved in the new study.
He added that the agent of the disease would be the kinetic energy from a bullet that is firing out of a gun.
“The psychosocial components are related to the circumstances of these events, of the domestic violence disputes that result in children getting injured or killed, the psychological issues surrounding the transitions of thinking or feeling suicidal and ending their life,” Hargarten said.
“Then the social aspects of this are related to the environmental circumstances,” he said. “And the social constructs of companies that make these products that are available to children, that can be used very easily by children, and so it really is a complex disease.”
There are ways in which guns can be made not so easily accessible to children, Hargarten said.

Safety tips for parents with guns

A lock box or gun safe can be an effective way to keep a gun away from children, Hargarten said. Or stimulating the marketplace for smart guns designed to unlock only for an authorized user could be promising, he said.
“That would have an impact in the home — where, again, properly secure it — but even if the child or young adult does find the gun, they can’t use it because they’re not authorized to access the gun,” Hargarten said.
Being mindful of who is nearby when a gun is being handled in the home can also play a role in injury prevention, said Wesson, the pediatric surgeon in Texas.
In his 35-year career, the first infant with a gunshot wound whom Wesson ever treated was accidentally shot while sitting in a baby chair at the kitchen table. The infant was only about 4 weeks old, he said.
“The father was sitting there, on a kitchen chair, and was doing something with his rifle. He said he was cleaning it,” Wesson said.
Suddenly, the rifle accidentally fired in the baby’s direction.
“Fortunately, it was a low-power rifle. It just hit the baby in the abdomen and made a big opening in the abdomen,” he said, adding that the baby survived.
“Everything was healed up in the end, but it was a devastating and tragic event, and of course you can imagine how the parents felt about it. They were devastated, and that’s the typical story. You don’t expect it to happen, or it was an accident,” he said. “Health care centers and trauma centers and people participating in trauma care can offer a lot to injured people, but the rational approach is to prevent these injuries from occurring in the first place, whether it’s unintentional or intentional.”
Dr. Eliot Nelson, a pediatrician at the University of Vermont Medical Center, wrote an editorial that accompanied the new study in the journal Pediatrics.
Recommending to remove guns completely from a home can be off-putting for parents who might keep guns for hunting or protection, he said.
Rather, “we can point out that parents may underestimate kids’ propensity to handle guns unsafely, even when they’ve been taught,” Nelson wrote.
“Excellent information can be shared on safe storage and locking methods that still allow quick access to a handgun if it were ever needed,” he wrote. “And finally, given the impulsivity, risk-taking, and unpredictability of adolescence, we should promote safe storage as a routine measure.”
Weiser, the Stanford trauma surgeon, hopes there will be fewer gun-related injuries and deaths among children in the future. He compared gun violence to an earthquake.
“When you build a city in an earthquake zone, you make the buildings as earthquake-proof as possible. You try to build in as much possible safety as you can,” Weiser said. “And so, why we can’t make safer guns and make safer laws is beyond me.”
Guns

Czech government tells its citizens how to fight terrorists: Shoot them yourselves

 

A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists.

Never mind that there are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in this country of 10 million people — gun purchases spiked. One shop owner in East Bohemia, a region in the northern center of the Czech Republic, told a local paper that people were scared of a “wave of Islamists.”

Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. Proponents say this could save lives if an attack occurs and police are delayed or unable to make their way to the scene. To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal; they’ll vote in the coming months.

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The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.

This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures.  In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. The European Commission’s initial proposal called for a complete ban on the sale of weapons like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s that are intended primarily for military use. Ammunition magazines would be limited to 20 rounds or less.

The Czech Republic came out hard against the directive. Officials warned — somewhat ominously — that the measure would limit the country’s ability to build “an internal security system” and make it nearly impossible to train army reservists. And a total ban on military-style rifles that can fire large numbers of rounds would make illegal thousands of weapons already owned by Czech citizens, potentially creating a black market for terrorists to exploit. Finland and Germany offered their own reservations; Europe’s pro-gun groups also mobilised against the bill with the support of politicians on the extreme right.

After months of contentious negotiations, the EU passed a compromise last month; the Council of Ministers will confirm the measure this spring. All member states will have 15 months to comply with the new gun restrictions. The final measure bans the sale of most military-style rifles and requires all potential buyers to go through a psychological check before they can buy a weapon. If someone fails a check in one E.U. state, that information will be shared in an international database so that the person can’t procure a gun somewhere else. Online sales are also severely curtailed. The Czech Republic was the only country to oppose the directive for being too strict. Luxembourg also voted against the measure, but on the grounds that it was too weak.

That means that regardless of how the Czech parliament votes on the terrorist-hunting measure, gun laws in the Czech Republic are going to get stricter. All gun purchasers will be required to pass the psychological checks, though it’s not yet clear if gun owners will have to turn in newly illegal weapons. That ambiguity has led one Czech newspaper to suggest that the Interior Ministry’s latest move is much more about political safety than safety from terrorism.

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Hunting & Fishing

Alaska Outfitter Defends Fishermen from Raging Grizzly with 9mm Pistol

I have been guiding brown bear hunters and fishermen and bear photographers from our homestead within Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for 33 years and have had numerous close encounters with bears. Until now, I have never had to shoot an unwounded bear to protect either myself or clients, but the other week an event occurred and my good fortune changed.

When it happened, I was fully aware of what was going on and how big the bear was. I also managed to stay aware of where my clients were, even when the bear was directly between us. The woman I was guiding said that while she did not remember smelling the bear’s breath, it was close enough to her face that it could have bitten her!

I have killed enough bears to know how important shot placement can be, even with large-bore rifles. I was well aware of the limitations of my 9mm pistol, even with Buffalo Bore ammo. I was aiming for a vital area with each shot; because it all took place between 6 and 8 feet, they were not far off. But hitting the head and brain of a highly animated and agitated animal is a difficult shot.

Alaska Outfitter Defends Fishermen from Raging Grizzly with 9mm Pistol

The two photos shown here tell a pretty good story by themselves. The secondary photo (embedded at the bottom of this story) was taken from the point where the charging bear first erupted from the brush. I am on the left and Larry, my fishing client, is on the right. The bear was within 2 feet or less of Larry and his wife when I shot it. You can see the dead bear to the left of Larry. The main photo (embedded to the right) shows Larry and me with the dead bear and shows its size.

Larry and his wife were fishing with me, and because we were going to a small stream I had fished before, which had numerous large male brown bears, I decided to take my Smith & Wesson 3953 DAO 9mm, rather than the S&W 629 .44 Mag. Mountain Gun I have carried for the past 25 years, as the larger boars are usually less of a problem than sows with cubs.

Before we reached the stream, while we were walking through dense brush and tall grass, we heard a growl and deep “woof” of a bear approximately 6 feet to our right (behind me in the secondary photo). We had been talking loudly but must have startled a sleeping bear. It sounded like it made a movement toward us, and I shouted loudly and the bear ran back through the brush to the right in the photo. Within 15 seconds, we could hear it growling and charging through the dense brush from the opposite side.

I had my pistol out by then, and the bear first appeared from where the photographer in photo No. 2 was standing. It went straight for my clients; Larry and his wife fell backwards in the deep grass. She said the bear’s face was close enough to hers that it could have bitten her!

The bear was highly agitated and standing within 3 feet of my clients when I decided I could take a shot without endangering them.

My first shot was at its neck, and then it began growling and spinning toward the impact. I wanted to hit the head but the bear was moving so fast I simply began shooting each time I could hit a vital area. I hit it six times before it turned to run off, and my seventh shot was into its pelvis area as it ran. When it dropped within 6 feet of the last shot, I checked my pistol and found I had only a single round left in the chamber so decided against walking in and finishing it.

My pistol was loaded with Buffalo Bore 9mm +P Outdoorsman 147-grain FN hard-cast loads that have a muzzle velocity of 1100 fps. I had previously tested, compared and proven such loads with my .357 and .44 mags., and I was convinced they would work.

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Guns

WOW SHOT HIMSELF AND HIS INSTRUCTOR WITH PISTOL BEING LEARNED TO SHOT!!

The video of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a public gun range has hit the internet this week. While graphic and upsetting, this tragedy teaches a lesson about the reality of unpredictable behavior on a public range.

While working with an instructor, the shooter deliberately turns the gun on themselves and pulls the trigger. The bullet passes through their abdomen at a downward angle, and hits the instructor in the leg. The shooter clearly arches their body while pulling the trigger, but poor video quality makes it difficult to determine the exact angle of their shot. Viewers speculate that the shot may have traveled at a lateral angle and exited the shooter’s left side below the armpit. Afterwards the shooter drops the weapon and slumps in a chair while the instructor struggles on the ground.

Some people argue that the shooter was trying to holster the weapon and that the shot was a negligent discharge. One problem with this assessment, where’s the holster? Even if there was a shoulder rig, which there is not, the weapon was turned and placed against the center of the chest.

If you choose to watch the video below, try to think about these things:

  • There was no warning — The shooter displays no signs of disturbed behavior. They fire one shot down range, then casually turn the weapon on themselves.
  • FMJ rounds penetrate — Self defense instructors recommend hollow-points instead of FMJ target rounds for this very reason. If you are defending yourself with target rounds, your likelihood of hitting whatever lies beyond the threat increases dramatically. If the gunshot is considered intentional, the shooter could be charged with second-degree murder instead of involuntary manslaughter. Even if she didn’t know the penetration capabilities of her ammunition, “killing caused by dangerous conduct” is considered murder. That’s something to consider before loading your daily carry with FMJs.
  • A shot to the chest didn’t drop them — In the movies, 9mm rounds send bad guys flying through doors and windows. In reality, a single gunshot wound from a handgun isn’t always going to stop the threat. This shooter took a point blank shot to the chest and barely stepped backward.
  • Death was not instant — Soldiers and peace-keepers are trained to aim for center of mass. They’re also trained to keep firing until the threat stops. A point blank shot to the chest will likely result in death, but it’s not necessarily instantaneous. The shooter has plenty of time to assess their wound and address the injured instructor. The surveillance video shows them drop the weapon, hold their wound, and walk over to a nearby chair.
  • Panic is overwhelming — The instructor was probably armed, but chose flight over fight. Adrenaline and fear can cripple you faster than a bullet.

Gun range suicides don’t happen every day, but they are more common than most people realize. It’s not easy to spot warning signs in the minutes before someone attempts to harm themselves. The instructor was wounded, but it’s doubtful that was the shooter’s intention. Even after taking a round to the chest, they could have easily shot the instructor multiple times as he lay on the ground suffering. The instructor’s injury was essentially collateral damage from the shooter’s desire to take their own life.

Always maintain situational awareness, especially when entering a public range.

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Guns

That’s What Happens When You Bring a Gun to a Snake Fight

Don’t worry, honey, I’ll take care of that snake for you. . . Oh (explicit!!!)

This funny clip shows what happens when A: you mess with snakes, and B: you’re not a very good shot. Before you try to pull off a stunt like this, make sure you at least hit the range first.

After watching this video, we decided to dig a little deeper and get some background info on sidewinder snakes.

The amazing video below explains the snakes infamous sidewinding motion and how it can reach speeds up to 18 mph!

Folks with ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) may want to turn away from this one:

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Guns

Quick Thinking Mom Saves Family’s Life by Giving Gunmen a Blowj0b

“He was armed and dangerous but so is my mouth” – Jennifer Bail is a hero to her family of four after doing the unthinkable to save their life. A Texas woman is a hero to her family of four after giving a robber head long enough to distract him so that her husband could hit him in the back of the head with a chair while the children escaped.

“To say I’d do anything for my children would be an understatement at this point. Plus he wasn’t a minute man so it was a lot of work.” – Jennifer.

Jennifer’s husband Raymond only had one thing to say about the ordeal …

“She’s never gave me head like that, but we will talk about that later. For now I’m just glad our children our safe.”

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Guns

THEY’VE BUILT A 1911… SHOTGUN?

These “Pradit” guns are illegal homemade 12 bore shotguns. They are made by taking existing gun frames. They are becoming more and more popular among broke Thailand gang bangers.

Here we have a picture gone viral of a “custom 1911 shotgun pistol.” This has been making the rounds on gun forums everywhere, and no one seems to know where it came from, but it’s being said that Thailand may be the country of origin, as along the sides there appears to be Thai character lettering. And the time stamp on the photo (if legit) would indicate that this has been in existence for at least 8 years!

Apparently these images turned up on a Thai forum, and the text has since been put through a translator app, but the following came out as pretty much nonsense:

“The Somchai ( HA ) – Love on March 09, 2012, 12:55:40 PM.

You probably have a few plants Short shotgun made a fine (not refined – often misspelled ) beautifully finished basements and … There are plenty of qualified people do not …

It Lokodd 12 gauge head 1 ounce equals 437.5 grain , fly about 1400 ft / sec of it … Certificate Force Unleashed certainly …

Interested custom made me wash my uncle.”

Now it is said that a video of one of these guns in action has been put out there.

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Guns

Guns stolen from the United States Post Office

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – You ship packages and letters, but did you know the U.S. Post Office also has other cargo- guns? “No, I did not realize that. You can actually ship guns through the Post Office? I would have thought that would be illegal,” said postal customer Nelda Finn. Yes. Just like your regular mail, guns go through the postal system and are handled by the same workers.

Problems come when guns shipped through the mail never reach their destination.

They’re stolen, not from a truck in transit, but from the post office itself.

Scott Balfour, an Assistant Special Agent with the U.S. Post Office of Inspector General, talked with us via the internet, confirming gun shipments.

“Guns do go through the mail system. Mailers have to follow all postal regulations to send those guns through the mail, but there is no special handling procedure for guns in the mail system,” said Balfour.

That may be the problem.

WREG obtained a federal report that showed just how vulnerable guns shipped via USPS can be and what happened.

In May of 2013, firearms ended up missing from Memphis` Main Post Office on South Third.

The ATF report blocked us from seeing just how many guns thieves stole, but it happened over a months time.

During some of the thefts, the thieves swiped the weapons and shipped the empty firearm box on to its next destination.

The ATF documented 13 Post Office theft cases from February 2013 to May 2013.

They won’t say how many guns were stolen in those cases.

If you go back to 2012, there had been a total of 20 theft cases.

Some of the guns are still missing. The ATF couldn’t tell us how many.

“We just don’t keep statistics on that. We track how employees are arrested or indicted,” said Balfour.

While Balfour said there have been very few cases of employees stealing guns, our review of ATF files revealed the name of a Post Office employee, who investigators linked to gun thefts at the Main Post Office in Memphis.

Investigators were told the worker would hide the firearm packages that he came across while he was working and then open them later when he had a chance. Witnesses even said he sold AR-15s and Kel-Tec .380s from his house in South Memphis.

“He was a casual mail handler, part-time non-permanent employee that the postal service brings on during times of heavy mail volume,” said Balfour.

Yet, that part-time employee got his hands on guns.

“I am not going to comment about how employees would know what was in any sort of certain parcel. I’d prefer not to discuss that,” said Balfour.

It`s a bit disheartening for Operation Safe Community (OSC).

“Stolen guns or guns period play a major role in our violent crime,” said Harold Collins, who heads up the OSC group tasked with analyzing crime, finding out how many stolen guns are involved in crimes and from where those guns originate.

“One gun on the street can cause an awful lot of damage to our city. So we are concerned if it is just one gun,” said Collins. “Take better care of the storage. Be more watchful and make sure guns are stored properly and secured properly so they are not susceptible to being stolen.”

The Postal Service said there are surveillance systems in place to deter theft, and it conducts random searches and drug tests.

It’s still a bitter pill to swallow. At a place where you may least expect, firearms are being stolen by people trusted with so much.

That Third Street postal employee caught stealing the guns is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence.

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