About those gun show shootings...

Following the events of Gun Appreciation Day, there was a cynical, yet almost gleeful tone being taken by certain gun rights opponents at the expense of several people who were injured. The headlines speak volumes without even digging into the nasty messages underneath. 5 People Shot at 3 Different Gun Shows on Gun Appreciation Day. Holy cow! Five people were gunned down? That’s awful! I’m sure you wouldn’t go and get all snarky about shooting victims though, would you?

If the gun advocates behind this year’s inaugural Gun Appreciation Day had hoped to use the day’s festivities to build support for their anti-regulation platform, they are going to have to wait another year.

There were more. Shots Fired on Gun Appreciation Day. The list goes on. Unfortunately for the ghoulish brigade, it didn’t take much reading to figure out that the actual stories were far different from how they were being portrayed in the headlines. The highly charged terms “people shot” and “shots fired” leave one with the impression that gun fights were breaking out among crazed second amendment supporters, blasting their way into or out of various buildings. The reality, as you have probably already guessed, was somewhat different. First, the North Carolina show.

A man identified as Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, brought the 12-gauge shotgun to the show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds and was attempting to remove it from its case when the weapon went off shortly after 1 p.m., police said.

Linwood Hester, 50, of Durham, was struck in the left hand by birdshot, according to Joel Keith, police chief with the state Department of Agriculture. The birdshot also struck a woman identified as Janet Hoover, 54, of Benson, and Jake Alderman, a retired sheriff’s deputy from Wake Forest who was working at the event.

The owner had stupidly not ensured the weapon was unloaded before bringing it out for safety inspection – before it got into the show. Three people took some bird shot with all being treated and released at a local facility on the same day.

The second incident, in Indianapolis, concerned a guy who accidentally shot himself with his new gun after leaving the gun show. The final one was in the Buckeye state.

And in Ohio, a gun dealer in Medina was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he had bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger, injuring his friend, police said. The gun’s magazine had been removed from the firearm, but one round remained in the chamber, police said.

There were no shooting sprees, no attacks, and no “assault weapons” or extended volume magazines involved. If this is proof of anything, it’s that when you get a large enough crowd of people together you will inevitably find a few who are either foolish or careless enough to make a mistake with gun safety rules. There are many things you can’t fix through legislative action, and stupidity is among them. But let’s not see people fooled by opportunists who want to use injuries to random show attendees as a cynical ploy to depict gun ownership in a false light.