Monday, April 30, 2012

Rough Few Days in Kentucky

Not for me, although Irish Woman has been working me like a rented mule.  There has been a lot of shootings in the local news, and I thought I'd give y'all my dva kopeka.

  • A Louisville man is in custody custody after shooting two other people in a car they were all travelling in.  Since the only picture the news has of one of the victims is a mug shot, for the moment, I'll notch this one up to possible criminal-on-criminal violence.  Only other possibility I can see is self-defense if the shooter was grabbed and stuffed in the car for some reason.  I use that off-ramp to go to Knob Creek.
  • A Louisville police officer shot someone this weekend.  Not a lot of details on this yet, but the person who got shot survived and was arrested.  Irish Woman drives by the Cannon's Lane exit on I-64 every morning.
  • A woman was hit by gunfire after two men started shooting at each other in the parking lot of a business.  The two shooters ran away and are being sought by police.  I chalk this one up to being in a bad neighborhood and not having a chance to duck.  There are no details on this, but it sounds like she was just struck by a stray bullet when two assholes started blazing away at each other.  I take this tone when describing the two guys with guns because if it's a legitimate shoot, one of them (the one defending his life) would more than likely have stuck around.  My gut tells me this was more criminal-on-criminal foolishness, and the lady just happened to be there.  No word on whether the men actually hit each other.  One of my hardware stores is across the street from there.
  • A man in Guston, Kentucky, is dead after the son-in-law of his girlfriend shot him with a shotgun.  The man had decided that he wasn't going to let his girlfriend walk way from him after a domestic dispute, so he crashed his car into a mobile home and forced his way inside, where he met Mr. Buckshot.  Not going to celebrate this one, but I'm not exactly going to weep over it either.
  • A 13 month old child is dead in Radcliff, Kentucky, after being shot in the head by a 3 year old sibling.  This one has me seeing red through a tunnel.  I know people who vehemently argue with me that it's quite all right to leave a loaded gun in drawers, on shelves, even under furniture when there are small children around and unsupervised.  Their reasoning seems to boil down to "I told them to leave it alone, and they know better than to do something I told them not to".  I need to print off the details of this one and just hand it out.  
So what do we have here?  One probable criminal-on-criminal shooting, an officer involved shooting, a self-defense shooting, a lady who was in the line of fire unexpectedly, and a child dead because of stupidity.  In several of those cases, they happened at places that I or Irish Woman frequently pass through.  One hits close to home because I have kids, I have guns, and I try to be responsible with both of them.  The self-defense reminds me that I can have the safest, most stable home in the world, but I'm only a couple of levels of separation away from other people who might come to us for help and have someone who views other people as objects follow them.

All of these situations happened unexpectedly.  I'm sure that the young soldier from Fort Knox didn't think he would be shooting someone this weekend, and I'm absolutely certain that the parents of that child didn't put the gun out in hopes that the three year old would find it.  The person who called 911 about the dead people in the car most likely was just trying to get through their day, same as I do when I drive by that intersection.  The woman who got shot just minding her business in the parking lot of a store didn't expect to be rushed to the emergency room this afternoon.

Life throws things at us, and while we can't be on high alert all the time, there are some things we should keep in mind:

  • No matter how high you put it, no matter how well you hide it, they will climb and they will uncover it.  A child will figure out how to work the trigger on a double action pistol.  A child will figure out how to work the slide on a shotgun.  A child will figure out how to work the selector switch on a rifle.  They are curious, they are geniuses when it comes to mechanical items, and a child that young CANNOT BE TAUGHT TO NOT TOUCH SOMETHING EVERY TIME, ALL THE TIME. I very much support and practice the keeping of firearms for self-defense, but leaving a loaded gun out where a young child can get to it unsupervised is irresponsible and stupid.  Get an easy-for-an-adult gun safe and keep your children out of the ER, morgue, and Michael Bloomberg's radar. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings as much as you can.  Like I mentioned, we go to several of the areas where these shootings happened.  Louisville is a relatively peaceful city for its size, and we still had all of these shootings in different areas this weekend.  Keep your head, and watch what's going on around you.  Remember, there is no such place as a place where bad things don't happen.  Assholes have cars now, and some of them come from 'nice' neighborhoods.
  • Know when to take yourself up a notch.  If a family member is coming to your home for shelter from an abusive relationship, take the time to arm yourself and be watchful before they show up to continue whatever it was that caused their partner to run.  And no matter where you are going, if it is legal to do so, carry your gun and know how and when to use it.
I'll end by saying that this set of shootings is an anomaly in this area.  Like I said, Louisville isn't that bad crime and violence wise, especially when compared to other cities in the South and Mid-West.  It just goes to show that bad things can happen anywhere. We owe it to ourselves and our families to use our heads and be prepared for the curve balls that are always being thrown.

Update - Edited to update the link on the officer involved shooting.  Looks like the guy not only got shot, but also got introduced to a land shark.  Oh, and BTW, not only was he shot along the route that Irish Woman usually takes to work, he robbed one of the gas stations I use.  Either I go a lot of places in Louisville and happen to go a lot of places where these people got shot, or I'm a jinx.


AlanD said...

I live and grew up in Hikes Point. The people that live here are mostly good ones trying to get by however the FSA & criminal element is getting bolder and meaner. I now carry every time I leave the house.

DaddyBear said...

AlanD, I wasn't trying to say that Hikes Point doesn't have good people in it by any means. Irish Woman has family in Bashford Manor and Beuchel, and I can see that there are still good folks in those areas, as well as Hikes Point. But you're right. Those who don't respect the lives of others are getting more and more common. I fear that as things either get worse or bounce along the bottom, the criminal element will become more prevalent and bold. Stay safe.

AlanD said...

No offense was taken or implied I was just giving a little more detail on the area.

Your fears are correct It WILL get worse!

Be vigilant!

Mad Jack said...

Nice post.

I keep my S&W 686 in the nightstand, loaded. I have no children nor child visitors.

In the bad old days, Dad kept his revolver the same way I do today. We were just taught not to touch it - ever. We knew the difference between play and real.

These days though, things are a little different. Okay, not just a little different - different. If I had children in the house, I'd invest in one or two safes that were very quick to open and that would defeat ingenious children with insatiable curiosities. Such things exist - I saw one that could be built into a wall and that featured a spring loaded holster that actually ejected the gun into a waiting hand when the door was opened - it had a push button lock system on it with a four digit combination. I think it was designed for those rare occasions when the pizza dude wasn't the pizza dude.

DaddyBear said...

Mad Jack, that's what I do. I keep my home defense pistols in a push button pistol safe, and I'm budgeting for one of the wall-mounted shotgun locks that JayG reviewed a few months ago.

One other thought is that even if you train your kids to leave the guns alone, you can't account for their friends or the kids of people you have over to the house.

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