Blaming the Gun, Not the Shooter — Especially if He’s a Cop

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Proponents of civilian disarmament will often describe a gun as an entity possessing an independent will and a capacity for malice –as in the phrase, “Guns kill children,” as opposed to “Guns can be used to kill — or to save — children.” People of that persuasion do not seek the abolition of firearms, but rather the creation of a state monopoly on firearms ownership, which means that they must consider firearms in the hands of armed state agents as mystically immune to their otherwise irrepressibly murderous impulses.

Alas, guns aren’t reliably benign even in the consecrated hands of the state’s duly commissioned agents of officially sanctioned violence. This is why we frequently read about police-owned guns killing or wounding innocent people. This is apparently what happened recently in Douglas, Georgia: As police searched for a suspect in a nearby shooting, 10-year-old was shot during a raid by sheriff’s deputies. According to Sheriff Doyle Wooten, the still-unnamed deputy was “approaching the property when a dog ran up to him. The deputy’s gun fired one shot, missing the dog and hitting the child. It was not immediately clear if the gun was actively fired by the deputy.” (Emphasis added.) It’s certain that the suspect won’t be permitted to take refuge in the same contrived ambiguity.

Fortunately, the child managed to survive this most recent example of the curious phenomenon of spontaneous self-discharge by guns in the hands of police officers.

10:54 am on July 12, 2014