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Red Letter F, failing grade
It's Friday, so it's time for the week's GunFAIL report.

There are some truly outrageous stories this week, some laughable, some just downright disturbing. But statistically speaking, it hasn't been significantly different from any other week. We have the same approximately 50 incidents we always do. And by the way, if you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the volume, consider that CDC statistics on unintentional firearms injuries (which of course don't count near misses, forgotten guns, etc. the way we count them) for 2011 counted 14,675 incidents, which comes out to just over 282 such injuries each week. Which means the 35 or so accidental gunshot injuries I listed as having happened during the past week represent only about 12.5% of those we can statistically expect to have actually occurred. In other words, if these GunFAIL posts were truly comprehensive, we could expect there to be well over 300 entries weekly rather than just 50.

Among the listings in this entry, three accidental shootings of girlfriends by macho men either showing off their guns, or drawing them during fights and missing their intended targets; one brand new entry in the growing collection of bathroom gun accidents; five accidents while cleaning loaded guns; three toddlers shot by found weapons; nine incidents involving the "highly trained" class of cops, ex-cops, security guards and National Guardsmen; and; three discharges through the walls of neighboring homes and buildings.

Without further ado, this week's dishonor roll, below the fold.

  1. MESA, AZ, 3/13/13: A man prohibited from possessing a gun was arrested by Mesa police and accused of manslaughter after he accidentally shot and killed his 18-year-old girlfriend. Matthew Walsh, 23, purchased the .38 caliber handgun in a casino parking lot and was showing the gun to his girlfriend on March 13 when he accidentally shot her in the hip, according to a court document.
  2. GONZALEZ, LA, 3/13/13: Another gun discharge in a bathroom! This time, an off-duty cop! Of course, Responsible Gun OwnerTM that he is, he tells no one, quietly pays the tab (at the strip club) and disappears, leaving the management wondering where the bullet hole came from. Put 'em in the schools!
  3. SOUTH PITTSBURGH, TN, 3/28/13: Dad "test firing" his 9mm accidentally shoots his own son. How did it happen? Well, seems dad decided he'd fire randomly into the woods behind the house. Only, guess who was out playing in the woods? Way to protect the family, pops!
  4. STAMFORD, CT, 3/28/13: Guy decides to clean his gun after returning from the range. KA-BLAM! One in the leg! Golly, how did that gun get loaded?! Oh, yeah... the range. Right. Dang, that was stupid.
  5. LINCOLN, NE, 3/28/13: Salesman for a police equipment distributor leaves seven guns, holsters and ammo in his unlocked car overnight. Well, for part of the overnight period, anyway. Right up until someone got the smart idea to open the door and take them.
  6. NEW HAVEN, CT, exact date unknown: NRA instructor Eugene Kenny would have joined his fellow gun-rights supporters at the state Capitol Wednesday—if he hadn’t accidentally shot himself in the foot. Kenny, a 49-year-old licensed National Rifle Association instructor who leads training classes in pistol and rifle use, delivered his arguments in the front foyer of the two-family Edgewood Avenue house where he rents an upstairs apartment in the Edgewood neighborhood. Wearing an NRA hooded sweatshirt, he had his left foot in a cast because he accidentally shot a bullet last week while cleaning his Glock handgun.
  7. ELKHART, IN, 3/29/13: Joey Douglas, 26, was target shooting at a range on Tri-County Fish and Wildlife property when he attempted to chamber a cartridge into the barrel of his rifle that is believed to have been obstructed, according to a press release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The obstructing cartridge discharged, onto Douglas’s wrist and hand.
  8. JACKSONVILLE, FL, 3/29/13: A woman is in stable condition after an accidental shooting on the Westside Friday night. Police say the woman was shot at the intersection of West 20th and Fairfax, and she was brought to Shands Jacksonville by her friends. Detectives believe the shooting was accidental after hearing her account of the incident, which is consistent with what witnesses already told police, according to Melissa Bujeda, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office public information officer.
  9. HARRAH, WA, 3/29/13: A 26-year-old man is in critical condition after being shot multiple times. Yakima County Sheriff deputies say it happened around 1 PM at a home on Washington Street in Harrah. They say it appears the man was accidentally shot by one of his relatives.
  10. WEST PLAINS, MO, 3/29/13: Deputies with the Howell County Sheriff’s Office received a scare Friday afternoon after a trip to the shooting range. An initial report from the Howell County Sheriff’s Office states that a number of deputies were at the city firing range around 3 PM Friday when a number of rounds went over their head. Deputies not at the range responded to the call and arrived shortly after 3 PM. It was later discovered that property owners adjacent to the shooting range had been target shooting, and their rounds were falling too close to the shooting range. Deputies advised the people on the property to fire their weapons in a safe direction.
  11. CHICAGO, IL, 3/29/13: A 41-year-old man apparently shot himself in the leg about 10:30 PM Friday in the 100 block of West 95th Street in Roseland on the Far South Side, police said. The man first told police that he drove to West 95th Street to meet his brother, and upon exiting the vehicle, heard shots and realized he had been hit. After some investigation, police said they thought the man's wound was self-inflicted.
  12. SELIGMAN, AZ, 3/29/13: Mom, Dad and son went out hunting in the family pick-up truck. Mom was driving, while Dad and the boy rode in the bed of the truck. When Mom stopped, the boy spotted a prairie dog and took aim. As he took his shot, Dad suddenly stood up right in front of the gun, and was shot in the head.
  13. BETHLEHEM, PA, 3/29/13: A Marvine-Pembroke teenager celebrated her 19th birthday by drinking booze and firing a couple of gunshots into the air as she and a few pals drove to a liquor store to buy more alcohol on Friday night, Bethlehem police said. Jasmine Mingo, 19, of 1327 Hilton St., and her friends Anthony C. Holmes, 21, of Bethlehem, and Alphonso Narciso Matos, 20, of Allentown, are all facing a number of charges as a result of the incident, which prompted multiple Bethlehem police squad cars to respond to—and briefly lock down—the Stefko Center.
  14. LAPEER, MI, 3/29/13: Under the headline of "Man accidentally shoots self while unloading gun": Good Friday wasn’t for at least one Lapeer Township man. Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. deputies were sent to McLaren Lapeer Region’s emergency room at 3:35 M after hospital staff told Central Dispatch that a 30-year-old man had arrived with a gunshot wound to the leg. This is the second appearance in the #GunFAIL series for Lapeer, MI, pop. 8,819. (See GunFAIL VII.)
  15. ST. JOHN'S CO., FL, 3/29/13: Road rage shooting. By an ex-cop. Wife of shooter, in her call to 911: “I’m trying to control my husband.” But of course, it turned out to be the gun that controlled her husband. Where have we seen that before?
  16. CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH, 3/30/13: Customers thrown out of an IHOP by armed security. A shoving match ensues. The guard goes down, his pistol discharges, and one of the unruly customers is hit in the head and killed.
  17. PORT DEPOSIT, MD, 3/30/13: What goes better with a beautiful Saturday afternoon than a little target practice in the woods behind the house? How about an accidental chest wound, and an expensive helicopter medical evacuation?
  18. INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 3/30/13: There's one less gun in need of cleaning in Indianapolis. But also one less gun owner.
  19. KANSAS CITY, KS, 3/30/13: Then, about 3 PM a third shooting was reported at 55th Street and State Line Road. Police said it was a self-inflicted shooting and it is believed that someone accidentally shot themselves in the leg. The person is expected to recover from their injuries.
  20. PHILADELPHIA, PA, 3/30/13: Second time in 10 days a dude has pulled a gun on another dude in a fight and accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend, instead. (See GunFAIL XI, Denton, TX.)
  21. MIAMI, FL, 3/30/13: A 4-year-old girl who was critically injured after being shot in the upper body has died. According to Miami-Dade police, the girl was in a white Mercedes-Benz with two other children when the gun went off. Family members told CBS4′s Gaby Fleischman the girl shot, Rahquel Carr, died at the hospital. They say her 6-year-old brother was playing around with the gun when it accidentally went off, hitting her in the head and chest.
  22. ROCK HILL, SC, 3/30/13: The right of the people to clean their guns and accidentally fire bullets through their neighbors' bedrooms shall not be infringed.
  23. PEARLAND, TX, 3/30/13: Guy robs a Comfort Suites hotel and is so keyed up that as he jumps the counter to make off with $400 from the till, he accidentally fires his gun and blows out the glass doors in the lobby. Adrenaline is weird, man. That's the point.
  24. PRICHARD, AL, 3/31/13: Local 15 News is investigating after authorities tell us a toddler was shot and killed in Prichard Sunday evening. It happened on North Fairport Drive in the Gulf Village community. Authorities say the child was visiting relatives, and was shot inside a home. According to a Prichard spokesperson, the child accidentally shot himself in the chest.
  25. AUBURN, ME, 3/31/13: A Newbury Street resident was hospitalized Sunday evening after accidentally shooting himself while attempting to clean his handgun. According to Sgt. Laurie Woodhead, a 22-year-old male was in his 38 Newbury St. apartment at about 7:20 PM, attempting to remove a bullet from the chamber of his .40 Glock in order to clean the weapon. Woodhead said the man was unaware his finger was positioned on the trigger when the gun discharged. The bullet entered his left palm and exited the side of his hand. In all fairness, though, he was aware of where 90 percent of his fingers were at the time. That's got to count for something.
  26. NORTH HUNTINGDON, PA, 3/31/13: More caution with language than guns here. “A North Huntingdon Township officer who was off duty at the time was involved in an incident and had an unintentional discharge of a personally owned weapon, and this discharge did cause a hand injury to a second person,” township police Chief Andrew Lisiecki said. And really, is it fair to blame a police officer for not knowing the gun was loaded? He took the magazine out, after all.
  27. YOUNGSTOWN, OH, 3/31/13: Isn't 35 a little old to be "playing" with a gun? At least he'll live to get the chance to kick the habit.
  28. SALINE CO., MO, 3/31/13: The 14-year-old victim reported he suffered the injury while walking through the woods in southern Saline County when he slipped on a rock and fell on the pistol, which discharged, striking him in the leg.
  29. WILTON, CT, 3/31/13: A 76-year-old man visiting family accidentally shot himself in the hand with his gun. Apparently he had removed it from his luggage, and "was considering whether or not to go outside the home with the gun, and shot himself while holding it, according to police. The man did not realize the gun had a bullet in it, police said." I wonder what he was considering, if he didn't even think it was loaded.
  30. LANSING, IA, 3/31/13: The Allamakee County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened about 4:30 AM Sunday at a home near Lansing. Authorities said Logan Bunn fired a gun at a tree outside the home, but the bullet bounced back and hit him. Nothing good comes of 4:30 AM target practice.
  31. FLAGSTAFF, AZ, 3/31/13: I didn't know it wasn't locked! Coconino County Sheriff's gun stolen from his truck, parked in his driveway. No, not a deputy. THE Sheriff.
  32. OTTOWA, OH, 4/01/13: It's time to get serious about guns. An Ohio high school running back has been accidentally shot through both legs, a crime which I believe carries the death penalty in that state.
  33. FAYETTEVILLE, WV, 4/01/13: Man shoots self in the shoulder. I'm sure he's fully insured and we won't be paying the cost of his enormously expensive helicopter flight to the hospital.
  34. ALTUS, OK, 4/01/13: The investigation showed that the male was distraught because he accidentally shot his girlfriend, who was transported to Jackson County Memorial Hospital, before police arrived.
  35. NORFOLK, VA, 4/01/13: An off-duty sheriff's deputy forgot his service weapon in a Macy's dressing room, which the NRA's "School Shield" program says you are only allowed to do if you are thoroughly trained and have had a background check.
  36. SPARTANBURG, SC, 4/01/13: A Spartanburg man told deputies that he was shot while attending a bonfire on Montgomery Road early Monday. The man said he was “mudding” at a place called the Clearance on Montgomery Road, and a large group of people were having a bonfire there, the report states. The man said he heard someone say, “Stop playing with the gun,” and then felt a burning sensation on his leg where he had been shot.
  37. SANDY SPRINGS, GA, 4/01/13: 3-year-old freedomed in the thumb after crawling under the bed and finding dad's gun.
  38. GASTONIA, NC, 4/01/13: Here's another example of a simple, everyday situation where adding guns makes things a thousand times worse. A 76-year-old fires shotgun at his female neighbor during a dispute over her dog, but says he never intended to harm her. Though it should be noted that 76-year-old man still thinks it was a male outside. See, his wife had just let their dog out onto their lawn, he says, when the Missus saw the neighbor's dog come "right over to him and I was scared he was going to kill him." What kind of vicious dog was this? A Labrador puppy, according to the neighbor. So 76-year-old man decides he'll just grab something to hit the dog with. So, he chose a shotgun. And paused to load it. "That was a mistake," he said. But it was only the first mistake, and the only one he accepts blame for. "I didn't shoot it.  It went off." Oh, and by the way, the neighbors say 76-year-old man shouted to her, "(Racial epithet) you better get your dog out of my yard.'" The Missus insists that's not so, but added, "That's all they ever called them when we were growing up."
  39. LAFAYETTE, IN, 4/02/13: Another one who apparently told the cops he was attacked, but who turns out to have accidentally shot himself.
  40. PALM COAST, FL, 4/02/13: A dispute between Flagler County twin brothers involving a frying pan and machete ended with one possibly wounded and put in jail after a shot was fired and their mother charged with filing a false police report.
  41. TROUTDALE, OR, 4/03/13: Yet another Responsible Gun Owner has bestowed the gift of Liberty on his neighbors, accidentally blasting a hole through three apartments and giving them the Freedom they didn't even know they wanted. Plus a head wound from flying debris. Huzzah! Huzzah for the Patriots! Huzzah for the Patriot with the now clean gun!
  42. PHILADELPHIA, PA, 4/03/13: An off-duty cop "securing" his weapon joins the parade, putting yet another Liberty Projectile through a neighbor's so-called "private property." Private, indeed! What an elitist concept!
  43. MILLICAN, OR, 4/03/13: Another near-perfect storm of FAIL: a retired sheriff's captain shoots himself in the hand while cleaning a gun at his annual qualification test at the police firing range.
  44. LANCASTER, PA, 4/03/13: Guy put a .40-caliber handgun in his lap, intending to leave it in his car while he went into a store. The gun accidentally discharged, wounding the male's hand. Gun in lap, shot in the hand. Hmm. I'll stop thinking about that now.
  45. RIVERSIDE, OH, 4/03/13: A woman accidentally shot herself and another woman inside an apartment tonight, police said. Police said one woman was holding the gun and it fired accidentally, hitting her and another woman in the apartment. No foul play is suspected.
  46. ANTIOCH, TN, 4/03/13: Guy robs people in a parking lot, drops his gun during his getaway and shoots himself in the leg. And yes, he too got an expensive helicopter evacuation that we'll all be paying for.
  47. MELBOURNE, FL, 4/03/13: Melbourne police arrested a member of Florida's National Guard on suspicion of threatening a group of women with a smoke grenade and an assault rifle. According to Melbourne police, William Soto Figueroa, 24, entered an apartment on Woodwind Trail—without permission—Wednesday night and scared four women inside with the grenade. The victims thought the smoke bomb was a grenade and ran into different rooms in the apartment, police said. Police say Figueroa left the apartment but later returned with an AR-15-style assault rifle. Responsible!
  48. WALTERBORO, SC, 4/03/13: A woman was hit by a stray bullet falling out of the sky, in a WalMart parking lot. Police were able to follow the sound of continuing gunfire into a nearby swamp, where they found four men who said they'd been firing rounds from three rifles, four handguns and a shotgun, but who insisted they had been firing into the ground. Amazingly, though, one of their bullets had apparently driven through the center of the Earth, orbited halfway back around again, and landed just a half mile away in a WalMart parking lot. Either that, or they were maybe lying a little bit.
  49. PENSACOLA, FL, 4/04/13: A man is recovering after being shot at the " In-n-Out" Deli on Old Palafox Street yesterday. According to family members Levontre Garrett works at the deli. They say he and another person were playing with a gun they thought was unloaded when he was accidentally shot in the shoulder.
  50. BLACK HAWK, CO, 4/04/13: Armed robbers approached the driver of a car, brandishing a gun. The driver apparently fought back, and during the scuffle, the attacker's gun went off, hitting a female passenger in the leg. After which, the other robber reached into the car and stole her purse. Not the best defense ever, but they did catch the guys.
  51. PHILADELPHIA, PA, 4/04/13: Airport confiscations, again. People who "forgot" their guns, again. This time, two separate discoveries in a single day.

Originally posted to David Waldman on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Daily Kos.

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