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Gun "Carry" Extremists Causing Accidents

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How many gun rights activists does it take to change a light bulb? 301. 100 to blame the burned out bulb on a gun-free zone; 100 to call the replacement a threat to their constitutional rights, 100 to post prepper remarks about Hitler and the ATF and 1 to change a light bulb.

Anyone who covers the gun debate gets a volume of threatening and repetitive emails that seem like they are written by one person with 12,000 different signatures. Passionate and inchoate, the writer is both a "tough guy" not to be messed with and a victim whose "rights" are being violated. Make up your mind!

He is terrified of gun grabbers and the government who want to disarm him. (Psychology books have a lot to say about that.)   He is terrified of "bad guys" even though he is in a rural or suburban setting that is virtually crime-free. He is a classic bully with a high fear level that only subsides when he acts fierce and makes others scared. He only feels safe if he can "carry" everywhere and becomes enraged at places that ban guns. He has a huge amount of time on his hands to "defend" gun rights and seems to lack a day job.

But despite all their bluster, carriers do not make themselves or others safe. If carrying made someone safe, no one from President Reagan to Chris Kyle to Sean Collier, the officer allegedly killed by the Boston bombing suspects, would be shot. Nor are carriers trained like the Secret Service, Kyle or law enforcement personnel. Yet despite fallen officers and carriers whose weapons were used against them, the myth that carriers protect themselves and others continues. When a 20/20 special revealed that trained gun carriers could not stop an assailant they knew would attack , there was a cascade of "yes buts" from gun rights activists, rejecting the terms of shootout. Maybe the assailant should have approached from two blocks away and yelled "draw."

The myth that carriers protect themselves and others harms innocent bystanders, as two recent shootings at Starbucks illustrate. In both cases, women were given guns by their fathers to "protect" them, only to drop their purses and shoot, or almost shoot, other customers. Starbucks welcomes guns into its stores.

by Martha Rosenberg

At a Cheyenne, Wyoming Starbucks in 2011, a juvenile girl dropped her purse, discharging her gun. "The bullet missed John Basile, 43, by about 12 inches," reported the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. The unidentified girl had never taken a hunter safety class or any kind of formal firearms training and had been encouraged by her mother to point the gun at a "bad person" if she were in trouble. Right.

This week, an eerie replay happened. Another woman given a gun by her father dropped her purse and discharged her weapon at a Starbucks, this time in St. Petersburg, Florida. The woman said she'd forgotten the gun was in her purse and had never taken it out to clean or service it, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

How do women carrying guns in their purses like cell phones "protect" themselves? How does such universal "protection" not cause accidents? Why does Starbucks allow armed people to stride in its stores with carry permits or without, as the case with the two women?

Starbucks has ignored pleas from customers and gun safety advocates to ban lethal weapons in its stores which is the right of property owners. And, in the height of   hypocrisy, it issued a statement following the Florida shooting which said, "At Tyrone Square Mall, our primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and store employees, and we are thankful that the injuries sustained are reported to be non-life threatening." What?

Would a business whose "primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and store employees" allow lethal weapons on its premises. END

Learn more about the Starbucks boycott

Withdraw your support from gun-friendly companies.


Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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It would certainly be helpful if gun control enthu... by Pete Allen on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 6:13:05 PM
to see links to the information that you are provi... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 6:28:41 AM
A quick google does not reveal the answer to me, b... by Richard Pietrasz on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 3:18:47 AM
"I believe, but probably by less than 20%.  G... by Craig Scratch on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:19:00 PM
You cherry pick 2 cases of people who are obviousl... by Slice Master on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 9:49:25 PM
You're 100% right, since guns have never protected... by Brad Mozisek on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:44:06 AM
The premise of this article is that the "facts" ar... by Tyler Cruse on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 9:35:30 AM
In both of the Starbucks incidents, the person dro... by Craig Scratch on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 11:33:59 AM
She's basically saying that secret service don't k... by Joe Paine on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 12:21:29 PM
Another fine example of an uninformed, poorly rese... by V C on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:25:11 PM
Let's see: first you set up a strawman "gun person... by Stuart Chisholm on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 9:39:37 PM
"Starbucks has ignored pleas from customers and gu... by Don Starr on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 1:08:33 PM
Well gun banners certainly are consistent if nothi... by Corey Suydam on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 1:39:05 PM
How many gun control activists does it take to cha... by Corey Suydam on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 1:59:22 PM
Martha is a glutton for punishment, no matter ho... by KurtB on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 6:47:19 PM
"Another woman given a gun by her father dropped h... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 1:22:50 PM