In what appears to be a tragic accident during a defensive gun use in Las Vegas, a three-week old baby, who was being choked by her mother’s boyfriend, was shot in the stomach when the baby’s uncle shot the father. The mother and her boyfriend had apparently been involved in a domestic when the brother of the woman who lives next door shot the father. Police believe that the brother was in the apartment during the beginning of the dispute and left briefly to retrieve his gun.
The deceased man was shot in the chest. The bullet was a through-and-through shot that struck the baby in the stomach after penetrating the man’s body. The baby was alive as of noon Wednesday, but in grave condition. Police took the brother into custody, but this appears for an interview rather than arrest.
We can make a few educated assumptions. One is that the dead man is likely not, or rather suspected he wasn’t, the child’s father. Fatherhood of the child is absent in the articles and a man trying to kill an infant after a domestic with his girlfriend is indicative that the child was not his. Usually the child becomes a pawn in the parents’ dysfunctional relationship.
The neighborhood this occurred is not a wealthy neighborhood. If the uncle was using a handgun he was more than likely using full-metal jacket rounds which are cheap. Many persons who own firearms for self-protection, but are not experienced shooters buy the cheapest ammunition they can find. Given the fact that his shot did strike the baby, the shooter was likely not experienced enough to “clear the background” to avoid just such a thing from happening. A shot from the side or into the head would have been much less likely to strike the child.
I might be entirely wrong in assuming the dynamics of the relationship. It very well could be that the man was just a bad, evil father who thought little of murdering his baby. It is also true that a hollow-point or controlled expansion round may also over-penetrate, though much less likely. The shooter may have also shot center-of-mass under stress to ensure that he struck his target, rather than take a shot at a smaller target as the head or profile shot would have presented.
Without taking the shot, it is highly probable that the child would be dead. This highlights the importance of firearms training and shooting proficiency. In such horrible circumstances, a shot to the head or into the body angled away from the child would have averted the unintentional injury. A quality hollow-point round would have certainly mitigated the over-penetration at a minimum.
Even in life-or-death situations, shooting a would-be killer is not always guaranteed to stop the threat without injuring others. No matter whether on the range or in the heat of the moment, one must be sure that their shots will not injure the innocent. It’s doubtful that the shooter was practiced and confident with his weapon or knew the risks of FMJ ammo versus the benefits of self-defense cartridges. Should the child life without complications, the uncle will suffer guilt for the rest of his life.
In another distressing defensive gun use, a teen who killed his father and shot his mother, was then shot by his mother. According to a friend, the kid was “messed up.” You don’t say? Luckily, his mother was able to get another gun and shoot back, causing her son to run away. As awful at this must have been, it went no further because the mother was able and willing to stop it. That’s about all that can be said about this mess. Defensive shootings are never glamorous and seldom heroic.
In another recent tragedy, a two year old child was shot and killed while playing with a handgun. Again, using assumptions based on the neighborhood and from experience (since race is not reported anymore) it appears that this occurred in a minority community where proper knowledge about firearms is rare. I’ve noticed a consistent theme that these “accidents” seem to happen most frequently to marginalized non-whites or poor whites.
It’s not about race or class, it’s about ignorance, and often poverty and marginalized communities that suffer from a lack of education or language barriers have a spike in violence and firearm accidents. Abandoned by progressive social organizations that consider disarmament “gun safety” and not easily reached by the NRA, these black, Hispanic, and other poor or non-white communities do not have only a fraction of the respect for firearms that our readers do.
All we can do is put the information out there and hope that people seek it out. Mass media and social services have done a poor job teaching our society about guns. In movies, bullets never over-penetrate; except when Indiana Jones needs to kill three Nazis in a row at once. The dangerous nuances of “know your target and what lies beyond” is rarely shown. Safe gun storage is at best a plot point to give depth to a tragedy or make a political point. Carl in The Walking Dead being shot by a careless hunter or the “Hey, wanna see my dad’s gun?” kid from The Sixth Sense don’t communicate the potential for the above two heartbreaking incidents above.
Mandatory training and increased restrictions don’t make society safer. As reader Mac once said, the reason we don’t often hear about children burning to death is because firefighters teach “stop, drop, and roll” and fire safety in schools. Gun safety education for children and adults is notoriously absent. An “abstinence only” approach to gun safety just doesn’t work and its time we stopped pretending it did.
I wish I could reach these people. I wish I could make the idea that a box of ammo at one dollar a round might mean the difference between life and death click. I wish that I could teach them to shoot often and well so they can make the hard shots when it counts. I wish that people took more away from this site than just “open carry is legal in Nevada.” Proper knowledge about firearms is vital and sadly lacking in society. It’s a damn shame the conversation is about meaningless crime control attempts with a disarmament agenda rather than “lock your shit up!” and know what you are doing when you pull the trigger.
We're debuting a new post series that explores the future of gun control (and America) from a fiction perspective. Various styles of prose will be used including the style of news articles.
What lies in store for America is a horrifying future; far more so than most are willing to admit. Gun confiscation is highly unlikely to come in the form of SWAT teams kicking down doors, but in a far more insidious manner that utilizes the most evil methods of tyranny to force compliance. We should all work, pray, and hope this remains fiction.
Today's installment is about the abuse of gun violence restraining orders (GVROs), also known as extreme risk protection order (ERPO), and "red flag" laws.
“Menacing” open carrier arrested for illegal possession of a firearm
Pima County deputies took Carlos Beltran, 34, of Tucson, into custody for violating a court-order not to possess firearms. Last Monday, Beltran was served with an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) after a neighbor complained to police that Beltran was “menacing” her with his openly carried handgun. He was booked at the Pima County Jail for violation of a court order and felony possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Under a new state law, persons subject to a restraining order are prohibited from possessing firearms.
Beltran’s public defender said that the charges were “groundless” and based on the false statement of a neighbor, who claimed that Beltran was pointing a shotgun at her from inside his apartment. Police responded within minutes and were let inside the apartment by Beltran, who gave his consent for police to search the residence. They found no shotgun, but they did find a handgun in a drawer that should have been surrendered previously.
In the last legislative session a comprehensive firearms reform package was voted into law. Where Arizona had been given an "F" rating by the Brady Campaign, it now has a "C" grade.
The neighbor who called 911 was Irma Torres, who filed for the ERPO on Saturday with the help of police. In the application for the order, Torres claimed that she has had unspecified problems with Beltran in the past. Beltran “always carries a pistol on his belt” and often works on his truck in full view of Torres’ and walks past her apartment several times each day while carrying his gun. She had asked him in the past not to carry it, but Beltran refused.
“Mr. Beltran is a law abiding American citizen. He has never before been arrested or even had a traffic ticket. He is a staunch believer in our Second Amendment and is committed to defending himself in a dangerous neighborhood. He denies categorically that he has ever intimidated or threatened the complainant,” wrote Beltran’s attorney.
A social media post, now deleted, believed to be attributed to Beltran, said that Torres “is just a scared little old lady. She’s an illegal immigrant is afraid of guns b/c all the bad guys in Mexico have them and no one in the barrio carries them except cholos.” Beltran’s attorney did not have a comment about the post.
Beltran was released on a $50,000 bond and given an order not to return to his apartment. His arraignment date is set for the 30th of this month.
Get reader Tom's 2nd Amendment Voter Guide! A guide to Nevada Statewide and local state legislative races (including Clark County). While these are a reader's opinions, Nevada Carry tends to agree with them and appreciates the research.
Adam Laxalt is the only viable candidate for governor who truly supports the Second Amendment. He contacted the FBI and wrote the opinion that put the brakes on Question 1 (banning private gun sales). He refused to illegally circumvent state law to implement the ban. A strong, pro-gun candidate is our only defense in holding our rights for the next four years.
In Clark County, vote Tim Bedwell for sheriff. He is a true supporter of the Second Amendment and view gun owners without suspicion or disdain. Joe Lombardo, in addition to being a stereotypical casino sheriff, wants to ban "assault weapons" and see a standard capacity magazine ban. Lombardo has to go.
If you live in Nye County, vote for a sheriff who won't leave his gun in the bathroom like the current sheriff did. Dave Champion is the pro-freedom, pro-gun choice who is ideal for the unique Kingdom of Nye. He will restore honor and trust to the sheriff's office.
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Shit going down in Las Vegas? Well it isn’t going to be on TV. Why’s that? Well, our local B-level news teams go home for dinner or something after the evening news. This isn’t LA where a car chase will get you a helicopter and breaking news at all hours of the night. No, in Las Vegas someone has to get dressed and made-up really quick, then fight traffic to get to the scene. Hopefully they’ve got a live truck with them and aren’t just livestreaming off their phone.
But what the hell do we need real time information for? We did just fine decades ago when it was all stale film and morning newspapers, right?
Wrong. Timely information keeps people alive and helps reduce panic, fear, and anxiety. Lack of information allows fears to grow and rumors to be amplified. Thus as we saw on Twitter: large police presence + man with a gun x recent mass shooting = active shooter. Of course, no one was killed and no shots fired, but you wouldn’t know that by the endless retweets of “active shooter” and “mass shooting,” etc.
While TMZ and Wheel of Fortune played on TV, a ticker crawled the news that some sort of incident was underway. So we had to turn to social media to parse the rumors to find some information. That was as much help as the reporters who showed up late to the party asking some cop working traffic control on the perimeter what was going on.
Media can’t even fill us in on the details when they do get on camera because they have to first get the alert almost by happenstance. Then they can start investigating, but the traditional source of identifying breaking news has been taken away from Las Vegas media, reducing them to nothing more than a member of the public, but with a wider audience.
News was slow to trickle out because Metro has encrypted their radio traffic, meaning that even high-end scanners can no longer bring in police broadcasts. This follows in the wake of the Mandalay Bay October 1 shooting, presumably because the public was able to listen in. Radio traffic fueled both conspiracy theories and criticism of Metro; neither of which Sheriff Lombardo wants in an election year.
The inability to monitor police radio in real time makes it impossible for the media or the public to somewhat accurately know what is happening. Even frenzied reports in a chaotic situation by police are better than what is often nothing more than speculation and rumor on social media. There is a time and place to encrypt radio traffic, like the records channel or SWAT movements during an October 1 type event, but not in your local, everyday time criminal environment.
I’ve read reports that some media outlets do get their scanners specially programmed by Metro to listen in, but this is not the solution it seems. At any time, Metro can end their ability to listen in. The sheriff could arbitrarily decide to take away a newspaper’s authorization because it published something critical about him. Independent journalists, such as myself, are totally shutout. That is a chilling effect on speech. So we go back to the world of “return to your home Citizen, we will tell you what you need to know.”
Non-state “approved” people like independent journalists need to be able to hear what’s going on too. The sad fact is that having the public being able to hear police radio chatter in real time, and record it, is a hindrance to upper echelons of police. They would rather release their own recording in response to a public records request (which costs more money than you would think) after the fact. It’s a little more nuanced than that, but police radio traffic in the clear, the overwhelming majority of the time, is not a big deal.
In conclusion, our local lamestream media sucks at its job unless news miraculously breaks either during or immediately before a broadcast. Additionally, in losing the ability to listen to Metro’s radios, we have lost much of our own ability to gather quality news.
An incident involving someone with a gun occurred tonight in Las Vegas at the Boulevard Mall. The Boulevard Mall is not located in a good neighborhood; we’ll leave it at that and move on. All we know is that no shots were fired, no one was killed or wounded, the “suspect” was not found, and it is believed that someone wearing a mask and carrying a long gun of some sort was seen at the mall.
A mask and a mall in a ghetto economically disadvantaged, primarily minority, part of town does not sound like a Texas-style long gun open carrier. It sounds more like a jackass intent on scaring people or some sort of would-be mass killer who was too much of a coward to get on with this plan (thankfully). Ockham’s Razor: this was just some sick asshole getting off on creating a mass panic who got lucky there was no cop or armed citizen who ventilated him tonight.
Ironically, the Boulevard Mall is another “gun free zone” where normal people openly carrying handguns and causing no ruckus whatsoever have been asked to leave. Heaven forbid an average person tries to defend themselves against criminals and spree killers! Signs are not magical marks that ward off evil. If they were, nothing marked “Danger, Flammable!” would ever explode.
Knee-jerk reactions will further tighten the sphincters of commercial risk managers and business insurance underwriters who fear getting sued. Although living in a world where amoral personal injury attorneys can sue a casino for somehow not magically knowing a guest was going to mow down a crowd from one of their rooms might validate that fear a little. Anyhow, good concealed carry is the go-to method for those with permission slips who don’t mind carrying past the signs that convey no legal authority whatsoever.
But we can and should be thankful that nothing bad happened tonight and that we don’t have asinine gun-trespassing laws like Texas that would force a concealed carrier to leave his piece in the car, totally helpless in the face of a gunman. We can’t always get lucky like the hero from Waffle House.
The legality of open carry will be blamed for this incident. Carrying a rifle into a mall is not illegal. Reckless, rude, and unnecessary for sure, but not illegal. Even so, this incident will probably be used as the basis for another do-nothing proposed bill in 2019. After the River Run Riot in 2002, it was proposed to allow open carry to be banned during large special events because bikers did it.
Things being legal are not always a good idea. A masked man carrying a rifle in a mall, even to someone who considers himself to be an “expert” on open carry and a staunch defender of the same, would likely go into Code Red. Even the most tone-deaf open carry protesters in the worst periods of Texas’ open carry debate didn’t go around wearing masks and strolling solo through malls. Was this a dry run? Maybe some fool trying to make a point about how defenseless the average mall and person is? Whatever it was, it was not the average gun owner, open carrier, or anything benefiting the Second Amendment.
The public and mall operators should use this as a lesson that the handgun carrying citizen is doing it to protect himself and his loved ones. Keeping law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns, whether or not they have a “jacket permit” to conceal their gun, benefits no one. It does not make anyone safer. Anyhow, let’s go to sleep tonight comforted by the fact that this turned out to be nothing more than a frightening evening.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West