And, sadly, children apparently aren’t the only ones who need to heed that message.
Police in Killeen, Texas, arrested Army Spc. Patrick Edward Myers, 27, Sunday for the shooting death of a fellow soldier. The killing didn’t occur on the battlefield, at nearby Fort Hood or even at a shooting range. His victim died far from the fight — shot at an off-base home in Killeen.
And it apparently wasn’t intentional.
While watching a football game and drinking alcohol Sunday night, Pfc. Isaac Lawrence Young, 22, Ash Grove, Mo., got a case of the hiccups, according to the Killeen Daily Herald. Myers decided to “scare” away the hiccups by pointing a handgun at Young’s head. Believing the gun to be loaded with dummy rounds, the newspaper reported, Myers fired.
The shot struck Young in the eye. He died before reaching the hospital.
Myers was charged with manslaughter and was being held Wednesday on $1 million bail.
The fact both men were trained soldiers and yet one still exhibited such reckless, stupid behavior is troubling. Clearly, the introduction of alcohol into the mix didn’t help the situation.
In July 2009, 19-year-old Sky Nicole Cadarette, Ottawa, was the victim of such deadly, poor decision making.
During a party featuring booze, drugs and video games, she was shot by her friend, Mark Sherman, 24, Ottawa. Cadarette died at the scene and Sherman later was convicted of reckless involuntary manslaughter.
Witnesses testified the party-goers had been playing Halo-3, a first-person shooter video game. At one point, Sherman left the room and retrieved a real gun. Believing the safety to be activated on the weapon, he returned to the group and pointed the gun at Cadarette’s face, witnesses said.
“Shoot me. Shoot me, mother-----r,” Cadarette reportedly told Sherman.
The gun went off. Sherman told the court he didn’t mean to pull the trigger. Cadarette was dead either way.
It was game over.
The common elements in these two incidents were mind-altering substances and people who didn’t take seriously the killing power of the guns held in their hands.
We support the Second Amendment and the use of firearms in military and law enforcement operations, as well as for personal protection, hunting and even — in a controlled, professional environment such as a shooting range — entertainment. But guns aren’t household toys.
They aren’t a cure for hiccups.
They aren’t a party favor.
They’re for killing.
And they work.
— Tommy Felts, managing editor