‘Responsible Gun Owner’ Accidentally Shot And Killed By Wife (VIDEO)

Pioneer woman with gun standing over a mule deer she presumably shot.

There goes one ‘responsible gun owner’ who will never know how it feels to kill your husband in an ‘accidental shooting’ after he’s handed you a loaded gun. Few — if any — of us really need guns like the rugged southwestern pioneer woman shown here. Photo from the Mule Deer foundation’s facebook page.

How does it feel to accidentally shoot and kill your husband — with a 12-gauge shotgun he handed you after you’ve repeatedly expressed your discomfort with handling guns? Sadly, the (Prescott, AZ) Daily Courier reported on August 14 that the wife of 56-year-old Gary Wingate found out the hard way, when the gun she was reluctantly holding unexpectedly went off:

According to a PVPD news release, Wingate was in the residence with his wife. The wife, 54, reported that Mr. Wingate wanted her to hand him his 12-gauge shotgun. Mrs. Wingate told investigators she was not comfortable handling a firearm but did what her husband asked. During this process, the gun discharged and struck Wingate in the upper torso.

The Prescott Valley Police Department reported Wingate dead when they arrived at the scene. Based on his observations and Mrs. Wingate’s explanation, Sergeant Brandon Bonney believes the shooting to be unintentional:

“It seems like they meant to take (the shotgun) out this weekend on a trip and he wanted her to get more familiar with it.”

Alas, the poor woman is now probably way more “familiar” with that gun than she ever wanted to be. This news comes only two months after another accidental shooting in Prescott Valley, AZ resulted in a four-year-old killing his father; and less than 24 hours after a Tucson-area Darwin Awards candidate comically made local headlines when his three-year-old son accidentally shot him in the butt with a .22 caliber rifle.

In a rather feeble attempt to promote gun safety, Bonney cautions:

“It’s important to remember that you should never point a weapon at something if you’re not willing to destroy it,” Bonney said. “And treat every weapon as if it was loaded.”

The problem is that even so-called “responsible gun owners” (when’s the last time you heard a gun owner refer to him or herself as “irresponsible?”) seem to forget about safety precautions with alarming frequency. Also, Bonney’s statement doesn’t address whether we want people who are “willing to destroy” something to own guns in the first place. Nearly 3,800 people in the United States died from accidental shootings between 2005 and 2010, and 1,300 accidental shooting victims during this time period were under 25 years of age, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. These statistics don’t even include intentional gun deaths. The year 2010 alone saw 11,078 homicides and 19,392 suicides committed with fire arms.

When gun nuts talk about “gun safety” it reminds me of Deputy Barney Fife’s highly amusing “gun safety lesson” from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Here’s the video:

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