Anti-Gun Activist Expelled From Legislative Hearing About Accidental Gun Deaths

A recent news story coming out of Connecticut highlights a violent side to the anti-gun movement, while data shows accidental death by gunshot wound is exceedingly rare.

Anti-Gun Activist Expelled From Legislative Hearing About Accidental Gun Deaths

Photo: National Shooting Sports Foundation

When texting, proceed with caution. Or at minimum, take notice of who may be lurking over your shoulder. That’s one lesson that can be taken from a recent news story covering a Connecticut judiciary hearing on accidental deaths by gunshot. Proposed legislation would tighten laws governing the home storage of guns in the state. 

The other lesson is at least one unidentified, anti-gun activist has a violent streak. According to the National Review, a woman attending the state’s legislative hearing drafted a text message that read:

“If I had a gun, I’d blow away Sampson and a large group of the NRA.” 

The text message was captured in a photo by a local reporter, who then made the image public on his Twitter feed.

Photo: Mark Davis (Twitter)
Photo: Mark Davis (Twitter)

Sampson is presumably Connecticut state senator Rob Sampson, who the National Review describes as a, “pro-gun rights Republican who once earned the NRA’s Defender of Freedom Award.”

The gun-control activist who drafted the tweet was expelled from the hearing.

The legislation that prompted the hearing was introduced after the death of 15-year-old Ethan Song, who accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun that belonged to his friend's father. 

“The gun had been secured with a lock, but left in a container with the key and accompanying ammunition,” according to the National Review. “As a result, state prosecutors said they could not charge its owner, because state law requires only that loaded guns are properly secured. Under the new legislation, which has been dubbed ‘Ethan’s Law’ by his parents, owners would be required to lock loaded and unloaded guns alike.”

According to a report published by the Los Angeles Times, accidental gun deaths have plummeted in recent decades from 824 deaths in 1999 compared to 489 in 2015, down 48 percent when numbers are adjusted for population growth.

For context, nearly two-thirds of all deaths by gunshot wound are suicides, which is about 24,000 deaths annually. Another third, or 12,000 deaths, are classified as homicides. Accidental death by gunshot represents only a small fraction of these deaths due to gunshot wounds. 

All deaths due to accidents (unintentional injuries) in 2016 totaled 161,374, according to the most recent Center for Disease Control data available. Cause of accidental deaths varied from motor vehicle accidents, to accidental drowning.

Those ranked as follows in 2016.

Cause of Accidental Death (Number of Deaths)

Accidental poisoning and exposure to noxious substances (58,335)

Motor vehicle accidents (40,327)

Falls (34,673)

Accidental drowning or submersion (3,786)

Accidental discharge of firearms (495)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association representing firearms manufacturers and retailers, offers these guidelines for firearms safety


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