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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Police Say That the Florida Father Killed by a Stray Bullet Was Just Unlucky, The Odds Were ‘One-in-infinity’

Posted by on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Read the story and weep:

A new father is dead after what appeared to be a bizarre, accidental shooting Tuesday night.

Steven Justin Ayers, 33, and his wife had gathered family members to celebrate the homecoming of their 3-day-old baby — born on Father’s Day. But the celebration at 2502 Michigan Court ended shortly after 6 p.m. when a stray bullet entered the home from more than 200 feet away, struck Ayers in the back of the head and killed him instantly.

Moments earlier, Charles Edward Shisler, 62, had picked up a loaded 9mm pistol in his residence, adjacent to the Ayers’ home, and the gun discharged. Shisler was in his backyard at 3708 W. 25th St. by the time Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived minutes after the shooting, according to arrest reports.

Even if this was an accident, and most likely it was, the problem is that we live in a country that offers easy access to guns but no kind of realistic requirements or responsibilities for their ownership. Because no one is required to fear the consequences of mistakes, many handle guns without the needed care.

From the post:

“The damn gun doesn’t usually shoot,” Shisler’s arrest report quoted him as saying. “You have to squeeze the hell out of the trigger to shoot it.”
Shisler told deputies he tried to pick up the gun by its trigger, but it fired a hole through his window screen. He later told deputies he hid the gun under his mattress. A blood test taken more than four hours after the incident showed Shisler had a blood alcohol content of 0.079, deputies reported.

If this is all true (the incident is still under investigation), then we can see that the cause of death, as investigators say, was nowhere near "bizarre." Being hit and killed by a drunken driver is not "bizarre." In our society, the owner of a car has greater responsibilities than the owner of a gun. This is the core of the problem. It's deeply ideological and political. The dead father was a guitar teacher.


Comments (20) RSS

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seatackled 1
I didn't see the "one-in-infinity" quotation, but isn't one in infinity a zero chance? So this didn't actually happen and the father is alive and well with his new baby?
Posted by seatackled on June 19, 2014 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
"Shisler told deputies he tried to pick up the gun by its trigger"

stupid fuck. charge him with 2nd degree manslaughter.
Posted by Max Solomon on June 19, 2014 at 10:12 AM · Report this
This is intensely sad.
Posted by wxPDX on June 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM · Report this
AFinch 4
@2 is clearly correct, even though Shisler will clearly use the pre-emptive stand-your-ground doctrine to defend himself in court.

And of course, if only Mr. Ayers had been armed, he could have, ninja-like, spun and shot Shisler before being shot in the back of the head himself.
Posted by AFinch on June 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM · Report this
And yet, even though there are plenty of laws with which to prosecute Shisler, he will probably get nothing more than a stern talking to. If people thought they might spend life in prison, or even a decade or two, they might think better.. Reading the next story down, if you kill a cyclist, you at least get a $175 ticket - that's probably worse than Shisler will get for his "accident".

And who the F- picks up their firearm by the F-ing trigger???
Posted by randoma on June 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
wisepunk 6
I bet if he was high on pot instead of drunk he would be getting charged with multiple crimes and be facing a virtual life sentence.
Posted by wisepunk on June 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM · Report this
he tried to pick the gun up by the trigger?
Posted by pffft on June 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM · Report this
laterite 8
We live in a deeply stupid country.
Posted by laterite on June 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM · Report this
You have to assume he'll be charged with manslaughter right? Right? If you accidentally kill someone with a car you get manslaughter.

Anyone else find it interesting that any time someone's killed with a gun accidentally they simply say the gun "discharged" as though it just decided to blow its top through no action of the person carrying it.

"I didn't shoot anybody! The gun just discharged and the bullet hit that guy in the back of the head."
Posted by Root on June 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM · Report this
FYI, the article states
"Shisler was arrested and charged with manslaughter and felon in possession of a firearm. He had a previous felony conviction for carrying a concealed firearm from 2006."

So he is getting at least manslaughter charges. It would be interesting to know where he got that gun since he can't legally have one. Did he buy it at a gun store that didn't background check him or did he buy it on the secondary market where there is no check?
Posted by Root on June 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
How the fuck is that stand your ground? He's drunk in his house picking up his gun - by the fucking trigger!

I bet he's white, because if he was black - forget it. He's sitting in a jail cell waiting to post bail.

But if he's white, "Oh, you know, he's one of our guys, someone like us, who just happened to pick up a gun and it went off and killed someone across the street. These things happen! It could have happened to anyone. But we *can't* deny him his Second Amendment right just because of a little freak accident, can we? That's an injustice piled up on top of an injustice!"

And if he's not arrested and charged with anything, if his gun is not taken away, and he gets drunk again and kills somebody else - well, that's the price of freedom. We'll explain it that way to his kid as to why he/she doesn't get to grow up with a father.
Posted by Who could have thought this would happen? on June 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 12
I am so weary of being outraged at these things that I think the only outrage left to muster is that it is happening so frequently.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on June 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 13
If you accidentally kill someone with a car you get manslaughter.

What? No you don't. Did you miss the morning news where the worst punishment for a guy who ran over and killed a kid in the crosswalk was a $175 ticket?
Posted by keshmeshi on June 19, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Knat 14
I see SLOG's resident gun-humping buffoons that always swoop in minutes after their "stranger + gun" Google alerts go off won't even touch this one.
Posted by Knat on June 19, 2014 at 6:32 PM · Report this

(sigh.) Fine, I'll take this one if you insist.

So a guy gets killed accidentally by a fucktard in Florida. Fine.

It may not jibe with your worldview, but these are the facts, per the Journal of the American Medical Association:


1) Medical Errors in hospitals. 210,000-448,000
2) Smoking Tobacco 435,000
3) Obesity 111,999
4) Alcohol 85,000
5) Infectious Diseases 75,000
6) Toxic agents including toxins, particulates and radon 55,000
7) Traffic Collisions 43,000
8) Firearms deaths 31,940
Suicide 19,766
Homicide 11,101
Accidents 852
Unknown 822

So what does this tell us? Folks on the SLOG, including Charles, don't give a shit about preventing deaths. They just don't like guns, which is why a preventable gun death is somehow more tragic than via another means.

And the hypocrisy continues...


Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL (March 2004). "Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000". JAMA 291 (10): 1238–45. doi:10.1001/jama.291.10.1238. PMID 15010446.
Posted by CPN on June 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 16
@15: The difference being that we regulate the practice of medicine, the sale and use of tobacco and alcohol, and the operation of motor vehicles. We pour funding into combating obesity, disease, and environmental exposure to toxins.
However, it is considered taboo to legislate any sort of gun safety; any regulation of the industry is equated to a direct assault on basic liberties, and federal funds are banned from use in any attempt to study the roots of gun violence. The tragic deaths of 3,000-odd persons in a single terrorist attack in 2001 led to massive changes aimed at preventing further atrocities, and yet ten times that number every year aren't even worth studying. Yeah, there's hypocrisy related to those numbers, but not where you think it is.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on June 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM · Report this

You're going to have to prove your numbers to me with sources. 2/3rds of all firearm deaths are via suicide, yet the United States ranks 33rd in suicide rate worldwide, well behind gun free utopias like Japan and Russia.

Then you'll need to start looking at violent homicides as compared to the United States, because in my mind, dead is dead and anyone killed in a violent crime with a gun is just as tragic as someone killed without a gun.

Then you need to look at the data and see where violent crimes occur, which are in metropolitan areas with populations greater than 250,000 where the rate is twice as high as smaller cities and dwarfs the violent crime rate in rural areas.

My point is that you shouldn't get your information from the media, which makes money by pushing fear. Go get the information for yourself.
Posted by CPN on June 19, 2014 at 11:26 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 18
@16, wait a minute — are you trying to imply that there are no gun laws in this country? Jesus H. Motherfucking Christ, pay attention, son. There are hundreds of thousands of gun laws. So many, in fact, that even us lawyers have a hard time keeping them all straight. We don't need more of them.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 20, 2014 at 3:08 AM · Report this
venomlash 19
@17: I didn't make any claims about numbers. What numbers do you speak of?
@18: Legislate, verb: to make or enact laws.
Posted by venomlash on June 20, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this


(Just kidding. Thought someone might get a chuckle if anyone ever sees this thread again...)

If anyone is wondering why I'm looking through old threads, I'm trying to collect all of my gun screed from over time to compile my main points into something easily digestible.
Posted by CPN on June 25, 2014 at 7:14 PM · Report this

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