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.