David Frum

04.30.13

What Guns Do in The Real World

By the way, let's not be sexist about this. It's not only men who get drunk and shoot their wives … sometimes wives get drunk and shoot their husbands.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images ()

Here's a story from Pennsylvania, yesterday:

PARKSIDE — A borough woman allegedly shot and killed her husband early Saturday as he was teaching her to use a gun for the first time while they were drinking in their home, according to police and documents supporting her arrest on involuntary manslaughter and related offenses.

“I shot him,” Michele Wanko, 42, reportedly told Parkside Police Patrolman Brian McNeill Jr. The officer arrived at the house at 3:57 a.m. Saturday to find 43-year-old William Wanko lying in the hallway entrance, with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper chest, just below the Adam’s apple, authorities said.

Michele Wanko, who made the 911 call, also told police her wounded husband said, “I can’t believe that happened,” before he ran out of a small room in their basement and collapsed. The blast of gunfire awakened their oldest of two young sons, according to police.

Here's the blunt fact: for all the talk about "responsible gun ownership," guns are easily available to everybody, responsible or not. It's an empty compliment even to refer to "responsible gun owners" - many of them are people who through good luck simply have not had their irresponsibility catch up with them yet, as so tragically happened yesterday to the Wanko family.