This sad story all began with some boys getting together, and as unsupervised boys are bound to do they found some trouble to get into. They decided it would be fun to ring some doorbells and run. Kids have played "Ring and Run" a lot longer than I've been alive, I have done it myself although it's been a few decades. I'm not going to defend these boys. They were old enough to know better and the phrase "play stupid games, win stupid prizes" came to my mind when I initially heard about this. But although it's true that they shouldn't have been on this man's property in the first place I'm also thinking that having two collapsed lungs and a 100 shotgun pellets dug out of you might be excessive punishment for an infantile trick.
The authorities say it was a crime; the shooter says it was an accident. I say at best it was 100% pure essence of stupidity. For this post I'm not going to worry about the disputed facts in this case, the whole truth will come out soon enough. Today I'm solely commenting on the statements this man has already made. He has managed to make it 56 years without having any major run in with the law so I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is telling the truth, for now.
He said - That he thought there were burglars outside his home and only wanted to scare them. I say - Idiot, you don't point a gun to "scare" people, to intimidate trouble away. If you are aiming a gun at someone you better be completely convinced that they are about to take your (or some innocent persons) life, which with rare exception is the only valid reason in a justified civilian shooting. If you want to "teach" someone become a schoolteacher.
He said - "I had no idea who it was or how old they were" I say - Listen up moron this is important, I doubt you have ever heard any of this before so I'll tell you now. There are 4 crucially important rules for gun owners, learn them all. The one most applicable here, Know your target and what is beyond. You were prepared to shoot and kill someone and had absolutely no idea who they were and you didn't know that other kids were nearby either. This was a wide-open invitation for tragedy and it was only your stupid luck, and the grace of God, that this didn't end with some child dead.
He said - "The gun went off… but it was an accident" and he was "shocked and upset at myself for leaving a shell" (in the gun). I say - Einstein, this is no "accident," you had a loaded gun, you had your finger on the trigger. That's not an accident, just you being stupid. Starting to see a trend here? Did you even look at that link in the previous paragraph? And speaking of stupid, how much is required to confront a burglar with what you thought to be an unloaded gun?
If this man somehow manages to dodge a conviction and keep himself out of jail I hope he never owns another gun. Sell them, give them to the police, have them cut in half with a torch, have someone crush them. Just don't own another. People like this make it hard for the rest of us gun owners that take the enormous responsibility of firearms ownership and self-defense seriously. Guys like this are the ones gun haters think of as they try to destroy all of our rights, they think we're all like this. Every easily avoidable incident like this one only solidifies their misguided beliefs that no one but police and military are "smart" or "good" enough to have weapons. Having guys like this on "our" side only makes the fight for our freedoms a hundred times harder. They are the worst enemies that the average concerned, thinking gun owner has.