But it proves, beyond argument, that there is no such thing as a responsible gun owner.
It happened in Tomball (which the locals call Tom-ball, not Tomb-all) Texas Saturday, but it started somewhat earlier (this account derives from the report by Cindy Horswell in the Houston Chronicle, which does not say exactly when the initial event occurred).
That was an uncommon medical event: a 28-year-old man had a big stroke and was placed on life support at a hospital in Tomball. Doctors had no hope he could recover.
On Saturday, the man's father, George Pickering, angry about the nursing care his son was getting (it is not clear whether this anger was justified but it seems other members of his family did not share his opinion), pulled a gun and threatened to kill a nurse.
"According to witnesses, Pickering was standing by his ill son's bedside with another adult son, his ex-wife and a nurse when everything spun out of control without warning.
"Pickering, who is unemployed, allegedly pulled out a 9 mm handgun, waved it around and yelled, 'I'll kill all of you,' Hammond said.
" 'He was very distraught. As you well know, people handle stress differently. You never can say what it will take to hit such a serious trigger mechanism,' Hammond said."No, you can't but doesn't having a gun handy improve the moment? And, no, I don't think police investigator Hammond was making a pun.
The son "jumped" his father and got the gun out of the room. The ex-wife (it is not clear whether she is the mother of the brothers) and the nurse left when Pickering said, "You don't think that's the only weapon I got."
Indeed not. Police checked records, discovered that Pickering had numerous gun permits and was known to keep guns "all over his Pinehurst home." So they rolled the SWAT team and locked down the hospital, which could not have been good for the patients, especially the ones in the critical care unit where Pickering stood them off for four hours. All those very sick people were moved, and for the four hours nobody in Tomball who needed hospital care could get it.
(It is not clear that if Pickering had had the same number of guns but had not bothered to get permits -- something easy to achieve -- and create records that the police would have reacted so strongly. On Monday, when the Legislature opened its session in Austin, gun nuts who oppose any system of permitting threatened lawmakers and demonstrated how using a 3-D printer could create an untraceable gun, which they consider a very good thing.)
It is possible to have some sympathy for George Pickering, a father who cared about his son, and wanted to do something for him (although it sounds as if that was not possible). He did not know how to help, but he was true to the gun nut creed -- when in doubt, pull it out. But it is not possible to argue that the Second Amendment improved his options, is it?
A hundred thousand times a year in America, the gun option is chosen over every other option. 30,000 times, someone dies, and in thousands of other instances someone is injured. Even when no one is physically hurt, people are terrorized.
In only a couple of dozen instances is the gun option better than some other available option. A well-regulated society would do something about it.