Court upholds requirement gun owners keep weapons locked up at home

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Massachusetts residents do not have a Constitutional right to keep loaded handguns in unlocked bedside drawers.

The ruling by the state's highest court upholds a state law that requires gun owners to either store guns in locked containers or equip them with locking mechanisms when they're not under their "immediate control."

The ruling comes in the case of John McGowan, a Springfield resident who got into an argument with his roommate over a $10 loan in 2008. She grabbed his loaded gun out of his bedside drawer, went outside and threw it into some bushes. When he went out to retrieve the weapon, she locked him out and he called police, who, among other things, filed charges against him for not properly storing his weapon.

McGowan sued to get his gun back, arguing the law violates his Second Amendment rights and recent Supreme Court decisions that let somebody possess a gun for self protection.

The Supreme Judicial Court, however, ruled that the Second Amendment is no more absolute than the First, that even in its ruling on a Washington, DC ban on gun possession, the Supreme Court acknowledged the government can set certain restrictions on gun ownership; for example, by barring the sale of guns to felons or the mentally ill.

We have consistently held, without applying any level of heightened scrutiny, that the decisions in [the Supreme Court cases] did not invalidate laws that require a person to have a firearm identification card to possess a firearm in one's home or place of business, and to have a license to carry in order to possess a firearm elsewhere. ...

Nor did the decisions in [those cases] invalidate laws that prevent the sale of firearms to persons who have no firearms identification card and therefore are not authorized to possess a firearm. The Supreme Court in ]the Washington, DC case] specifically recognized that "laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms" are among the "presumptively lawful regulatory measures."

The court reached back to the pre-Constitution Shay's Rebellion in 1787 - in which the nascent Commonwealth required rebels to give up guns for three years to get a pardon - as an example of how the state has long sought to regulate guns.

In McGowan's case, the court ruled that, unlike in Washington, where a city law banned possession of guns in the home, Massachusetts allows gun ownership for self protection, even if it means the gun has to be locked up when not in the gun owner's hand, and that the state has a valid interest in reducing cases of accidental gunfire:

Even though the obligation to secure a firearm in [the state law] applies only where the gun owner chooses not to carry a firearm or keep it under his immediate control, the defendant suggests that the brief period of delay needed to unlock a secure storage container or trigger lock suffices to render this requirement in violation of the Second Amendment's right to self-defense in one's home. We disagree. The Supreme Court in [Heller, the Washington, DC case] specifically noted that its analysis did not "suggest the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents." The prevention of accidents by those not authorized to use firearms, as well as the prevention of crimes of violence and suicide by those not authorized to possess firearms, are among the evils that [the state law] is intended to prevent. Any law regulating the storage of firearms will delay to some degree the ability of a firearm owner to retrieve and fire the firearm in self-defense. If such a brief period of delay were sufficient to render the law unconstitutional, the Supreme Court in Heller would not have declared that its analysis did not suggest the invalidity of firearm storage laws

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

    Free tagging: 

    Comments

    In other news we are now

    In other news we are now required to sheath steak knives on restaurant tables, place stop blocks underneath the tires of parked cars, store candles and candles with protective flame proof tips, store empty five gallon buckets stored upside down, and keep toilet lid seats down, as all these things are quite dangerous if not properly secured.

    Yes.

    There are laws which require some vehicles to use stop blocks in different situations, and there are regulations which require bars and resturants to display open flame candles with specific tops, and there also regulations on how gasoline must be stored, and my wife has a rule about toilet seats being down.

    So no, you are not required to sheath knives on resturant tables. And let me tell you, emergency rooms are packed with people who have sliced their hands by accident from these dangerous weapons. Something needs to be done!

    Locking up guns is just a good idea

    So is hiding away kitchen knives from little kids.

    All of my pistols are locked away in a large safe, along with their ammo. When I want to shoot, it gets opened, I shoot, then put the equipment back away. Really, it's not a big deal.

    Not only that, but who's to say you can't build a gun safe into your bedside drawers?

    However

    I don't think I've ever heard about a toddler hacking themselves to death with a steak knife, while children die from accidentally self inflicted gunshot wounds with distressing regularity.

    Of course, I don't think

    Of course, I don't think anyone has broken into a house to steal a bucket, a candle (at least not since 1880), or an empty 5 gallon bucket. However, guns have been stolen from bedside tables.

    I've heard three reasons to have a gun in the home - none valid

    a) To protect yourself against a tyrannical government - yeah good luck with that when a drone 5 miles over your head that you can't see shoots a missile up your butt with amazing precision. In the absence of a drone, I'm sure your Glock will hold up well against an armored vehicle with it's 50 mm blazing.

    b) self-defense - the stats on this are overwhelming (unless you buy the Cato Institute's nonsense about criminals seeing you with a gun and they run away 2.5 million times a year :-)). The likelihood your gun will accidentally shoot someone, will be used by a member of the household or guest in an accident or will be used to commit suicide is larger by an order of magnitude than the likelihood you will ever use it in self defense. Having a gun in the household is significantly more dangerous than not having one.

    c) hobby (target shooting/hunting) - I have no problem with either, however these are dangerous products and should not be kept in the house. I've seen stats that close to 50% of kids in a house know how to get at the LOCKED guns (and the parents are blissfully unaware that junior knows how to open the safe/trigger lock) and 100% of kids can get access to the millions of guns that are not locked.

    I'm open to some new stats if you can find them, or another reason to keep a gun in the house - but the evidence is overwhelming - nobody needs a gun in the house unless you want to make your home more dangerous than it is already from open toilet seats, sharp knives etc. At least I can think of lots of good reasons to have toilets, candles, cars and knives in the house that don't include killing anything.

    Your analysis is weak

    a. Try reading about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising or the Battle of Athens, TN. You don't have to win against a government to make declaring war expensive. And, I'll point out, even with those drones and everything else, we're not exactly winning Afghanistan.

    b. You've obviously never lived in a rural area where the police take a long time to get anywhere. You should get out more. In addition, assisted suicide is still illegal in MA. If it comes down to dying a slow death from cancer or shooting myself, I consider suicide a rational option, not a bad thing.

    c. I keep my firearms locked up at home. I don't have kids so I don't see why I should keep them anywhere else. I also have sharp knives, dangerous (prescription) drugs, and poisonous houseplants. Again, my place, under my control.

    For what it's worth, I've seen stats that 100% of busybodies who like to tell gun owners what to do have no idea what they're talking about.

    I've broken this law many times.

    On various occasions, I'll leave a loaded, unlocked firearm close by in case one of the thousands of scumbags I've encountered over the years decides to come after me. I'm 100% confident that no one will get a hold of this firearm except for myself. But I also take and accept the risk that if I am careless/reckless/negligent about losing said firearm, that I am at the mercy of my fellow Americans and the punishments they deem fit for me losing that gun.

    I think gun nuts worry too much about punishments for irresponsible gun owners. If you are responsible, why worry?

    Also, there was an alternate outcome

    Instead of taking the gun, throwing it out the window, and calling police, the roomate in the altercation could have just as easily went for the gun and shot the gun owner.

    That happens to gun owners, too, when they leave a loaded gun in a convenient place "just in case".

    Of course, if you live alone, that isn't an issue.

    Remind us again what the conclusion of the Warsaw uprising was

    Spoiler: It might have been expensive for the Germans, but the Jews still died. And it did nothing to stop the trains to the camps (I am not arguing the Jews should have simply laid down and meekly gone to the deaths, but I am arguing that their courageous actions were, unfortunately, ultimately futile and hardly an argument against gun control in a democracy not under the rule of jackbooted Nazis).

    And I'll counter your Athens, TN with Shay's Rebellion.

    "You've obviously never lived in a rural area where the police take a long time to get anywhere."

    That may be true, but I suspect most people who are looking at Universal Hub live in urban areas where this is not an issue.

    One giant hole in the Anti-Tyranny argument

    Gun nuts love to think they can have an armed rebellion to take by force, what they see as illegitimately elected. You hear it in their rumblings, that they don’t like how the ballots are going, so better to scream liberty and point to a document many of them haven’t read, or bothered to study the thousands of writings, court cases, ect on. It’s their fantasy, but it’s just that.

    Anyways, to get to my point. Their view of their rebellion supposes that Government would play by fair war doctrine as it historically has. If that was the case, you can bet their rebellion would be illegitimate, as the government would still be in the power of the people, and acting in their interests. A replay of Shays rebellion, or the states succeeding would play out much the same as it did in the past. To rebel against the democratically elected ballot, no matter how much you disagree with it, is treason. And you won’t find many sympathizers.

    But if liberty died and a Tyrant came to illegitimately rule America, you really think he’ll have a qualm of tactical nuking the resistance, of torturing you and your family, of wiping out whole ghettos? Sorry, but if it comes to that (it won’t) guns will be the least of our worries and we won’t be fighting for just our liberty, but our survival. Take one look at despots across the world, they have no qualms of doing horrible things to their people to break them. Guns, in the modern era, don’t offer much protection, or ability to overthrow autocratic rule without the support of a superpower. And most resistances have more than just guns.

    a-b-c

    a) We live in 2013 - not 1946 - or earlier. If you haven't noticed, times have changed.

    b) Again - we have to make national rules - most of the illegal guns in Mass right now probably weren't bought in Mass. And keep in mind that almost all of the gun deaths are probably caused by LEGAL guns. Pretty much all the accidents and suicides and a large number of the murders (Newtown and New Mexico to cite 2 recent examples of mass murders with legal guns). If you have cancer and want to shoot yourself (I'd choose another method - but your choice) - you can go get your gun, sign it out for "hunting" and do what you want.

    c)I work in finance. I am fastidious about doing everything I can for my clients and I would absolutely never ever do anything to harm them - I would literally rather have you shoot me first. However, there are all kinds of stupid laws I have to comply with because others have proven to be irresponsible or dishonest (by coincidence I have to send out a mailing today which I guarantee my clients will throw in the trash). Should I be the exception to that rule? How do I/we know you won't go out and shoot up an elementary school tomorrow?

    We are not busybodies - your carelessness or mental stability could have an immediate and lasting impact on me and my family because you insist on having a dangerous weapon at the ready and all we are saying is that there's an additional level of control if you have to ride down to the range and sign it out if you want to go hunting or to another facility (no semi-automatics - they have to be transported). Hey - for now the law (and possibly the Constitution) are on your side. I don't expect that to last - but I may not see the day when this comes to be. In the meantime over a million Americans will probably die needlessly.

    The purpose of steak knives

    The purpose of steak knives is as an eating utensil; steak knives are not made primarily to stab people; the primary purpose of guns is to shoot and kill things.
    Because guns are dangerous gun owners need training. Many attendees at gun shows are limping or missing fingers. The reason is that many have accidentally shot themselves because they have not been schooled in gun safety. The NRA is addressing this problem via its extensive gun training program. Those programs should be mandatory. In them guns owners learn the such basics as not to pull the trigger on the gun if the gun is pointing at their foot or a finger is blocking the barrel. Through repetitive training exercises gun owners learn to aim and then shoot rather than shoot first and aim afterwoods. These things are really basic but surprisingly not well known by gun owners.

    Hmm

    I don't think I've ever seen a bunch of steak knifes just sitting on a table. Butter knives, but not steak knives.

    You usually get one with your order at a good steak house, but the knives are usually dull and of the serrated variety. Not your razor sharp, at home steak knives. And they only come out with your order, safely stowed in the kitchen until they're needed.

    Gun Safety is Required

    Taking and passing a certified gun safety course is REQUIRED in Massachusetts before one can even begin the process of applying for a gun permit. I personally had to take a two day course (roughly 16 hours) of classroom and range instruction followed by a written exam. Additionally, I had to procure two letters of recommendation to submit to my local police department and pass a criminal background check before I was granted a one hour interview with a local police lieutenant.

    After it was determined that I was a sane, upstanding member of society, I was granted a "B" license, which has similar restrictions that are being proposed on national level (eg: only allowed to use a non-large capacity gun). Forget about trying to get an "A" or a concealed permit - those are subject to the whim of your local police chief and almost impossible to earn in my town.

    Those of you who think that you can simply walk into Wal-Mart and walk out with a Bushmaster know nothing about our gun laws, nor have you ever bothered to research them. And as an FYI, any responsible gun owner who took the safety classes seriously knows that you MUST keep your gun locked and unloaded when it's not in your direct control. It's right up there with "don't put your finger on the trigger unless you're ready to shoot".

    NH ME PA VA

    Those of you who think that you can simply walk into Wal-Mart and walk out with a Bushmaster know nothing about our gun laws, nor have you ever bothered to research them.

    And in the states above?

    Most illegal weapons in MA are not traceable back to Massachusetts gun dealers or owners. Meanwhile very few MA firearms are being used to commit crimes in other states because of our laws.

    Personally I think our laws are enough (LTC is probably a little too subjective) and that changing them isn't going to do much. But getting similar, rational legislation nationally is where it will really count.

    Until we can get TN, AL, and VA to be responsible, there's a giant hole in gun laws unless you're Hawaii, where you tightly control access in and out of your state boarders.

    "The prevention of accidents

    "The prevention of accidents by those not authorized to use firearms, as well as the prevention of crimes of violence and suicide by those not authorized to possess firearms, are among the evils that [the state law] is intended to prevent."

    So how would this apply to police officers who leave their weapons behind in bathrooms?

    So locking the house doesn't count?

    Single person in a home, no kids or guests, doors/windows locked at night, and Mass. still wants it locked in a box.

    Thanks Mass., but keep your nose out of my home; I know - and practice - more about gun safety than you think you know about meaningful gun laws.

    I'm all for discussing - and even enacting - gun laws that make sense, but this isn't one of them. Once again, an opportunity for meaningful action is wasted, and your ignorance is showing.

    If lawmakers and the courts want to demonstrate their lack of intellect, they're going about it the right way.

    Self defense is a human right, and it can be practiced sensibly and safely. And sorry, that doesn't mean waiting for meth-head to kill you first. If he pulls a gun on the cop - the only one who you think should be allowed to possess a gun - guess what the cop will do.

    Only difference is the cop arrives in 3 minutes - about 2 minutes and 30 seconds after you're raped, stabbed or dead. Remember Kimberly Cates (RIP) and her 11 year old daughter (stabbed)? Google it.

    risks

    If you think you're more likely to be assaulted in your own home, then something going wrong with your illegally, irrationally, under-secured weapon.. well, get help buddy.

    Paranoia and fear are not rationally being prepared. It's actually the opposite, because it leads to all sorts of irrational decisions and mistakes.

    Period. The numbers are out there.

    I have no problem with responsible gun owners, or self defense. But too much of our gun culture is based on fear, paranoia, or ego. acting on those impulses is not responsible or rational.

    Richard O'Shea.....

    This case wasn't about a single person in a home with no kids or no guests, and most (maybe all?) of these gun crimes don't involve responsible owners.

    My advice? Keep the firearms however you want them. If someone breaks in and steals your gun, lie about it and say your guns were locked/had a trigger lock, etc. The worst that can happen is that someone shoots you with your own gun in your own home. If the gun is locked, a thief will be able to get it open at some point anyway.

    up
    10

    Stevil on stats

    Stevil - your stats are likely skewed by households of uneducated and irresponsible people. If you're going to propose laws as ridiculous as keeping my target/hunting gun completely out of the house (where it's likely to be more accessible by the wrong hands, please propose a way to differentiate between those who are trained and those who are idiots, and apply said laws only to the latter.

    What do crime stats say about young male blacks? A black kid stole my bike when I was in college. Saw him ride away on it. Should I hold that against all blacks? Let's hope not.

    up
    10

    You might be right

    It's a statistical fact that half the population is of below average intelligence, but you can't make laws that apply just to stupid people. If you read the papers even trained law enforcement officials have developed a curious habit of leaving their (loaded I presume) firearms in bathrooms around the Commonwealth. So much for training - but I'm more than willing to accept that law enforcement officials should be armed for their protection and ours, the occasional screwups notwithstanding.

    Don't get me wrong - I like guns, I love shooting them and I at least used to be pretty good at it. But I've just come to the conclusion that over 100,000 casualties a year and 30,000 dead just isn't worth it.

    BTW - above you argue something about defending yourself against a meth head who breaks into your house. Seriously? So you are a competent, responsible gun owner and you're telling me that in the time it takes for said meth head to get from your front door to your bedroom (assuming you hear him/her in the first place), you are going to get your gun from its safe storage place, unlock whatever safety device you have on that firearm, load it and aim it and hit the intruder - probably in the dark and most likely with more than a little bit of adrenaline running through your veins.

    And then we all pray it isn't say a roommate/wife/child/cleaning lady whatever coming in unexpectedly.

    Not a comprehensive list, just a sample

    PALESTINE, TX, 1/16/13: According to The Palestine Herald, the victim, identified as 31-year-old Edgar Torres of Palestine, was treated for a wound to the right side at Palestine Regional Medical Center around 9 PM Wednesday. Investigators learned that the victim was looking at a handgun that he was going to buy in the 400 block of Cherokee Street when he allegedly accidentally shot himself in the side.

    KILLEEN, TX, 1/16/13: Heffernan, Tennyson and a third man were in the living room of Heffernan’s home in the 3500 block of Pebble Drive on Jan. 16 when the shooting occurred. An arrest affidavit stated Heffernan had been cleaning a Taurus revolver when the gun fired and struck Tennyson in the head. Police confiscated the weapon and noted in the affidavit that with the chamber closed, bullets were clearly visible.

    BEALETON, VA, 1/18/13: “The victim and offender were in a bedroom; the victim was lying on a bed, playing with a cell phone as the offender was unloading a 9mm handgun. “The gun fired and struck the victim in the upper right bicep, exiting through the arm, through the bed into the floor.”

    PFLUGERVILLE, TX, 1/18/13: Pflugerville police are investigating a gun range shooting that sent one man to the hospital Friday night. According to police, the man shot himself at Red’s Indoor Range , located at 1908 W Pecan.

    BOONVILLE, MO, 1/19/13: At 3:07 p.m. on Saturday, the Boonville Police Department responded to an accidental shooting in the 1400 block of 11th Street. A 14-year-old female was found with a gunshot wound.

    KINTERBISH, MS, 1/20/13: 44-year-old Bobby Lee Carstarphen, of Lipscomb, Alabama, died as the result as gunshot wound to the upper chest area along County Road 10 in Kinterbish. Newscenter 11 reported the death as a hunting accident.

    ENON, OH, 1/20/13: Deputies said three men were looking at a newly purchased Glock 9 mm. While trying to disassemble it for cleaning, they said the man pulled the trigger and the gun discharged. Brian Rose, 29, of Holiday Valley, was hit in the ankle. They said Rose was alert and talking when medics arrived.

    KANSAS CITY, MO, 1/21/13: A 35-year-old man told Kansas City police four different versions of how he got shot in the leg Monday night before admitting a friend accidentally shot him.

    ROUZERVILLE, PA, 1/22/13: A former police officer and fire chief fatally shot his wife and wounded his stepson Tuesday evening before killing himself in a home east of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania State Police said Wednesday.

    CLEMMONS, NC, 1/22/13: Davidson County Sheriff David Grice has ruled the two deaths of an Arcadia couple as a murder-suicide. Grice said Friday that he believes Timothy "Shane" Benbow shot his wife, Emily Benbow, and then shot himself.

    HOISINGTON, KS, 1/22/13: Sheriff Brian Bellendir says in a news release that the bodies of 35-year-old Justin Heggemeier and 39-year-old Michelle Heggemeier were found Tuesday night at a farm northeast of Hoisington. Bellinder says it appears Justin Heggemeier shot his wife at close range and then killed himself.

    DEMING, NM, 1/22/13: Deming Police responded to a Tuesday morning shooting, but details are scant as the investigation continues. Police Chief Michael Carillo said his department received a 911 call from central dispatch at about 11:30 AM, that an adult woman had been shot at the 2100 block of S. Silver Ave. He did not say if the man was involved in what was reported as an accidental shooting involving an unspecified caliber handgun, but that he was interviewed as part of the department's standard protocol.

    DAWSONVILLE, GA, 1/23/13: A 58-year-old employee was shot in the upper leg this morning when a firearm discharged at Dawsonville Gun and Pawn, on Ga. 53, near Ga. 400. The woman was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, according to emergency personnel. Dawson County Sheriff’s Capt. Ray Goodie said the shooting is being treated as an accident. He said a second employee was holding the gun when it discharged.

    BISHOPVILLE, SC, 1/23/13: Charles Arthur Beasley, 64, who has represented District 6 on county council since 1988 and served as chairman from 1994 until earlier this month, reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries when he was struck in the neck, nose and above his left eye during a quail hunt on his farm in St. Charles, according to Sgt. Rick Stevens of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

    CAMDEN, NJ, 1/24/13: An 11-year-old Camden girl allegedly shot in the face by her father Thursday night could be paralyzed as a result of her injuries. According to police and the prosecutor’s office, the shooting happened shortly after Byaer Johnson went to the home in the 1300 block of Thurman Street at around 9:30 PM to visit his daughter. Once inside, he allegedly pulled out a handgun and placed it on the floor, authorities said. When someone then told Johnson to leave, he allegedly picked up the gun and shot the girl in the face, authorities said. Johnson also tried to shoot another man in the home, but the gun jammed.

    GADSDEN, AL, 1/24/13: A 17-year-old male told police he was at a friend’s house on Shahan Street when the older man asked him to step into a room to talk. The juvenile said the man accused him of breaking into his house and pulled out a pistol and pointed it at his head. They struggled and the gun went off, striking the 27-year-old in the arm.

    SUMMERVILLE, SC, 1/24/13: The subject, a 22-year-old black male, came into the family room while they were playing video games, put his hand in his pocket to retrieve something and pulled out a .22 caliber pistol. The gun went off, shooting the victim in the right shoulder.

    MADISON, WI, 1/24/13: Jennifer Boyce and Bernard Grosso were to have been in court on Friday to officially end their marriage. Instead, their lives ended before they ever got to the courthouse as a result of what Madison police categorized as a domestic-related murder-suicide.

    GROVETOWN, GA, 1/25/13: McRee and his estranged wife, Heather, were arguing at their Grove Landing Circle home about their pending divorce when he pulled a .45-caliber handgun and shot her in the left arm about 3 a.m., said Grovetown De­part­­ment of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens. Zachariah McRee, a soldier, initially told police that the gun accidentally went off, Owens said.

    DES MOINES, IA, 1/25/13: An Iowa gun dealer was hospitalized after he accidentally shot himself in the hand before a gun show Friday afternoon at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The man told police he was trying to dry fire, or fire the gun without a round in it. He said the gun was unloaded when he checked it earlier in the week and he didn’t know who would have loaded it. Police found another loaded gun on the man’s table and unloaded it, according to the report. That's the 7th person accidentally shot at gun shows this month, by the way.

    CHICAGO, IL, 1/25/13: A 63-year-old South Side man who prosecutors said shot his unarmed 50-year-old brother to death with a shotgun after the younger brother had asked him to be quiet Friday is being held without bail.

    CARNEYS POINT, NJ, 1/26/13: A man was flown to Cooper University Hospital from Carneys Point after sustaining a gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to scanner reports. The Salem County prosecutor's office confirmed the shooting was self-inflicted and would not pursue charges or an investigation into the incident.

    MYAKKA CITY, FL, 1/26/13: The fiancé was firing a Taurus Model 1911 .45 when a casing ejected and landed inside her shirt. She tried to keep the hot casing off of her by bending over and trying to swat the casing out, but when she did, she unknowingly pointed the gun down at the victim's leg and accidentally fired another round.

    MIAMI, OK, 1/26/13: Police say the wife pulled the trigger and claims it was an accident. Neighbors say they have witnessed this couple having problems in the past.

    PENN HILLS, PA, 1/26/13: Penn Hills police are still trying to sort out details of a home invasion in which two armed men who burst into a home on Westwood Road ended up being wounded, possibly by friendly fire ... [T]he incident began about 1 a.m. when two men--one armed with a .45-caliber handgun and the other with an assault-type rifle--entered the home at 8616 Westwood. Inside were a dozen people, ranging from a 3-year-old girl to adults. The man armed with a handgun emptied the weapon and reloaded and kept firing but no one from the home was hit. Police believe at one point he accidentally shot himself in the thigh. The other man, armed with the rifle, was firing rounds upstairs although no one was up there, Chief Burton said. He ran from the house and was found by police in a nearby house. He had been wounded in the face. "He was either hit by someone else or was hit by his partner," Chief Burton said, noting the investigation is continuing.

    BATON ROUGE, LA, 1/26/13: A 16-year-old boy turned himself in Sunday to Baton Rouge police detectives in the death Saturday of a 17-year-old Baton Rouge teenager who was shot in the back while the two teens played with a gun, a police spokesman said. It was the fourth shooting death in the area since Dec. 29 that involved teenagers playing or passing around a gun.

    BUTLER, PA, 1/26/13: State police say a western Pennsylvania man and woman are dead in an apparent murder-suicide. Troopers in Butler County went to the Center Township home at about 1:40 a.m. Saturday in response to reports of a shooting.

    Police said they found the body of 45-year-old Sonja Kummer lying on the ground outside the home with apparent gunshot wounds. Troopers entered and found the body of 49-year-old Dean Vaughn Clawson. Police said he had sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said both individuals were pronounced dead at the home.

    Heart disease:

    Heart disease: 597,689
    Cancer: 574,743
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
    Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
    Diabetes: 69,071
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

    6000 people die a day, every day. Quick ban cheeseburgers, you'd save more lives.