Buchanan County candidates meet for deba

There is a story that has hit headlines recently about a Missouri soldier who was killed by another soldier in an accidental shooting over a case of hiccups. Both soldiers Patrick Edward Myers of Spartanburg, S.C., and Isaac Lawrence Young of Ash Grove, Mo., were friends stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. They were both sitting around on a Sunday night watching football, drinking a few beers and just doing the general friend thing. There was also a third unnamed individual in attendance. Once Young started in with a case of the hiccups, Myers produced a gun in an attempt to scare the hiccups out of Young. Unfortunately for Young, Myers ended up shooting Young in the face and killing him. Myers had stated that he thought the gun had rubber bullet rounds in the clip and it was all a total accident. Myers was charged on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, of manslaughter, and Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin set his bond at $1 million. This story actually kind of harkens back to a story from last year, right here in St. Joseph. Officer Jason Strong had shot officer Dan De Kraai in the back and killed him during a training session at an empty St. Joseph school building on Sept. 15, 2011. Apparently De Kraai had asked to be shot in the back so he would know what being struck by a rubber bullet felt like. Strong had simply said that he "did have" a special gun that fired rubber bullet rounds and hadn’t realized he had switched back to his official firearm before the incident took place. In Young’s case, he could have just as easily asked Myers to do something about his inconvenient hiccups, so these both are really about identical cases. If Strong can walk free on the streets today by saying “It was an accident, I thought there were rubber bullets in the gun,” then Myers should also get to walk free for saying the exact same thing. Either that, or Strong should have been charged with manslaughter and have a $1 million bond as well. It seems as though some sort of favoritism is shown towards certain individuals. If that favoritism is shown towards people who hold certain jobs or have money is certainly debatable, but one needs not look farther than these cases to see that there is indeed a problem with the court system. Whatever the case, it seems as though good gun safety practices seem to be a thing of the past.

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