The cosmos clearly has a sense of humor.
M.D. Harmon was a reporter for Maine’s Portland Press Herald for over 40 years. He was a staunch conservative who wrote extensively on gun rights.
Like other gun “enthusiasts,” Harmon liked to think of himself as a supporter of freedom. He believed himself to be a patriot who was committed to stopping government tyranny when it came to disarming the public. He thought he was a regular Minuteman.
Harmon was dismissive at best when writing about the efforts to reduce gun deaths after the horrible massacre of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was absolutely outraged that the federal government proposed to license and register gun owners. In fact, he wrote:
“So much for “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” It’s one thing to have the government create limited groups of people not entitled to own firearms for good reasons — felons, the insane, children, etc. — and quite another to have the government think it can require that a free people get official permits to exercise their rights!”
M.D. Harmon regularly quoted NRA head Wayne LaPierre, which tells you all you need to know about his obsession with guns. After the Sandy Hook murders, he agreed with ol’ Wayne that the best approach would be to train and arm teachers.
You know. Because the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a kindergarten teacher with a gun.
Harmon was also absolutely against any state or federal law that would require safety training before allowing people to carry a gun. He didn’t worry about a gun accident happening to him or to anyone he knew.
A few days ago, in the festive season between Christmas and New Year’s Day, a teen aged boy and his Dad were visiting their friend M.D. Harmon up there in snowy Maine.
The details are somewhat sketchy, but essentially, here is what happened.
M.D. Harmon handed his 16 year old guest one of his guns. The boy apparently wanted to take a look at it. He was curious.
The Portland Press Herald reported that the gun was a handgun. Mr. Harmon, at the wise old age of 71, thought it was perfectly fine to give a loaded handgun to an untrained teenager.
The Cosmos does, indeed, have a sense of irony and humor.
The gun went off, as guns so often do.
The bullet struck M.D. Harmon and killed him.
The man who loved guns more than common sense was killed in his own home in a gun accident.
Two lives were needlessly destroyed. The old man died for nothing, leaving his family to grieve.
And the curious boy will no doubt spend the rest of his life trying to heal from the trauma of what he did last week.
The video below mistakenly refers to the accident as having taken place in Oregon in stead of Maine, but it does provide some more information about Mr. Harmon.
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.