Gun laws and the right to bear arms came up for debate again when a man from Florida made the mistake of shooting a girl who happened to be his neighbor. The ill-fated girl had the unfortunate luck of living adjacent to a makeshift shooting range that the plaintiff had set up. It was interesting to note that the man’s legal team insist that no illegal activity was perpetrated.
The man behind the gun, Harold Lanham, based in Naples, was taken into custody by state deputies who detained him on charges of firing a missile into a place of abode, which led to the wounding of Deborah Ledesma, his 14 year old neighbour.
The story, carried by WFTX – TV, states that Deborah got wind of the gunshots while in their Golden Gate Estates residence on the seventh of February. In response to this, the teen attempted to get her mother out of the way, but in the process suffered injury from glass shrapnel that emanated from the bullet hitting a sliding glass door.
Deborah said, ‘’The pain doesn’t go away’’ referring to the injury she suffered on her lower left ring finger.
Upon investigation, the sheriff’s deputies in the Collier County discovered a 3 – foot embankment made of sand, meant to stop rounds of artillery that were coming from the shooting field that Lanham had created.
It was thus regrettable that the accused happened to shoot at an elevation that cleared the sand barrier, hitting the neighbors’ home in the process. The rather liberal gun laws in Florida essentially make it impossible to control or prohibit these kinds of residential activities.
In supporting this notion, Mike Chionopolous, Lanham’s attorney said, ‘’There’s no doubt this was a tragedy,’’ adding, ‘’But I’m sorry, sometimes accidents happen, and that doesn’t mean somebody’s committed a crime simply because there’s a tragic outcome.’’ In line with this train of thought, Lanham who had originally been indicted for discharging a firearm in public, later saw the charge being downgraded to a second – degree felony of shooting a missile into a dwelling. This was apparently motivated by the fact that Lanham used the gun at his own home.