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Gun control (or lack thereof) takes on new meaning at Florida shooting range

October 5, 2009 | 11:47 am
Guns don't kill people; people kill people.

That has been a popular refrain among opponents of stricter gun control. Well, it turns out that guns -- all by themselves -- can at least injure people.

In a bizarre incident at a Lakeland, Fla., practice facility on Saturday, a 9-millimeter handgun began shooting on its own while spinning in circles. Three people were injured and one, a 29-year-old tourist visiting the range with a friend, was struck in the shoulder and throat and as of Sunday night remained hospitalized in stable condition.

Bullets started flying moments after Michael Thourot had fired and reloaded the weapon, and set it down for his wife to use.

Sherri Thourot was struck in the back of her right arm and the bullet exited in the biceps area. Her bone was shattered. Michael Thourot was struck in the left hand. Gary Flynn was the unlucky tourist.

Sherri Thourot told the St. Petersburg Times she first noticed that her husband had been hit. "But I couldn't tell how bad," she said. "Then I realized I had been hit. My hand was bent forward and I couldn't move my arm."

The husband and wife were test-firing their new weapon at Saddle Creek Shooting Range.

-- Pete Thomas


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