Local News

Charges won't be filed in Raleigh gun show shooting

Posted January 22, 2013
Updated January 23, 2013

— Wake County's top prosecutor will not file charges in a weekend shooting at a Raleigh gun show that injured three people.

District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Tuesday that he found no violation of law in what authorities said was an accidental shooting at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at North Carolina's state fairgrounds on Saturday.

Investigators said Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, brought a 12-gauge shotgun to the event to sell but that it went off when Wilson removed it from its case at a security checkpoint around 1 p.m.

Three people who were hit by shotgun pellets were treated and released from a local hospital the same day.

The shooting prompted event organizers to close for the rest of the day, but it reopened Sunday without private gun sales.

The Dixie Gun and Knife Show has been held at the fairgrounds for more than 30 years and has had an excellent track record for safety, state fairground police said Saturday.

"If we thought that it was a problem or a hazard or was dangerous, we would not have this show," state fairground Police Chief Joel Keith said.

211 Comments

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  • CaryEngineer Jan 24, 12:14 p.m.

    Yes, I agree that gun deaths would go to zero if guns magically disappeared. But to state that homicide/suicide rate would immediately and permanently drop by the amount currently attributed to firearms today is naive...where there is a will, there is a way.

    Hence my continuation as to what other "ways" you suggest we outlaw. We saw how well the 21st amendment worked...you cannot legislate social behavior.

    Instead, how about we focus on parenting and personal responsibility.

    Should there be more oversight into the sale and ownership of guns?...probably. I would go so far as to state you must have appropriate training, licensing and proof that your have the means to adequately protect a firearm to legally operate/own one (similar to vehicles and CCP).

    Here's my "thought experiment"...Apply the same requirements on becoming a parent...appropriate training and proof of means to care and support for said children. Criminalize having children without meeting these requirements....hmmm

  • junk999 Jan 24, 11:33 a.m.

    "Your conclusion is that if we could (magically) remove every firearm from every person that 10's of thousands of lives will be spared? Sorry, but the data is not there"

    Let's do a little thought experiment, shall we? Imagine that for one day there were zero guns in America. How many gun deaths would there be that day? We know what the rate is at 300,000,000 guns. Do you think the rate goes down if we add more guns to what we have now? What's the ideal number of guns for the fewest number of gun deaths?

    And regarding "past tense" on the engineering thing - retired, is that a problem?

  • junk999 Jan 24, 11:21 a.m.

    "the conclusion is that these restrictions did nothing (statistically) to improve the situation. So more laws will improve the situation because...why?"

    You appear to have a significant reading comprehension problem. The CDC paper allows no such conclusion. It allows no conclusion at all on anything, since it could only say there was insufficient evidence for a conclusion. How is that unclear?

    "Obviously your "presumption" was wrong...no, you cannot "follow a link" to the source papers"

    You can follow the links to the titles and authors of the referenced papers, and with a little effort find the papers. Are you sure you're an engineer?

    "Stop living in fear"

    I actually don't have enough fear to feel that I need a gun to feel safe. You should be giving that advice to gun owners. If we could lessen the fear in our society the feeling of a need for guns for protection would diminish, and everyone would win.

  • junk999 Jan 24, 10:55 a.m.

    "At the very least it puts the lie to the claim of your study that all the evidence clearly points in one direction"

    Uh, no, it does no such thing. The CDC paper was a review of gun laws. The studies I linked looked at gun ownership versus violence. At the very most the CDC paper reaches no conclusion, so how does it "put the lie" to anything, let alone relationships that it didn't even consider? Your statement is utter nonsense.

  • CaryEngineer Jan 24, 10:48 a.m.

    junk999- "past tense" on the engineering thing...yeah we have to be pragmatic.

    Umm...the conclusion is that these restrictions did nothing (statistically) to improve the situation. So more laws will improve the situation because...why? You are advocating to create laws that don't exist...so yes, YOU are trying to push your beliefs on ME.

    Obviously your "presumption" was wrong...no, you cannot "follow a link" to the source papers (very convenient).

    Your conclusion is that if we could (magically) remove every firearm from every person that 10's of thousands of lives will be spared? Sorry, but the data is not there...and I can point to as many legitimate studies as you can.

    Should we remove knives? Should we remove ANFO and it's components from availability? Should we prevent personal ownership of aircraft? Cars? Hammers?

    A firearm is a tool, and like any tool can be misused.

    Stop living in fear, parent your children, hold people responsible and punish those that commit the crime.

  • junkmail5 Jan 24, 10:37 a.m.

    "In summary, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws"

    Is that your idea of a useful conclusion?

    junk999

    At the very least it puts the lie to the claim of your study that all the evidence clearly points in one direction

  • junk999 Jan 24, 10:23 a.m.

    "Can you explain why your original harvard link claims there's no evidence on the other side" - junkmail5

    You would need to ask Mr. Hemenway why he made observation that there's no evidence that more guns equals less crime. You linked a study that you claimed answered all the questions, and I offered links to studies that provide evidence for a different conclusion. It's never the case that one study answers all the questions of a complex topic.

  • junk999 Jan 24, 10:05 a.m.

    CaryEngineer - Yeah, I have a science degree and worked as an engineer. So I'm pretty clear on the difference.

    I did presume you can follow a link to the source publications, and your free to evaluate their data and conclusions. Perhaps you could do your own research and present your findings. Let's hope it would be in your 10% that's not made up.

    "The difference is YOU are trying push your beliefs upon me." Really? So interpretations of the 2nd Amendment leaving out the militia clause and thus "justifying" universal, personal gun ownership, at the cost of 10's of thousands of lives per year, is not pushing your belief on others? The NRA is not pushing it's beliefs on others?

    Here's the summary of the CDC review paper you linked:

    "In summary, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws"

    Is that your idea of a useful conclusion?

  • CaryEngineer Jan 24, 9:24 a.m.

    junk999-Global Warming? Evolution? Wow!

    So do you know the difference between an engineer and a scientist?

    Engineers can't bend reality to fit the data points.

    All your links are are snippets and personal interpretations to publications that are not even presented (let alone the data set the publications are based on). You can choose to believe whatever you wish to...personally I choose not to let someone else do my thinking for me...present the data, I will make my own conclusions.

    You can choose to wear Birkenstocks, Live in a commune, Let the Village raise your children, Not eat anything with DNA...I don't care. The difference is YOU are trying push your beliefs upon me.

    More laws and restrictions are apparently your answer to societies ills (as opposed to personal responsibility and effective parenting).

    Here is an evaluation by the CDC noting the effectiveness of gun laws.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm

    ...Obviously NRA funded because you do not agree.

  • junkmail5 Jan 24, 9:17 a.m.

    CaryEngineer - 90% of statistics might be made up by the NRA, but that's not the way science is done. Published scientific studies are peer reviewed. Data fraud is a huge deal, and will absolutely kill a career. If you think 90% of the data published in Harvard studies is fabricated then we have nothing more to discuss. Clearly the NRA has a huge monetary interest in "proving" that guns do not increase deaths. Why would Harvard have such a bias?- junk999

    Can you explain why your original harvard link claims there's no evidence on the other side.... but my own harvard link explicitly IS evidence showing murder is as low or lower in many western nations with high gun ownership rates than in ones with low rates?

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