Ah, Florida. No matter where you are in the state, you can count on Florida Man™ to show up. You know that guy, he’s the anti-hero you read about in all the terrible headlines that come out of our southeasternmost state. Things like Florida Man Throws an Alligator Into a Wendy’s Drive-Thru Window, or Florida Man Attacks a Dancing Flamingo at Busch Gardens.
Those headlines can be funny, but the news behind them rarely is, when you think about the effects of Florida Man’s drunken, high, racist, or just plain stupid activities. And this time, he really could have hurt someone.
Michael Brinegar of Fountain, Florida, an unincorporated community in the sparsely-populated panhandle of the state, was arrested over the weekend after shooting at his neighbors. The family, including their kids, was taking target practice in a backyard range behind their home when Brinegar began “returning fire” at them.
When police arrived, they found bullet holes in the neighbor’s house and car, and Mr. Brinegar barely able to stand. According to the Bay County Sheriff’s office report:
He slurred his speech, had bloodshot eyes, and fell over in his front yard as deputies attempted to talk with him.”
Inside Brinegar’s home, police found a loaded 9mm pistol with extra ammo and some spent casings next to bottles of liquor and a pipe used to smoke the devil’s lettuce.
Brinegar faces a litany of charges including firing a missile into a dwelling, criminal mischief, use of a firearm under influence of alcohol, and possession of drug paraphernalia, the first of which sounds way more awesome than it actually is.
But let’s back up to that part where I said “backyard range”: They’re legal in Florida, in rural areas like Fountain, where the population density is no greater than one person per acre. So THAT’s kind of crazy. But hey, Florida, amirite? They don’t even consider gunfire loud enough to be subject to noise ordinances.
Anyway, as you can see, there’s absolutely no danger in owning guns, either by creating a gun range in your backyard and making your drunk neighbor think someone’s trying to kill him, or by actually being the drunk neighbor. Just as long as all the guns are legal, nobody will ever get hurt.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons, Bay County Sheriff’s Office