The internet is one of those underappreciated technological wonders. Coupled with smartphones, the entire wealth of human knowledge now fits in the palm of your hand. It has connected, and in many ways divided, us as a people. But for every researcher finding digital versions of centuries-old knowledge, there is an idiot with a camera phone.
We’ve all seen them: the YouTube stars, the Instagram socialites, the Vine “comedians.” The ability to receive worldwide attention often leads to people going to extremes to receive it. One such endeavor ended in tragedy as a young man was shot and killed in a YouTube “prank” gone wrong.
Monalisa Perez was convicted this week of second-degree manslaughter after admitting she shot, and inadvertently killed, her boyfriend in an attempt to be a viral sensation. The couple, who frequently posted prank and stunt videos on YouTube, decided to escalate from their usual antics and involved firearms. Now a man is dead, their children are without a father, and young Monalisa is now a felon. She will be sentenced in February.
The stunt in question, which we remind readers NOT to emulate, involved a 1.5-inch-thick encyclopedia and a .50 caliber Desert Eagle. Perez held the pistol while her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III, held the book to his chest. The stunt was apparently his idea, and he had shown Perez other books he had shot where the bullet did not penetrate.
Things did not go according to plan. Pedro held the book to his chest, Monalisa fired the pistol, and 30 onlookers (their three-year-old child being one of them) watched the young man die. He was pronounced dead at the scene when first responders arrived.
The Importance of Gun Safety and Education
Incidents like this occur because people do not respect firearms and their danger they represent when misused. Ignorance is not bliss and, in many cases, is a death sentence. Let us be clear. Liberty Nation loves guns. Many of our writers, myself included, own quite a few and you can have them when you pry them from our cold, dead, hands. But a love and firearms and the Second Amendment carry with it the responsibility of knowledge. So, to remind everyone at home, here are the Four Primary Gun Safety Rules:
- Treat EVERY gun as if it is loaded.
- NEVER point the gun at anything you do not intend to destroy.
- Keep your finger OFF the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.
- Know your target and know what’s behind it.
Shooting books (preferably those with no value like Hillary Clinton’s sensational pity party “What Happened”) can be fun if done safely. Standing directly behind the book is not safe. It is stupid, and it is deadly. Remember the fundamentals of gun safety. Teach them to your children, teach your children to respect firearms, and please teach them not to seek validation from strangers on the internet.