Stupidity and Firearms Never Mix

Update: 2013-02-20: 11:26: The story, as originally presented, was not accurate. As it turns out, as with most cases, the situation was far from black and white. According to the court ruling [PDF]:

Velure said that when they returned to Kurer’s apartment, Kurer went back into his bedroom and lay on the bed. Velure observed a Taurus Judge multicaliber handgun lying on the box spring area outside the mattress. He observed that the cylinder of the Taurus Judge was loaded with three .410 shotgun rounds and three .454 handgun rounds.

Kurer got out of bed and went into the living room, where he lay down on a short couch. Velure said that he followed, taking with him the Taurus Judge handgun. Velure said that he attempted to talk Kurer into going uptown with him, but Kurer was reluctant to do so.

According to Velure, he then made some comment, something to the effect of that he is going to squeeze the trigger if Kurer did not go with him. In reply to this Kurer had made the statement, something to the effect of, go ahead. Velure had told officers how just prior to the to this particular conversation with Kurer he had opened the cylinder on the Taurus handgun and had dumped what he thought were all six rounds into this hand and then placed all six rounds into his cargo short pants that he had been wearing. He then had utilized his right hand only and had flipped the weapon, causing the cylinder on the weapon to close. He was made the assumption that all of the rounds that had been in the handgun had been removed from the cylinder and had been placed by himself into his own short pockets. Assuming the weapon was empty, he then pointed the handgun at Kurer. At the time he was about one to two feet away from Kurer. With the weapon in his right hand he had engaged the trigger on the firearm. No explosion occurred. Kurer was still lying on the shorter couch at the time and was lying on his back. Velure continued to stand over the top of him more towards the area of his feet and continued to have his right arm extended, having the handgun in his right hand. Some comment had been made about not going uptown, at which time Velure again engaged the trigger on the handgun and this time there was an explosion as the handgun fired a round that had been left in one of his cylinders. Velure did tell officers that he had observed the wound to Kurer’s chest. He saw what he described as being pellet holes and knew that it was a .410 round that had fired, striking Kurer. Velure said he then applied first aid.

Originally the story said that both individuals had been pointing, what they assumed to be, empty guns at one another. As it turns out Velure was the only person with a firearm and had, according to him, assumed it was empty. Velure did mentioned that he and Kurer had pointed empty guns at each other in the past but that information is hearsay and irrelevant to the actual murder as Velure’s own statement indicated that he was the only one in possession of a firearm at the time. In the end this story is a demonstration of the importance of the four rules of firearm safety.

Below is the original post I wrote for historical purposes.

There are four simple rules to follow in regards to firearm safety:

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

If you follow all of these rules you’ll never encounter a negligent discharge and two of these rules must be broken for somebody to get hurt. On the other hand if you violate those rules bad this happens as demonstrated by this article:

Twenty-four-year-old Joshua Kurer was hit in the chest Monday night and later died. Twenty-six-year-old Anthony Velure was charged Wednesday with first-degree reckless homicide in St. Croix (KROY) County. Velure told police he didn’t mean to harm his friend and that he assumed the gun was empty.

You never assume a gun is unloaded, that violates rule one. You never let the muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy so rule two was violated. I would talk about rules three and four being violated but after reading the following I believe the man was sure of his target and may have even kept his finger off of the trigger until his sights were on that intended target:

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says Velure told police he and Kurer had aimed guns at each other and pulled the trigger at least a half dozen times in the past.

There are two lessons to learn from this; firearms are not toys and Darwin will catch up to you eventually. A firearm is a deadly weapon and should be respected as such.

12 thoughts on “Stupidity and Firearms Never Mix”

  1. Shame on you for posting this. The families and friends of both young men have suffered greatly over the loss of Joshua. You condemn a situation and two men you know virtually nothing about, except that one of them made a poor decision that ended the life of the other.

    I understand you love guns, love drawing attention to yourself (why else would you blog in such a careless manner), and think highly of your knowledge level. But honestly, be more considerate of the people involved in these sorts of things.

    1. You condemn a situation and two men you know virtually nothing about, except that one of them made a poor decision that ended the life of the other.

      They aimed lethal weapons at one another on multiple occasions. When somebody does something like that their carelessness should be noted as a lesson to everybody else.

  2. Chris, What you fail to know is that the defendant in this case is making out his victim as the criminal. The defendant shot the victim. The victim is not able to defend himself. The defendant will do and say anything on his own behalf. Remember that there are sick individuals with guns and they have opportunities to commit crimes with guns.

  3. Do you know that the public information in the criminal complaint states that Velure shot Joshua from a few feet above him while Joshua was resting on his couch in his apartment, unarmed. Joshua’s gun was taken from his bedroom by Velure, Velure “thinks” he emptied the rounds from the chamber and then Velure pulled the trigger, not once, but twice. Not only did he pull the trigger once, he said “nothing happened” and so he pulled the trigger again!! And then he said it was an accident. Velure had served two times over in Iraq and he didnt’t know the gun was loaded? There is more to the story than what the two did while they were soldiers together. Soldiers sleep with guns and when someone pulls a gun on a soldier, the soldier is trained to respond in kind. Think about this. Velure killed another soldier with his own gun while he was unarmed on his couch in his living room in his own apt. Those are some of the facts of this homicide case.

    1. You do realize that you’re commenting on a story from almost year ago, right? This story was published in January of 2011 and my post was based entirely on the information I had at hand at the time. If other information has surfaced since that time give me a source so I can make any necessary updates.

    JUNE 27,2011

  5. That doesn’t really help me. The unfortunate fact is that I do this blog for free in my free time. I don’t even run advertisements so I actually lose money running this thing. The server, Internet connection, and electricity required to run the equipment that makes this blog possible aren’t exactly cheap.

    What I’m trying to say is that I can’t invest the time required to contact the St. Croix County Office to pull any public information they have regarding this case. I’ve filed for such information before and it’s time consuming and usually not free (they usually require the request be submitted in written form). Unless this information is publicly available on their website it’s not going to be much use to me.

    Are there any news articles that mention the information you’re stating? Articles would be very useful as they are generally freely available and easily accessible. With such information I can make appropriate updates but I’m not going to invest a great deal of my time or any of my money in a potential wild goose chase just to update a story that was written almost a year ago.

  6. Criminal Complaint available here:

    Josh was in his pajamas, on his couch, with his eyes closed when Velure shot him. Velure pulled the trigger twice after it didn’t go off the first time. The bullet went directly through the middle of Josh’s heart. Velure claims he and Josh pointed guns at each other in the past. This is Velure’s story. Josh is no longer around to tell his side of this “story”. How convenient…

  7. You should do your research before doing what you consider a favor for the internet. You’re worthless. There are plenty of news articles. You’re just an opinionated bigot who hides behind his computer screen and points fingers. Where I come from, we call that a liberal bastard. Just saying.

    1. You’re just an opinionated bigot who hides behind his computer screen and points fingers. Where I come from, we call that a liberal bastard. Just saying.

      Says the guy hiding behind a computer screen using the name Anonymous.

  8. I’m not the February 17th Anonymous, but I was the November 18th Anonymous. I was not hiding, your blog just assigned me the name Anonymous. I am Josh’s father and I “pulled” the public record for you from the St. Croix County Office and posted it online back in November. Using the information provided in the Criminal Complaint, I would appreciate it if you would make appropriate updates to your site. My son would have only pulled a gun on someone in self defense, which is perhaps why Anthony Velure didn’t kill him the first six times Velure pulled a gun on him. Unfortunately, on June 27, 2011, my son was laying on his couch, with his eyes closed and his arms crossed over his eyes, when Velure shot him. He couldn’t pull his gun in self defense because he couldn’t see what was coming, and besides, Velure killed Josh with Josh’s own gun.

    1. My sincere apologies Mr. Kurer, I thought I had updated this pose accordingly. Obviously I failed to do so and will make the necessary updates immediately as to avoid any unnecessary publicity.

      Again, my apologies for not making the appropriate update.

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