August 29, 2012
Corn vendor admits to shooting self, fabricating robbery
By: Stephanie Grimes
Police have determined that a corn vendor who claimed to have been robbed and shot Saturday fabricated the story for the sake of saving face, and an Ogden company is offering free firearm training because of the crime.
Dusty Moore, 30, reported the robbery late Saturday morning. He told police a Hispanic male demanded money from him, shot him in the back and fled the scene.
A subsequent police investigation found that Moore had accidentally discharged a single shot from his own handgun into his lower back. He reported the robbery due to embarrassment at accidentally shooting himself.
Moore faces criminal charges including making a false report to the police.
An Ogden company decided to offer a free firearm permit training class after first hearing about the event.
When Phillip Nelsen and his co-workers at Legal Heat heard of Saturday's shooting — and that the alleged shooter was still at large — they were angry.
"It made us mad," Nelsen said. "This is our house — our town. To commit such a brazen robbery, on foot, in the middle of the day and on the busiest street in North Ogden, was cause for alarm."
The team wanted to do something about what was at the time thought to be a crime, so they decided to offer the free class, which will be held Sept. 5 at the North Ogden branch of the Weber County Library.
Nelsen believes that if more people had guns, crime rates in the city would fall.
"The more people who have guns, the more deterrent value there is in a community," Nelsen said. "The more people packing in Ogden, the more people will realize this isn't the place to come."
Nelsen cited research by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz that found that "92 percent of the time, a firearm is used by citizens to stop crime, merely brandishing the gun or firing a warning shot is enough to scare off the attacker."
Research on how gun ownership affects crime is far from conclusive, though. A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a gun control law in Washington, D.C., was linked to a 25-percent decrease in homicides involving firearms and a 23-percent decrease in suicides of the same type.
The study found no similar drops in other types of homicide and suicide.
A 2003 report by the Centers for Disease Control suggested that research on the impact of gun ownership on crime is inconclusive
The report said that through an analysis of 51 published studies about the effectiveness of gun-control laws, there was found "insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness."
Some of the studies found that increased firearms in an area decreased violence; others found the opposite effect.
"It's hard to study whether gun control laws work in this country because we have so few of them," Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Associated Press at the time. "Talking about studying gun control in this country is like talking about studying democracy in Iraq."
Nelsen believes there is value in treating protection as an individual obligation, though, which is why Legal Heat offered the course to begin with. Now that Moore has been found to have shot himself, Nelsen said the course will go on, but the tone will change.
"We want to send a message that North Ogden is not the place to go," he said. "But we're also going to focus on the gun safety elements of the class. it's good for people to learn those principles and avoid situations like the one (Moore) found himself in."