MANATEE -- A gunowners group might not be the first place a gunshot victim looks for help, but that's the community that reached out to help 5-year-old Davien Martinez.
Davien was shot in the head July 27, 2013, while lying in bed with his mother. He escaped death but suffered damage to his brain. The drive-by shooting near his home left the then 4-year-old blind in one eye, and his mother, Diane Lopez, said he now has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an impulse disorder, ADHD and anxiety as a result of the shooting.
To help with those issues, Lopez wants to get her son a service dog that she hopes will be therapeutic. But such a dog will cost about $11,000 and Lopez said she can't afford that on her own.
Lopez said she wasn't expecting the Tampa Bay Gun Runners, a guns activist group, to be the ones to reach out and offer help.
"It was very surprising," Lopez said. "But it makes sense. It's a good program that's trying to show not all gun owners are bad."
The Tampa Bay Gun Runners started out as a casual gun club in May 2013, and was co-founded by Thomas Ouelette and Scott Baldwin. It quickly developed into a community and now has 3,000 members throughout the state of Florida, according to Ouelette.
Now, in addition to organizing group trips to gun ranges and having get-togethers, the group works to get involved with charitable causes. In addition to Davien's cause, they also sponsored a boys home during Christmas.
Ouelette said Davien's plight spoke to the group.
"It was a gun crime," Ouelette said. "And we want people to know that not all gun owners are bad or irresponsible."
As of 5:45 Monday, 42 people had made a total of $1,520 in donations in Davien's Go Fund Me account, up from $45 just a day earlier. Some donors, who gave a total of $115, identified themselves as members of the Tampa Bay Gun Runners. Ouelette said they have another $447 they have collected so far.
Ouelette said they will also host a barbecue on Saturday at the Florida Firearms Academy in Tampa where they will try to collect more for Davien. The barbecue was planned a while ago, and the Gun Runners thought it would be a good opportunity to call attention to Davien's need.
"There's a possibility that we'll be doing a raffle for gun accessories at the barbecue," Ouelette said. "Then once we have all the donations we'll give it to Davien, probably sometime after the weekend."
Lopez said she was incredibly grateful when the Gun Runners called her.
"It's been kind of a nightmare," she said. "I reached out to other groups for help, but they all gave me the run around."
Lopez believes her son would be greatly helped by the service dog, and she's hoping having that therapeutic presence would mean fewer medical appointments and medications for Davien.
She said she's looked into every funding option she could and hasn't been able to find any organized funding for kids as young as Davien to get service dogs.
"I was surprised by that," Lopez said. "Most places have age minimums of around 10 years old, because they don't think someone younger can take care of a dog. But it wouldn't be Davien alone, I'm with him almost all the time."
The Tampa Bay Gun Runners have also had one of their members with a veterinary background look around for dog options for Davien, because Lopez said Davien is scared of certain dogs.
"It's hard to describe exactly, but he's always been afraid of scarier looking dogs," Lopez said. "Like a lab would be better than a pit bull."
The $11,000 covers the $3,000 for the dog itself and the $8,000 for the training.
Anyone looking to donate to Davien's cause can go to http://www.gofundme.com/davienservicedog to pledge any amount.
The job of sighting in a new bow sight is about to be much easier, thanks to the UNO iPhone App from Full Flight Technology, maker of the Velocitip system. The app delivers scaled sight marks in a smart phone display after the user provides performance data and a couple of dimensions measured from their peep sight. Bob Donahoe, Full Flight Technology’s CEO said the app is called UNO “because an archer can shoot their bow at one distance to fix a first sight mark or pin position and then enter the data into the app. The UNO app gives the archer pin gaps for the rest of their pins. With the pin gaps being set automatically, the job of sighting in a bow will take less time. It also removes human error from the process,” Donahoe said. By removing human error, pins will be set perfectly every time which should give archers more confidence and better accuracy down range. “Velocitip data is not required when using the app but will deliver the most precise results,” Donahoe added.
TO WATCH: CLICK HERE
To bring the UNO App to market, Donahoe is relying on the crowd funding site, Kickstarter. Kickstarter is used a lot in the tech world to bring new gadgets to market so it is fitting that the UNO iPhone App takes the same path. How Kickstarter works is that you pre-order the product and receive something in addition as a reward for the early support. For the UNO campaign, any backer who pledges $10 or more receives the app and more. For example, you get to test drive the Velocitip System and join Full Flight’s test team for the UNO at certain pledge levels of $100 or less.
The Velocitip electronic field point is also the brain child of Bob Donahoe. The field point is part of the Velocitip System, a bow tuning device currently used by archery’s top field editors and pro shops because it delivers a wealth of great information including arrow drag, time of flight, impact speed and retained energy. So a chance to try it yourself is a great opportunity. You can also back the project for as little as a dollar. Big donors can receive private archery lessons from a pro archer or even go on guided spring or fall turkey hunts.
The goal is to raise $25,000 with the help of Kickstarter. More than $8,000 has already been raised with over 30 days to go before the campaign ends. “Although we plan to start with UNO for the iPhone, I expect that success with the Kickstarter campaign makes a quick follow-on for Android quite likely,” Donahoe said. Whether you want to improve your archery game or keep it at the top, checkout the UNO iPhone app at Full Flight Technology.
You may remember back on May 30th that a loaded gun, a Hi-Point 9MM, was found in a Myrtle Beach, SC Target aisle. toy
The person who initially discovered the handgun was one of Target’s loss prevention . He stated that the weapon was just laying inside a Marvel Superhero Playskool toy box, and was in plain view. He initially thought it was a toy until he inspected it further, and realized that it was indeed real, and “fully loaded.”
The police report said, earlier there was a suspicious black male walking around the toy section several times, and at one point was in the aisle where the gun was found. He appeared “nervous and fidgety.”
The police took possession of the of 9MM ammunition, and booked it into evidence. and eight
When I wrote the original article on this story, I initially reported on the “finger pointing” that was being done by “Moms Demand Action (MDA)” towards “Open Carry (OCT).” MDA began publicly insinuating that OCT may have been behind this sick act. Of course that was ludicrous, not to mention that Open Carry Texas, is actually in Texas! Not 1100 miles away in Myrtle Beach, SC.
As luck would have it though, the Myrtle Beach Police have positively identified their suspect as David Dennis. Dennis is now being sought for unlawfully carrying of a handgun in connection with this incident, as he’s already a convicted felon.
Dennis isn’t even legally able to own a handgun, let alone carry one. According to State Law Enforcement Division records, Dennis was previously charged with an armed robbery in October 2013. The robbery charge was dismissed in March, but he pleaded guilty to assault and battery in the second degree, according to the Horry County Public Index. Dennis was sentenced to four months in prison, but received credit for time served.
This is yet another instance where once again began screaming for more , and as it turns out, the man responsible for this crime is already a convicted criminal, and can’t even have a gun! Funny how the criminals still find ways to stay armed, isn’t it!