Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Day of the Evil Drawstring - Part II

The other day (July 31) I wrote about a reported incident wherein a Marion County Sheriff's Deputy suffered a wound due to a "self-inflicted shooting".

I put the term in quotes, not because I doubt the wound was self-inflicted but because I don't know what else to call it. Accidental, certainly. I use the term "self-inflicted shooting" rather than "accidental" to emphasize that there is no question that no other persons were involved.

This weekend I received a note from Deputy Stephen Cooper, the officer involved, expanding on the description of the incident. I was impressed by the unselfconscious explanation he provided, and I'm a little (well, more than a little) chagrined about referring to the original description as a Rube Goldbergian event. It was, in one sense, but I regret the clear suggestion that the accounting he originally offered was any less than the full unvarnished truth.

This only goes to show that it is far too easy to make judgment when you only hear (or, in this case, read) one side of the story. And I was too ready to make light of the incident, which was unconscionable of me.

The note was in the form of a comment to the original post,

Please use the link to read Deputy Cooper's note. I hope you come away, as I did, with the impression of a long-suffering LEO who has taken so much crap from his brother officers that he can respond to the facetious criticism of a know-nothing blogger with class and humor.

As for you, Deputy Cooper, if you ever find yourself with a free weekend, I hope you'll wander by one of the IPSC matches at Tri-County Gun Club (Sherwood, 3rd Sunday of every month), Chahalem Valley Shooters Club (Dundee, 4th Saturday of every month) or Albany Rifle and Pistol Club (Exit 228 from I-5, south of Albany, 2nd Saturday of every month). Ask anybody there where you can find Jerry the Geek. If you make yourself known to me, I will be grateful for the opportunity to apologize to you in person, in public, and in full sincerity.

Nobody there will bat an eye at your painful tale. We see Accidental Discharges several times a year at IPSC matches. It's just that we always take off our coats and sweatshirts before we holster a gun. It's a luxury which you can't afford.

PS: in the event that you are unable or unwilling to attend, I hope you willsend me an email address where I can, at least, offer you a private apology for ever having doubted you.

Any man who can stand up and say "This is what happened, it doesn't bother me that you're being a dork about it" just naturally deserves to be taken at face value.
UPDATE: 13-JUL-2008
This article contains broken links. For the complete story, see "Day of the Evil Drawstring - Part III".


Steve Cooper said...

Like I said, I would have likely had the same doubts in your shoes and would have likely expressed those doubts. Apology excepted. I myself did not like the way Fox said that the jacket cord was to blame. It did make it sound like I was reaching for an excuse. Channel 2 tried to blame the Glock which was even more stupid. I just might come by an IPSC match in the future. I've thought about getting into that. I've done a few similar competitions and had a lot of fun. But, first I got to be able to walk again which will hopefully be in a few more months. Take care and I hope to meet you sometime.
PS: For anyone curious the round was a 180 grain 40SW SXT Ranger (use to be called the Black Talon). The gun was a Glock 22. The round performed quite well. It has been taking a orthopedic surgeon, a vascular surgeon and a plastic surgeon to repair my leg.

VileBill said...

What class!!

Jerry The Geek said...

VileBill is right. Deputy Cooper and I have exchanged emails, and I continue to be impressed by his ability to handle criticism (whether justified or not) with aplomb and dignity.

I couldn't do that.

I've already extended my aplogies for my 'rush to judgement' via email. With luck, I'll get to meet him someday (probably not until he can walk again) and be able to apologize in person.

In the meantime, I'm trying to talk him into trying IPSC. If anybody is aware of gun safety, he should be.

We may have a lot to learn from him.