Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another Negligent Discharge

Dropped handgun goes off at grocery

People who were shopping at a bustling Corvallis grocery store on Saturday (December 22, 2007) were lucky to escape injury after a man dropped a loaded handgun from his pocket, causing an accidental firing of the weapon and sending a .22-caliber round into a stack of soda cans.
This article seems timely when compared to my Negligent Discharge - Concealed Carry article posted December 18, 2007.

You may recall that the earlier story involved a CHL (Concealed Handgun Licensee) stuck a pistol into his jacket pocket, only to have it fire when he draped his jacked over the back of his chair when he arrived at his office.

In this case, the Poor Schlemiel was not a CHL, but he did have a pistol carried loose in his pocket. The article does not make it clear whether the pistol ("a small-caliber, derringer-style handgun with a one- or two-bullet capacity") was carried in his trouser pocket or his jacket pocket. My guess is: it was carried in the strong-hand jacket 'slash' pocket, which would make it easier to draw -- and easier for it to fall out.

(Flash-back to Samuel L. Jackson in the movie "The Long Kiss Goodnight":)

Got my car keys in my left-hand jacket pocket [dah duh da-da duh dah!].
Got a pistol in my right[da duh da-da duh ].

To illustrate how easily this could happen; last month I lost an expensive pair of reading glasses which was carried in the weak-hand slash pocket of my jacket. I was on the street, and I didn't notice it falling out.

People who read this article (probably local residents) had some unkind things to say for the non-CHL pistol-packer:

Barefoot wrote on Dec 25, 2007 12:24 PM:
Joe M. has been trying to get a firearm to go off when it was dropped and hasn't "been successful". I guess I was right, it does happen.
When some is careless with a firearm (like here)- maybe it should be clear that he should not allowed to own or carry firearms. "

nonstopjoe wrote on Dec 26, 2007 11:40 AM:

As a lesson for other "would be" careless and stupid people, this person should receive jail time and a substantial fine. "

Barefoot wrote on Dec 26, 2007 12:53 PM:
[T]ake away gun privileges. Forever. Boy shoots his sister on Christmas, parents left gun laying around, same thing.
Sounds pretty harsh? I think so, too, but the comments are not without merit.

Here's what the local LEO, Sgt. Jim Zessin of the Corvallis Police Department, had to say:
(The Poor Schlemiel) was cooperative and the discharge was accidental, Zessin said, but (The Poor Schlemiel) did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He was cited for carrying a concealed weapon and discharge of a weapon, both misdemeanor charges. (The Poor Schlemiel) was released after receiving the citation. A court date has not yet been determined by the Corvallis Municipal Court.
(The Poor Schlemiel) , who was reached by phone on Monday, confirmed that the gun fell out of his pocket and discharged.

“It was a very stupid accident on my part alone,”
(The Poor Schlemiel) said. “I would like to apologize to everyone in the store and to the community. … It was really a freak accident that was unintentional.”
Zessin also had this to say:
“Don’t carry a concealed weapon unless you have a permit. If you carry one, carry it in a proper, secured holster so it doesn’t fall out.”
Yes, that's it.

I think someone should take (The Poor Schlemiel) aside and give him a thorough drubbing for his incompetence. If you don't know how to carry safely, you shouldn't carry at all. Period. End of sentence. I have spoken.

On the other hand, in the face of recent predator shootings at shopping malls, schools and churches, I can't really blame him for wanting to protect himself.

It's only that in his ignorance, his good intentions turned out to be a hazard rather than a source of protection for himself and his fellow shoppers. Add to this the fact that his incompetence reflects poorly on those who ARE competent, trained CHL folks, and he's got everybody mad at him; justifiably so.

Man, I wouldn't like to be him. I thought my Christmas was depressing!

Here's a suggestion: if you think you ought to carry a Concealed Handgun for whatever reason ... get some training. Learn how to carry; learn how to carry concealed; learn how to carry concealed SAFELY; learn how to use your handgun, and learn how not to be a Poor Schlemiel.

I'd be glad to help, but if you can't learn -- don't expect me to sign off on your CHL application.

If this guy met you at the range and asked you to help him qualify for his CHL, what would you do?

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