Category Archives: Safety

Run, Hide, Fight… and You

osu-good-somali-2In the recent Ohio State terrorist incident (you know, the one for which the press is still assiduously trying to unlock the mystery within an enigma of the attacker’s motive), campus public safety officials sent a message to all hands: Active Shooter, Run Hide Fight.

We know now that the “Active Shooter” was an error, an error that, predictably, spawned giddy glee in the gun control camp. The jihadi had a car and a machete, and followed an ISIL attack protocol we’ve seen several times in Europe this year already, but he wasn’t a shooter. However, we think that (1) the campus cops were right to send that message and (2) run, hide, fight, is good advice, and it’s probably better advice for us (licensed or authorized gun carriers) than it is for the usual defenseless collegiate population.

Let’s take those two assertions one at a time.

The Campus Cops were Right to Send, “Active Shooter, Run Hide Fight”

“But Hognose,” we can practically hear you as we write this. “There was no active shooter.” We know now that there was not, and the cops may even have had a hint that there was not. (Or not; next paragraph we’ll explain). But even if they didn’t think there was an active shooter, it was a good call for several reasons.

  1. It helps produce the desired defensive behavior (run, hide, fight);
  2. It’s a lot easier to assume that there is a shooter than to know that there is not;
  3. Historically, jihadi attacks have often involved coordinated attacks, whether it’s bombings or small arms attacks. The first thing to look for when you have one attacker is his confederates! If he hasn’t got any, you’re not as badly off for your false reaction than you would be if you didn’t do anything, and he was one of a cell of ten like we’ve seen in some attacks, or even a pair, a more common thing.
  4. And they might have thought there was an active shooter.

Why would they think that there were more shooters at large? Well, they had, apart from the room-temperature suspect, an innocent person with a gunshot wound. (This was apparently a lost round from the policeman who neutralized the suspect).

Could the campus have done some things better? Sure. But they were right to warn the campus.

“Run, Hide, Fight” is Actually a Good Protocol

A lot of armed self-defenders see themselves rushing across campus to confront an attacker in a scenario like this. We think it’s a bad idea. Better to run if you are in “escaping distance” from the threat, hide if you are invisible and unknown to the threat, and only fight if you must.

Why run? If he can already see you, moving targets are harder to hit than stationary ones. Targets further away are harder to hit than nearby ones. Opening the distance may not bring you to cover, but it does improve your odds, as does giving your assailant a target that is in relative motion, especially laterally.

Why hide? If you can access a hiding place where you are invisible and unknown to the assailant(s), you don’t ever come up in his target array.

Why fight? There’s really one best reason: if you’re cornered and must defend yourself or others’ lives. Don’t go hunting the guy; first, you moving lets him ambush you. Second, if police or a hostage rescue force strike, and you’re on the X with a gun in your hand, guess what prize you just won? Finally, if you must (or get the opportunity to) pop the guy, one of the key questions prosecutors will ask as they review the case is, “Who was the aggressor?” Don’t be that guy. It’s potentially not self-defense if you’re the one attacking.

Mental Rehearsals and “Run, Hide, Fight”

It’s important to form a mental picture of what each of these steps would look like in any place where you could potentially be attacked. We have found the drill of “mental rehearsal” worthwhile. Consider, as you go about your daily business, what would you do if this place turned into the San Berdoo social services office, or the Bataclan venue in Paris. Which way would you run? Where might you hide? Where would be the most effective place to fight?

So, as you can see, the “Run, Hide, Fight” mantra also provides you a handy mnemonic for worst-case-scenario planning and preparation, or for your “mental rehearsal.”

It’s likely that you will never face such a serious incident as the faculty, staff and students of OSU did. If you do not, the time and effort spent on preparation is a sunk cost. But if you do, nothing but time and effort spent now on preparation can avail you anything at all.

Take care out there.

Fire in Tennessee — Narrow Escape

It’s not getting a ton of national media, but there are hundreds of fires in the tinder-dry mountains of Tennessee and western North Carolina. These are two parts of one video, showing the escape of one Michael Luciano, another guy and a dog named Red from fires in Gatlinburg. We think we’ve got them in the right order (warning, NSFW but understandable language). The first one ends with a tree blocking the road, and an attempt to run over with the truck:

We believe this to be the next element of the same escape. Just under three more minutes, more NSFW language, especially when they come to a car whose driver has frozen in the road:

Some thoughts:

  • While the camera exaggerates the bad visibility, you really can’t see anywhere near a fire.
  • That smoke is also full of toxic, invisible gases.
  • No one is coming to rescue you, when you live out in the woods and the mountains.
  • Ask yourself if the terrified driver in the car could have made it over the trees that Michael’s truck cleared.
  • There are several places in the video where one small error would have stranded even an off-road capable 4×4. How many of us have recovery equipment in our vehicles? (We think there’s an avalanche shovel, a relic of climbing days, and a coil of rope in our regular car).
  • How many of the owners of these homes — mostly second homes, cabins — had irreplaceable heirlooms in them?
  • You wonder how many pets got left behind. You can hear the dog Red’s labored breathing in the first video. You don’t want people dying to save dogs and cats (and horses!) but what do you do when, as the Luciano tape notes, you had no warning, and nothing was on the radio or TV until the fire was upon you?
  • Nothing you can do to prepare your property will protect it from a fire like this.
  • Professional firefighters are highly limited in what they can do to fight a fire of this magnitude. At one point, someone in the truck says, “They’re not even trying to put it out.” Of course not. They’re trying to do things that they conceivably can do. Saving these homes and this section of forest is impossible. 
  • Not living in the wildfire beaten zone of the mountain West is a double-edged sword. It means you seldom get fires like this, but it also means that after a couple of years of below-average rainfall, the whole forest is ready to go FOOM and nobody’s been building with a view to fire safety like they do where fires are an annual or biennial event.
  • The cabins are burning where the forest isn’t yet, because the flashover temperature of some part of the cabin was reached. That’s pretty normal — fire is lazy and burns the easy fuels first.
  • The professional forest managers’ preference for letting the growth go completely wild, and let nature manage the fuel, has its consequences. This is how nature manages the buildup of inflammable fuel in the forest.
  • Germany doesn’t have wildfires. If you’ve ever been in a German forest, you understand why. (It doesn’t hurt that the climate is usually temperate and humid with plenty of precipitation, but then, so is Tennessee).
  • While fires like this can be started by electrical storms, or careless campers, most of these fires are thought to have been deliberately started.
  • Once they’re going, though, they’re a Force of Nature. Man stands against Nature at his own peril.

This was an extremely narrow escape. It was made possible by a sturdy truck, a timely (well, maybe not timely, but not too late) decision to go, and the blind luck of an open road. The lives of the people in this vehicle stood on a tripod, of which only two legs were at all in their control. Relying on blind luck (or Divine Providence) often works, but it’s never guaranteed. When wildfires rage in your community, it’s probably a good time to go stay with friends or relatives hundreds or thousands of miles away. The whole world never burns at once.

Gun Safety: Doing it Wrong

ND-shot-in-footThis story goes a long way to explain why Homo sapiens has not evolved into some benign master race. He’s been going in the other direction, as the first two words of the news headline suggests: “Florida Man…”

A Tampa police report says Joaquin Mendez, 23, put on the [allegedly bullet-proof] vest late Saturday and “wondered aloud whether it still worked.”

Police say his cousin, Alexandro Garibaldi, 24, pulled out a gun and responded, “Let’s see.”

Officers found Mendez outside the house with a gunshot wound in his chest. Mendez died at a hospital.

Well, we guess that’s a confirmed “no” on the bullet-proof bit. So it’s just an accident, if an unfortunate one. No one to arrest here, right?

Uh, wrong:

According to the report, Garibaldi initially told officers he found his wounded cousin after hearing a gunshot. However, police say a witness described Garibaldi shooting Mendez.

Police say the vest was found inside the house with a gunshot.

Garibaldi was held Sunday without bond on a manslaughter charge. Hillsborough County jail records didn’t show whether he had an attorney.

Moral of story: lying may work for people who have their name on skyscrapers or who have shadowy foundations full of slush money, incorporated in third-world tax havens like Canuckistan. But it probably isn’t going to work for you. That lie was probably the single element of the crime that catapulted Garibaldi from a negligent homicide rap that he could probably have plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor, and the manslaughter charge he’s wearing right now.

Mama Gump used to say, “Stupid is as stupid does.” No word on who was holding Garibaldi’s and Mendez’s beers, and watching this. 

Cody “Gunfighters” Take a One-Season Hiatus

cody gunfightersOn July 29, a fool participating in one of the Cody Gunfighters’ Old West shows in Cody, Wyoming, fired a cylinder of live cap-and-ball shots, fortunately missing the guys playing the other side of the gunfight, but unfortunately hitting not one but three spectators.

It was not the first incident in the long-running open-air Western entertainment, but the first in a long time. In 1983 Thornton “Todd” Darr was wounded in the hand by a blank at contact range; in 1988 Dave Boehm lost most of the sight of an eye from some blank-launched flying particle. These accidents led to a time-out; the current iteration of the Gunfighters seems to date to 1996.

The July incident is still under investigation, the Cody Enterprise reports.

Malfunctioning blanks weren’t the problem in July, however. The performer who shot the live rounds grabbed the wrong cylinder, one he normally used for target shooting, and it was loaded.

That gun, which has been sent to the state crime lab for testing, was a cap and ball type. Baker said he still has not received results of the testing. The Cody Police Department report of the incident will not be released until Baker has received the crime lab’s report.

Cap and ball revolvers don’t use modern brass cartridges, but instead use black powder loaded through the muzzle with lead round balls ramrodded on top of the charge. There is no commercially manufactured blank round for this type of gun.

While a favorite of many re-enactors, the design of cap and ball revolvers means this type of gun isn’t as easy to check for live ammunition as a brass cartridge revolver. That’s in part because cap and ball revolvers are susceptible to a dangerous condition known as chain firing. Chain firing occurs when sparks from the cylinder intended to be fired ignites black powder residue in an adjoining cylinder. This can cause the second cylinder to fire accidentally.

The writer is trying here, but he’s crossed up the concepts “cylinder,” the thing on the revolver that holds all the chambers, and “chamber,” the hole bored in the cylinder that holds a single individual cartridge or (on muzzle-loading cap-and-ball revolvers) charge. Still, he or she is trying.

To prevent chain firing, many shooters add grease to the cylinder, covering the roundball. This prevents the spark from following the powder train into another cylinder.

Again, read “chamber” for “cylinder” in the line above… and in the line below.

Unfortunately, the grease also makes it difficult to tell with a visual inspection whether there is a roundball in the cylinder. The shooter has to instead push a pin through the  grease to detect the ball beneath.

All this means the iconic cap and ball revolver, with its distinctive profile shaped by the ramrod mounted under the barrel – a gun so prized by many aficionados of classic Old West firearms – will no longer be used in the show.

The popular show will now continue with cartridge firearms only, and with blanks supplied by the show managers only.

Facing new safety guidelines imposed by the City after a July performance went awry, a spokesman for the Cody Gunfighters said the group’s shows won’t resume in 2016.

Richard Muscio, a founding member and past president of Cody Gunfighters, said the group needs more time to be in compliance with the guidelines….

 The Gunfighters do intend to be back in the summer of 2017 with a revised show.

The Cody Gunfighters carry $2 million in liability insurance.

Chiappa Chiappa Bang kBANG!

Here’s a Chiappa Rhino 2000DS revolver that has more or less reverted to kit form, kinetically.

Chiappa kB!

Now, you may have seen this before (about a quarter-million people have looked at the original post on Imgur as of now).

Poster saith (on Reddit):

This is a friend of a friend occurrence. This is what they told me: New gun and factory ammo at the range. They fired approximately 70 rounds when this happened. It blew the pad off his index finger. They just finished reconstructive surgery. I’m assuming it was caused by a squib. I’ll post more when I learn more.

And now the money shot…

We’ve got the missing finger for you, after the jump for the squeamish among ye.

Continue reading

Negligent Discharge: The Shooter’s Story

think safety signThis story was told by a Marine, Private Johnathan T. Markert, while he was in the the Marine brig at Camp Hansen, Japan, for the negligent homicide of a friend. We believe that he has since been released from confinement on completion of his sentence.

You’ve heard the basic safety rules for handling weapons and undoubtedly will hear them again. Maybe you’ve heard them so many times you’re getting tired of them. But it’s vitally important that you understand these rules, accept their value, and, above all, follow them when you’re handling a weapon in any situation. Believe me, I know.

As we will see, his problem was not just a violation of common safety rules, but a complete lapse of self-discipline.

I graduated boot camp and infantry school with ease, and I was eager and motivated to hit the fleet. Being sent to Hawaii was a dream come true. Senior Marines were very encouraging and told me I was going to go places in the Corps. We went on our annual unit deployment program to Okinawa, Japan, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I was assigned to stand post as a sentry at the gates of Camp Hansen, which would involve handling loaded 9 mm pistols. Not a problem for me; I thought, “I’m a machine gunner and a pistol is my secondary weapon. I know this gun inside and out.” Unfortunately, I disregarded basic safety rules and ignored what a 9 mm round can do to a human being.

You wan to guess what comes next? If it were a crime, it would be “clowning with a firearm, First Degree, your honor.” But we’ll let Markert describe it:

On a quiet Sunday evening in June 2003, two Marines and I were scheduled for duty at one of Camp Hansen’s gates. We climbed into the back of a HMMWV to be driven to post. A quarter-mile ride to the gate was all it took for my life to change and a fellow Marine’s life to end.

toe tagA close friend and I pulled out our 9 mm pistols and began to play around with them. We pointed the weapons in all directions, including at each other; put them on “fire; ”and cocked the hammers. We then began a mock tussle, which was all it took for my pistol to fire.

My world stopped moving at that point, and a tragedy began for me, my friend, our families, and many others.  I went into shock and thought it couldn’t be happening, but it was happening right in front of me. I’d shot my friend and fellow Marine in the head.

I froze as he slumped to the floor of the HMMWV. Blood pooled on the floor as I scrambled to give him first aid. By this time other Marines had converged on the HMMWV. Someone said he was dead, but I found he still was breathing.

I thought I could stop the bleeding with my shirt. But as I wrapped the shirt around his head, I felt tissue and other matter near the wound. I feared for my friend’s life and was numb with despair by the time EMT personnel arrived and took him from my arms. They took him to the hospital, where he languished for 8 days before succumbing to the wound I’d inflicted.

And then, as the saying goes, his troubles began.

I was handcuffed and taken to the provost marshal’s office, where the investigation and the longest night of my life began. The investigators asked detailed questions and focused on our horseplay. The process was painstaking and added a helpless feeling of regret to my fear and despair. I couldn’t see—let alone accept—that a moment of foolishness could lead to something so horrible. I was placed under suicide watch after questioning and on legal hold and liberty risk upon my release.

We’d like to add at this point that the M9 is an extremely safe firearm, to the extent that such an oxymoron can ever be true. It has several positive safeties, including a heavy first-round double-action trigger pull; a positive visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator; and a simple operating system that can be taught to a basic operator in a couple of hours. It has been operated safely by literally millions of troops since its 1980s introduction. (And some of us had our hands on M9 precursors in the late 70s).

M9-pistolBut even this idiot-proofed weapon can’t compete with the natural skills of the improvisational idiot. He ignored the passive safeties and defeated the active ones, including the double-action lockwork of the pistol. He never looked at or finger-swept the loaded chamber indicator. He put it in a state of readiness to fire, and then, according to all the survivors, engaged in some kind of tussle. His buddy was just as big an idiot for playing along with him.

This is a relatively rare example of someone being court-martialed for a negligent discharge. It’s understandable in the light of the consequences, and, not to put too fine a point on it, in the light of Markert’s lowly rank at the time (about to get lower, of course). People make excuses for higher ranking officers in similar circumstances, but the services land with both feet on a junior enlisted guy.

This kind of make-an-example-of-him approach is hard on the negligent shooter, but he’s damaged, probably irreparably, at that point, so why not use him to send a message pour encourager les aûtres?

Six months of agony and anguish passed before my court-martial, which was as heart-wrenching as a funeral and as bad as reliving your worst nightmare. Facing more than 20 years in prison and discharge from the Corps was very frightening and difficult. However, nothing was as hard as seeing and hearing what my friend’s mother, father, and sister had been through. I also had to face the effect my trial had on my own mother and brother-in-law, a former Marine who’d accompanied her to Okinawa for support.

I stood up at sentencing and told my friend’s family how sorry I was. Somehow they were able to graciously accept my apology. I believe they understand their son was my close friend and his death was an accident. Even so, I must live each day knowing I killed my friend and a good Marine.

No matter how skilled or comfortable you are with a weapon, the basic safety rules still apply. Remember “Treat, Never, Keep, Keep:”

  • Treat every weapon as if it’s loaded
  • Never point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot
  • Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire
  • Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire

I write this from the brig as a discharged Marine with the belief I can be of some help to anyone who reads or hears my story. This tragedy, with all its pain and suffering, could’ve been avoided if I’d simply followed the above rules. Weapons don’t care if you’re just playing around and have no regard for you, your skill, intentions, or brother Marines. It’s you who must think and act with care and purpose.

What a tragic story. And what a price paid by all concerned — including Markert and his Marine buddy — for two young men’s carelessness.

Sure, he seems to have matured considerably while in prison. But as he observed, his life has taken on a new direction. May he make the best of it.

Safety: “The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did.”

think safety signSometimes, words fail. This range accident is one of those times.

The father who accidentally shot and killed his teenage son at a Florida firing range on Sunday has spoken out, saying that it was his ‘operating error’ that caused his son’s death, not the gun itself.

William Clayton Brumby, 64, was shooting with son Stephen J Brumby, 14 at High Noon Guns in Sarasota when he accidentally fired backwards and fatally wounded his son.

‘The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did,’ Brumby told CNN Monday. ‘Every round in the gun is your responsibility. When it fires you need to stand to account for it. That’s what I’ve spent the last two days doing: accounting for my operating error.’

Read that last paragraph a second time, please. We did.

This is a guy who, in the aftershock of having done absolutely the wrong thing, is now doing absolutely the right thing. In the middle of his ocean of heartbreak.

Mr Brumby told the channel that he had taken his son and two of the youngster’s six siblings – his 24-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister – to the range that day just as he did every other month.

The family has always trained their children to fire weapons from an ‘appropriate age,’ he said.

‘We wanted our kids to be aware of guns,’ he explained. ‘I wanted them to be comfortable around them and understand them.’

But it was at one of these routine visits that disaster struck: A hot shell casing, newly ejected from a gun, bounced back into Brumby’s shirt.

‘Brumby then used his right hand, which was holding the handgun, in an attempt to remove the casing,’ a police statement later said.

‘While doing so, he inadvertently pointed the firearm directly behind him and accidentally fired.’

That’s what the cops said. And Brumby?

‘It was a very freak accident. I made a mistake,’ he said.

‘It doesn’t take but a split second for something to go wrong…”

Boy, isn’t that the truth.

Clayton Brumby also took the time, on the TV, to tell the world what a person his error had cost the state of Texas, the country, and the human race.

But the grieving dad didn’t just talk about his son’s death – he also talked about his life, and his hobbies, which included not just shooting, but also bass fishing, tennis, and playing piano at church.

Stephen was also ‘sweet’ and a hard worker at home, he said, helping out with the family and acting as both caregiver and friend to his youngest sister, who has spina bifida.

His father also hoped that once he finished homeschooling with his mom, Stephen would go on to college like his older brothers – and if he had, Brumby said, he would have gone far.

‘He had a heart that was bigger than he was,’ Clayton Brumby said. ‘He was always thinking outside the box.’

via Florida Father blames his ‘operating error’, not gun, for death of son Stephen Brumby | Daily Mail Online.

Please be careful out there. Like Clayton Brumby says, they’re our bullets and we own every one. Naturally, the Brit reporters at the Daily Mail don’t miss the chance to insult and abuse Brumby, so for once we’ll tell you not to Read The Whole Thing™.  To Hell with a bunch of Piers Morgan wannabees.

So — what’s the take-away from a case like this? We’ve seen guns aimed wild many times because a hot casing went in an open collar. Anyone who’s ever been a range officer has to have seen it. It’s one reason we like turtle and crew necks for the range, and one reason your grouchy old sergeant always wanted your sleeves down on the range, even when it’s hot.

If you’re the shooter, and you get a hot case, force yourself to secure the gun first. Very, very hard to do when you’re being burned, but it’s a life or death thing. If you’re the coach or the next relay, always maintain your focus on the shooter’s gun. If it starts coming towards you, block it,  or redirect it. It is, once again, a life or death thing.

And be conscious that such an accident can happen. That’s probably the biggest single precaution you can take.

Striker-Fired Gun Loose in a Bag = Bad Idea

It wasn't his foot this time.

It wasn’t his foot this time.

Unfortunately for a former member of the Indianapolis Colts, this is one of the cases where Experience gives the examination before the lesson, and since the student has assumed ambient temperature, the retest will not be scheduled.

A former NFL player died Tuesday after accidentally shooting himself in the stomach.

Zurlon Tipton, 26, a former Indianapolis Colts running back, was dropping off his car at a dealership in Roseville, Michigan when he reached into a bag, firing a gun inside.

Tipton was hit in the abdomen and taken to the hospital. He was alert and able to talk during the transport, police said according to the Detroit News.

But officials confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Tipton had died.

Not that unusual. Exsanguination internally; he popped the round into a major vessel or an organ that was heavily vascularized.

Tipton, who had a young daughter, went to get a transmission leak on his vehicle fixed between 9 and 9:30 Tuesday morning, the car dealership’s manager Mark DeMara told the Detroit News.

He was putting his personal belongings inside the bag when the shooting happened, authorities said.

via Zurlon Tipton who played for the Indianapolis Colts, dies after accidentally shooting himself in a car dealership in Michigan | Daily Mail Online.

Holsters, people. Also, one gun in your car and your little ditty bag of personal stuff you don’t trust your car dealer with is plenty.

Tipton has some history with guns, says the Detroit News:

Early Christmas morning Tipton was arrested for firing a gun outside his girlfriend’s home in the Indianapolis area, according to police. The Indianapolis Star reported Tipton was charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon. According to media reports, the prosecutor’s office declined to pursue charges against him.

Tipton told Greenwood police he went to the home after he received threatening texts from his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend stating the woman was going to be harmed. Believing the ex-boyfriend was inside the home, Tipton fired one round from an AR-15 assault weapon, police said.

The Colts put him on waiver last December, although what relation (temporal? Causal? None?) this has with his 2015 gun problem is unknown.

Update

Between writing this and it going live, two young (23-24 years old) knuckleheads in Stoughton, Mass., were playing with several things that ought not to be mixed:

  1. A firearm, to wit a pistol, legally licensed to one of the individuals;
  2. Judgment Juice™, which both of the worthies had consumed in super-therapeutic quantities; and,
  3. Some kind of camera(s) with which they were filming their tomfoolery.

It is our observation that the presence of a camera lowers the IQ of all within range approximately 30%. And the dyscognition produced by ingested ethanol is well known. While private drunkenness is not society’s business, private drunkenness  with firearm escalates the behavior from Mere Stupid, which is the normal operating level for a large part of society, to Felony Stupid.

As you might expect, one drunk pointed the gun at the other drunk, pulling the trigger and expecting a “click.” It gives a new meaning to the term Dead Drunk.

Dead Drunk his ownself is on a mortuary slab, awaiting autopsy, and Dead Drunk’s Buddy is on house arrest with an ankle bracelet, awaiting trial. His license to carry has been revoked and the local cops have divvied up his other guns, if any with one of the two politically connected “bonded warehouses” that scam guns with the help of the police.

Mama Gump used to always say, “Stupid is as stupid does, but not for long if stupid does it with booze and a gun.”

Safety: This is Doing it Wrong

Victim James Baker

Victim James Baker

The first report was dry and brief, but was enough to let anyone know that something had come unglued seriously:

Officials say a man has been fatally shot in an apparent accident during a concealed carry class at a gun shop in Ohio.

The Clermont County sheriff says the unidentified man was shot in the neck around 1 p.m. Saturday and died at the scene. There were about 10 people in the concealed carry class when the shooting occurred at KayJay Gun Shop in Amelia, about 20 miles east of Cincinnati.

According to the gun shop’s website, the class taught basic pistol safety, gave attendees range time and reviewed Ohio’s gun laws.

via Man fatally shot in accident during class at Ohio gun shop.

The first story neither identified the victim, nor explained anything about how this happened. More detail was soon available on Fox 19:

The owner of a gun shop was accidentally shot and killed during a concealed carry class in Amelia, the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office confirms.

Crews responded to the the Kay Jay Gun Shop on Lindale-Mt. Holly Rd. around 1 p.m. on Saturday for reports of a shooting.

Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg said James E. Baker, 64, was shot in the neck after a class participant discharged a handgun while practicing weapon malfunction drills, striking Baker who was sitting in an adjacent room.

Investigators said efforts to resuscitate Baker were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Something went seriously wrong in that class.

If the Four Rules (or however many are in your version) had been followed assiduously, nobody gets shot. A firearm has zero tolerance for inattention to detail.

UPDATE 1

An updated story described neighbors’ and friends’ feelings of loss (warning, autoplay video with loud ad. The mute button is your friend):

Baker’s gun shop offers a long list of training courses to teach people to use guns like rifles and pistols the correct way.

Now, many in this tight-knit community say they are devastated knowing he won’t be here to do that anymore.

“He’s just a great guy, I mean, I can’t believe it happened, it’s hard to believe, just a really good guy,” Fritz said. “I’m going to miss him because he was a good neighbor.”

We also talked with a man who lives just a few houses down from where it happened.

He told us Baker gave him his very first job, calling him a great boss and friend.

Investigators aren’t saying what type of gun was used or if any charges will be filed.

Update 2

(Warning, autoplay video again). The Investigation continues, with more details trickling out.

In a media release, the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office said, “Investigators discovered that a class participant discharged a handgun while practicing weapon malfunction drills, striking Baker who was sitting in an adjacent room. Efforts to resuscitate Baker were unsuccessful and Baker was pronounced at 3:12 p.m.”

Baker regularly conducted gun training sessions.

A friend and fellow Vietnam-era veteran took a session a couple years back and said Baker was careful and experienced.

“When I took the class, nobody had a loaded weapon,” said Dennis Cooper. “I mean, you could bring your own weapon, but it had to be cleared.”

A friend at a nearby gun shop didn’t want to be identified, but said Baker had close law enforcement connections and helped to build area SWAT units.

He seemed stunned at how this went down.

Immediately after it happened, a 911 caller told the dispatcher, “We were doing malfunction misfires and we have plastic bullets and we just, I just, we just double checked the bullets and there was a live round in one of the guns and it went through the wall and shot the owner in the neck.”

Those who knew Baker feel the loss deeply.

A father and his young son placed a potted flower at the property gate Monday.

We’re told Baker was a Marine sniper in Vietnam about 45 years ago and let police in the area use his target range to recertify as they must do each year.

We wonder why they were doing malfunction misfire drills during a basic CCW class.

Hey, Dude, Where’s My Guns?

burglarThat was the question a Sanford, FL detective was asking when he went back to his Ford Explorer after a softball game and found his back window smashed open — and two guns, his cuff key, body armor and badge gone.

D’oh. The smash-and-grab theft was one of two at the park that day, but the other guy didn’t have guns locked in his car (and if he wasn’t a cop, would have gotten in trouble if he had… since the guy who armed a criminal is a cop, he faces no consequences more serious office mockery). Nope, what the thieves got from the other victim was a diaper bag. (So much for our master plan of hiding our guns inside a diaper bag).

After shattering the window, someone grabbed the detective’s department-issued Sig Sauer pistol, his personally-owned Remington 870 shotgun, body armor, a handcuff key, a stun-gun cartridge, radio microphone and his law-enforcement badge. The items have a combined estimated value of more than $3,400, the report states.

The Orlando Sentinel rounds up other local cop theft victims:

Guns are a popular item among thieves who target law-enforcement officials.

Earlier this month, thieves robbed a retired FBI agent of his credentials and gun while he napped inside his car outside a business in Altamonte Springs. And in a 6-month span last year, there were at least three separate incidents of guns disappearing from law enforcement vehicles in Central Florida.

Two the incidents involved Orange County sheriff’s deputies and the other a Winter Park police officer. It’s unclear if any of the weapons stolen in those cases were found.

Don’t worry about it. They’ll turn up in gang murders. Hopefully it’s only the gang members who get murdered, which is just Evolution in Action® (“Evolution in Action®” is a registered trademark of Niven and Pournelle).

While it’s fun making fun of law enforcement, nothing feels like being ripped off, except perhaps being raped. And the biggest reason we have such a high level of theft, apart from living in a low trust society produced by unassimilated immigration, and racial and ethnic identity politics, is that punishment for the thieves is neither swift, nor sure, nor sufficient. We still think malum in se felony sentences should be simplified to 10-20-Life, with no parole, no probation, no plea bargains. A second arrest while on pretrial release should nullify pretrial release rights for life. Get the pathogens out of the bloodstream, and the patient gets healthy.

Then, there’s this little two-liner from the Sentinel:

How often law enforcement vehicles are burglarized isn’t known, as agencies rarely alert the public.

Sanford police released information about the incident on Saturday as a public safety notice, saying a statement that residents “should be aware of the possibility of police impersonation.”

Good on Sanford for doing the right thing in this case, and really, it’s better to get this kind of news out in public with your own spin on it, and look like you give a damn, rather than look like you’re covering up.