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.”

9 thoughts on “Striker-Fired Gun Loose in a Bag = Bad Idea

  1. archy

    Possibly they could change the name of the team to the Indianapolis Glocks? Unless it was a Croatian XD/XDm, S&W Shield or one of the other hammerless Tupperware holemakers.

    It’d be mildly interesting to know what sort of ammo was involved, since it was eventually fatal but not immediately incapacitating.

  2. S

    May I add a caveat? LOADED striker fired….etc. If there’s naught under the pin to go pop, no prob. If one takes the time to know the machine, and adjust one’s actions accordingly, stupid accidents become nigh impossible. This is a daily thing for me: working out little fail-safe routines as I work with ancient machines. My 250t screw press or the 60t brake press don’t care if my grubby mitt is in its jaws…it’s up to me to make sure. Same with guns…check chamber often, always be aware of what state of readiness is occupied, observe The Four Commandments of Gun Safety. The only thing more shameful than a harmful ND is a FTF when needed.

    Mr Own Goal already displayed prior poor judgement with a firearm, it isn’t that surprising that a second instance relieved the world of him. If folks grew up with guns AND proper instruction, nobody would die needlessly.

  3. Docduracoat

    I did not understand most of what S said
    It sounds like he is advocating ” Israeli carry”
    Empty chamber, you need to rack the slide to bring the gun into action.
    There is no doubt that this is the safest way to carry a concealed (or open carry) firearm.
    It is also slower to draw and requires 2 hands to rack the slide
    1911 types can be carried this way even though they are designed to be safely carried cocked and locked
    I think Israeli carry is the best balance between safety and rapid action.
    Others will argue differently.
    Some will argue that a heavy trigger pull will prevent a negligent discharge.
    Just draw and fire, even with one hand.
    This is the thinking of those who carry revolvers and Glock type guns
    And what about pistols equipped with thumb safeties?
    Or grip safeties? Like the XD series
    There are striker fired guns, like the Smith and Wesson Shield that come both with and without thumb safeties
    Chamber loaded, safety on, now you have to both release the safety and pull the trigger to shoot yourself. Although safeties have been released by accident
    No mention of if the gun was in a holster in the bag
    If not holstered with the trigger covered, then anything can get caught in the trigger guard and set the gun off.
    Even pocket pistols must be carried in a pocket holster!
    The first rule is to always have a gun on you
    The second rule is don’t shoot yourself
    The other rules follow these 2 rules

  4. S

    Sorry, I posted from a phone. Go “israeli” carry if you have to. Go cocked with safety on if you have to. Just know what you’re doing, how it can go wrong, and don’t screw it up.

    The dead guy from WM’s post stowed a striker pistol with chambered round in a bag, and then messed around in the bag with his hands and other stuff. That approach will eventually circumvent every safety device or protocol known to man, whether it be on a gun, a car, a can opener or a trouser zipper.

  5. Bryan Willman

    Why is a non-striker fired gun loose in a bag less of a problem than a striker fired one?
    (I suppose a reliable safety might have avoided this tragedy, but only if left on “safe” and not dislodged by bouncing aroundin the bag….)

  6. staghounds

    The commenters here have years of experience. Have any of you ever experienced a firearm “going off” when it was at rest and no person or other force was acting upon it?

    I mean it was just lying in the desk drawer or safe, static, and then “bang”?

    It just seems like every time I hear of a gun “going off” (including the eight times in my own experience), someone was touching it or touching something that was touching it, or throwing it out the window, or leaving it in a fire.

    Just curious.

  7. K3Cottage

    Me, too.   I read that the spring fatigue for hammer fired guns does not come from the hammer being cocked, but in the process of hammer being cocked.    Once cocked, there is not spring fatigue.

  8. Keith

    As an armed security officer my company issue’s Glock 17’s. Among the reasons I chose to carry my personal Beretta 92FS was the fact no manual safety and no de-cocker. Even so the holster I was provided by my company does not cover the hammer and safety catch. I check visually constantly to make sure nothing has effected either one. When I have the funds I will get a holster that covers the hammer and safety.

    Company SOP is to carry with a round in the chamber. For safety I carry empty chamber till I arrive and empty the chamber before I come home. And the pistol is secured chamber empty while not working.

    Firearm safety should be practiced at all times. If you hand me a pistol the proper way, slide locked back and no magazine in the well. I still treat it as if it’s loaded, off safe and ready to fire.

    1. John Distai

      “…Firearm safety should be practiced at all times. If you hand me a pistol the proper way, slide locked back and no magazine in the well. I still treat it as if it’s loaded, off safe and ready to fire….”

      Speaking of which, this reminded me of the last time I went to the gun shop. Each pistol I looked at, I locked the slide back and set it on the counter. I was looking at 2 or 3 at once. I noticed that as soon as I set it down, the guy behind the counter would close the slide. I didn’t ask about this behavior, but I thought it was curious. I came up with the following hypotheses:

      1. He’s obsessive about the slide being open for “some reason” that doesn’t make sense.
      2. He’s taking precautions that I may “sleight of hand” slip a round into the chamber and shoot myself or someone there.

      It was interesting behavior that I hadn’t seen at a shop previously.

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