A Mess of Accidents No 6. The hits keep on coming.

ND-shot-in-footHere’s a new roundup of new dummies having the same old accidents — some funny, some heartbreaking.

  • Let’s start with funny. A would be trick shooter twirling his service pistol back into the holster. You know what came next: bang. The Chief was not amused by the bullet crease in the car. The other cop watching this display was probably not too thrilled, either.
  • Then there’s this headline: “[M]an pulls gun & accidently shoots himself”. First, someone in the newspaper business can’t spell “accidentally.”  Second, we’re not sure how accidental it really is when a father and stepfather turn the hand-over-the-kids moment into fisticuffs, a pistol-whipping and a gunshot. This is taking the term “custody battle” a hair too literally.

“He either threw a punch or he blocked it,” said Edward Hopkins of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, “Somehow both men became involved in some sort of altercation or scuffle. As they fell to the ground, it’s told to us that the gun discharged. At this point, Mr. Gregg gets up and flees the scene.”

40 year-old David Gregg drove back to his house on Periwinkle Way in Edgewood where paramedics later responded to a call for a shooting victim and discovered him with a 40-caliber bullet in his shoulder.

Mr Gregg is resting comfortably in lodgings provided by Harford County. The kids are OK.

  • Now for the tragedy. A New Year’s Day father-son hunting trip in Virginia ended badly when son shot a deer — that turned out to be dear, as in dear old dad. The father was not wearing blaze orange, and the son made what would have been under other circumstances an admirable 159-yard shot with a muzzleloader. Unfortunately, the shot was fatal.
  • Hunting again. A South Carolina 12-year-old shot dead while hunting with relatives. The shooter his uncle, who’d skipped a mandatory hunter-safety course. That appears to have been a mistake.
  • We’ll forgive you for thinking we’re being redundant here. Texas again. Hunting again. Tripping again. ND again. “two unsupervised boys were hunting in the woods with a .410 shotgun when the incident occurred. Somehow, the 9-year-old boy holding the shotgun fell, and the weapon fired. The other boy, who had been walking in front of him, was shot in the arm.”
  • A man was found alive but mortally wounded in his home in Ravenel, SC, apparently the victim of a gun-cleaning accident. What’s the first thing you do when it’s gun-cleaning time, class?
  • Knuckleheaditude is no respecter of international boundaries. In the Philippines, the annual New Year’s custom of celebratory gunfire produced a dead five-year-old. A knucklehead who was firing his .45 into the sky at the time turned himself in, but he’s the wrong knucklehead… the bullets that killed Stephanie Ella were fired from a .45 but not that .45.
  • While we’re on the international beat: last month in the Badamibagh area of Lahore (Pakistan), one Hameed was — what else? — cleaning his gun. “It went off,” and the bullet struck his wife Robina, who was rushed to the hospital, where, in the tortured syntax of Pakistani journalism, “she was pronounced brought dead.”
  • Along with cleaning, a frequently recurring way to get dead is, yes, playing with a gun. A group of young Phoenix revelers were drinking and posing with a gun when “it went off.” 22-year-old Manuel Ortiz is dead, shot in the head… the person who accidentally fired the gun? His 19-year-old sister.
  • And let’s end on a big-deal tragedy. An man named Rondell Smith lost his 2-year-old son when the boy picked up Dad’s gun from a table. Smith may or may not have been forbidden to have the gun — he had some misdemeanor convictions in his past. Regardless, he’s been charged with involuntary manslaughter.“Going to jail ain’t even enough,” a tearful Smith told the local newspaper, the Myrtle Beach Sun-News. “Whatever’s coming to me is coming to me.”

4 thoughts on “A Mess of Accidents No 6. The hits keep on coming.

  1. GBS

    Although I don’t hunt myself, I’ve got nothing against it. What I don’t understand is why someone would take a kid hunting and then separate from them. It seems that many hunting accidents involving family / friends happen when people get too spread out. Further, it never ceases to amaze that whenever I’m showing a gun to a family member or friend not well acquainted with firearms, the FIRST thing they want to do is pull the trigger.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I blame movies. That’s also where people get the idea that man-portable weaponry has incredible power. The extras that get whacked in movies, always die from projectiles from personal weapons, never from crew-served weapons, artillery, or air. I read the medical stuff and, apart from the fact that the last air attack on us was probably those two An-2s in Laos in 1970, real casualties mount in inverse order.

      In the infantry, one of the biggest roles of your riflemen is keeping your crew-serves (MGs and mortars) from being flanked. But people get the idea that war is some Old West duel with rifles and pistols from watching the tube. (Hmmm… “tube” is obsolete slang, in’t it?)

      Also, the power of these weapons is greatly exaggerated. Arnold or Sly or Brad or whoever fires an Uzi at a cop car and the special effects master blows a charge with 15 gallons of stoichimetric fuel-air mixture, making a fireball the size of Toronto. Or Bruce or Ving or whoever flings a grenade and you get the same fireball, plus a dummy (which may or may not be a human stunt man) sailing 20 feet into the air.

      So people want to feel the power switch. You’re right, before you let a newbie touch a firearm you have to give him a lecture on the safety rules. Which he doesn’t listen to as he looks excitedly at the hardware. I had one guy so excited to finally touch “a real PPK like James Bond’s!” that he pointed it at the nearest chump, said “It’s time to die, Blofeld!” and pulled the trigger. Fortunately that was a collector PPK from a glass case, which I’d just cleared, not the one that’s loaded and carried, and Blofeld — I — lived to hit further heights of villainy. After applying some remedial instruction.

  2. Jota_Ese

    For an early example of the failure to apply the first rule of weapons safety, albeit one that didn’t have bad consequences:

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/01/11/exclusive-loaded-revolutionary-war-era-cannon-found-in-central-park/

    This is great: “it never occurred to anyone that the cannon, which is said to be at least 233 years old, would still pose a threat. The field piece was already more than 90 years old when it was donated to the park, apparently by someone who’d salvaged it from a sunken British frigate in the East River. It was put on display at the park, and capped with concrete. No one even considered the possibility that British sailors had loaded and sealed it before their ship went down.”

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