Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Thomas Self [Not Shown]

“So-and-so was shot while cleaning his gun.” First of all, it should be “So-and-so shot himself.” Guns don’t accidentally shoot people, especially their owners. Irresponsible gun owners negligently shoot people, especially themselves (you know; when they do). Second, the expression “shot while cleaning his gun” is code for a cop who commits suicide. Investigators have used this expression since armed constabulary began, to protect their slain colleague’s honor and his wife’s pension. My default reaction when I hear someone claim a cleaning-related negligent discharge: it’s a coverup. Like “the dog ate my homework.” In this case, we have a story that somehow manages to combine both human and canine implausibilities . . .

A man cleaning a handgun shot his girlfriend in the knee Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Thomas Self, 20, was in the bedroom of a home at 7209 Periwinkle Court in Sherman Hills when a dog jumped on him, causing the Lorcin .380 pistol to fall to floor and discharge, said Lt. Cinda Moore, spokeswoman for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

The bullet struck 21-year-old Amy Watson in the knee and traveled through her leg, Moore said. She was about 12 feet away at the time. The emergency call came in at 2:12 p.m, and Watson was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital with injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening, Moore said.

tampabay.com’s “dog shoots woman” story is incredibly credible. I’m not buying the cleaning part. While Wayne at the American Firearms School assures me that people do in fact shoot themselves whilst cleaning firearms, I find that very, very hard to believe.

I’d venture that 99.99% of gun owners know it’s a good idea to remove the bullets from a gun prior to cleaning. The understand you have to mess around with the muzzle—out of which the bullet explodes—when cleaning a gun. Even a RI high school drop out gets that connection.

Was Mr. Self cleaning his Lorcin .380 at the time of the discharge? Does anyone clean these things? I don’t want to sound like a gun snob, but a Lorcin is to handguns what gas station coffee is to indigestion (or something like that). The cheaper the gat, the less likely the buyer will respect it enough to clean it.

Then again, the Lorcin is going to malfunction. And cleaning is the first port of call when you’re adrift an ocean of gun troubles.

I dunno. I’m not convinced. As for the connection between Mr. Self’s pouncing dog and the shot that knee-capped his babe, that makes sense. At least somewhat.

I might have mentioned this before, but the Lorcin .380 is a cheap ass gun, a Saturday Night Special that’s neither special nor likely to the weekend. Check out the opening and closing words in the video above. The Lorcin’s Internet rep is notorious—and I don’t mean B.I.G. Clock this from thefiringline.com forum . . .

I think what they were trying to tell you on here is that a Lorcin is actually a gun like papeweight. If you ever challenge someone to a duel, give him the Lorcin. Especially if he is a really dreadful enemy. I think it is made of zinc castings too. Tell someone their gun looks like a Lorcin if you really want to P them off. Get the drift? The guy might get 150 from a sick crack dealer or something but the best way to use it as a weapon is to tie a string to it and spin it over your head. Release so it flies at the adversaries head. Then again it might not do much damage any way you use it. Commonly referred to as a “throwdown” gun. Now for the positives. It is good as a throwdown gun.

What are the odds of an owner of this POS, a pistol that nonetheless topped the sales chart in 1993, discharging his gun via a dog’s paw?

I don’t like to finger mechanical failure as a contributory factor in a negligent discharge without an engineer’s report. But the Lorcin’s safety is part number 380-52. A spare one will run you $4.42 (which includes the retailer’s profit). I would no more rely on a Lorcin’s safety than I would a driving instructor with a crack pipe tucked in his shirt pocket.

But let’s assume Mr. Self’s safety was in working order at the time of the negligent discharge. Was it on?

There’s a logical intersect between the type of gun owner who’d buy a sub-$100 semi and the type of person who’d never use the safety and the type of person who’s likely to hold a loaded gun in their lap with the safety off and the type of person who’d keep a dog that would jump on him (and other people).

Rottweiler or no, chances are there’s a lot more to Mr. Self’s story than meets the eye. As we discussed in yesterday’s post about the Colorado trailer defender, the DA will consider the totality of the situation when deciding whether or not to bring charges against Mr. Self.

For our purposes, any gun owner who shoots someone who wan’t trying to kill them qualifies for an IGOTD award. Mr. Self’s unfortunate encounter with his canine companion also teaches us a new (lesson: keep guns away from children AND pets. And don’t buy a cheap gun. You really don’t want someone else—anyone—to pay for your mistakes.

More on that in a separate post.

comments

  1. avatar Ron says:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4830870_clean-lorcin-pistol.html

    Kinda cute how they remind you to make sure its unloaded first. Who do they write these instructions for? Oh, and then there’s the part about parts popping out unexpectedly.

  2. avatar Tim says:

    I have one of these…im thinking about taking it to a gun turn in for 50 bucks. They are dangerous. The safety…is not a safety. All it does is keep you from pulling back the slider and loading a round…..so if you have a round chambered and pull the trigger it fires anyways. I did this. But luckily i pulled the trigger pointing down range and forgot to take the safety off. It shot anyways and those pieces diapered. now it still shoots but has no safety switch at all. oh and they jam up a lot. So my guess is he pulled the trigger himself thinking the safety would work….lol

  3. avatar Becky Burt says:

    I was raised on rifles and have never really been big on pistols (I prefer to shoot at long distance) but I do have one of these… it doesn’t help me to like pistols. Back when I and my brother were in high school (1995-ish) he started studying to become a police officer in every way he could, and I planned on the Army. Dad ‘okayed’ getting a pistol so we could start learning to use one in our own time at home. All we were looking for was something to pop rounds at the range and learn some basic pistol handling, and since we’ve never been high income, Pop got one of these cheap-but-popular guns. The slide is terribly difficult to remove (and replace) making it a bugger to clean, and it does literally ‘explode’ tiny parts in all directions as soon as the catch gives, regardless of how careful you try to be. I cleaned Berettas and Colts fairly regularly during my time in the Army and remember them being easy as pie; I pulled this thing out earlier this evening to clean (Dad recently gave me his collection) and ended up cussing the walls blue trying to get the damn job done. I found your site looking for a diagram to get all the parts back in right (it’s been over 8 years since I’ve handled a pistol at all and with it ‘exploding’ didn’t have the slightest where shit went). It’s back together and seems functional, but I’m seriously thinking of turning it paperweight or ‘replica’ just so I don’t have to screw with it again! X(

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email