Jan Morgan: I Am Not An Irresponsible Gun Owner

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“I am writing in response to the post naming me irresponsible gun owner of the day.  I feel your assessment of the situation is unfair in that you do not know all the circumstances surrounding this episode of the show. What you are unaware of is :

1) I had personally checked the gun 30 minutes before the taping of the show.

2) I disassembled the gun in that same time period to teach one of the other ladies on the set how to clean  a glock.

3) From the time I cleaned the gun until the moment the show tape began rolling, that gun never left my hand.

4) All people on the set knew the chamber was empty, the magazine was empty and that it had remained in my possession ..

5) Because the studio was full of camera and production crew which surrounded our set, 18 people total, there was absolutely no direction that gun could have been pointed at all times (other than the floor) that it would not have been aimed in someones direction

6) The purpose behind this show was to get people interested in the 2nd Amendment and to alleviate fear of guns.. Had I handled it pointed at the floor at all times during the show, knowing it was unloaded, I would have, myself, looked as if I was afraid and ill at ease with a firearm.

Finally, I have difficulty understanding why you shoot down people who are on the same side as you are regarding 2nd Amendment issues and pro gun.. All gun owners who are perfect, please step forward…  Would that be you?”

Sincerely,
Jan Morgan

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

75 Responses to Jan Morgan: I Am Not An Irresponsible Gun Owner

  1. avatarBLAMMO says:

    … no direction that gun could have been pointed at all times (other than the floor) …

    Then you aim it down to the floor. If there’s no such thing as a safe direction, you keep the gun aimed in the safest direction.

    I’m not buying a single excuse because there is never an excuse nor a reason to handle a gun improperly. That’s not to say I don’t do it occasionally myself, but when I do, I’m wrong and I admit it.

    • avatarEvan says:

      You can keep the thing pointed at the floor all day without looking afraid of it. Just don’t dangle it between your thumb and index finger as if it’s a piece of nasty refuse.

  2. avatarjkp says:

    “Finally, I have difficulty understanding why you shoot down people who are on the same side as you are regarding 2nd Amendment issues and pro gun.. All gun owners who are perfect, please step forward…”

    Sir Isaac Newton answered this one best:

    “Plato is my friend—Aristotle is my friend— but my greatest friend is truth.”

  3. avatartdubb says:

    Jan,
    Those in the media must be held to a higher standard. You are representing gun owners and you broke several safety rules. You seem to be complacent in your firearm handling. Instead of trying to defend your lack of safety you should re-evaluate your firearms handling.

  4. avatarScuba Steve says:

    The one excuse or explanation that she forgot to discuss is where the ammo for that weapon was located. Was it locked in her car off site or was it in the bag or same area as the gun? Did she maintain physical control of the weapon at all times, as in it was either locked up with her only having the key or strapped to her hip at all times?

    People get so immediately defensive these days. It appears that her precious little feelings were hurt, and that goes along with any Princess attitude she might have.

    IGOTD could be applied to any gun owner at anytime the circumstances warrant it. In this case, it was Ms. Morgan.

  5. Jan made a poor showing by not adhering to strictly to the 4 Rules. Then she made another poor showing with that complaining message.

  6. avatarBill C. says:

    It seems to me that if you are planning to do a demo, bring a demo gun such as an airsoft.

  7. avatarJake W says:

    clear it on camera..problem solved.

    • avatarflyboy says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Clear it on camera so the viewers may see the proper way to handle a firearm safely.

      • avatarEvan says:

        I don’t want someone who just cleared a gun right front of me to go pointing it at me and maybe pulling the trigger. Even if I confirmed it as empty, it’s not good practice and, more importantly, it’s not respectful to point guns, loaded or not at people you don’t intend to hurt/destroy.

        • avatarJason says:

          Exactly.

          In general, if you find yourself uttering the words, “But it was unloaded!” it means you’ve just done something you know you wouldn’t do with a loaded gun. But guns are always loaded. At least, that’s the way you treat them. That’s Rule #1. So that excuse is semantically equivalent to “I broke the first rule of firearm safety.”

        • Good one, I love the way you said that.

    • avatarFyrewerx says:

      She cleared it (minus pulling the trigger) at approx. the 3 min 20 sec mark. I agree that pulling the trigger at that point probably would not be a good idea.

  8. avatarSteve says:

    Is there an award for Complaining about being Called-out for Doing a Stupid Thing?

    I understand her thoughts which are valid to a point… but people need to realize that every person that ever had an accidental discharge – every person that ever accidentally shot themselves, or someone else – thought they were doing it all right up until the instant things went bad.

    As Bill C said, go get a trainer gun for your demonstration.

  9. avatarNate says:

    While what she was doing wasn’t “safe”, all I see here is destructive criticism. I appreciate safe gun handling as much as the next person, but the comments here are not very helpful to Jan. She made a mistake, no one died, no one was injured.

    We, responsible (and safe) gun owners, should educate, not criminate our fellow enthusiasts.

    My response to Jan is:
    You could have made your message heard while maintaining and abiding by the 4 accepted Firearms Safety rules. All this criticism and safety-nazi commentary could have been avoided by using a Blade-Tech training barrel or a blue gun at any point where you would be point the gun in a less safe direction.

    Edit: Some comments were made during my typing of this message and my comment was not aimed at those people who are more forgiving of the error.

  10. avatarHAVE GUN says:

    If I was fanatical about safety as some here, I would never dry fire my gun as I don’t want to puts holes in the walls/floor/ceiling of my house. I don’t see much benefit going outside since even shooting in the ground is illegal in city limits (that is assuming I find benefit dry firing in the ground.)

    Pretty much precludes checking out a gun in the gun store if it is busy. Last time I bought a gun I bet ya at least one person was on in the unsafe direction of my new purchase.

  11. avatarPaul says:

    She needs to get the training, she claims to have. I don’t mind a chick with a gun, in fact I have seen gals that are far safer than guys. But she is a true poster child of what not to do at all times. As a former instructor, NRA certified, State of Vermont certified Range Officer, Firearms Instructor, Hunting Safety Instructor. If she had handled that Glock in my course the way she did in this film, remedial training would have occured, MOST RICKY-TICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Wow, these comments are a little harsh. I wonder how many people keep their firearms pointed down at the floor when disarming at the end of the day. Or, what about those that live in a two story house, what direction is the firearm pointed at then?

    Jan, I suggest next time use a chamber safety flag.

  13. avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

    I suspect a much more forgiving attitude would prevail if the smoking hot blonde on the right had committed the same mis-handling offenses.

    • avatarbrigo05 says:

      that smoking hot blonde couldve had a smoking hot hole in her too from the way I remember the gun being pointed at her. I think I remember the smoking hot blonde not liking it being pointed at her either, empty or not.
      Cant blame the smoking hot blonde for not liking it.

  14. avatarTim Harmsen says:

    What I have a hard time stomaching are her excuses for the irresponsible gun handling. If there wasn’t a safe way to handle the firearm with everyone on the set — don’t have the handgun on the set.

    I cringed when I heard her describe the Glock 40 in the same manner the infamous DEA agent did just prior to shooting himself in front of a classroom of students. She then went on to wave the Glock around as if it were a toy.

    If the goal of the show is to get people interested in the 2nd Amendment and shooting, the first step would be to show responsible and safe gun handling.

    Jan, please stop making excuses and do the community a favor by practicing safe gun handling when you’re giving public demonstrations. When in the privacy of your own home you can as you like. But when speaking in public as a representative of our community I would appreciate it if you were a bit more tactful.

  15. avatarJason says:

    I nominate her for another Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day for her refusal to take responsibility and admit her previous violations of the safety rules.

    Is there double jeopardy for IGOD?

    Jason

  16. avatarDon says:

    When you think about it, when filming an action movie, there are people violating our everyday gun rules all of the time, however they have correspondingly rigorous extra protocols, procedures, and self-regulation to make it safe and to make everyone know they are individually safe…

    However that is clearly not what happened here. It appears there was no designated prop master, redundancy checks, special markings, etc, and most importantly the others on the set weren’t aware of what was happening.

    She screwed up, her excuses are weak.

    -D

    P.S. Here are some examples of guidelines in various places. Keep in mind this has nothing to do with 2A rights, this is simply what people working with guns on set as props have converged on to keep everyone comfortable and perfectly safe while using real weapons and blank firing weapons as props on set:

    http://www.moviegunservices.com/mgs_safety.htm

    http://www.moviegunservices.com/mgs_fsm.htm

    http://www.moviegunservices.com/mgs_actors-guide.htm

    http://www.moviegunservices.com/mgs_proplaws.html

    http://www.met.police.uk/filmunit/documents/hse20_weapons%20_firearms.pdf

  17. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Finally, I have difficulty understanding why you shoot down people who are on the same side as you are regarding 2nd Amendment issues and pro gun.. All gun owners who are perfect, please step forward… Would that be you?”

    The self-righteous “perfect” comment and attitude needs to go. All of us should be helping/reminding all of us, all of the time. Everyone gets their feelings a little tweaked when they’re corrected. That sting helps to reinforce the lesson.

  18. avatarRalph says:

    FLAME DELETED

    • avatarVan says:

      Really?

    • avatarTim Harmsen says:

      …and when the DEA agent told a classroom full of children he was the only one he knew of in the room qualified to handle the Glock 40 just prior to shooting himself in the leg, how do you view that?

      When someone holds themselves up as a spokesperson for our community and as an advocate of responsible gun ownership, they should go out of their way to make sure they lead by example. Her words rang hollow as I watched her recklessly wave a real firearm around on camera. What’s even more distasteful is that the host of the show commented about her pointing the weapon at her and the Jan dismissed her concern by saying “it’s unloaded”.

      That’s what I deem to be “insane”.

  19. avatarHulley says:

    What I find humorous is all the people giving Jan “advice” right here on TTAG. How about you guys get off your soap box and send her an email instead.

  20. avatarJohn says:

    1) Use a Demo Gun.
    2) It’s a Magazine. Not a CLIP!
    3) Shakes Head……
    4) ……

    Ok. Calm Down.

    She could of handled that a bit better. Perhaps used a holster or a demo. She could have demonstrated proper clearing technique as part of her story. I cringed when she said clip, but upon edit, some people just say it out of habit.

  21. avatarLLArms says:

    Bill you are spot on.

    I have a feeling if we could put a video camera on every poster here, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week, that 100% would fail to perfectly execute gun safety.

    Its called reasonable precautions. Shoulder holsters are a perfect example. The holster in itself (the horizontal kind) basically violate firearms rules the moment you put it on. However they are accepted because every reasonable precaution is in place. In this case, there is no finger on the trigger.

    Standard holsters do as well to a point. “Hey there guy, when you sat down your muzzle was pointed at your foot – you are a horrible gun owner!”

    So I’m calling it – every last one of you – every gun owner for that fact does not follow the rules 100%.

    I’ll dare to say its impossible unless you treat it like nuclear plutonium.

    • avatarmmasse says:

      You are probably right, I have caught myself sweeping the muzzle and made on the spot corrections. The difference is they are public figures who promote second amendment rights and to a greater extent gun safety. The key difference is that she choose that spotlight and then clearly mishandled her firearm. Did she apologize to her co-host for sweeping her?

      Regardless of who is 100% safe or not, if you put a show on about weapons (and get paid for it) you had better know the rules and follow them religiously otherwise you are begging for viewer blow-black.

      • avatarLLArms says:

        Cept’ commenters to the TTAG articles here will say the same thing regardless of this instance being a show.

        The problem is not giving negative feedback to or about someone violating the rules.

        The problem is when the user base tries to do this while passing off that they themselves are perfect and go straight for the jugular on the person they are providing feedback on (well if you can call it feedback, in most cases its just random vulgar outbursts because they have a monitor as a buffer).

        Gun instructors, navy seals, you name it – stick a video on them 24/7 and I promise you will see a rule violated in a technical sense.

        Technical and Reality are two different things. If I muzzle my thigh I have technically violated a rule.

        If I muzzle my thigh with an empty pistol I know is empty, I violated a rule still, but I did so with no danger to my thigh.

        This doesn’t mean someone is complacent and on the verge of a ND. Some people have, you know – brains – and handle a weapon extra careful like when its hot with ammo or instructing someone new.

        This concept is just lost on most armchair commandos because they are perfect and won’t admit they probably violate the rules a lot in a single year.

        Take user Jason; he basically said if he saw someone violating (keep in mind no gun pointed at someone) a rule at his range he would draw down on them. I mean really? How much more e-gun ho can you get to claim you are going to aim your weapon at someone who is not aiming a weapon at anyone else. Quick way to get dead when someone responds accordingly.

    • avatarPistolero says:

      First, I have never accepted horizontal shoulder holsters; in fact, I am offended whenever someone walks up to me wearing one; and, on occasion, I’ve voiced this objection.

      Second, the same logic as described above could be used to complain about C-1 pistol carry, too. Nothing is 100% safe; that’s, ‘Why’ our personal safety habits and attention to shrewd firearms handling must always be as, ‘ramped up’ and attentive-to-detail as possible.

      GOOD SAFE GUN-HANDLING HABITS TAKE PLACE ON A SUBCONSCIOUS RATHER THAN A CONSCIOUS LEVEL OF PERSONAL AWARENESS.

      For years, now, I’ve said that if somebody has to actively think about how to safely handle a firearm then his personal gun-handling habits are not what they should be. The operative word is, ‘habits’!

  22. avatarLT says:

    C’mon, guys.

    1) She’s a woman – that pretty much begins and ends things right there. They need different standards applied, dontcha know?

    2) Gun safety is overblown. Is it good practice? Absolutely. However, there are LOTS and LOTS of unsafe things folks do every day – whether it’s “X-treme sports,” coitus bareback, keeping cash on you, using a weak password, whatever – and it’s always an individual choice of risk vs reward. Moreover, if “all guns are always loaded, always, ferreals” then even doing a full field strip on a part of the world that had never so much as heard of guns/ammo wouldn’t be enough to be safe. As with every other safety precaution I know of, folks will take reasonable shortcuts here and there – particularly when they’ve already followed the steps a few minutes prior and proven to themselves and the important others there that there is no risk.

    That said, this gal technically does deserve the award, though I’m sure somebody that day violated the law far, FAR more badly than she did.

  23. avatarFrank says:

    1) I do like the idea of more women “packing”, and promoting our second amendment rights.
    2) Not to be to harsh, however, I have always been taught that all firearms are always loaded until or unless it is broken down, and never point it at anyone you don’t want to kill. However for this segment I understand the need for having a firearm on set.
    3) To Lt’s point, gun safety is never overblown, and she is just a women is a crock. Everyone of us need to show good firearm safety and knowledge. Nothing personal LT.

  24. avatarRalph says:

    She cleared the gun, but that’s not enough for some of you. Why? Did you duck when you saw the muzzle? I bet you did. C’mon, admit it. Does she have to clear the gun on camera, like it was some kind of training film? Absurd.

    She did more in two minutes to demystify and destigmatize guns that any claque of sanctimonious hypocrites will do in ten lifetimes, but that’s not enough for some of you.

    When she says “I have difficulty understanding why you shoot down people who are on the same side as you are regarding 2nd Amendment issues,” she speaks for me, too.

  25. avatarJericho941 says:

    This place oughtta be called The Pedantry About Guns.

    Oh, and for her last comment:

    “Finally, I have difficulty understanding why you shoot down people who are on the same side as you are regarding 2nd Amendment issues and pro gun.. All gun owners who are perfect, please step forward… Would that be you?”

    This is what has always bothered me about Irresponsible Gun Owner entries. We’ve got an entire sensationalist media system that delights in portraying gun owners as irresponsible, ignorant, racist, bigoted, paranoid, and/or psychopathic jackasses. What do we gain from Irresponsible Gun Owner posts? Aside from massaging our own Perfectly Responsible Gun Owner egos as we summon up our indignation and derision. Oh, and lame (this +number!!!1) comments.

    It really is a jerkwad thing to do, especially when you play armchair general for how a mother handled the media after a self-defense shooting. Not to mention, despite all claims to the contrary, it still looks like rather blatant piggybacking on popular figures for hits, like FPSRussia.

    • avatarDaniel says:

      I agree that FPSRussia is getting too much attention. We get it; he’s irresponsible. We don’t need to be told over and over, and it’s easy to see that this site is riding his coat tails to generate pageviews, which I’m not impressed with.

      That being said, the IGOTDs appear to be mostly demonstrative in nature, to remind readers of the consequences of irresponsible firearm handling. For me it doesn’t have anything to do with ‘massaging my ego.’ For me, it is ‘THIS COULD BE YOU.’ Keeps me alert and on my toes about how I conduct myself around my heater.

  26. avatarDaniel says:

    I’m not perfect. But I NEVER muzzle anyone else. I am always cognizant of the direction in which it’s pointed.

    Additionally, yes, you knew the gun was unloaded. That is a fine defense to use until the day when the gun actually is loaded, regardless of what you think, and you end up killing someone.

    Go on. Live in denial. That just further demonstrates how fit you are for your IGOTD award.

  27. avatarDogman says:

    I’ll agree with Jan on this one. I’m kinda tired of the self-righteous attitude toward firearms safety.

    Guns and automobiles and electricity and horses and propane and butt-load of other stuff are dangerous. Okay. We get the point. May as well curl up and die and get it over with.

    At this point, every individual on earth who has ever touched a firearm is now worthy of the label of “irresponsible”. Enough already.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Dogman: You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but with the possible exception of electricity, nothing else you listed can kill or maim with a single errant finger, nor can the potential dangers of anything else on that list be mostly negated by the astonishingly simple practice of “don’t point it at me.”

  28. avatarRKBA says:

    Interesting.

    I was just at a huge gun show this weekend, and must have had dozens if not hundreds of weapons pointed right at me every single minute I was there, which would have been about 150 minutes total.

    Did I flinch? Did I duck? Did I take evasive action? Did I lecture every single person present about gun safety rules?

    No. No. No. Oh hell no!

    The same people who would lecture Jan about gun safety and irresponsibly failing to follow basic rules 100% of the time are probably the same people who suggest all firearms kept in the home should be A) unloaded, B) stored separately from ammunition, C) always kept in a locked safe, and/or D) stored disassembled and/or with trigger locks installed.

    I would not be one of those people. I would be the exact opposite of one of those people, actually.

    I would like to extend my appreciation to Jan, and suggest those who were bothered by her behavior maybe shouldn’t own any firearms, as you may be a little too squeamish for that responsibility.

  29. avatarPistolero says:

    I feel as if I owe some of you an apology; but, sorry though I may be, the woman handled that pistol very very incorrectly. While Ms. Morgan might have my sympathy, she does NOT have my approval for the naive way in which she handled that G-21. I am a firearms safety instructor. I think a very good one, too. (Haven’t lost a student, yet!) ;) If I had been advising Ms. Morgan on that TV commentary I would have turned her gun-handling behavior around 180 degrees.

    Cooper’s second rule of firearm safety is, ‘NEVER ALLOW THE MUZZLE TO POINT AT ANYTHING YOU ARE UNWILLING TO SEE DESTROYED’ Period! Not just most of the time, not just some of the time, but, all of the time.

    Cooper’s first rule of firearm safety is, ‘THE GUN IS ALWAYS LOADED.’ Period! Proper gun handling demands this attitude to be, both, rigid and inflexible. Hear me well: If you don’t scrupulously follow this advice, and either work on, or clean guns often then, sooner or later, you will find yourself in a prime position to screw up when there is a live round loaded in the chamber. Jeff Cooper included the word, ‘ALWAYS’ in the above statement because that is exactly what he meant – Always.

    Don’t ever delude yourself into believing that nobody’s perfect; and everybody breaks the rules, at least, once in awhile. (I think that’s, probably, true; but it’s, also, indicative of entirely the wrong gun safety attitude.) In spite of her strenuous protests, and most gun people’s sympathy, Jan Morgan screwed up; and, worse, she screwed up on camera. How should that conversation have been conducted?

    That commentary should have been conducted in the same way that experienced pistoleros would have carried it out. LOSE THE CHAIRS; STAND UP; AND PLACE THE PISTOL IN, ‘POSITION SUL’. Keep your finger off the trigger and maintain the position throughout the discussion. If, for any reason, you can’t do that then holster the weapon.

    http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/6333/positionsul.jpg

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-carry-tactical-training/61344-position-sul.html

    Sorry, guys, but Ms. Morgan did things wrong; and it doesn’t help anyone’s case not to admit it. Sympathy is one thing. Gun safety is another. Bullets always have, ‘the right of way’ and can be very unforgiving.

    • avatarRKBA says:

      So…… None of you have EVER been to a Gun Show?

      • avatarPistolero says:

        Gun show? Do you mean, ‘stupid city’! Members of the general gun-buying public, AND far too many gun dealers accidentally shoot each other, and themselves, all of the time.

  30. avatarpistole says:

    Jan keeps digging herself deeper with this lame explanation. First, Jan, it doesn’t matter that you went through and cleared the gun, took it apart, etc. before the show. The viewers of the video didn’t see this, period. Like so many have pointed out here, by listing these irrelevant points, you’re missing the essential rule of gun safety: all guns should be considered loaded. Secondly, you said you consider pointing the gun at the floor – instead of sweeping it in another human’s direction, a sign of fear? Me seeing someone consciously point the gun downward is just the opposite; it tells me they are highly aware of gun safety and that they know by no means should that gun’s path cross another person’s unintentionally. Thirdly, Jan asks why pro-gun people are so critical of her? Because gun owners and activists have so much against them as it is; they have to go above and beyond safety to maintain our gun rights, otherwise mistakes and negligence are used as fodder by the anti-gun crowd. Safety standards here are no joke. Everyone slacks, everyone makes safety mistakes, and I can say I have done so too. But catching yourself and being aware not to do it again, and to work on that discipline is one thing. Denying that you even made that safety mistake or never realizing you did is another, and that is dangerous to gun owners’ rights collectively when someone in the limelight takes this irresponsible position.

  31. avatarJosh says:

    Pet peeve… Calling a magazine a “clip” especially when educating others….

  32. avatarpeter says:

    Terry Kath, the founding member of the rock band, Chicago, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, shooting himself with the round remaining in the chamber after unloading it. His last words?

    Don’t worry; it’s not loaded

    While the chamber was confirmed clear in this case, it goes to show that it might not be as empty as you think it is. Hence, treat all guns as if they are loaded.

  33. avatarRalph Martin says:

    I have had the displeasure of meeting Jan at her shooting range in Hot Springs, AR. She is so full of herself and gets by on being a woman, Don’t get me wrong, I admire and respect women who shoot, but she really needs to put the ego in check. I witnessed her demean and humiliate a young mans choice of firearm to the point he chose to leave. It truly will be a frigid day in a hot hole before I grace her establishment again.

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