The Associated Press has our “Passively Constructed Firearms Story of the Day” with this gem about an unfortunate event outside a Pennsylvania gun store:
A man’s handgun went off while he was holding it as he got into his truck in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store Saturday, and the shot killed his 7-year-old son, authorities said.
Bullshit . . .
That gun did not “go off.” That gun fired at the command of a man’s trigger.
Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, of Sharpsville, was getting into the truck when the 9 mm handgun discharged, wounding Craig Allen Loughrey in the chest, according to state police. The boy died at the scene at Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Investigators said Loughrey told them he didn’t realize there was a bullet still in the chamber. “This happens all too often where people think the gun was empty,” Lt. Eric Hermick told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Let’s count the firearms handling rules that were completely ignored. Namely, all of them:
- Always assume the gun is loaded, even when there’s no magazine in it.
- Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy, including your son.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you have made the decision to fire, which usually doesn’t include placing the gun in the car.
What happened to this man and his son sucks, but this was not the fault of the gun. It was negligence on the part of the father, pure and simple. He squeezed the trigger and the firearm did what it was designed to do by dropping the hammer on a live round.
There’s a reason I go all Safety Suzie whenever the firearms come out and this is a prime example.
It may not be fast and easy or look cool, but proper firearms handling is something that should be so ingrained in your mind that its second nature. I’ve trained my minions so well that whenever they pick up a Nerf gun their trigger finger immediately goes to its position along the gun, not the trigger. That’s the level of “muscle memory” you need to ensure that nothing like this ever happens to you or someone you love.
And as for the reporter who wrote the story, all I ask is this: Does a baseball bat ever “go off” and beat someone to death? Does a car just run someone over without anyone at the wheel? Guns don’t just go off, it’s the idiots behind the trigger that make them fire.
Loughrey was questioned by state police, who said he was cooperative and distraught. The shooting is being investigated as an accident, although Loughrey could face charges, including manslaughter and negligence, Hermick told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Seems like the police understand that concept, at least.