Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge Story of the Day: Beehive Ballistics Edition

“Officials say a Utah elementary school teacher [not Mrs. Muray] has been rushed to the hospital after a concealed firearm she was carrying accidentally discharged in a school bathroom and shot her in the leg,” foxnews.com reports. It’s a good thing her firearm was such a bad shot, although Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley says the teacher at Westbrook Elementary School (in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville) was “severely injured when the bullet entered and exited her leg.” And it’s a bad thing it “happened” to a Utah teacher at her workplace. The Beehive State . . .

is one of the few states that allows anyone with a permit to carry in school, including teachers. Up until this point no teacher had created a negligent discharge in school in the last decade.

Despite the fact that this incident is a statistical anomaly and no one else was hurt, despite the obvious deterrent effect of having one or more armed Americans protecting children, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America will be over this incident like stink on a monkey.

It’s also a shame the press can’t seem to use active sentence construction to place the blame where it belongs: on the teacher. To not do so makes it seem like guns are the problem. They aren’t. Until they are. And then they’re not, again. If you know what I mean. [h/t Frank]

comments

  1. avatar Scrubula says:

    What is it with negligent discharges and bathrooms?
    Either take the entire holster+firearm off of your pants or stop touching it while you do your business. Geez…

  2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This is totally and completely avoidable people: keep your handgun in a properly fitting holster that covers the entire trigger guard — whether you keep that on your belt, in your pocket, in a purse, backpack, etc.

    When in public, your handgun should never, I repeat, NEVER be out of a holster unless it is in your hand and you are using it in a self-defense situation.

    This is why need a vibrant and open gun culture … so we can teach people these pearls of wisdom.

    Note: a “properly fitting holster” is molded for your handgun and fits tightly enough that your handgun doesn’t come out unless you pull it out.

  3. avatar TT says:

    Or, horror of horrors, you could also carry without a round in the chamber.

    1. avatar Frank says:

      I agree, how long does it take to rack the slide. Practice makes perfect!

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Or using a safety. Or using a proper holster. Or keeping your finger off the trigger. Etc etc.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Revolver, guys, revolver.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          JWM, some people would carry a revolver cocked.

      2. avatar Cliff H says:

        When seconds count and police are only minutes away the time necessary to rack a round into the chamber before engaging the threat could be a lifetime. Just sayin’.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Recovering from shooting yourself in the leg during your draw could slow down your response even more!

      3. avatar gregory says:

        It takes very little time to rack the slide. It takes way too much time to clear a jam when that first round fails to chamber. I have been shooting for 40 years. I have had the first round from a magazine fail to chamber and I bet I am not alone. Get a proper holster and don’t screw around with the gun while on the shitter or anywhere else. When you get into an “oh shit” situation, trust me, you will revert back to the very first thing you learned. If it wasn’t loading from an empty chamber, you will hear a very loud noise when you forget and just pull the trigger, ready? CLICK

    2. avatar Wood says:

      Frank, NO. Bad advice. Just keep your damn finger off the trigger!

      1. avatar TT says:

        The number of negligent discharges we read about establishes without question that not everyone who carries with a round in the chamber is qualified to do so. If everyone were qualified, it wouldn’t be happening. Since not everyone is qualified to carry with a round in (or carry at all), I really wish the absolutists would lay off the blanket advice that everyone should carry with a round in.

        And qualified includes having enough sense to buy and use an adequate holster.

        1. avatar Calvin says:

          If you’re not qualified to carry with one in the chamber then
          you’re not qualified to carry a gun that is ready to be useful then
          you’re not qualified to carry a loaded gun then
          you’re not qualified to carry.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          Calvin gets it.

        3. avatar Second Amendment says:

          Agreed, TT. The question of whether to carry with one in the pipe or not is almost as bad as the caliber wars…and similarly has infinitely more emotion invested in it than hard data.

      2. avatar LongPurple says:

        That’s the way to handle the situation. There was never a question of safety when the standard police sidearm was a double-action revolver, with all chambers loaded, including the one under the hammer. None of those weapons ever had, or needed, a safety catch.

    3. avatar Kyle in CT says:

      Especially in a school situation, I’m inclined to agree. Frankly I find the whole “condition 1 or nothing” thing obtuse in the extreme. It is not going to be the right choice in all conceivable situations, and it’s up to the CCW holder to make intelligent choices on method of carry. Just like it’s up to them to make intelligent choices about holsters.

    4. avatar SelousX says:

      Ummm… no. I’ll stick with the “no booger hook on the bang switch” method, thanks. My restroom stall evolutions while carrying are well-planned evolutions with no NDs to date.
      Not having the ‘bran muffin-and-coffee’ special seems to help. 🙂

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Evolutions are one thing, I had an extinction event once when dropping trou and my handgun skittered across the floor into the neighboring stall, unoccupied at the time. Think there wasn’t some silent screaming and yelling? Changes were made. Cheap holsters are worse than nothing.

  4. I wonder how many of these Bloomberg/Obama will do before they get the message that it is the shooter not the weapon.

    How many times have you cut yourself with a knife? Where it was the knife’s deciding to cut you?

  5. avatar Gimlet says:

    Perhaps she was fending off pixelated Russian soldiers in there, a la GoldenEye 007? Ya gotta watch out for them, I hear…

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ixx8x9muopb552/goldeneye27dy.jpg

  6. avatar JasonM says:

    It’s also a shame the press can’t seem to use active sentence construction to place the blame where it belongs: on the teacher. To not do so makes it seem like guns are the problem.

    It’s cute how he says that as if their intention is anything other that making it look like the gun was somehow at fault.

  7. avatar outwardhound says:

    Well the MDA will certainly be all over this as well as other antis with a smug self-righteous “told you guns were too dangerous for teachers to carry, only cops are qualified….” all the while ignoring the many instances of police having NDs.

    1. avatar Keith E. Whisman says:

      I’d be surprised if there is a police department in America that doesn’t have at least one cop with shot up foot or leg from a negligent discharge.

    2. avatar Richard In WA says:

      They don’t ignore the police/military/trainer NDs. They revel in it as proof that NO ONE should have firearms.

      Blood dancers, all.

  8. avatar Keith E. Whisman says:

    I have never experienced a negligent discharge from any concealment holster that I either made or bought. I don’t understand how she had a discharge unless she was playing with it, the gun, while she was taking a shit.

    1. avatar TT says:

      It was probably rolling around in her purse unholstered, perhaps from falling out of an Uncle Mike’s type cloth holster. Maybe got an eyeliner pencil in the trigger guard or something.

      1. avatar outwardhound says:

        Or, she dropped it and made a grab for it. Again, something that a proper holster would’ve prevented.

  9. avatar Tim in WA says:

    Please please please fire her…

  10. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

    Unfortunately I don’t believe this is the only nd.

    A professor at Idaho state university shot himself in the foot in class.

    Still, statistical anomaly.

  11. avatar S. Cautela says:

    The “To have a round chambered, or not to have a round chambered” argument should be a combination of training, experience, and the firearm itself. There are certain guns, namely revolvers and DA/SA auto-pistols that I carry with a round in chamber. There are others namely 1911’s that I don’t. (More than a few times I have taken out a cocked-and-locked 1911 after a day of concealed carry to find that the safety had been clicked off by movement. There were no accidental/negligent discharges because I have trigger covering holsters and don’t put my finger on the trigger unless I’m about to fire.) Your overall firearms experience and training as well as your familiarity with a particular pistol should dictate whether to carry with a round in chamber or not… I’d rather train drawing and racking a slide and sacrifice half a second in an emergency than put a round in my femur and end up as a cautionary tale on this web site.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      My 1911s have grip safeties as well, I carry them cocked and locked. After a year of using a Glock, I found I can’t keep it with a round in the pipe because it has no safety and a short (like single action) trigger pull. So it stays at home as HD weapon, in a place where I’ll have plenty of time to rack the slide if I need it. Many others carry them (including police departments), I assume fully loaded. That would be their choice, and I wish them well.

  12. avatar Marine 03 says:

    Over a year ago I posted here that carrying with a round in the chamber was going to cost more lives than it saved. I caught a lot of flack. One idiot said, “That’s as smart as having a fire-sprinkler system but having to run outside and turn on the water.” My reply to this simpleton was, “Yes, if you can run outside and turn on the sprinkler in 1/2 of a second…..because that’s how long it takes me to charge my pistol……half a second.” Others criticized me too. Sad. A lot of people are buying Glocks which were designed for professional soldiers and police who carry in external, hard-case, kydex holsters. Then they put this pistol with no grip safety or thumb safety into a purse or flimsy neoprene holster, condition 1……then an accident like this occurs and they wonder why.

    1. avatar Richard In WA says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed little tolerance for “shades of grey”. We all play for the same team and don’t need to bicker about minutiae like chambered/not-chambered with absolutes like “if you aren’t comfortable carrying chambered you aren’t qualified to carry at all”. Let’s focus our fight on those who would deprive us of our Constitutional Rights.

    2. avatar S. Cautela says:

      While I agree with your statement that it only takes a half a second to rack a slide, I think that “loaded chambers take more lives than they save” may be a bit of hyperbole. The majority of concealed-carry accidental discharges are into a leg or foot, not a cranium. I often carry a Kahr K9 with a loaded chamber that has neither the grip or thumb safety that you referenced… Why?… Because I’ve trained extensively with it and it has a decently long trigger pull that I don’t worry about going off if I scratch my junk…

      1. avatar Marine 03 says:

        Not everyone has your level of experience. In fact the number of CCW has doubled nationally in the last 6 years. That translates to a lot of inexperienced people carrying. Listen, we are on the same side, my point is people get careless and shit happens. If a round isn’t chambered many of these accidents wouldn’t occur. Yes, sometimes that extra split second it takes to rack the slide could mean disaster but more often by far carrying condition one with many types of weapon CAUSES a disaster. This is a prime example as was the professor shooting his foot last week. This can only serve to make us all look bad. I never carry with a loaded chamber but can charge the pistol in well under a second. That’s unlikely to ever cost me my life.

        1. avatar S. Cautela says:

          As I stated before the decision to carry chamber loaded/unloaded should be based on overall firearms experience, training on the particular firearm, and the mechanics of the particular firearm. I stated flat out that there are some guns that I carry loaded and some that I don’t. You seem upset that others advocate condition 1 and feel that condition 3 is much more safe. That’s fine and I would recommend an unexperienced shooter to carry condition 3 and practice racking a slide than carrying condition 1 with a hair trigger. All I was saying was that your verbiage made it sound like you were recommending it for all concealed-carry brethren when some of us may have experience, training, and the right firearm that may not make that necessary.

        2. avatar M J Johnson says:

          Different strokes, for different folks. And so on. And so on. And shooby dooby-doooooby. Ooooo, cha-chaaaaa.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          “Unlikely”. That’s true. BUT! Before we can allow you to operate operationally, you have to show us you can draw and fire with your off hand, not using your strong side at all. I suspect you’d take more than 1/2 second more than if you had a revolver or a round in the pipe.

    3. avatar rlc2 says:

      +1. I am in a “no issue” county, for CCW, and no open carry in CA,
      but if I could carry, someday- then I train in Kydex OWB, for G23, and practice Condition 3,
      ie draw and rack to shoot.

      Simply for the safety factor- kids, bad guy stripping a gun, falls out while taking a dump- its Murphys Law.
      Yes, I know I know- the finger is the safety- every gun IS different and you have to look closely at the possibilities- look at the Chief whose G19 got caught in his windbreaker drawstring and ND’d in the gun store when he reholstered to compare to a new handgun…$hit happens.

      Yes, blah blah blah Tueller Drill, but lets face it-

      I figure that if I were in a no-kidding point-shooting situation, the extra .3 seconds is not going to make a difference:

      1. I am applying the 3 S rule to stay out of Stupid Places Doing Stupid Things With Stupid People,
      and
      2. consciously thinking Condition Yellow, and Orange for any other times- is going to give me more than 21 feet of warning- (and if a place gets hinky, theres no rule saying you cant go condition two and re-holster then…)

      Otherwise- odds are you are going to have the extra time…and NOTHING beats the safety factor for “no ND”.

      3. I have the advantage of old boxing, wrestling, martial arts skills, and some fighting, so being a bit bigger than average, if its me protecting my loved ones, you can bet I am going to be blocking/fighting back and beating the bad guy with the gun, while butting head, biting ear off, spear-handing to throat, whatever the instinct to protect calls up, until break loose to can get two hands on it, to rack it,
      or
      even rack it one-handed on my holster if it comes to that, also practiced (carefully…).

      Just my $.02 YMMV.

      1. avatar Marine 03 says:

        For years I delivered for Domino’s pizza part time. I carried and was actually encouraged to do so by the franchise owner. My pistol was a springfield xd 9mm and I carried it without a chambered round in a uncle mike’s neoprene holster. Every now and then I’d get a delivery I didn’t feel good about. What did I do? I simply chambered a round before I got out and reholstered the weapon. Then when the delivery was done I would sit in the car for a second and eject the round. If you need to carry condition 1 that’s fine. Most school teachers would have ample warning of a school shooting (a pizza guy not so much) but I think they are being taught that you just MUST carry with a chambered round. Nonsense! These type of accidents will continue especially with pistols that have nothing but a trigger safety (worthless). We will all be made to look bad.

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          If you have a problem with your gun after you fire a shot in self defense, hopefully you took care of the situation from the one shot you were able to get off. If not, and the perp is able to get off a round in your direction, you may be in deep doo doo.
          Now suppose your gun jams, or fails to chamber BEFORE you get off your 1st shot, because you didn’t have one in the ‘ol pipe! Who do you think is going to get the first shot off now?
          The perp is perfectly healthy, since he has not been shot, and while your fumbling with trying to clear your jam, the perp will probably put on in you!
          This of course is probably a rare scenario, but it can happen, and if it does you will be in much deeper doo doo.
          I carry a Sig P938 which I feel I can really depend on, but, I also carry a 38 Special revolver sometimes, instead of the autoloader. As much as I love the Sig, I have more confidence in the wheel gun.

        2. avatar Stinkeye says:

          That’s a good point about teachers. They’re in a bit of a unique situation. Any threat will very likely not be a sudden surprise – hearing gunshots, alarms, etc before they even see the threat – and they’re surrounded by kids all day. Kids who might have grabby little paws and haven’t been taught manners or gun safety. A proper holster rig helps solve the second issue, but leaving an empty chamber is probably the right choice for a teacher who’s carrying in class. The odds that the 1/2 second it takes to charge the weapon will be the deciding factor in the extremely unlikely event of a school shooting seem vanishingly small.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Female teachers have the option of a gun purse, of which there are many. After that, a 3″ .38 Spl/.357 revolver is the clear answer, forget the whole “in the pipe” question, no jams, so easy it’s pitiful. Buy hammerless and shooting in the purse (without drawing) is a valid player. For guys, the profile of a revolver is difficult to conceal comfortably.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        (and if a place gets hinky, theres no rule saying you cant go condition two and re-holster then…)

        Hinky place or not, best be careful of laws against “brandishing”, lest you find yourself in a hinky jail! IOW, yes there is a rule against it!

  13. avatar Gregolas says:

    Fannypacks people, fannypacks.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      he he heh. “fanny”.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    In other news, 100 teachers had car accidents. None of them will be fired or have their driver’s licenses pulled. Sh!t happens.

    1. avatar Bear The Grizzly says:

      Yes! No one says “the car just turned and hit a bus” or “the knife just slid and cut her”, so why is it “the gun just went off”? I sometimes wonder if it’s an elaborate misinformation ploy or they’re really that ignorant.

      1. avatar Tmmy! says:

        “I sometimes wonder if it’s an elaborate misinformation ploy or they’re really that ignorant”

        Yes, both

  15. avatar rlc2 says:

    Another reason why “some” CCW permit holders might consider Condition Three AKA “Israeli Carry”.

  16. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

    It’s a sad thing when your firearm discharges and hurts anyone. This kind of thing is happening all to often in the past few years and unfortunately the anti-gunners jump all over it. The worst part about this totally preventable incident causes all legally armed citizens that are very responsible a lot of headaches because of stupid incident and there’s no way that this could happen to someone he does not carry a firearm so we would never have anything to go after the anti-gunners for any type of incident such as this. I understand accidents happen but these are preventable accidents need to be more responsible with our firearms were diligent than ever as anti-gunners are using this ammunition against us

  17. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Bring it MDA! BRING! IT!

    This teacher made a mistake and taking away my rights won’t change that. This was either bad training, a misuse of equipment, or lack of the correct equipment(holster maybe).

    Come to Utah Shannon, I invite you to dinner at my house and we will talk about all those things that you and I fight for. Oh Shannon, one little caveat. We can only speak of facts and every source must be cited. No more feelings or made up facts.
    Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t let that delusional witch in my home. I still invite her and all her mindless brown shirts to Utah. I would gladly stand on the other side of that street.

  18. avatar M J Johnson says:

    Um. Shouldn’t it be stink on a skunk instead of stink on a monkey? Cause most of the anti-gun groups are more like the former than the latter IMNSHO.

    Or am I being too snarky?

    1. avatar defensor fortisimo says:

      Well no, you forget that monkeys have a tendency to throw their own feces. In this case no matter how hard you try and get their hands clean, you’re always left with a thin layer of sh*t beneath the fingernails.

  19. avatar Hannibal says:

    Note that they did not release her name.

  20. avatar libtard says:

    Everyone giving advice about whether to carry chambered or unchambered that has been in an actual gunfight in the military or as a civilian should raise his or her hand.

  21. avatar SteveInCO says:

    “It’s also a shame the press can’t seem to use active sentence construction to place the blame where it belongs: on the teacher. ”

    You’re half right, Robert. The sentence was indeed phrased in such a way as to not put the blame on the teacher, and that’s fricking wrong.

    But they didn’t use “passive construction” to do it. The subject of the sentence is the gun, and it “discharged” “Gun was discharged by…” would have been passive construction, but that’s not what they wrote (if they had it would actually have been preferable to what they did write, as the actual (not mislabeled as such) passive construction would have placed the blame on something other than the gun).

    You actually are complaining about the active construction with the wrong subject.

    This is a continuing peeve of mine, Robert, you do not seem to know the definition of “passive construction.”
    http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/passive-voice/. If that’s a TL;DR, then I’ll summarize: Passive construction is where the object of the action is somehow the subject of the sentence. (gun…discharged doesn’t meet that) and the page states the sure fire way to detect passive construction is a form of “to be” plus the past participle. Now in the sentence fragment ” after a concealed firearm she was carrying accidentally discharged in “, there is a past participle (discharged), but the form of “to be” isn’t there. (There is a “was” but it goes with the verb “carrying,” not with “discharged”)

    Your real complaint (and mine too) is that they are making it appear as if the gun had a mind of its own. But that’s not “passive” sentence construction, that’s something along the lines of anthropomorphizing the gun or being an animist or something like that.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      You must be a lot of fun at parties… 😉

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        If you’ve ever read the guidelines for submitting a story to this site, there’s an awful lot of scolding about using bad grammar or misusing ellipses and the like…and they come from a guy who doesn’t understand the concept of “passive construction.”

        So maybe I’d be no fun at parties, but I wouldn’t be the only one.

  22. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    You know something? There’s some really tasteless jokes that involve batteries – or lack thereof – that come to mind about this story. I just can’t get myself low enough into the gutter to type them out…

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