What if I created a negligent discharge in my own home? I’m days away from a yes/no on my CCW permit. The Providence police have grilled me like a burger on a Weber S-670, checked all my references, perused this website (I kid you not) and run my name and fingerprints through all the appropriate databases. Oops and BANG! goes my right to armed self-defense. Forever. Maybe even my home defense weapons. The temptation to hope no one noticed my ballistic boo-boo would be great. But I’d make the call. A responsible gun owner takes responsibility for whatever happens with or to his or her firearms. Period. Besides, if you don’t bad things can happen. (SWAT teams make lousy house guests.) To wit this from officer.com . . .

More than 350 officers from five agencies scoured the area, gathering hundreds of clues, canvassing neighborhoods and reaching out to residents to drum up leads in the case, Beck said.

The day of the shooting, nine schools with about 9,000 students were locked down as more than 350 police officers, sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers scoured 7 square miles of the affluent Woodland Hills neighborhood around El Camino Real High School for the gunman, described as man in his 40s with long brown hair.

Students were kept in their classrooms for hours without access to food or bathrooms, prompting anger and frustration from parents.

Authorities later mustered $100,000 in reward money for information leading to the suspected shooter’s arrest.

All this after Officer Jeffrey Stenroos told cops that a gunman shot him in the chest as he patrolled near a San Fernando Valley high school on Jan. 19. Turns out . . .

A law enforcement official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak about the case, said Stenroos was mishandling a firearm when he was shot, but he did not go into any more detail.

The gunshot hit Stenroos in his bullet proof vest and authorities said that protection saved his life. He was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital later that night.

If you screw up, man up.

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9 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Officer Jeffrey Stenroos

    • He was, we actually knew his wife, she’s a teacher, and everyone basically exiled him after they found out. And he had to pay a pretty hefty penny in addiction to being fired and jail time.

  1. Screw up and admit it…he should have been – maybe – suspended. By lying and putting literally thousands of people to a great deal of worry, inconvenience and expense – all because he was too much of a tiny kitten to admit it – and he should be fired.

    And I’m just trying to figure out how the HELL he managed to shoot himself in the chest. I got nuthin’. Short of what Ralph says…twirling his gun like an a-hole.

  2. Obviously he pulled the trigger, and nothing happened. So he turned the weapon around to look down the barrel (just like they do on tv) and the weapon went off(all by itself). It is just a good thing he hadn’t raised to his eye level, then we would have had another officer murdered by his own weapon.

  3. Robert. Are you really that strict in your code of doing the right thing? What if no one was hit and you weren’t sure if the neighbors heard or saw something? It’s a silly game, “what if,” but there must be some kinds of mistakes that you’d keep to yourself.

    If they ever adopt my idea of “one strike you’re out,” you have to practice that other thing I know you don’t like: “bad rules be damned.”

  4. If the ND occurred in my home, I’d report it. Full stop. If I was on a range, I’d report it to the range safety officer. If there wasn’t one, and the ND did not endanger anyone (i.e. it went into a backstop rather than sky high), then maybe not.

    As for one strike and you’re out, I believe the punishment should fit the crime.

    Not all NDs are alike. If you keep your gun pointing in a safe direction, an ND will always be non-lethal. If you didn’t, even if there was no human consequence, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. If you were drunk or high, that’s bad squared.

    There should always be consequences. A fine or penalty for d’oh, a larger fine and penalties for oh shit; criminal charges for impaired gun handling and any danger to others. And that should apply to cops as well as civilians.

    Oh and there are already laws on the books for NDs. The sad thing: they’re hardly ever enforced. Even when someone dies as a result. “They’ve suffered enough” isn’t enough, IMHO.

    • Thanks for that well-thought-out approach to the problem which I’ve been addressing with a one-size-fits-all punishment.

      On the other hand, a negligent discharge involves the violation of at least one of the 4 Rules, by definition. That’s my idea behind disqualifying people for the first one.

      Yet, punishment fitting the crime is hard to argue with.

  5. I dunno, I live in the country, where I’ve heard shots fired at night–and thought nothing of it. I guess if I ND’d in the basement, I’d have to report it to the wife–but I think she might know it occurred already…

    So I’ll go with “no, I wouldn’t report an ND” but that’s because I don’t live in a city where such a thing would be an issue. If I did live in a city, hmm, good question. I think you’re right, we should man up, and own up to our mistakes. The real question though is what should be the punishment for such a mistake. Obviously, one should start from the bottom, and work their way up–maybe confiscation of the gun, until appropriate retraining (or probation period), I suppose. But if no one was hurt, well, then I think it’s a bit like doing something stupid with ones car. You could lose your license if caught speeding too much. But you will get it back, unless if it is part of an established pattern. And a car can be just as lethal as any firearm.

    Good thread, makes one think about owning up to ones mistakes, regardless of the cost to oneself.

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