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By Brandon via

Sometimes, certain people just aren’t cut out to carry a firearm — let alone own one. It takes a certain type of person to own and carry, and it’s a responsibility that every single potential gun owner needs to consider. Some need to ask themselves: “Am I too stupid to own/carry a firearm?” . . .

If you’re teaching someone how to clear a firearm and negligently shoot them in the foot, you may be a bad candidate for a concealed carry permit.

If, after you negligently shot them in the foot, you then run away… you may be a bad candidate for a concealed carry permit.

A 34-year-old woman shot in the knee about 11:30 p.m. Saturday at East 68th Street and Fullerton Avenue. The man who shot her was talking about getting a concealed carry license for the gun, and was showing the woman how to clean the gun when it fired, police said. The man briefly helped the woman, then ran away. The woman and a witness both said the man is well known in the neighborhood, but neither could not (sic) give detectives his name. Police found a loaded handgun at the scene.

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  1. I know I’ll be called a commie, or a shannon watts fanboy or whatever, but yeah, some people are too stupid to have a gun. Same as being too stupid to have children, drive, operate heavy machinery, etc… the fact is, there are a lot of really dumb, really irresponsible, really irrational people out there. Can we agree on that?

    • I’ll second a man has to know his limitations – or a woman.

      I’ve posted this before, but my gf and I had a very serious discussion about her possibly carrying and ultimately decided against it. She is not mechanically inclined and freezes with stress.

      Everyone is different.

    • No, you’re correct. One of my friends wants nothing to do with firearms. This is a pretty wise decision since once when cleaning out his parents house after his fathers death found a revolver in a desk drawer. He then proceeded to look down the barrel to see if it was loaded. That was an interesting thirty seconds.

      • There is a big difference between stupid & ignorance. If you have weapons as part of your estate, would be wise to appoint a gun savvy individual to handle all aspects of securing the guns and disposition according to your wishes. If you are in a position to handle an estate and don’t know spit about weapons, find someone who does. For TTAGS readership, offer your help for friends/family members who have a gun owning relative past away.

    • You are right. I have said before we sometimes have to protect the freedom of idiots in order to protect our own.

      The truth is there are times when all of us are too dumb for our guns, though. Our level of mental competence fluctuates based how tired/medicated/caffeinated we are. We need to not kid ourselves and realize there are times when should just keep our mitts off them. I wake up at my lowest level of competency and make a point of keeping my hands off my guns until I had a had a cup or two of coffee and have the cobwebs out of my head. And if I have had more than one drink, I try to avoid handling my guns except to put them in the safe before I get dangerous. But even during the day when I was awake and had no excuses, I have done dumb things, like put my gun down in the house and then forgotten where I put it. Or the time I was doing practice draws and registering the trigger on a gun I was sure was unloaded, until I realized it wasn’t. I didn’t have a ND, I just had an “OH SHlT” moment of realization that it was the OTHER gun I had cleared a minute earlier. This was when I had two LC9 pistols, the original and LC9-S which look a lot alike. No harm done, just a close call, and woke me up to the reality that I needed to periodically retrain my brain on the basic safety rules and not feel too confident in my own infallibility with guns. Over-familiarity leads to complacency which can be more dangerous than being a total novice. All you have to do is look at the dumb things cops do with their guns sometimes to know it’s true.

    • I agree. The purpose of the second amendment is to deny the state any authority to be the arbiter of that decision, not a codification of the idea that everyone is capable of handling the responsibility.

      Sometimes it’s up to you to say “nah, you’re too stupid to teach me and I dont feel safe being near your with a gun.” It is NOT the government’s job to make sure it’s never necessary to say this.

    • In short, there are some people that are simply too dumb to live. Give them a gun and they’ll solve that problem.

    • Yeah. Vitsaus, that’s like saying the sun comes up in the East. So what’s your point? What would be really stupid would be to suggest that some government body be given the authority to determine when a person isn’t to stupid to carry a gun.

      But I know you weren’t suggesting that.

    • I won’t argue with that. I saw a guy blow through a red light and almost hit me yesterday a 50mph who then acted stunned when I laid on my horn and gave him the bird. If he can’t even realize a blatantly red light that had been red for a good 20+ yards before he attempted the intersection then god knows what an idiot like that would be like with a gun.

      I’m not against gun control, I’m just against unreasonable gun control. Id be more likely to have people take an IQ test than a background check. At least with an IQ test you can figure out if they know more than your dog.

    • Some people ARE so stupid, owning a firearm may not be in their best interest. However, allowing equally stupid bureaucrats determine who has the prerequisite common sense and intelligence….. would make us more stupid than either of them.

      Did I say stupid enough? Stupid.

  2. Well the constitution does not call for smarts being a reason to carry or own a firearm. If there are people out there saying some are to stupid to own or carry a firearm, then said people and those calling for it are to stupid to vote. And those in government and in anti gun groups who say some people are to stupid to own a firearm, are themselves also to stupid to have free speech and freedom of the “press”. Personally everyone should be aloud to own a firearm. Just my two cents worth. 🙂

    • You might be one the people we are talking about. And perhaps an example of the FACT that people too stupid, too incompetent, and not willing to learn firearms safety are also not people that will self select.

      That’s why we need stringent gun licensing laws including background checks. Sane gun owners and enthusiasts can see this. I doubt many of the hard core ideologues and low information bubbas on this board will agree, but common sense and the history of morons with guns that plays itself out every day in the real world (as often documented by this very website) tells another story.

        • It’z okey, eye was abel to reed yur comentz kuz eye tuk the Evelen Woodhead sped redding cours.
          Where my reeding compression impruved ten hundred persent.
          And I undercome where your standing from…

        • Frank, your point is very far from made. Having a right to do something doesn’t make you capable of doing it. I mean, we all have a right to be better basketball players than Michael Jordan. Good luck with that.

        • I see U done gradueateed froom the 6th grede gubamint skool. U is pobably a brane sergeoon! Teechers Onions are greet.

      • Nice Pistolero. Classic tactics of a liberal/progressive/statist. Paint anyone that disagrees with you as being a fanatic or just plain dumb. You left out that anyone that disagrees with you must be a racist as well.

        Of course, we have the example of your plan at work. New York City? New Jersey? Coastal California? Also all the states that were once may issue that are now Shall Issue or are now Constitutional Carry.

        Just accept Pistolero that you are of the same twisted mind as all tyrants, dictators, and control freaks terrified at the idea of people that you can’t control.

        You can’t stop the signal, Pistolero.

      • near All “stringent gun licensing laws” should over turned

        we are not dupposed to save ever life, let the dumb ones show off their knowledge of natural selection. we would better off big time.

        safety net should be for the most needy only and truly disabled. the rest get a job n feed yourself. choose not to… more volunteeray natural selection. smoke to much, to bad! to many drugs, to bad!

        the left us all depending on them. soon we will see universal everything if nothing changes soon. government tiity milk everywhere.

      • So, you want an agency of an incompetent government to determine if you are competent to own/possess/carry a firearm? People like you are the problem.

    • No. Your steer completely wrong on the top stupid to vote thing. Saying one is to stupid to own a gun is not the same as saying the governed should prevent them from doing so or that people should be vetted for firearms purchases.

      If we keep up thet implicit assumption that anything that should be done should be done by government, or that anything that should not happen should be prevented by the government, if we cannot avoid making that assumption or using it as an unstated premise behind our responses to the opinions of others then society is lost and the second amendment already does not matter in the long run.

    • Agreed. Modern life has made it easy for idiots to avoid natural selection. Cars and guns for some people are just the modern-day equivalent of getting rid of the cavemen that went over to pet the “big kitty” crouching in the bushes.

  3. Brandon’s tone is completely wrong, because he used the phrase “for a concealed carry permit”. If he’d have said, “to carry a weapon”, we could dive into a discussion about self-regulation. Instead, this conversation is now about government discretion, and that’s a bad line to follow.

  4. Yes, there are people too stupid to touch a firearm but rights aren’t dependent on the intelligence of the citizen. There are also varying degrees of individual suitability For example, a person may be safe and responsible but lacks the instincts to use a gun in defensive situation. It may be perfectly fine for them to own and use guns for targeting shooting and/or hunting but for the purposes of self defense. I would suggest that the proper way to deal with people with limits on either their intelligence or personality is to use persuasion to influence their choice rather than state coercion.

    • Persuasion rather than coercion … now there’s a novel idea. Sounds kind of like the Common Law concept of “live and let live”.

  5. “The man who shot her was talking about getting a concealed carry license for the gun, and was showing the woman how to clean the gun when it fired.

    I have a question. Which one is it — did the man shoot her, or did it just fire? Oh, I have another question — how can anyone write so poorly?

    Those were rhetorical questions.

  6. Some people are too stupid to vote, too.

    I am very much against irresponsible gun owners in the same way I am very much against people voting for Hillary. But what are you going to do?

    Want to place a wager on which is more irresponsible and does more long-term harm for America?

  7. Look, there are people who are so stupid, we shouldn’t allow them to breed.

    And yet we do.

    Further, I would submit that allowing the terminally stupid to breed causes greater harm to society and other people’s safety than allowing them to own firearms.

  8. Also. “too” equals “also”. To is different. Please do not confuse either with “two”. I HATE when folks mess that up. “Hear” and “here” also need a refresher course.

    • What drives me up a wall is people pronouncing nuclear, nucular. Sorry but there is no atom with a nuculus.

        • Small rural town I lived near while in high school had an old boy who ran auctions and sold real estate. He drove a vintage Dodge truck, and along with his name and phone number it listed his services on the doors:


          He hired one of my friends to repaint it as it was faded. My friend absolutely refused to correct it, and repainted it exactly as it was. It had been that way for at least 10 years, and he didn’t see any reason to change it.

      • Weary instead of wary is a pet peeve of mine,as in “be wary of morons who don’t know how to clear a gun.” You maybe be weary of them as well (because who isn’t sick of those jerks), but you don’t need the reminder.

  9. I have handled and shot firearms for 50 years. I was a rifle and pistol competitor in the Navy. I have had two NDs in my life. I accept full responsibility for both. Fortunately, no one was harmed in either, because each time, I was only violating one of the rules of gun safety, but following the others. I believe NDs can happen to anyone, at any time. People who are too cocky to believe that are even more at risk.

    I don’t think the situation described the OP is a matter of “stupidity.” The rules of gun safety are not complicated. They do not require great intelligence to follow. They don’t even require great judgement, except to demand that you follow them. In fact, the rules of gun safety are designed to take intelligence and judgement out of the picture. To paraphrase Herman Wouk, “they are are a system designed by geniuses to be (successfully) followed by idiots.”

    On the other hand, anyone who violates the rules of gun safety, even if they are Mensa candidates, puts themselves and others at risk. So no, I don’t think some people are too stupid for a concealed carry permit. Too cocky, too careless, not respectful enough of the dangers involved, yes. But too stupid, no. And I think saying so creates the wrong message.

    • I disagree. The rules of gun safety do require intelligence and judgement. It is literally impossible to follow all the rules at all times. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.. Well, I guess you are never cleaning it, since you can’t clean a loaded gun. Also no dry firing practice. Sure as shit not handling one in a store or gun show to check them out. That would be insane with a loaded gun. Never let you barrel cover something you are not willing to destroy? Well, no putting them in cars and transporting them, or taking them on planes. Again, cleaning is out of the question. Not going to carry one in a holster either, because at some point it will be pointing at things you don’t want to shoot.

      You need to use your own judgement every single time you touch a firearm, not pass off responsibility on a set of simple, unadaptable and impossible to follow rules. Because in order to follow them as rigidly as you seem to think people should without thinking, gun ownership isn’t possible. And the fact that someone as experienced as you claim to be doesn’t see that is kinda sad.

      But yes, you can flat out be too stupid to own a gun IMO, one thing you may notice is that stupid people generally have a harder time following rules as well, further exacerbating the situation. And anytime you accidentally shoot someone or something, some level of stupidity is involved. An extremely intelligent person doing something stupid is still stupid. That doesn’t make them so, but the action still is. Smart people do stupid shit all the time.

      • Ian: Your point is well taken. I do agree that the rules as they are often published are too simplistic. Perhaps the writers feel that makes them easier to remember. And I guess it does take some intelligence to see what the intent of the rule is, versus “the letter of the law.” Here is how they are often presented, with my additions in parens:

        1. Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded, (until you have verified it is unloaded – if you set it down and walk away, re-verify every time to come back)

        2. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to (fire a bullet into, until you have verified the gun is unloaded).

        3. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. (no comment)

        4. (Until you have verified the gun is unloaded,) keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.

        5. (I would add another rule: If a gun IS loaded, there are only three things you can do with it: 1. Unload it. 2. Fire it. 3) Put it in what you consider a safe place to be ready to use, such as a holster, a safe, a hiding place, etc. depending on your circumstances. You should never clean even a spot off a loaded gun. You should never point a loaded gun or put your finger on its trigger unless you are ready to fire.)

    • I think it was George Carlin that suggested people consider the intelligence of the average person then think about how half of all people are dumber than that.

        • [data nerd]
          The mean is an average, as in a measure of central tendency of a dataset. It’s what most people are thinking when they hear “average”. It’s not necessarily the number that half the people are above and half the people are below. That assumes the distribution isn’t skewed in some way or that the mean isn’t shifted in one direction or another by outliers.

          The number that splits the population 50/50 is the median. That’s another “average”. The median is used a lot in situations where you might have a few outliers that throw mean calculations off significantly. Take ten people with a net worth between 50 and 200 k and your mean is somewhere in the middle, five to six figures. Drop Bill Gates as your eleventh person and your mean net worth is now ten figures. With the median, the number would stay in the same range.
          [/data nerd]

  10. Take the gaurdrails off the stairs and the corks off the sharp pointy things. Nature will sort the rest out.

  11. I agree, there are people who should not have guns and those who should not CC guns. It is no one else’s place, due to the 2nd, to make that decision for anyone else. One needs to come to that decision for themselves on their own and make the responsible decision. So, yes, intelligence does come into play.

    • One needs to come to that decision for themselves, intelligence does come into play.

      Did you write that with a straight face? People who are too stupid to carry a gun, vote, and breed don’t know that they are too stupid to carry a gun, vote, and breed.

    • The problem with people coming to that decision for themselves is what the psychologists call the Dunning-Kruger Effect. There’s a cognitive bias whereby the accuracy of people’s self-assessment is strongly influenced by that person’s actual competence.

      That is, highly competent people tend to downplay their own competence, while incompetent people tend to overestimate their own competence. Worse than that, incompetent people lack the cognitive ability even to recognize their own bias. So the most stupid people may think they know what they’re doing, but they’re too stupid to realize just how wrong they are.

      • ” while incompetent people tend to overestimate their own competence. Worse than that, incompetent people lack the cognitive ability even to recognize their own bias. So the most stupid people may think they know what they’re doing, but they’re too stupid to realize just how wrong they are.”

        Something that rings in my mind every time I read a “shooting history/resume” here as a preface to a comment.

        D-K is fascinating, no?

        • Indeed it is. Borderline mindblowing. Another one that intrigues me is called the Lake Wobegon Effect, by which people also tend to overestimate their qualities/capabilities. I only first read of this specific term just this year, though it definitely comports with my and probably many other people’s experience.

          Though similar, the difference between the two effects has to do with their causes. D-K has more to do with someone’s actual competence, while LW seems to have more to do with the desirability or perceived propriety of the outcome.

          For example, a higher percentage of people self-reporting would claim that they floss daily, than actually do. Dentists and floss manufacturers know the truth. Likewise, most drivers claim that they are a better driver than most other drivers, which is mathematically impossible.

          I’d like to read up more on these cognitive biases topics, if anyone can recommend a good layman’s book.

        • Good one; I’ll check into that.

          While not heard by that name, that sounds similar to what I’ve always heard called ‘self reporting bias’ in any kind of survey sampling.

          For instance, one has to always be suspect of sex research that is based on self reporting (even anonymous self reporting). People give the answer they WANT to be the truth, and honestly may not realize they are “fudging” answers to the level of dishonesty.

  12. I have to question the intelligence of the woman taking lessons from some dude in the neighborhood who’s name she doesn’t even know.

  13. I’m aware of the reality that there are some dumbasses that probably shouldn’t have a gun. I’ve met more than a few of them. But, I also know that there’s no such thing as a way to keep guns away from this fringe handful of fucktards that isn’t worse than they are themselves.

    I’d rather abide the problems of too much liberty, than too little.

  14. YES-like the tiny spanglish kid who whipped out his 1911 from his butt(really) at the Cabelas gun counter and stated “you gotta’ get this(Kimber)”…I was a mite stunned. Yep-dumbazz pointed it at me…

  15. I talk to people who want someone to break into their home so they can execute a bad guy.

    I’ve encountered people like this, especially in CC v. OC discussions. Rather than OC to deter crime, I’ve had CCers say that they CC because they want a criminal to attack them so they can surprise him and kill him, thereby saving the life of someone who chooses not to carry a firearm.

    • Those people go hand in hand with the people that I know who are self-aware enough to not carry because they know they would kill someone out of anger. I am always shocked by the admission, then angered when they proclaim I shouldn’t carry because I would do the same.

  16. Had a guy taking a CCW course so he could learn to hunt deer. We just hooked him up with an experience hunter/shooter educator for a basic class. I checked back and after 3 Times he finally was comfortable enough to use live ammo.

  17. Are there people too stupid to handle firearms? Absolutely. I just hope I’m nowhere near them when they are handling firearms.

  18. It’s not just about IQ. I know two women who are highly intelligent and competent in their fields but too uncoordinated to drive cars. If they can’t handle a car, I doubt they can handle a gun well, especially in a self defense situation. I could be wrong, but it does seem to take a bit of coordination to shoot safely.

  19. I’ve seen highly trained decently proficient firearms handlers nearly shoot a clearing barrel. Only difference btw you, and bad w/firearms you, is __________ , and distractions, lack of sleep, and complacency are always looking to fill your blank with a new thing, and that’s not even including those around you. FURTHER imho, the thing that overcomes too stupid for anything is necessity, and necessity is not where you want people “too stupid for firearms” to begin to attempt to round their edges off, because by then it may be too late,

  20. And here we see the difference between “I CAN do X” and “I SHOULD do X”. Everyone has the right to carry (offer void in New Jersey), but that doesn’t mean it’s wise for everyone to carry.

      • YES-but that is the world we live in. Unless you fancy yourself as some kind of “sovereign citizen” LOL…BTW I just saw an OFWG in upstate NY as the PO-leece were searching for the 2 Prison escapees. The Fox guy was was saying how people were arming up and the OFWG pulled his shirt up to reveal his CC gun(he had a NRA cap on). I wondered if CC was legal there(old guy didn’t seem too bright to reveal THAT). Anyone know how easily this upstate NY’er could have legal CC???

  21. In the old days natural selection would take care of this, but now everything has airbags or bumpers to keep them from hurting themselves. But, the 2A states no level of dumb-assery to qualify. You just need to avoid Public Gun Ranges on Saturdays. That could help the innocent bystanders live longer.

  22. They may be too stupid to own and handle firearms, but they are not too stupid to suffer the consequences. THIS IS WHY IT IS CALLED THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. A right is not supposed to come with conditions and implying so only helps those who believe in a “living Constitution.”

  23. Here are my conceptual “qualifications” for CC. There are not at all intended to be suggestions for regulation. Everyone should have the right. These are just considerations I wish everyone would make:

    1. You are ready, willing and able to kill someone in self-defense. If you are not, what is the point? Yes, you never know for sure until it happens, but you should be as sure as you can be. A gun can be a deterrent, but I don’t think anyone should carry unless the deterrent “has teeth.”

    2. You do not want to kill someone in self-defense. You are not looking for trouble. You are not a potential vigilante.

    3. You are willing to learn and follow the rules of gun safety and the laws and principles of self-defense.

    4. You are willing to train with your weapon(s) and accessories to a reasonable level (much more than just “First Steps Pistol”) and willing maintain your proficiency over time.

  24. Can someone explain to me how it is possible to be “cleaning [my] gun and it just went off”? Don’t most if not all of them require you to do something that will open up the action prior to cleaning, and thus any round still in the chamber would be ejected? And even if you don’t disassemble, wouldn’t running a rod down the barrel make you aware that there’s something inside?

    • Claiming that “I was cleaning my gun” after a negligent discharge is no different than taking your date to watch the submarine races.

    • Glock pistols require you to pull the trigger in order to field strip them for cleaning.
      I believe this is the reason they are the number one brand named in negligent discharge stories.
      As I tell all the other doctors,
      “Glocks are for cops, not docs”

  25. “Some need to ask themselves: “Am I too stupid to own/carry a firearm?””

    Unfortunately the Dunning-Kruger effect is in play, so don’t hold your breath

  26. Can we make the same criteria for voting?
    The supposed counter-argument is: “Look at all the damage you can do with a firearm!”. Like I asked, can we force the same criteria for voting?

  27. Friend set up a booth at the Hillsville, VA gun show one year selling antiques & black powder rifles. We were 30 feet from the porta-Jon’s. That had a huge banner over them. After the 50th person asked for directions in the middle of a sale I put out a 5 (gallon bucket with a hole in the lid, wrote a sign on a piece of cardboard with an arrow pointing to toilets a foot high 3 feet long said directions to bathroom. 50 cents kids $1.00 adults.
    It was obviously a joke to anyone with an pulse. We told the first few it was a joke refused the money. After that we just let them drop the money, over the 3 days we collected almost a thousand bucks in the bucket. After gas money $155, we gave the rest to the friends of NRA and Ducks Unlimited.

    This was s few years ago but I don’t think the intelligence has increased that much.


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