CHL Student Injured in Class, CNN All Over It


“Oh the irony.” Those are the very first words in a CNN article about a negligent discharge in a concealed handgun course in Ohio, dripping with sarcasm and savoring the opportunity to use a single incident to paint all gun owners as unsafe and reckless yahoos. Or, as CNN puts it, “the gun went off.” We here at TTAG prefer the phrase “the gun was negligently discharged by the instructor.” One might expect a news organization like CNN to at least attempt to hide its biases better than that, but this is CNN we’re talking about. Why bother with the pretense any more? The Columbus Dispatch, who first had the story, ran it in a dispassionate and factual voice, as one might expect from a “real” news reporting shop. Here’s what they had to say . . .

Terry J. Dunlap Sr., who runs a shooting range and training center at 6995 Coonpath Rd. near Lancaster, was demonstrating a hand gun in the classroom when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte’s right arm.

Dunlap, 73, also is a long-time Violet Township trustee who is running for re-election in November.

There’s a reason they make “blue” guns. You know — the plastic fakes? They’re great for training exercises, and help to avoid these situations almost every time.

The more interesting part of the story, though, was that a large number of the participants in the class were nurses. It makes sense when you think about it. People working long shifts at places that dispense narcotics and frequently arrive or depart from work in the middle of the night might want to protect themselves. But naturally, the CNN article prefers to sensationalize and make the anti-gun point instead.


  1. avatar SigGuy says:

    Yeah teaching a CHL class with live ammunition is an excellent idea…

  2. avatar Blehtastic says:

    Old dude is old. Might be time for his kids to have “the talk” with him.

  3. avatar Kory says:

    “What ‘er happen’d?”

    “It’s Dunlap a’gin, he Dunlap that one go.”

  4. avatar Alan says:

    Was the student hit ok? You know after he got shot.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      The poor bastard will probably have to sit through the class again before he gets his CHL…

      1. avatar J- says:

        At the very least they shouldn’t make him pay for it again.

  5. What is not mentioned in the article is that he is also a police instructor and maintains his peace officer certificate and is on the rolls of the PD. Which makes him another only one. This would also wipe out the argument that police and military should be the only ones with guns.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Epic faceplam, that.

    2. avatar squashpup says:

      One thing they taught us in the NRA instructors course was that you NEVER have live ammo in the classroom…something I have adhered to faithfully.

      I make all my students show clear and inspect their magazines before they come into the classroom. The only “rounds” in the room are my inert dummy rounds that are painted bright red.

      You have to be an absolute doorknob to allow live ammo in a CCW class.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        +1. It’s a training class, no live ammo should be brought in, period. You can’t take a room full of student gun handlers and order them to essentially ‘play’ with their guns without NDs unless you ensure no ammo is about.

  6. avatar Bob Wall says:

    If 400 lives were saved that same day by proper use of a firearm – CNN would ignore it.

    “Oh what toads these ‘journalists’ be.” With apologies to toads.

  7. avatar LC Judas says:

    Guns are scary. Even professionals can’t handle them!

    *rolls eyes*

    Shall we count how many times live CPR is given in harmless swimming courses next? That should be a higher number.

  8. avatar Daniel Raidt says:

    “One might expect a news organization like CNN to at least attempt to hide its biases better than that.”

    Your kidding right ?

    1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

      I suppose the bias Robert is talking about is that guns are evil and just “go off” by themselves.

      The problem with this reading of the sloppy reporting is it doesn’t make sense. No one, not CNN and not gun control folks at large, think that, and we certainly don’t try to push it due to our bias against your beloved fetish items.

      No, this is just sloppy reporting, plain and simple. In fact, by using the passive voice, as so many do, it downplays the irresponsible actions of the shooter. It takes the onus off him and places it on the inanimate object, which as everyone knows makes no sense at all.

      The bottom line is that CNN wrote what it did out of sloppiness and stupidity but Robert wrote what he did out of a nonsensical attempt to deceive. According to him, anti-gun people actually believe guns just go off by themselves.

      1. avatar darth says:

        Um, some anti-gun people DO actually believe this.

        1. avatar BDub says:

          Agreed, I have encountered this on multiple occasions, first hand. One in particular, I remember the exact phrase, “well, its just a matter of time before it eventually goes off.” Like it was on a timer…ugh.

      2. avatar Jake says:

        I could swear I just heard that sound when the door opens and you see the knife slowly move into the room attached to a shadowy figure. You know… this sound –

      3. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

        Yes, it was pure laziness that lead the writer to open a news article with “Oh, the irony,” since it would have been more work to omit the snarky commentary.

      4. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The true anti-gunners, like Schumer, Feinsten, and you, mikey, don’t believe that they go off by themselves, and nobody is saying that you do. But you people often encourage that impression, and certainly do nothing to dissuade it, because it encourages gun-ignorant people to have an unreasonable fear of inanimate objects, and that fear serves your interests.

        I’d bet just about everyone here has encountered someone who was abjectly afraid to even touch a gun, because they have been so thoroughly inculcated with the idea that it can “just go off,” either by itself or with the slightest touch.

        Oh, and Nick wrote this piece, not Robert.

        1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          “Oh, and Nick wrote this piece, not Robert.”

          Sorry about that, Robert.

      5. avatar Cliff H says:

        “…your beloved fetish items.”

        By which I am assuming you are referring to the Constitution of the United States of America? And more specifically the Bill of Rights/first ten amendments.

      6. avatar jwm says:

        “Your fetish items.” Textbook case of projection. Now all we have to figure is what fetish items mikey is projecting. Wanna bet they’re rubber and strap on?

      7. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

        Sloppiness and stupidity is the standard liberal go-to response to excuse or criticize.

        When Henry Lois Gates,Obama’s Hahvahd pal, was arrested by the Cambridge Police, Obama said the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” before he even knew what the truth was.
        When Sandy Burger was caught taking high security documents from the National Archives…hidden in his socks and underwear, the press said it was simply a case of “sloppiness” on Burgers part. Tired, lame.

  9. avatar g says:

    Do the students get an automatic “pass” for surviving a bad instructor?

  10. avatar gof says:

    The CCL class I took did not allow students to have live ammo and the instructor used all dummy rounds.

    It was actually held in a gun shop. I forgot the danger I was in with all those guns there. I am very lucky they did not go off while I was in class. Whew.

    Hey, side Q. When in a gun shop, if one gun goes off, do all the others go off, you know…like mousetraps in a room with a ping pong ball?

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      There were actually no guns in my concealed carry classroom. All gun handling was done on the range.

      1. avatar Taylor Tx says:

        Same here, all guns and ammo were put in the closet as people walked into the room and then only taken out for range time. The instructor didnt used his personal firearm to demonstrate a few things, but of course, showed it clear to everyone.

        1. avatar DS says:

          Same here as well. No guns or ammo in the classroom. Did not see a gun until we went to the range.

    2. avatar thatoneguy says:

      Oh, they sure do all go off at once. Didn’t you know guns adhere to the mob mentality? Why do you think all those people get shot in Chicago? Criminals shooting each other? No way, one gun happened to AD this one time and all of this violence going on there is just that gun’s friends joining in the fun.

    3. avatar Ropingdown says:

      …or like seven NYPD guys on a dark night in the Bronx?

  11. avatar Jake says:

    How often does this actually happen? This is the first time I have seen a news story about it. In contrast, there are plenty of videos of various civilian obedience enforcement officers negligently discharging weapons in classrooms, cars, interrogation rooms, while kneeling on the backs of subdued suspects into the back of said suspects killing said suspects, etc.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I recall in the past in the military this was somewhat common, even with clearing barrels. Someone mentioned recently that it still is.

      1. avatar Jake says:

        People should stop taking commentary like ours as “anti cop” or “anti military” when it’s really “pro everyone”

        Everyone makes mistakes, the grabbers seem to have forgotten they used to hate militarization of police and other police state things, until the word of the day became gun control again and the anti-war left saw a shiny object and went off into oblivion. Now the cops are infallible luminous beings of star stuff. The grabbers basically stand on a bed of sand when they are trying to say that “civilians” are somehow less able to learn how to use a machine created by human ingenuity than are police.

        1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

          The left being silent right now on police thuggery is entirely consistent with their values. War is bad (if the US is fighting to protect it’s interests), but war is noble if it’s a socialist or communist country fighting to further the spread of leftism. Guns are bad (if they may pose a threat to the advancement of leftism), but a tool of glorious revolution (when used to oppose freedom). Over-armed and over-zealous cops are bad (if they tear-gas communist protestors), but good (if they raid undesirables like “preppers,” home-schoolers, and anyone who uses the words “liberty” or “constitution”). Not difficult to understand at all, really.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      I suspect it happens about as often as you hear about someone robbing a gun store. other words, neither one happens very often but only one of the items is actually “news” to the MSM.

    3. avatar Ben Branam says:

      Unfortunately these things do happen but most of the time the media never says anything. While I was in a California Police academy a neighboring academy instructor shot a student in the head. Luckily only a graze. The instructor decided to use his duty weapon for a force on force demo and didn’t clear it properly. It seems that everyone has an interest in covering these up. It’s sad.

  12. avatar Bob Wall says:

    And of course, these toads at CNN are the ones Dianne Feinstein wants to label as “real” journalists. I’d say more, but some on this list would think me uncharitable, and possibly scare off potential readers.

  13. avatar Joseph says:

    I hope Dunlap has good insurance. As for the Communist News Network…par for the course.

  14. avatar Flubnut says:

    Any article about a mass shooting in a gun-free zone can also start with the words “oh the irony.” Somehow I don’t think CNN would see THAT irony…

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Give this comment the #1 ribbon!

  15. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

    Am I the only one who see’s a major media propaganda compain being engineered I mean the starbucks accidental discharge the bloombergs pathetic attempt to use a police shooting to ban gunshows bye patently blaming the gun and now this plus several other little blips on the radar. I see a storm coming and we are just starting to recover from the last one!

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I wouldn’ say coming, I’d say continuing.

  16. avatar thatguyoverthere says:

    Live rounds in a classroom. Wow.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      The “classroom” where I took my CHP class was off to one side of the main retail area of a gun store. It would’ve been exceptionally difficult to enforce a “no live rounds in the classroom” rule (especially given the condition 1 1911 on the instructor’s thigh).

  17. avatar PeterC says:

    Negligent discharges are nothing to joke about; many liberals are caused by them!

  18. avatar Shwiggie says:

    The instructor of the course I took actually had students come up and inspect the firearms he brought into the room firearms to prove they were empty. Another staffer checked all students’ firearms as they entered the room. No one could have ammunition in the classroom. They were quite strict on this point, and this story shows why.

    1. avatar JT says:

      We weren’t even allowed to have our guns in the classroom when I took it. They stayed locked up in your car until we did the range portion of the class.

  19. avatar Jeff says:

    Another opinion piece disguised as news.

  20. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    That’s it. I’m convinced. Guns are evil and regular citizens (unless they are LEOs) should never handle guns. Why did it take me so long to see the light? Thank you CNN.

  21. avatar Jason says:

    I’m an NRA instructor. Here are the safety rules we require that he violated:
    * Live rounds in a classroom: Never! Only dummy rounds, and the dummy rounds should look like dummies (e.g. bright orange plastic).
    * Always keep it pointed in a safe direction. A desk, especially if someone is near it, is NOT a safe direction.
    * Always keep it unloaded until you’re ready to use it (for shooting or carry, not for instruction).

    And then EVERY time you pick up a gun:
    * Visually inspect it to ensure it’s empty.
    * Stick your pinky in the chamber to ensure it’s empty (or all cylinders for revolvers).
    * Hold the gun open (the cylinder out in this case) for a student to visually and pinky check it.

    I don’t think it’s an age issue. I know a few guys that age who instruct safely. I suspect it’s more about hubris. He probably thought he’s a smart, safe guy, so he doesn’t need to do all the normal safety stuff.

  22. avatar DerryM says:

    I wonder how many of these classes the gent taught without incident? Law of Averages can be a b*tch! I’d bet it won’t happen a second time, provided he survives the considerable embarrassment he must be experiencing in the aftermath. Not to ignore possible Lawsuit, Censure from the Local PD and other unpleasant prospects. So it goes. Hope the Student hit recovers fully.

    CNN is just laughable, so no need to throw darts of insult at them.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      As others have noted, he’s a police officer himself. No action will be taken against him.

      1. avatar DerryM says:

        Yep. That would be my expectation, too.

  23. avatar Bill J says:

    He fired a .38?
    So much for revolvers being safer.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      You can’t blame the tool for shoddy workmanship.

  24. avatar Derrick says:

    I’m sure this is how Mr. Dunlap feels.

    1. avatar Jake says:

      Now it’s good and broke!

  25. avatar In Memphis says:

    So umm did that DEA guy that shot himself in the foot in front of a classroom of children get this kind of coverage? Wernt his last words to the effect of, “I am the only person in this room that is qualified to handle this” BANG!

  26. avatar Don says:

    My brother sells a ton of handguns to nurses. Some hospitals have safe storage areas for them when you are on shift.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      Last Fall when my wife spent the night in a hospital, I came up with a convenient safe storage area for my carry gun – inside my waistband and under my shirt.

      1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        Yeah but…
        Here in NC there may be a couple of problems with that.
        1. We were taught in my CC class that “teaching hospitals” fell into the same classification as an elementary school.
        2. If you happen to bump into a cop in the hospital and he engages you with a question, we have a duty to inform. (Which kinda makes you wonder about the ‘self-incrimination’ aspect of that law.)

        1. avatar DonS says:

          Here in CO, the only schools that are prohibited (firearm can’t leave the vehicle) are “public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school”. I don’t know how a “teaching hospital” could be classified as a such a place in CO.

          We don’t have a “duty to inform” here.

          Recent silliness notwithstanding, CO still seems to me to be one of the most gun-friendly states in the union. Yes, we just got nailed with PP background checks and mag size restrictions, but: we can open carry, no “30.06”-like law, we can carry in bars in restaurants (we can even drink, unwise as that may be), etc. The list of places where we may not carry is remarkably small.

        2. avatar blehtastic says:

          It has to be a law enforcement question/encounter. If he asks you how your new baby is doing/other small talk, you have no duty to inform.

  27. avatar S.CROCK says:

    I’m sure for every ccw permit holder that discharges their weapon accidentally, there are two or more cops with negligent discharges.

    1. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

      I think your giving the cops to much credit also the instructor was a police officer somthing the CNN article failed to mention

    2. avatar bontai Joe says:

      …… and a couple of dead dogs….

  28. avatar Tokamak says:

    Once upon a time at a gun range the subject of negligent/accidental discharges came up. I was surprised how many people admitted to them. It was good to share the experiences so that we could all learn from them. Most often they are somebody’s dirty little secret. Some were kind of funny. Others, not so much.
    Of course none of them were really funny. Oh the Irony!

    1. avatar Rev. Maurice Pompitous says:

      I’ll admit to one many, many years ago. The first time I handled a sem-auto pistol in fact. I had only fired revolvers before that and had no idea what a single action trigger felt like. Obviously I didn’t obey the rule about not putting your finger on the trigger. The gun went off, no correct that, I fired the gun negligently and the round hit a big old welder (machine, not a person) in my friends garage. It was a 22lr round and it hit the soft metal of the welder and landed on the floor with no ricochet. The gun was a 70S Beretta and I have it to this day. Lesson learned!

    2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      I’ve heard some stories that were funny and were told to be funny but at the same time, I cringed and thought that if it were me I’d keep that to myself.
      Another story is a friend that nearly shot off his finger, only a good surgeon allowed him to keep it though it doesn’t quite function the same anymore.

      1. avatar Tokamak says:

        There is a big lesson behind every ND. Whether it’s “funny” or not. When you look at the “what if’s” you have to get to the “Thank God’s”.

        I have to say I was amused by the ATF agent shooting himself on you tube as were all of my friends.

        The fact is, firearms really only go off when the trigger is pulled. CNN or any other anti can spin any one of these stories to be another tool in their arsenal. The facts don’t really matter to them. It is difficult to watch these “journalists” in action.

  29. avatar dwb says:

    I had a chemistry teach once who put his hand in acid to show how bad it was. “don’t do this” was the message.

    “Dunlap apparently didn’t know that the gun was loaded”


    Dunlap should get this get a tattoed on his forehead.

    P.S. from the article:

    “Piemonte is studying for his teaching degree at Ohio State University’s Newark campus and plans to teach elementary school. He said he and his wife, who already has her teaching degree, decided to apply for concealed-carry permits for their own general safety and not specifically for classroom safety.”

    Hurry, call the democraps, a teracher with a gun!!

  30. avatar Roscoe says:

    CNN may be laughable, but expect EVERY national evening news report to pick up and present this story in a similar anti gun tone.

    The pervasive bigoted bias of prominent big news media is disgusting. They no longer have any sense of factual reporting; the coverage is laced with their “feelings” and pro progressive slant on everything they report, on every issue, not just guns.

    But guns is their leading whipping post topic; at least until someone in government threatens one of their reporters’ 1st Amendment protections.

    These days, most of these ‘reporters’ are nothing more than leftist bigots that unwaveringly spout the Democratic Party line from their mouths and their typing. Fine products turned out by our mostly leftist college and university faculty.

  31. avatar Ralph says:

    “I’m the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry this . . .”


    “Oh, crap. Somebody call the EMTs. And Lee Paige.”

    Are we sure this was an ND? ‘Cause the article says the demon weapon was a .38, which means that it was probably a revolver, and you have to work to ND a revolver.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      I’d the same thought.

      Mayhap he was demonstrating draw and cock and he slipped. Still, that’s just not easy to do.

      Hell, on my Nagant it’s impossible.

    2. avatar Rev. Maurice Pompitous says:

      Probably demonstrating SA/DA. Sharing knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

    3. avatar Jason says:

      He could have been demonstrating something like how long it takes to draw, aim, and fire. I really suspect he thought the gun was unloaded. Performing a demonstration with a gun without properly checking to see if it’s loaded is bad enough; performing the demonstration with a gun one believes is loaded is beyond stupid.

    4. avatar greg says:

      Could be 38 ACP….. who knows, since the reporting is so **** poor.

  32. avatar Gregolas says:

    What’s the difference between CNN and a buzzard?
    One is an animal that circles, waiting for an accidental shooting so it can profit from it-and the other is a bird.
    What’s the difference between CNN and a catfish?
    One is a scum-sucking, muck-raking bottom-feeder-and the other is a fish with whiskers.

  33. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

    This, regrettably, happened just down the road from me. The only good news is that I have the more complete local news report links as opposed to the more halfassed CNN report.

    Let’s see….
    1.) Treat every weapon as if it were loaded… FAIL
    2.) Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot… FAIL
    3.) Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire… FAIL
    4.) Keep your weapon on safe until you are ready to fire… well it’s a revolver, so FAIL as soon as he put his finger on the trigger.

    He broke every damn firearms safety rule he could and AFTER FAILING TO PROPERLY CLEAR THE WEAPON. This was blatant negligence, and though the local media seems to be uncertain, they can clearly demonstrate that they are willing to report the whole story and can at least grasp at the concept of negligence. It’s really amazing how many people don’t understand these kinds of things, and think guns are going to just randomly load and discharge themselves. My dad literally can’t handle a firearm without clearing it first, even if you just cleared it yourself, after clearing it himself when he hands it to you, and so on, and he brought me up the same way… a pistol might be cleared three or four times that way, in the span of five or ten minutes. Perhaps a bit overkill, but we’ve managed to not accidentally shoot anyone.

    As for the concept of blue-guns, I have to say, were I properly qualified and about to teach a CCW class, I might invest in a half dozen to broadly mimic Glocks, revolvers, 1911s, and so on. I’ve heard of CCW instructors who specifically ban real firearms from classroom instruction specifically so this kinda incident doesn’t happen. What this was was some club who had “qualified” individuals running classes, and someone screwed the pooch. Badly.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      I’ve never heard of your #4. As you suggested, it doesn’t really apply to DA revolvers, and it certainly doesn’t apply to my Glock.

      The 4th rule I’ve heard of is “Be sure of your target [and what’s beyond it].”

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        Those are the rules that they made EVERYONE yell at the top of their lungs every morning on the firing line during USMC rifle qual right after your rifle was inspected to make sure you didn’t bring a shoddy-cleaned gunktrap onto the range. It didn’t matter if you were a Parris Island Recruit or an officer or a gunny.

        I’ve heard your #4 as well. He also FAILED at that one. And since Glocks and DA revolvers don’t have a lever or switch specifically designed to prevent a loaded firearm from discharging (and by rule #1 you don’t trust such levers anyway), and since under those situations the brain becomes your safety, AND since it is clearly evident that his brain was disengaged, I can say with a bit of mental gymnastics that yes, he broke BOTH rules #4.

  34. avatar JT says:

    “The Columbus Dispatch, who first had the story, ran it in a dispassionate and factual voice, as one might expect from a “real” news reporting shop.”

    Wait… What? This is actually pretty shocking. The Dispatch usually takes every chance they get to smear gun owners.

  35. avatar Scooter says:

    Hey that like 20 miles from where I live. I guess that’s one less instructor I have to compete with in my area.

  36. avatar Chip says:

    I’m really glad that the student wasn’t hit in the chest, and was only hit in the arm. Stupid that he was hit at all, of course …

    But I’m absolutely disgusted with how careless the instructor was. He basically violated all of the rules of gun safety … and he’s teaching the @#$%ing course??? Something is very wrong.

    Out of curiosity … I wonder how often people who teach driving courses get into car accidents, and if they ever warrant a CNN article.

  37. avatar ktmmudd says:

    Unfortunately, this was no accident. It was the predictable end result of many failures piled on top of each other until BAM! The gun was loaded, not pointed in a safe direction, finger on the trigger when he didn’t want to fire, and not a safe target.

  38. avatar greg says:

    When I took my conceal class we had to assure there was no live ammo in the room, in your bag, on your person and check all ammo at front desk. Of course we had a box of blue plastic guns as well. Bottom line the instructor was negligent, that is it…. move on.

  39. avatar Crunkleross says:

    Making an issue out of the instructors age is stooping to the level of the anti gunners we hate so much. We are all human, none perfect and sometimes we make mistakes.

    1. avatar Nordic says:

      Except mistakes with guns are likely to leave someone dead, paralyzed, or brain damaged. If some chef drops his knife during a cooking class no one gets killed.

  40. avatar Paul McCain says:

    The man clearly is no longer competent to be teaching firearm classes. Period.

  41. avatar Fred Ackley says:

    This shows why instructors should be NRA trained. Never would have happened. Firearms instructors at my department are not NRA trained and I’ve seen some scary stuff there. Several years ago a police instructor at a nearby department actually killed a recruit. Again, never would have happened had the guy been NRA trained.

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