Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Unidentified Oakland County Man


I agree with Moms Demand Action on one point: gun safety is extremely important. But while their definition of “gun safety” is the absence of even a picture of a gun, I believe that with a little training, anyone can safely enjoy the wonderful world of gunpowder and lead. So while I appreciate the fact that today’s winner was attempting to demonstrate how safe guns can be, pressing a gun against your head to demonstrate a clear chamber isn’t a method I’d advocate . . .

From the Oakland Press:

A 36-year-old Independence Township (Michigan) man is dead after he shot himself in the head while demonstrating the gun, deputies reported.

The girlfriend, who also lived at the Independence Township residence, told deputies the victim had been drinking most of the day.

She told authorities that he had begun showing her how to use his three handguns and demonstrating how safe they were when they were empty, which he did by placing the gun to his head and pulling the trigger, officials said.

After doing this twice, he demonstrated the third handgun and the gun fired, striking him in the head.

Just a few quick notes for those playing along at home.

First, alcohol and guns never mix. If you’re drinking, the guns get locked up. Alcohol has a tendency to impair the decision-making process, and that can lead to disaster when handling firearms. So even if you’ve only had one beer, you might want to switch to tinkering with the car rather than your guns.

Second, remember all of the safety rules. We rip on gun control advocates when they decide to only promote only their favorite Constitutional amendments, so we should be even more aware of not falling into that same trap with our own behaviors. The four rules exist for a very good reason. You have to break at least two of them for something bad to happen. And number one on the list is every gun is always loaded. Especially if you, similarly, are loaded.

Third, it’s never a good idea to demonstrate that a gun is unloaded by pulling the trigger — with one exception. If you’re at the range, or have the gun pointed into a clearing barrel, even if the gun is loaded the round won’t end up anywhere it shouldn’t. But if you don’t have a large dirt berm or a clearing barrel handy, visually and physically check the gun instead.

Stay safe, folks.


  1. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Ah, yes; otherwise known as the Terry Kath method. Terrible way to clear a weapon, but an excellent way to earn a Darwin Award.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Does anybody really know what time he shot himself? Does anybody care?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Chicago FTW.

    2. avatar Rad Man says:

      You beat me to it, straight up Natural Selection there.

    3. avatar nemsis says:

      I’m not buying it!

      The girlfriend killed him and came up with the crazy story.

      1. avatar shawn l. says:

        I agree.

      2. avatar Lucas D. says:

        One of his trusted band technicians claimed to see him put a pistol to his head and pull the trigger, so if she managed to get his roadie, confidant and friend to corroborate her cover story, I have to say she definitely won that game.

  2. avatar peirsonb says:

    This reminds of the story that pops up once in a while of idiots playing Russian roulette with a semi auto….

    I HAVE demonstrated how safe various safeties are, but ALWAYS unloaded and

    If you’re at the range, or have the gun pointed into a clearing barrel

    1. avatar Bob Wall says:

      Here’s a topper. Russian roulette plus his amigo on the other side of his head to hear what it will sound like if the gun goes off. Washoe County, NV, late 80s. Yes, tequila was involved.

  3. avatar Gunr says:

    Could have been worse. He could have pointed the gun at the girlfriend and pulled the trigger.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Or the parakeet.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Why would he pull the parakeet? Or is pulling the parakeet a euphemism like “polishing the bayonet.”

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          Emptying the magazine.

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Punching the clown.

        3. avatar Ralph says:

          Beating the bishop.

        4. avatar Michael in GA says:

          Milk the bull

  4. avatar BDub says:

    “and the gun fired” ….REALLY!!? even in this article they insist on divorcing responsibility form the person and ascribing the act to the gun!!!? WTF!

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      Yeah, sometimes they will just fire under their own power like that. My neighbor had to get rid of his gun after he caught it trying to cut his brake lines, and I heard of another guy whose gun tried to strangle him with piano wire after a particularly heated “9mm vs. .45” debate. Lucky for me, all my guns do on their own is occasionally get up at night and make themselves a sandwich.

      But seriously, they did set up the “he pulled the trigger” part in the previous paragraph.

  5. Natural selection at work

  6. avatar Model66 says:

    I bet he just wanted to get rid or Tyler Durden.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      He’s doing it wrong.

  7. avatar ropingdown says:

    When I saw this I figured he really just wanted to see the startled look on his girlfriend’s face, but just didn’t think things through. It has all the essential ingredients of a DA nomination.

  8. avatar Cliff H says:

    I am a strong advocate of Darwinian selection, but I really wish they would refrain from the use of firearms.

    This does not apply, however, to those who choose this method of cleansing the gene pool by foolishly frightening other people who are armed.

  9. avatar Michael B. says:

    Third, it’s never a good idea to demonstrate that a gun is unloaded by pulling the trigger — with one exception. If you’re at the range, or have the gun pointed into a clearing barrel, even if the gun is loaded the round won’t end up anywhere it shouldn’t.

    Don’t shoot the clearing barrel!

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Do you have any idea how loud a discharge in a clearing barrel is? Dang!

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      The point is if you think the gun is unloaded you still should aim it somewhere that has a reduced chance of killing someone.

  10. avatar Jay Williams says:

    every gun is always loaded

    I can’t stand the first rule stated this way, because it’s FALSE! I’ve got a whole slew of guns that are NOT loaded! However, I always treat all of them as if they are loaded—even if they aren’t.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      My take on that rule is “Treat every gun as if it were loaded until you have verified otherwise.”

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        That’s a mouthful.

        1. avatar the ruester says:

          “Every gun is loaded ’til it aint.”

        2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          “Trust but Verify” – Ronald Reagan

    2. avatar Michael B. says:

      Everyone knows that it’s not universally true. Like if the gun is apart and the chamber is visibly empty then it’s obviously not loaded.

      The thing is, it applies when you don’t know if the gun is loaded or not and the action isn’t open for you to check. It’s a safe-handling thing that makes sense when coupled with the other three rules.

      It’s also a good rule of thumb for new shooters.

      1. avatar Jay Williams says:

        I’m not going to say something false to a new shooter. I’m going to tell them to treat every gun as if it’s loaded. I may elaborate and tell them that just means to treat the gun with caution and respect.

    3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      It’s a not a physical thing, it’s a mindset thing, having the proper mindset while handling a deathly weapon.

      Most NDs, not unlike this one, start out with someone thinking the gun was unloaded, whether verified or not, but being wrong. And, assclownery always ensues from there.

    4. avatar Hannibal says:

      I don’t… my gun requires me to pull the trigger with my hand on the slide when taking it apart. Would never do that when loaded!

    5. avatar Michael in GA says:

      It is so simple to verify an unloaded weapon. The problem is some people don’t know the difference between confidence and reckless abandon.

  11. avatar James says:

    Dean Wormer: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

    Of course, he may not have been fat . . .

  12. avatar maltwit says:

    Next time he’ll know better.

    1. avatar David says:

      This made me giggle

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    And the MSM is playing this up as a safety demonstration gone wrong.

    Note to media: anything that starts off with “hold my beer, I’m gonna do something” and ends up with a bullet in the coconut is not a safety demonstration.

    However, given the monumental stupidity of the late gentleman with the minuscule brain, it may have been a demonstration of superior marksmanship.

    1. avatar KCK says:

      Every story I have ever heard where Jagermeister is mentioned, always end badly for someone.

  14. avatar Yvan91 says:

    Darwin is in some grave somewhere, laughing his ass off.

  15. avatar MrVigs says:

    I follow 3 very simple rules.

    1. I always put my beer down before I pull the trigger
    2. I always make sure the truck is in P (or under 11 MPH) before I pull the trigger
    3. If I have to be drinking while shooting then I always use a bipod, or sand bags, to free up my drinking hand.

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Let’s party.

    2. avatar Michael in GA says:

      Sounds like you are ready for advance training:
      1. Hold your beer in your support hand while shooting to practice one hand reloading.
      2. Have the truck in reverse going 15 mph while shooting out the passenger window with your wife ducking in the front seat.
      3. It’s not if you have to be drinking while shooting, it’s if you have to shoot while drinking. In that case, you have to learn how to drop the beer so it lands upright.

  16. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

    “First, alcohol and guns never mix.”

    The only thing I do with guns while drinking is order more.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Yup, cleaning your gun with alcohol is a waste of good booze.

    2. avatar Michael in GA says:

      But I drink every day. There is such a thing as a responsible drinker. Just like “don’t blame the gun”, don’t blame the bottle.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    Why is this Oakland man still unidentified? I get that dental records are out of the question, but there should still be fingerprints.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      And, DNA.

      They have everyone’s DNA, I saw it on NCIS.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Oakland is embarrassed that someone that stupid actually lived there.

  18. avatar rooster says:

    *Come on ya sissy, get up shake it off it’s only a flesh wound…or not!
    *Dam that firing out of battery really blows big time.
    *I wonder what the last thing through his mind was?
    *He aint got the brains to do that again!
    *Sorry to make lite of this but dam, drinking or not…well is just um D.U.M.B.
    *So which one was he Mo or Ron because he was not smart enough to be a Moron.
    Somebody stop me, the stupid it…it hurts….OK I’m done now.

    On a side note;
    Heard stories of MP’s doing this in the army with their 45’s [most guys/gals in the MP Corp did not realize that most of those 45′ were born before they were by several decades] but never did meet any “first hand” accounts.

  19. avatar KCK says:

    Doing things that can kill you can sit anywhere on the spectrum.
    0. watching TV
    1. Eating a hotdog and choking
    2. Driving a car
    3. Skiing
    4. skydiving
    5. Base Jumping
    6. Fee hand mountain climbing
    7. putting “empty” gun to head and pulling trigger
    8. Russian roulette with 1 out of 6
    9. Russian roulette with 5 out of 6
    10. Putting “loaded” gun to head and pulling trigger
    IMHO, Anything above 5 or 6 has a bit of suicide built in.

    1. avatar KCK says:

      RF et al
      Just curious, what key word in my post above triggered a moderation hold?
      Do you have an auto scan system in place?

      1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

        WordPress is a mysterious beast. It holds some comments for no apparent reason.

        1. avatar KCK says:

          Thanks Walter
          Never noticed you avatar until now, watched the Lebowski last night.

  20. avatar BTinAfghan says:

    I bet this act of stupidity was preceded by the words “watch this”.

  21. avatar pat says:

    This is could also possibly be a covering explanation for what was actually a suicide. Many (All?) life insurance policies don’t pay out in event of suicide. “It wasn’t suicide Mr. Insurance Agent – it was accidental death because he was trying to demonstrate how safe guns are when it just went off.”

    Not saying that this is what happened though.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:


    2. avatar Bob says:

      I read this story somewhere else, with one more piece of information.
      “The coroner has ruled it a suicide.”

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Do they pay out for “death by really stupid misadventure?”

    4. avatar Michael in GA says:

      Always get your Hoppe’s and brushes out before offing yourself. It also helps if you use a model that doesn’t have a mag disconnect safety that way it appears more like an “accident”.

    5. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

      Most insurance policies pay off for suicide, but have a first year exclusion.

  22. avatar Marcus says:

    “…demonstrating how safe they were when they were empty….”
    He certainly proved that…

  23. avatar Paul G. says:

    Perfect example of “don’t do it this way”.

  24. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    IMHO it’s not enough to be drunk, you need to be drunk AND stupid to do something that bright.

  25. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    “First, alcohol and guns never mix.” Says who?
    You really mean, “Alcohol and guns should never mix.” Hmmm?

    I realize that we all would like to promote the gun safety line, but guns and alcohol have mixed since before Colt revolutionized the 6-shooter. We just don’t want to be the ones to admit that they do, and in more places than we care to acknowledge. Right now, somewhere in the backwoods of America, guns and alcohol are mixing, and nobody is going to die from it. Alcohol, guns, and idiots don’t mix. My friends and I shot so many bottles, cans, and Hell-won’t-have-it, off of a picnic table while inebriated, that the thing collapsed into a pile of kindling one Fall evening. We laughed so hard we put ourselves into vapor-lock gasping for air. And not a one of us ever got shot while doing this…or even came close. Was it smart or even a remotely good idea? It’s somewhere between ‘probably not’ and ‘Hell no,’ but that was the whole dang point. Even while we were drunk, we observed all of the safety protocols so as not to get shot, or worse, to accidentally shoot one of our friends. We shot our loads off my friends back porch till we were empty, then we crashed in his family room and arose to pancakes and bacon the next morning. Those are fond memories, indeed.

    Not the guns and alcohol story I would promote, or suggest anyone repeat, but there it is, we mixed guns and alcohol,…regularly, and we lived to tell that tale.
    My drinking days are long gone, along with my youth, and never to be again.
    Sure, the ‘guns and alcohol don’t mix’ is the responsible lesson to promote, but the reality is, it just isn’t true. Never was.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I think that “guns and alcohol don’t mix” is just a way of making the point that nobody should ever mix alcohol and Hoppe’s. Because it totally ruins the flavor of Hoppe’s.

    2. avatar LT says:

      How’s this description?: “It’s generally a poor idea to mix alcohol and firearms, as is pointing a gun at oneself and pulling the trigger in order to demonstrate that the firearm isn’t loaded.” Read more at TLR: Man Teaches Gun Safety By Shooting Himself In The Head (VIDEO) | The Libertarian Republic

  26. avatar CoolBreeze72 says:

    No. If you’re drinking. Don’t shoot. It is never acceptable. Let’s not go down that road.

  27. avatar John says:

    Navy SEAL accidentally shoots self
    Seems like the more experience you have around guns the more likely your going to “accidentally” set one off.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      “Cali says the man was showing guns to a woman he’d met earlier at a bar and put a pistol he believed was unloaded to his head.”

      It’s almost as if there are some common themes…

      1. avatar rlc2 says:

        yep, tragic, a junior guy under the influence, as I recall.

        My guess is this came from
        the common “Glock ND while cleaning the gun” error, if you do it out-of-order, like somehow, if you are inebriated and/or
        “the little head is doing the thinking for the big head…”

        2. rack slide to eject bullet
        (forgeting that releasing slide takes the next bullet off the top of mag)
        1. release mag
        3. Pull trigger (like you have to in a Glock to disassemble for cleaning)

        happens all the time

  28. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    First off, even if I’ve been dry firing all evening if I set the gun down and pick it back up, I visually check the chamber.

    Secondly…I don’t think I could physically bring myself to point a gun at my head, even having verified that it’s empty and I don’t think that’s a hump I want to push myself across.

  29. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    Ya see lefties, when we say that we agree that some people shouldn’t own guns, this is what we mean, and now he doesn’t own anything anymore. He can still vote Democrat though.

  30. avatar AJ says:

    I would say he absolutely proved how safe guns are when they are not loaded, by showing the opposite. “See, this is what happens when the gun is not verified as unloaded – BANG!!!” Makes sense.

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