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This past Saturday, I took my friend to a local sporting goods store. He has just bought his first gun, and we were getting him all the supplies he needed to clean and store his new purchase. And you can rest assured that I’ll be teaching him all the important safety rules to follow starting with never pointing a loaded firearm at your junk . . .

Michael Smeriglio, a teenager living in Port St. Lucie Florida, didn’t take that particular bit of advice to heart. According to a report from the Daily Mail, the teenager had recently purchased his first firearm at a local party. Speculation is that it was a handgun, and while the 18-year-old Floridian may not have been able to legally purchase one from a dealer, buying a gun from a private citizen is still kosher. However, details about whether the handgun itself was kosher are scarce.

As he was cleaning the firearm (or attempting to), something terrible happened. He forgot all four rules of firearm safety and shot himself. Where did the round land, you ask? Well

Doctors say the bullet went through his penis, his left testicle and then lodged itself in his thigh.


Remember: the four rules aren’t just for the range — they’re also required when doing ANYTHING with guns. I go so far as to try to treat the barrel as if it were loaded, even when completely disassembled and separated from the rest of the parts of the gun. If you always religiously follow the four rules, there’s no possible way you can end up with extra perforations. Safety always comes first, especially around firearms, and responsible gun owners recognize that fact.

While it may have been a good effort, trying and avoid our most coveted award by voluntarily removing himself from the gene pool, we nevertheless are happy to award Mr. Smeriglio (or what’s left of him) with our Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day award.

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  1. Interesting. He managed to remove himself from the gene pool without killing himself. I forget; is death a requirement for a Darwin Award?

    • A Darwin Award need not be awarded posthumously, so long as reproduction is rendered impossible. (Medically-assisted fertilization does not apply.)

    • From History and Rules at :

      “The prime tenet of the Darwin Awards is that we are celebrating the self-removal of incompetent genetic material from the human race. Therefore, the potential winner must be deceased, or at least incapable of reproducing. The traditional method is death. However, an occasional rebel opts for sterilization, which allows her more time to enjoy the dubious notoriety of winning a Darwin Award.”

    • Lol. I think we have a candidate.

      But really, is it so hard to follow the four rules? Or rather, at least one of them at all times?

      • Ever since the N.Y. Mets moved there for spring training, it’s been filling up with ex-pat’s who suddenly found out about Florida’s gun laws. If they don’t die of old age or skin cancer, the stupidity they exhibit handling a gun will get them every time.

  2. Cleaning guns appears to be the number one cause of ND. If we all just stopped cleaning our guns, everyone would be safer. Sarcasm off. But seriously, the “I was cleaning my gun” story always sounds fishy to me. My money is on him trying to situate the pistol in his waistband (without a holster) and he pulled the trigger. That is about the position the gun would have had to be in to create that wound channel. He was probably standing in front of the mirror trying to look all cool and gangsta.

    • “He was probably standing in front of the mirror trying to look all cool and gangsta.”
      And taking pictures of himself for his Facebook page when, BLAM! “AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” Good grief, that had to hurt.

      Seriously, what is it about putting a gun down your pants that seems like a good idea to theses guys? As seen in the movies, I guess. And appendix carry is gaining in popularity, if gun websites are anything to go by. I’ll keep my John Thomas out of the line of fire, thank you very much.

      • Agreed. Reminds of that ‘junk’ holster reviewed here (I believe) several months back. Never point a barrel at Mr. Happy, even if it’s in a holster. Nothing good will happen.

    • As I like to put it, I hear of so many negligent discharges while cleaning firearms, but I’ve never heard of anybody discharging a cleaning rod, or blowing up their gun because the barrel was obstructed with the same, or putting a hole in their cleaning kit.

  3. Nick:

    Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded–Check!

    Treat a pile of parts as if it’s a loaded firearm–Not so Much!

    Get a grip man!

    • Maybe, but I do always ask myself-“where would the bullet go if a bolt of lightening magically set off the cartridge right now?”

      • I guess you’ve never heard of redneck firecrackers. Just throw a cartridge in your next camp fire and you’ll find out. The bullet goes nowhere, but the brass might fly around a little.

  4. damn, the junk again! just about the time i quit cringing from the last junk related injury here comes another. who risks their johnson in such a cavalier fashion?
    nra needs a new safety campaign. instead of eddy eagle let’s go with jonny johnson.

  5. Why can’t people like this make things a little more permanent. I’d suggest looking down the barrel and pulling the bang switch to make sure the gun is clear. Make sure to do it outside to prevent permanent staining of interior walls.

  6. It sure is funny how the internet works. Dan Z. did this story already, on August 24. That post linked to an article in the Palm Beach Post from Thursday, August 23rd, the day of the incident.

    Then, yesterday, WTSP, Tampa Bay’s News Leader (might want to work on that timing there, folks, it’s not really “Leading” if it’s 2-1/2 weeks later…), writes a story, referring to “Thursday” but making no mention of the date, which makes it appear that it was last Thursday, Sept 6th. For some reason all the outlets that missed the PBP story on the day of the incident manage to pick up on WTSP’s version (which is shorter and thinner on detail than the original), and suddenly this story is everywhere, including Drudge, the Daily Mail, and the repeat here. I had three people send me this story via email yesterday.

  7. This is an empty post because when you get caught by the !@#$% spam filter, it also fvcks up the “Subscribe to updates” part of the procedure, and the subscription never gets done. So I’m making another reply just to make sure I get the email this time.

    My actual reply will be along presently.

  8. Maybe this was intentional, you know he wanted to try out as a soprano in the local opera company or something lol
    I still haven’t unlocked my legs from the thought of it.

  9. I’m thinking that with as little brains as he showed, maybe he doesn’t feel pain as much either. I can’t imagine what that must have felt like, and NEVER want to know either.

  10. *ahem* now for the inevitable remarks:

    Does he prefer ball ammo?
    I see his gun has a dec*cker
    If he shot himself in the tip of his wee-wee, and he’s uncircumsized, does that mean he was left with a jacketed hollowpoint?
    …or just counterbored?
    This dude is definitely half nuts
    Afterward he ran off half-c*cked

    Okay, I feel better now

  11. a ND while cleaning sounds like a better excuse to give the EMT’s than I was trying to show how cool I was with my new piece and shot my dick off.


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