Kalispell, Montana is beautiful country. The Flathead Valley is home to a burgeoning niche firearm industry, and any of my uncles could tell you the hunting and fishing around there isn’t bad either. I try to take my daughters there every summer for a week away from video games and Instagram. It’s solid Gun Country. Unfortunately there’s one fewer gun owner there today, after a man accidentally shot himself in the face while examining an AR-15 . . .
Edward Schramm was handling an AR-15 last weekend, and apparently ignoring every single one of the rules of gun safety. To put it delicately, he blew his own brains out. Ironically, he’s probably one of the only people ever to die from a gunshot wound from an AR-15 in Montana.
A friend witnessed the accidental shooting and immediately called 911, but nothing could be done. “He was examining a rifle and it accidentally discharged and shot him in the face,” said detective (and part-time coroner) Dick Sine. I would disagree with the passive construction of Detective Sine’s statement, because guns don’t do anything unless they are made to do it by a human operator.
But I shouldn’t be too harsh; at least nobody said “the gun just went off.”
Mr. Schramm’s story is more tragic than most IGOTDs, but this award might help drive the lesson home: the four rules were written for a reason. If his entirely-avoidable tragedy can be a lesson or a reminder to others, maybe it will have served some purpose.