There was an incident in the Gillette Stadium parking lot Sunday before the Patriots dumped a game to the visiting New York Football Giants. Gillette, like every NFL venue, is a designated gun-free zone. And, unfortunately, one hapless fan managed to shoot himself in the leg in the process of rendering himself gun free. Sure, there are plenty of ways he went wrong in making himself a possible candidate for IGOTD glory. But let’s look at the bigger picture here…
nj.com has a blurb on what happened:
Police say a 50-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the leg in a parking lot at Gillette Stadium before the New England Patriots game against the Giants.
Chief Edward O’Leary says the man was trying to empty the chamber of a licensed handgun when it discharged at about 3:15 p.m. Sunday.
He was apparently pretty successful in emptying that chamber, eh?
Forget the safety rule violations here for a minute. Why was this mook handling his gun in the first place? Because he had to. The NFL forced his hand. If the unnamed fan wanted to stay legal, he had to leave his heater locked in his car before heading into the game.
Every time you handle your gun, you increase the chances of a negligent discharge. The safest place for your gun is always in your safe or right there in the holster on your hip. Or wherever you choose to tote your gun. Holstered guns don’t “go off.”
Licensed concealed carriers, of course, run into the same problem this fan did every day. Leave it in the vehicle, or keep it in the holster and violate the law.
We certainly don’t advocate being a Dillinger for CCW rights. Depending on the state, you run the risk of losing your carry privileges if caught with a gun in a rainbows and starfish zone. And, yes, the Foxboro fan should have been able to successfully empty his chamber without letting lead fly.
But businesses like the NFL (or your local grocery store, bank or waffle house) that prohibit lawfully carried guns only increase the likelihood of something like this happening in their parking lots by making their patrons who want to comply with the law – which is the vast majority of them – handle their guns.
Does the NFL care? I’m sure they don’t. While a parking lot shooting isn’t exactly ideal, it beats the hell out of the alternative in their view. As long as they don’t have a shooting inside the stadium, they probably consider this a policy win.
Of course, if this guy had kept his gun on his hip, strolled inside and enjoyed the game with 70,000 of his friends, there wouldn’t have been a shooting at all. And I have a secret for the muckety-mucks in the NFL’s Park Avenue offices: Not everyone was as scrupulous about complying with the law as Hopalong was. There were plenty of fans with guns – both licensed and illegal – in that stadium on Sunday and no one was ventilated.
But if the NFL really cared for the safety of their fans, they wouldn’t force licensed concealed weapon carriers to disarm themselves in their cars, increasing the chances of an ND. Not that I expect to see a policy change any time soon. I’m still marveling at my ability to get through this post without a gratuitous Plaxico Burress reference. Not bad, huh?