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So thirty employees of the Zion Nuclear Power Station on Lake Michigan north of Chicago attend a firearms training class and the instructor Grebners himself. If you’re a certified secret-code-ring-wearing Armed Intelligentsia member and regular reader, you know these things happen. It hardly even seems worth busting out any IGOTD hardware for this one. No, what’s (marginally) worthy of note here is the reaction of the local constabulary…

According to, the nuke workers were getting “transition training,” moving from revolvers to semi-automatics. Apparently time moves a little slower in the nuclear power industry. Must have something to do with the proximity to all that fissionable material or something. I never was very good at physics.

Be that as it may, the local PD seems awfully anxious to give the instructor a pass here:

A detective with the Caledonia Police Department said the incident likely wasn’t the trainer’s fault because the group had been having problems with the new guns and the ammunition they were using at the time, according to a report by the Caledonia Police Department.

Translation: the damned gun just “went off.” You know how tricky those new pistols can be. And some joker must have mixed in some of that wacky trick birthday ammo that pops off when you least expect it. You never know what kind of hijinks those crazy nuclear engineers will get up to next.

Anyway, we’re glad the unnamed detective is so sanguine about negligent discharges. And we’re sure that if it had happened to John Q. Public in his garage or rumpus room, the poor slob would benefit from the same level of understanding and forbearance afforded the professional instructor.

Now let’s hope those power plant workers learned something despite the mishap. Because to paraphrase Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October, most things where they work don’t react too well to bullets.

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  1. It’s probably worth noting that nuclear power plants have their own armed security forces. I doubt that these 30 employees were your button-pushers so–negligent discharge aside–it’s not really fair to compare them to Homer Simpson.

    • If these were the plant’s armed security ninjas, I’m not sure the fact that they’re just now moving from revolvers and getting trained on semi-automatic pistols gives me much comfort. Sure, Chicago sucks and all but I don’t want to see it glowing in the northern night sky as I take the Labs out for walkies.

      • Where I work, the plant security folks carry Sigs and AR’s. Perhaps this is more of Chi-town’s usual asshattery?

  2. As I recall, the Zion Nuclear Station is a good hour or so north of Chicago. The beach south of there was beautiful. It is an interesting area as the fauna changes dramatically north to south supposedly because thats where a glacier halted its advance.

  3. if this is what happens when switching from revolvers to semiautomatics, I can’t wait for the transition from their everday flintlocks to modern sporting firearms.

  4. It’s also worth noting that the Zion plant shut down nuclear operations some years ago and hasn’t produced power since.

    • Eventually then they will get around to actually closing the plant. Until then it will be as secure as they can make it.

      • I think they don’t have a choice. I believe that there is still radioactive waste stored there that was originally going to Yucca Mountain-until that project was stopped.

  5. “… bring 30 employees to the facility to “get trained in what he described as a transition training,” which means they were going from using a revolver to semi-automatic guns.”

    Hey, Vern – maybe we shoulda’ kept the revolvers, ya think?

  6. “Gun Instructor” and ND. “I’m the only one in this room, qualified to (*BANG*)”

    I hope they survive their training.

  7. While reading the title of this article that compares these people to homer simpson, I’m trying to think of a person to compare the author too who has no understanding of grammar. “What could possibly wrong…?” Really?

  8. The more I read about Zion Nuclear Power Station, less I believe that a Homer Simpson type currently works there. This group sounds alot more like rent-a-cops and a firearms trainer who screwed up. The trainer should be publicity ridiculed.

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