More Feeling Safer

Via KCEN: Gun Falls out of Purse, Results in Accidental Shooting in Beaumont

Beaumont police officers are investigating an apparent accidental shooting Monday morning at the Christus Outpatient Pavilion located in the 700 block of 11th Street.

A witness told KCEN’s sister station 12News that a woman was in the waiting room of a medical office.  When she reached into her purse to pull out some paperwork, a gun fell out of her purse causing it to discharge. The round went through a wall and hit another patient in the hip.

Just to add to this from two days ago.

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control, Quick Takes
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kit says:

    This wouldn’t have happened had everyone been carrying guns. Or something.

  2. Franklin says:

    Somebody educate me, because I’m not into gun culture. Do most of these concealed and open carry people walk around with actual *loaded* guns? I had presumed not, because my cousin walks around carrying the bullets separately. But maybe he’s the odd man out, being careful and all that.

  3. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    “Leave the bullet in your pocket, Barn…”

  4. Jenos Idanian says:

    Rules of Gun Safety.

    She either didn’t have the gun on safety, or it failed. My money’s on the former.

    She was negligent. Charge her.

    But gosh darn it, if we only took away everyone’s guns, this wouldn’t happen. And I’m sure that the criminals will be the first to comply. Once they know their victims are unarmed, why would they want to keep theirs?

  5. ernieyeball says:

    @Franklin:..Do most of these concealed and open carry people walk around with actual *loaded* guns?

    What’s the matter with U man?
    How’s a gal gonna shoot out the tires of alleged shoplifters if she’s not locked and loaded?

  6. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Franklin: Back in the day, my friends who carried concealed carried loaded with one “under the hammer.” Generally, open carry wasn’t legal except for job related carrying–armored cars, security patrols, police, and such, so carrying your gun back from the range, for example, you needed to be unloaded. (And that was also what gun cases were for.)

    And, yes, I have at least one friend who was convicted involving a shooting.

  7. bookdragon says:

    Yep. Not unlike a local story from last year when a woman dropped her purse in a coffee shop and the loaded gun inside went off and shot the person behind her in the leg.

    Concealed carry in a purse is one of the stupidest ideas ever. Not only is it unsafe, as shown in stories like this, plus the ones of kids pulling mom’s gun out of the purse, but no one can grab anything quickly from a decent sized purse. If your gun is in your purse, chances are the bad guy will be on you, grab the purse and then probably use the gun against you before you can bring it to bear. If it’s heavy, the purse itself is a more effective weapon.

  8. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bookdragon: Not to mention that you’ve just put your defense in something that will be the first target of an attacker whose motive is theft. It’s a very stupid place to carry a gun.

  9. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian: From your link:

    4. Never rely on any mechanical device for safety.

    So it should be unloaded, is that correct?

  10. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Okay ,we agree on something.

    So would it be unreasonable to legally require that concealed carry prohibit carrying in purses, satchels and the like? If you’re going to CC for protection, the gun should be on your person, accessible and secured in something better than a ‘butt crack holster’.

  11. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bookdragon: I’m not comfortable with “prohibit.” Enforcement could be problematic. You wanna stop and search random women’s purses in case they have a gun?

  12. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Franklin: So it should be unloaded, is that correct?

    I’m not a gun expert; I don’t even own one. Maybe anjin-san can answer that better.

    But my understanding is that means “don’t depend on the safety to keep the gun from firing.” So don’t point it at someone as a joke even though the safety is on.

    My understanding is that every gun should be treated as if it was loaded and ready to fire. Even if you know you took the bullets out, engaged the safety, and have a trigger lock keeping it from firing, assume it might fire anyway. Take absolutely no unnecessary risks.

    That seems like very good advice.

  13. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Maybe anjin-san can answer that better

    Probably, since you have no real knowledge of guns. Unless you have personally removed the firing pin, and are quite certain no one else replaced it, you always treat a gun as a loaded weapon. You never point at gun at anyone unless you intend on shooting them. If you do shoot, shoot to kill.

    As for loaded vs.unloaded for the purpose of citizen carry, I have not given it much thought. Personally, I think its a bad idea for someone who is not required to carry a weapon by their profession to do so. My feeling is that citizen carry creates more danger than it migrates.

  14. anjin-san says:

    BTW, I make no claim to be a “gun expert”, this is simply Jenos running his mouth. My father taught target shooting & gun safety once upon a time, and he gave me a good grounding in the basics, so I was taught by an expert, many years ago.

  15. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: To play your game, I didn’t say you were an expert. I said that I was not, and that you may be able to answer it better. I know better than to attribute anything of substance to you. At least, most of the time.

    To my surprise, you did answer it. I think that might be a first.

    But what you say (except for the “migrates” thing) jibes with what I’ve heard actual experts say about safe gun handling.

  16. anjin-san says:

    migrates = “mitigates”

  17. Jenos Idanian says:

    But back to the topic at hand: if you want to feel safer, stick to gun-free zones. There you pretty much won’t have to worry about law-abiding gun owners having mishaps. Only the non-law-abiding gun owners would pose a threat.

    If you want to be safer, frequent places where a lot of people have guns. For some reason, they tend to repel bad people.

    If you want to feel safe, consult a psychologist. There is no such place in this world as “perfectly safe.” It’s part of life.

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: That makes more sense, but I kind of like “migrates” in this sense. As in, the danger “migrates” to gun-free zones.

    But “mitigates” is a good term. It lessens, but doesn’t eliminate the danger. I still disagree with you, but I respect that you’re not making fantasy promises.

  19. Mikey says:

    @Franklin: It’s pretty useless for immediate self-defense if it’s not ready to fire immediately. But yes, it’s risky.

    The first person I ever saw dying in front of me was an unfortunate fellow whose job was unloading the cash from automated teller machines. He carried a handgun, which was understandable. Unfortunately, while he was exchanging cash in an ATM at the store where I worked, his weapon slipped out of the holster and struck the ground hammer-first, which caused it to discharge. He was wearing a protective vest, but it just wasn’t his day, because his posture at the time (bent forward) caused the vest to ride up and the bullet to enter his body. It was pretty awful.

    Many handguns manufactured today have a mechanism that prevents them firing unless the trigger is pulled, just to prevent such accidents. Apparently the woman in this incident did not own one of those.

  20. Scott says:

    a gun fell out of her purse causing it to discharge

    weapon slipped out of the holster and struck the ground hammer-first, which caused it to discharge

    And I thought guns didn’t kill people.

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Again with the lies.
    WTF is wrong with you?
    You are pathological.

  22. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, just shut up, you blathering twit. Just what in that comment is a lie?

    You should be an expert on lies. You keep saying that you support “common sense” gun control laws, but can’t articulate any that are actually practical, effective, and wouldn’t violate the Constitution. But you keep spouting your magic words as if you believe if you say it over and over again, people won’t notice that you have no effing clue what you’re saying.

  23. Gustopher says:

    The woman should be charged, of course, with some form of gross negligence resulting in the injury of another person. And, in a just world, she would be facing jail time.

    Not years of jail time, but enough to be completely disruptive in her life, and send a message that there are consequences to negligence.

  24. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Gustopher: We concur.

    I realize that puts a hell of a stigma on you here, but I had to say it.

  25. Gustopher says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    @bookdragon: I’m not comfortable with “prohibit.” Enforcement could be problematic. You wanna stop and search random women’s purses in case they have a gun?

    Do we search random bags and purses for drugs, bombs or severed heads? Only when there is probable cause. I don’t see why this would be enforced differently.

    But, with the law on the books, and people being charged when it does happen, most gun owners would quickly comply.

  26. DrDaveT says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    If you want to be safer, frequent places where a lot of people have guns. For some reason, they tend to repel bad people.

    This is, of course, not true. In fact, it is not even close to true. It is almost the opposite of true.

    I know it hurts your brain, but it really is true that people are generally much safer in places where only criminals have guns. That’s partly because there really aren’t that many criminals out there, and partly because the extra guns contribute a high degree of danger to innocent parties while doing next to nothing to reduce the danger from criminals.

    I know you would prefer to live in a world where that was not true. Better luck next life.

  27. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Mikey:

    An acquaintance of mine owns an armored car/atm company. He’s the “only thing that stops a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with a gun” type of person. To the point that even when he’s not on the job, I’ll be damned if I don’t have my gun on my at all times.

    His phone rang while an attractive woman was visiting him at home. To show off, he did that butt-slide-over-the-desk thing while grabbing the phone. Then he slid off the desk. Followed by him hitting the floor. Followed by his gun discharging, and the bullet traveling through his buttocks, lodging behind his knee, making it impossible for him to stand up.

    If only google glasses had been invented by then, I would forever have a video of a “responsible” gun owner crying because he literally shot his ass off.

  28. Gustopher says:

    Is a revolver less dangerous then a semi-automatic in these cases?

    Knowing little about guns, I would think that having an empty chamber under the hammer would prevent dropped guns from going off., while a magazine doesn’t have that option.

    And, someone could design a safer gun, where one chamber cannot hold a bullet, and it is much easier to line that up under the hammer than the other chambers when transporting or storing the weapon.

  29. bookdragon says:

    @Gustopher: Thank you. That is exactly what I was going to say.

    I’ll add that if it’s the law and one has to be familiar with applicable regulations to get a CC license, then I would assume that good responsible gun owners – the ‘good guys with guns’ – would follow the law.

  30. Franklin says:

    @Mikey:

    It’s pretty useless for immediate self-defense if it’s not ready to fire immediately. But yes, it’s risky.

    Thank you for the responses everyone. I feel like we might be getting somewhere for once. In this case, you’re risking an accidental discharge against the risk of not being able to “immediately” defend yourself.

    How often does the latter case come up, where the extra X seconds it would take to fumble around for the bullets and load the gun is too long? And conversely, would those extra X seconds ever give some irrational person a little time to cool down (say, before shooting a 4-year-old in a road rage incident)?

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Dude…apparently if you are typing you are lying.

  32. stonetools says:

    The plain and simple fact is untrained people shouldn’t be going around with loaded guns, or these incidents will happen. This is why the military, which has expertise with people handling weapons, doesn’t have regular soldiers walking around with loaded weapons on base or have soldiers storing loaded weapons in their living quarters. Maybe the military knows something the gun worshipers don’t?

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Is a revolver less dangerous then a semi-automatic in these cases?

    I don’t know. I do know that every time one of these happens and someone says they must have left the safety off, some gun str enthusiast replies – no you pointy headed librul, it was probably a revolver and revolvers are safer ’cause they don’t need no stinking safeties.

    Knowing little about guns, I would think that having an empty chamber under the hammer would prevent dropped guns from going off., while a magazine doesn’t have that option.

    You can leave he chamber empty in a semi-auto. But these things only work if the Responsible Gunowner (TM) does so.

    And, someone could design a safer gun, where one chamber cannot hold a bullet, and it is much easier to line that up under the hammer than the other chambers when transporting or storing the weapon.

    What are you, a commnist or something?

  34. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    If you want to be safer, frequent places where a lot of people have guns. For some reason, they tend to repel bad people.

    Complete nonsense.

    If you want to feel safe, consult a psychologist.

    If you want to feel safe, study Krav Maga. Then you will feel safer because you will actually be safer.

  35. ernieyeball says:

    @Jenos Idanian:..if you want to be safer, frequent places where a lot of people have guns. For some reason, they tend to repel bad people.

    Yeah, like a firing range.

    The two veterans had brought Routh with them to a shooting range in an attempt to help the fellow vet, who was coping with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/eddie-ray-routh-found-guilty-in-death-of-american-snipers-chris-kyle-2015252
    Better yet be a firing range instructor.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGCKFzGAfQ0

  36. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: It’s interesting that people who seem to know more about guns than you admit to knowing seem to be more comfortable with greater restrictions, isn’t it?

  37. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Actually, the chamber in an automatic can be empty. Sometimes, movies and television shows even pay tribute to this feature by showing the hero pulling the slide to make sure the bullet moves into the chamber.

  38. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @ernieyeball: Yeah, let’s blame the gun. Not the idiot instructor who put the gun in the hands of a child, not the idiot parents who thought that was just dandy. THE EVIL GUN. It hypnotized the people just so it could kill the guy.

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: The really entertaining part is that they apparently don’t practice what they preach.

    On the other hand, I am proudly consistent. I support people’s right to choose whether or not to keep and bear arms. I’m fiercely pro-choice. I’ve made my choice, but I don’t feel any overwhelming compunction to impose my choice on others.

  39. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    THE EVIL GUN.

    No one is saying that except you, and you are saying it because of the inherent weakness of your argument, and your general lack of ability to debate without nonsense hyperbole.

    Guns are not evil, they are just very, very dangerous. Our society regulates countless dangerous items to protect its members and promote the greater good. If you want to drive a car, a very useful item that can also be very dangerous, you have to prove proficiency, get a license, and get insurance. Why people are not willing to take these rather basic steps when it comes to owning a killing machine is an interesting question. Why you care is also a good question.

  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Poor Jenos. Now that Iowa Republicans are swinging hard for Ben Carson, he has to keep raising the bar to come across as The Dumbest Man In America. Maybe we could all chip in for a trophy; then he could go away.