Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A wholly preventable tragedy

I was shocked and saddened to read this report today.

A father accidentally shot and killed himself at the grocery store Sunday evening, according to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.

The father, a 45-year-old Spotsylvania man, was in his minivan with his children waiting for his wife to return a DVD to the Redbox outside the Giant Food Store in Harrison Crossing when he was shot, said Captain Elizabeth Scott with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.

The wife said she heard a pop and when she ran back to the minivan, her husband told her he thought he'd shot himself, said Capt. Scott.

A family friend says the couple has four children under the age of 12, including an infant.

When a Spotsylania County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene minutes after the shooting, the man's wife and others in the Giant parking lot were trying to revive the man.

The deputy reported the man suffered significant blood loss and was already unconscious when he arrived. The man was later pronounced dead at Mary Washington Hospital, said Capt. Scott.

She said the initial investigation indicated when the man tried to unbuckle his seat belt, he hit the trigger of his .40 caliber glock and shot himself in the hip.

It is unclear whether the man carried his gun in a holster or his pocket. The family friend says it likely was loose in his pocket.

There's more at the link.

I've often argued with those who carry firearms in their pockets that it's not a safe practice unless a pocket holster (covering and protecting the trigger) is used. There are too many things in pockets that can interfere with the firearm's trigger, or things outside the pocket that can jab into the gun at just the wrong angle, causing it to fire. In this case, a father died, apparently from just such carelessness, in front of his wife and children, who'll doubtless be traumatized for the rest of their lives with the memory.

Please, friends, if you carry a gun, even in your pocket, use a holster. Pocket holsters are readily available, and they provide a safety margin that would probably have saved this man's life if he'd used one. Don't become yet another grim statistic of carelessness!



Shell said...

By and large I agree with you, Peter, but in this man's case...Being a Glock, his pistol had no more than the pull-through trigger safety. Most small pistols are OK for pocket carry because they *don't* have that and it's harder to pull the trigger by accident.

Shrimp said...

I completely disagree with that notion, Shell. Glocks are no different than any other firearm.* (I swear, the Glock trigger safety must be the most misunderstood device in the history of the world.)

The trigger must be pulled to fire it. Some triggers have a lighter pull than others, but the trigger still must be pulled.

That is why ANY pistol/revolver placed in a pocket should be in a holster that completely covers the trigger.

*assuming the firearm is not defective or damaged in some way that will allow it to fire without the trigger being pulled

skreidle said...

I completely agree with Shrimp and disagree with Shell. (Mmm, crustaceans.)

Relying on a secondary safety and pocketing a firearm with no holster is foolish and dangerous; it ignores at least one of the cardinal rules of firearm safety.

Heck, if you don't want the bulk of a full holster, I've even seen micro-holsters that securely clip over just the trigger guard!

(Also, this story is local to me! Not exactly a shining moment, though.)

Stephen said...

What a damn shame. You're correct, use a holster. Poor kids.

The Raving Prophet said...

I would agree that Glocks are especially dangerous for this kind of carry due to the lighter trigger pull and lack of any other safety. Still, pocket holsters are a must, be it a Glock, J frame, or whatever else.

It was not long ago I saw something on the internet about a guy perforating his leg due to his Glock working its way out of his cheap hip holster. The holster wasn't stiff, the leather creased, and it caught the trigger.

Whatever you carry, however you carry, use quality gear. Understand your firearm and its design. Plan accordingly.

Be safe out there.

Old NFO said...

Not good, but again a point about using a good holster... Plain and simple, if he'd done that, he would still be here. I'm betting he got he femoral artery...

Once again people are trying to blame the gun, when it's (Mis-)user in this case. Sadly he paid the ultimate price.

Bill N. said...

While both a double action revolver and the Glock only require the trigger to be pulled, the lighter pull on a Glock makes it more likely to have a ND. I have been trained on and have used both extensively. I also know one lady who has the scar to prove a ND is more likely to occur with a Glock. There is a couple of companies that make a kydex trigger guard cover to prevent the trigger from getting pressed accidentally. The one I have used is one called the MIC and it works well. This is their website http://www.glocktech.com/

Jerry said...

My CT equipped Kahr PM9 resides in the proper sized DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.

Nothing else goes in that pocket. Ever.

wsp said...

All very good points mentioned here but one main rule of thumb seems to have been overlooked. Should the man have been carrying ANY firearm with a chambered round?

skreidle said...

Should the man have been carrying ANY firearm with a chambered round?

This irresponsible individual who opted to not use a holster? He shouldn't have had any rounds in his gun, or the gun on his person at all.

Any responsible carrier who wants his firearm to actually be ready to use on no notice? Absolutely, and you're only hurting your chances with every extra step you have to take to bring your firearm to Condition Zero, if/when the shit hits the fan. (Personal preference, but that's my vote.)

Shrimp said...

It's my turn to agree with skreidle. The whole point of a firearm that gets carried with you is for when you might need it, and need it in a hurry. An extra step to make it functional (like having to rack the slide -- as opposed to taking off the safety, which I don't consider to be a separate extra step) is counterproductive. What if you're physically unable to do so because you are engaged in a physical battle at the moment you are drawing your weapon? What if you are injured and unable to do so?

Granted, it's your choice, and if you are completely comfortable carrying it with no round in the chamber, we certainly aren't in a position to tell you that you should not. Personally, though, I will (and do) carry mine chambered.