Earlier today, the first story released claimed that a .22 gun was hidden in a sock and went off while a couple of employees were sorting through a pile of donated clothing. The next “updated” story claims that he dropped the .22 onto the floor which resulted in a bullet firing into his coworker’s chest. As you can probably assume, pro gun control advocates tried to run with this version of the story screaming “See?! Guns DO kill people!”
For anyone that has ever shot a gun or at least taken the time to learn how they work, this story was obviously missing a few facts. First of all, a gun doesn’t just “go off”. If that were true, what is the point in even having a trigger? We could just point it at our target and because guns have a mind of their own, it would just shoot when it wanted to. Except that isn’t the reality when it comes to guns. There is more to the story here that the media aren’t willing to release or the detective on the case has no idea what he’s talking about. My immediate reaction to this was one of three scenarios:
1) He shook the gun out of the sock. It was going to fall to the ground and he attempted to catch it. Catching it by the trigger would have applied enough pressure to release a round into the chamber and firing it out of the barrel.
2) Once he shook the gun out of the sock he was curious and started looking at it, possibly by pointing it towards his coworker. If he pulled the trigger by mistake while sorting through clothes, it is possible that the slide got caught in the fabric and couldn’t release all the way. Once he took it out of the sock, the slide could have released completely causing the bullet to enter the barrel delayed and shooting off as a hangfire. If within 30 seconds he turned the gun towards his coworker, the gun could have gone off.
3) Someone else was in the room with him and either tried to catch it or pointed it at them not realizing how easy the trigger pull on a semi-automatic .22 handgun is. If you have ever shot a .22 before you know that there is no recoil and the trigger is light, maybe 2 pounds if not less. Also, a gun is like driving a manual car. If you drive a standard, are all of the clutches the same? No. Some are more sensitive than others. The same applies to a trigger. Depending on the age and model this .22 was, the trigger could have been highly sensitive. If it was an older model, it’s possible that it didn’t even have a safety.
Then the next updated story came out saying that the gun was fired accidentally from his hands and did not discharge due to falling on the floor and confirmed that any one of my case scenarios could have been what happened.
This goes to show that guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Making guns illegal wouldn’t have prevented this from happening. Whether it was an accident or not, this situation could have been avoided if both individuals were properly educated on gun safety. If they assumed the gun was loaded and did not point it at anything other than what they were intending to harm, this most likely wouldn’t have happened. If it was the case that the gun fell and the male employee tried to catch it, this could have been avoided by letting it fall (which you also learn if you take a standard gun safety course). Dropping a gun will not cause it to go off. Catching a gun has the likelihood of applying enough pressure to the trigger to cause the gun to fire. I am almost 100% positive that the shape and weight of the sock would have given away what the object was inside. Odds are that he knew what was in the sock before taking it out, which is probably why he shook it out instead of reaching in and grabbing it. His co-worker probably then wanted to see it and it went down hill from there. He either dropped it and tried to catch it, grabbing the trigger by mistake and therefore applying enough force for it to go off or he was being careless and pointing it at her jokingly. Police are still calling this an accident but no one knows because no one else was there.
Knowledge of gun safety is extremely important and can limit the amount of accidental deaths each year. Even if you are completely against guns, I encourage you to attend one safety course and learn how to shoot. If anything, it will help you avoid an accident like this. My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family members of the woman who was killed.