According the Associate Press,five people were wounded in accidental shootings at gun shows in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio on Saturday. That’s five shooting victims—all in one day!
At the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check at a security entrance, injuring three people, a state Agriculture Department spokesman said. Two bystanders and a retired deputy sheriff were hit by shotgun pellets and taken to a hospital.
Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that it was too early to know whether the shotgun’s owner might be charged, but that it appeared to be an accident. (But don’t be surprised if the victims are the ones who end of being charged—with failure to wear a bullet proof vest at a public gun show.)
The North Carolina show, which is held at the state fairgrounds (not annually, but four times a year), usually draws thousands of people (some of whom actually survive the event unscathed).
In Indianapolis, police said a 54-year-old man was injured when he accidentally shot himself while leaving a gun show. (He could have saved himself the entry fee if he would have just shot himself before leaving home.)
Emory L. Cozee, of Indianapolis, was loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic when he shot himself in the hand as he was leaving the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show at the state fairgrounds. Police said that loaded personal weapons aren’t allowed inside the show, but (presumably since the shooting occurred outside the building in the fairgrounds parking lot) no charges will be filed. (After a trip to the emergency room, Cozee is comfy once again.)
And in Ohio, a gun dealer was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he’d just bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger. The gun’s magazine had been removed, but one round remained in the chamber, police said. The afore-mentioned (magic) bullet appears to have ricocheted off the floor and struck the gun owner’s friend in the arm and leg. The (erstwhile) friend was taken by helicopter to a hospital 30 miles north in Cleveland; his condition was not immediately known.
Now I’m not trying to trounce on anyone’s God-given American rights (except the self-allocated “right” to hunt and kill animals recreationally), but for safety’s sake, maybe some of these folks should take up crocheting, knitting or collecting stamps, rather than gun collecting. Once they’ve mastered benign hobbies such as these, if they still feel the puerile need to prove their machismo, they could work back into it slowly, starting with craft shows or canasta tournaments.
Hell, it sounds like playing Russian roulette is probably a safer pastime than attending some of those gun shows.