Rash of Police Gun Safety Issues
In the past, several weeks there have been a series of sensationally bad slip-ups of law enforcement officers forgetting basic gun safety. Not throwing rocks at the boys in blue, we will present the facts, for your own education.
Muzzle and trigger control
In North Mississippi, around the Memphis suburb of Horn Lake, a deputy caught a round to the abdomen. The Tunica County Sherriff's Deputy was gratefully not in a gunfight or the subject of an assault, but instead picked up the round by accident from her own hand. It appears that off-duty deputy Angela White, while handling her Glock 22 .40S&W handgun, accidentally shot herself in the abdomen.
(Photo from WMCTV)
The deputy was taken immediately to the hospital and is expected to recover, however her Glock is currently missing in action. It seems a passerby may have taken the opportunity to grab some slightly used and gently stained Austrian polymer for his or her own collection. While the exact chain of events is not public information on this shooting, always remember to treat all guns as if they are loaded. This means keep the muzzle pointed in safe direction (not your abdomen) with your finger off the trigger at all times.
And if you find a Glock 22 in North Mississippi, call the Tunica SO to see if its theirs.
Warning shots and gun obsessions
The Baltimore Sun had a very interesting piece they ran recently about BPD Training Instructor William Kern. It seems that Kern has what was described as 'an unhealthy attachment' to his gun. This came about after he refused to hand it over to investigators after a shooting.
(Kern, probably not how he wants to be remembered)
The thing is, the shooting was of University of Maryland police recruit Raymond Gray, who was a student of Kerns at the time that caught a live round to the head. It seems that Kern accidentally pulled his live duty weapon out at least twice during training and once purposely fired it towards trainees who were milling around. In later statements, Kern advised that he was only trying to educate cadets as to why they should not congregate in hallways and was simply sending a warning shot from what he thought was a gun loaded with less-lethal simunitions rounds. This again leads us to the concept of all weapons always loaded, safe direction, etc. and gives us the added bonus of 'do not point a firearm at anything you don't wish to destroy.'
Schools across the country often have police and law enforcement officers come in for safety training, DARE, and other presentations. Sometimes these officers are right off the streets and usually are on duty, which means they are armed. This sometimes leads to spectacularly ill-advised instances of accidental and negligent discharges. After all, who can forget DEA Agent Lee Paige who famously shot himself in the leg with his Glock in front of a classroom of students and a rolling video camera? Thankfully, Paige was the only person injured and took the hit like a man, calmly asking if everyone was ok afterwards.
Paige went on to YouTube stardom with the catch phrase, "I am the only one in this room professional enough to have a gun."
Well a motorcycle cop attending a safety presentation during Red Ribbon Week at Newman Elementary School in Chino California a few weeks ago didn't pull the trigger himself, but three children were injured when his patrol carbine went off. Apparently a student approached his parked motor and, kids being kids, put a little finger into a trigger well of the officer's AR15. The AR was secured to the bike by a locked weapon's clamp but apparently was loaded, chambered, and had the safety lever set to 'pew' rather than 'no pew'. The resulting blast of 5.56mm NATO into the metal plate of the mount showered the area with shrapnel.
Most weapons mounts for patrol rifles on motor units have trigger-well-encompassing guards to prevent little fingers (or big ones) from getting in, which makes the Chino incident even more troubling. The Chino Police Department released a statement saying it is "conducting a thorough investigation into this matter in full cooperation with the Chino Valley Unified School District."
Remember, let us be safe out there, all of us.