While shopping in a local Walmart on Nov. 27, 2018, an Arizona man negligently shot himself in the groin. According to local news reports, the man was carrying his handgun in the waistband of his sweatpants when it began to fall. He told police that the gun went off when he tried to reposition it. Appropriately, police found him in the meat department, and ambulance crews rushed him to the hospital. He is expected to live, but police did file charges for unlawful discharge of a firearm.
This is why we can’t have nice things! I am glad this man is facing charges; he is not a responsible gun owner, and his reckless actions not only put people in danger but also give credence to the anti-gunners when they call us “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” This man was irresponsible and dangerous.
Now, I’m not yelling at you. I’m yelling at your friends who do this. I’m asking you to talk to your friends and tell them to stop it. Don’t let them be so stupid. If they choose to carry a gun, you must remind them to never be lazy about it. Never.
As I put this column together, I reviewed several news reports. Each one used the word “accident” or “accidental.” I choose to use the word “negligent.” This sort of thing makes me so angry because it is 100 percent preventable, and the end results are bad for everyone. These are the kinds of stupid mistakes that allow anti-gunners to chip away at our rights.
This man was carrying a pistol tucked into the front of the waistband of his sweatpants! SWEATPANTS! There is a reason tucking a pistol into the front of your pants without a holster is called “felony carry.”
There is so much wrong with this situation that I don’t even know where to begin. But let’s start with some concealed carry ground rules. I typically don’t step up and tell people what they must do, but in this case I think there are some absolutes.
First Absolute Rule
Secure your firearm! I was going to say, “Carry your gun in a holster.” But there are safe alternatives to holsters. They are not as good, but they are safe. If your friend, for whatever reason, decides that today is the day he or she won’t wear pants, for the love of all that is good and right in the world, tell that person to find an alternative carry method (or, you know, put on pants)! Let’s just say your friend wants to wear sweatpants today AND carry a gun. He could get a bellyband holster. She could get a fanny pack. He could carry in an ankle holster. She could carry in something like Thunderwear or SmartCarry. She could get a pair of that compression underwear or yoga pants with the holster pocket sewn on the hip. He could get a concealed carry T-shirt with the holster sewn under the arm. She could get a tactical pack or pouch with a gun compartment.
The point is there is any number of outstanding carry systems that will allow you, I mean your friend, to carry a gun SAFELY no matter what you — er, your friend — wears.
When we decide to own and carry a gun, life gets a little bit more complicated, but it is still pretty easy. To wit: Buy a carry system that secures your firearm and completely covers the trigger.
One more time: Buy a carry system that secures your firearm and completely covers the trigger.
If you can’t afford to buy one such system for every style of clothing you wear, then only wear the clothes that allow you to carry safely with the system you have. And while we are talking about what we can and can’t afford, if you think a good holster is expensive, consider the costs you will face following a negligent discharge: Medical bills. Legal bills. Lost wages. Civil litigation. Do you have that covered?
Tell your friends. Share this story with everyone you know. This has got to stop happening.