Sunday, April 22, 2012

Accidental Shooting at the Metropolitan Museum - No Charges

The New York Times reports

Shortly before 3 p.m., a single shot rang out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Not in the Russell B. Aitken Gallery of firearms, where the 16th-century double-barreled wheellock pistol made for Emperor Charles V and the 17th-century gilded French flintlock are housed.

It was down in a basement locker room, where a security guard cleaning his .38-caliber Colt accidentally shot himself in the leg.

The guard, whose injuries were not life-threatening, is one of a limited number at the museum authorized to carry weapons, said Harold Holzer, a spokesman for the museum. They are not allowed to take them out of the building, Mr. Holzer said, so they maintain and clean them on the premises.
I can just hear Michael Corleone yelling, "WHERE MY WIFE SLEEPS, where my children come to play with their toys." I would have said, "WHERE REMBRANDT'S PAINTINGS HANG, where my children come to visit on summer vacations."

You know what the story tells us, don't you. No place is safe. Too many lawful gun owners, even professionally trained men, actually turn out to be unfit and dangerous.

Yet, the gun-rights fanatics resist at every turn the simple restrictions which would weed out some of the worst of these characters. And to make matters worse, they just love to issue nothing more than a slap on the wrist when one of them does demonstrate negligence.

What's your opinion? I can't repeat it enough. One-strike-you're-out is the appropriate response to any incident of negligence. Gun rights must be removed from the unfit and irresponsible.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. 1. By .38 caliber Colt, I presume is meant a revolver. There isn't a lot that needs to be done with one of those, other than a little oil every once in a while. I don't know what the training schedule is for guards, but perhaps they have a firing range on site, so he may have been cleaning it after a session.

    2. This leads to the next point. The weapon really doesn't belong to the guard. He's issued it while on duty and turns it back in at the end of his shift. He probably doesn't spend much time training with it. Unlike a construction worker, this man doesn't actually use his tool on his job all that often.

    3. Modern revolvers don't allow the hammer to be cocked while the cylinder is swung out. To clean a revolver, swing out the cylinder, dump any rounds, live or spent, and get to work. Reinsert the cylinder (not by flipping, as seen in movies). At this point, cocking and dry firing makes sense to check the functioning, but do not chamber any cartridges during this process. Unless this fellow was issued a Colt Navy or Single Action Army or similar, he had no reason to cock the hammer with live ammunition in the cylinder.

    4. But the real problem here is the City of New York, which discourages legal gun ownership. Mikeb, how do you expect someone who goes to work, collects paycheck, and goes home, someone who only qualifies on this particular tool every few months at most and probably sees that as a burden to overcome, not a pleasure--how do you expect this man to be competent with firearms?

    5. But, of course, you would take away this man's job. He lives in an expensive city and a weak economy. You love to speculate. Let's wonder if he has a family to support. Has anyone checked on that? Perhaps he needs this job. Are you going to support him and possibly them while he looks for a new job? If not, then don't be so vindictive.

    1. Greg Camp, it would appear that Mike is merely a political hack tasked with spewing histrionic propaganda. You and I have tried reasoning with him as if he is sincere. He's manipulating emotions while we appeal to logic. The two rarely reconcile, especially when the wild-eyed fanatic has no intention of giving so much as a millimeter. He has a job to do, so he has to drum up traffic. KWIM? The disparity between his position and ours is so broad that it's almost vaudeville. It's no use. Best of luck to you. --A.

    2. I'm willing to give gun control advocates a chance when they say they want to discuss things. At least Mikeb actually allows the conversation to happen, unlike other blogs on his side that I could name. But apparently, there are a good number of readers here, so I think that our side needs to be represented. I hope that you stay around.

    3. Welllll, I might as long as some else reasonable, i.e., you, is commenting too. Because so far, Mike shows no sign of being so.

    4. Not true A. I recently wrote a post for The Truth About Guns in which I admitted to 2, count 'em, 2 gun control laws that I could do without.

    5. Um, what two are you talking about? I saw only one: the ban on suppressors. Everything else was your standard list of laws that you want or love. I also note that you got soundly smacked in the comments.

    6. Damning yourself with faint praise is hardly resounding evidence of reasonableness, Mike.

      It is my belief that the writer's of the 2nd Amendment envisioned a government that would empower its citizens' access to the right by making laws that would provide them training, education and jealous defense of their access. No, instead, weak-willed political panderers have been restricting access and treating the right like a nuclear spill.

      Caving in to fear spawned by ignorance shuns the high road the founders risked everything to pave for us.

      Cheers. --A.

    7. Just so. The founders left us a country that requires responsibility to maintain and enjoy. That too many of us expect the government to keep us in order is a sad testament to our present state.

    8. The comments produced another law or two that I might do without. I'll update the post and publish it here one of these days.

  2. Huh, imagine that: a well-trained and licensed individual has a shooting accident in a public space. Now apply that to a school, and put the gun in the hands of someone who has no requirement for safety training, crisis management, or even proficiency testing, and you have what the gun lobby wants to impose on Oregon.

    1. B.O., did you read my comment? Was this man well trained? The problem here is someone who spends little time actually getting to know the workings of the firearm. If I put you on the saddle of a Harley and tell you to sit there and not move, will you be a qualified motorcycle rider? The people that you're describing in your state tend to train with their weapons and tend to know how to work them. The same is true all over. Those of us who are firearms enthusiasts know our guns.