Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Utah Hunter Lucky to be Alive

Local news reports

From his bed at McKay-Dee Hospital, Jonathon Pettit issued an emotional written statement Tuesday saying divine intervention saved him after an accidental shooting on the opening day of the state’s rifle deer season. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that I was protected,” Pettit, a 53-year-old Roy resident, said in the statement recounting his harrowing tale of survival. “The gunshot should have killed me. I am so grateful that I found the strength to survive.”

Pettit was hunting Saturday in a remote area near Snowville between Kelton and Locomotive Springs and had just removed his antique .36-caliber Navy muzzleloader pistol from his truck when the gun discharged.

“I had my gun in my hand and lifted my tailgate,” he wrote. “The force of closing the tailgate discharged the pistol. It (the bullet) entered my right side and traveled up my body and lodged on my back bone.”
Divine intervention, was it? Too bad god didn't help him with Rule number 2. That would have been even better.

Here's the really interesting part of the story.
Typically, about one hunter a year accidentally shoots themselves in Box Elder County, said Box Elder Chief Deputy Kevin Potter.
So, that one single county in Utah which allows hunting has one accidental self-inflicted gun shot incident every year. Does that mean they also have some shootings in which one hunter wounds or kills another? Would the same be true of the other counties in Utah and all the other states that have hunting.

And that would be only the hunting accidents.  We see far more domestic gun accidents in the news.

How does all this reconcile with the statistics we keep hearing from the pro-gun crowd which supposedly prove how rare accidental shootings are?  It doesn't.  It doesn't reconcile. Regardless of whether the information comes from the FBI or the CDC or from god himself through divine intervention, when it doesn't make sense, when it doesn't add up, there must be some other explanation.

There are more accidental shootings than anyone on the pro-gun side likes to admit.

Isn't it possible that the most bona fide statistics suffer from improper reporting? 

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. I have no way to verify the accuracy of the numbers that the Centers for Disease Control or other government agencies report in terms of accidents. It wouldn't surprise me if they under-report accidents.

    And I am really confident that law enforcement agencies seriously under-report crime statistics. I have talked to police officers in large cities who are certain that many people never report violent crimes because they don't trust law enforcement or fear additional retaliation from the criminal element.

    But why are hunting accidents so relevant? If someone wants to hunt and take on any associated risk, that is their choice. Every time someone goes downhill skiing, they risk serious injury and that is their choice. Many, many recreational activities have an associated risk of injury or death. It is each person's decision to make.

  2. What discrepancy, mike? You are not counting more than 600 accidental gun deaths per year. That is almost two per day, and your count is well short of that.

  3. This is the reason that people in the nineteenth century carried single action revolvers with an empty chamber under the hammer. With the old designs, a blow to the hammer could set off the round, particularly with a cap-and-ball gun like the Colt Navy. It's also best not to manipulate equipment while holding the gun.