Man Trying To Be Good Guy With A Gun Accidentally Shoots Himself During Children’s Movie

A mass shooting still has yet to be stopped by the actions of a “good guy with a gun,” but again we find an example of how flooding our society with heavily-armed civilians magnifies the dangers of being shot.

During a Friday night at the movies in Salina, Kansas, a theater full of families heard a loud bang followed by a man screaming that he had just accidentally shot himself. According to police, an unidentified man accidentally discharged his pistol about 45 minutes into the popular kid’s film, Maze Runner: The Scorched Trials. As if immediately regretting his decision to carry his gun into a movie, the man is said to have screamed out, “Oh, my God! I just shot myself! I just got my concealed carry.”

Others in the audience rushed to give aid, several more dialed 911. Witnesses described the scene to the Salina Journal:

She said someone used a belt to make a tourniquet on the man’s leg to stop the bleeding from a wound on the inside of the man’s thigh.

“I feel really sorry that guy shot himself, but at least he didn’t shoot someone else,” Myers said. “That would have been 10 times worse.”

As if to reinforce the fact that shooting incidents are so commonplace as to be business as usual, the undeterred theater managers told guests they could get a free coupon to see another film some other day or wait until staff could mop up the blood and resume the film.

It’s not known exactly why the man had recently acquired a conceal carry license, which gives a holder the ability to take their handguns pretty much anywhere in Kansas. It would not be at all surprising to learn that he was simply taking the advice of gun rights activists and encouraged by his lawmakers. Kansas, under Republican Governor Sam Brownback has some of the loosest gun laws in the country. Just this summer, Brownback signed a law that no longer required concealed carry license holders to take training courses. Apparently, asking a gun user to know how to use a gun now falls under “government tyranny.”

“We’re saying that if you want to do that in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government,” Brownback said. “It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”

Brownback signed the law with members of the NRA quite literally standing over his shoulder grinning.

In recent months, as America struggles to grapple with an average of one mass shooting a day, the gun lobby has taken the counter-intuitive position that more guns are needed. Despite the evidence, they insist that more guns in the hands of “good guys” will mean less gun deaths. In fact, we’ve seen the exact opposite. As guns continue to sell in record numbers, mass shootings have gotten worse. Meanwhile, suicides and accidents – making up the majority of gun deaths – still devastate the lives of tens of thousands of families every year.

Did this man keep the theater safe by having his gun? No. He endangered the lives of everybody in there. It may not have been his intention to do harm. It was certainly not his intention to shoot himself in the leg. But his gun went off, because that’s what guns do. Gun accidents happen and the more guns are around, the more likely that is.

We see this played out again and again. When pro-gun lawmakers push guns onto college campuses, teachers accidentally shoot themselves. When they encourage people to bring guns to church, people accidentally fire their gun in church. And when they tell gun owners to carry their weapons with them even during a children’s movie, they reach for the bucket of popcorn and end up with a bullet hole in their leg.

Featured image via Wikipedia