Darwin Awards - Gun Category


February 24, 2003, 01:58 PM
Pulled up the following from the search engine at darwinawards.com

(28 February 2000, Texas) A Houston man earned a succinct lesson in gun safety when he played Russian roulette with a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Rashaad, nineteen, was visiting friends when he announced his intention to play the deadly game. He apparently did not realize that a semiautomatic pistol, unlike a revolver, automatically inserts a cartridge into the firing chamber when the gun is cocked. His chance of winning a round of Russian roulette was zero, as he quickly discovered.

4 February 2002, New Mexico) Police say three men tried to rob an Albuquerque man who had placed a newspaper ad to sell a gun. The robbers arranged a meeting, then beat and sprayed mace on the gun owner in an attempt to steal the weapon. Surprise! The gun seller was also a gun owner. 18-year-old Carlos intercepted a bullet and died before rescue crews arrived.
One can understand the mistake of robbing a man who unexpectedly turns and shoots, but if the robber singles out a victim because he is selling a gun, then tries to steal the weapon, there’s no excuse for being surprised to discover he is armed.

As a Darwinian bonus, there’s a fairly good chance that the 18-year-old has not yet reproduced...

(January 23, 1978) Legendary Chicago guitarist Terry Kath was an avid collector of guns. One week before his 32nd birthday, he brought several of his metal friends to a party along with his wife. After the party broke up, he began to play with his guns.

First he spun his .38 revolver on his finger, brought it to his temple, and pulled the trigger. Click! The gun was not loaded. Next he picked up a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol. The host of the party, unamused, asked him to stop. As Terry pulled the magazine from the weapon, he reassured him, "Don't worry it's not loaded." Then Terry raised the pistol… and put a bullet through his head in an one-man shootout.

This popular musician and long-time gun enthusiast forgot that an automatic automatically chambers a bullet, so removing the magazine does not disarm the weapon.

(3 August 2001, Pennsylvania) Phil, a curious Philadelphia resident, wondered what it felt like to be hit by a bullet… so he took a gun and shot himself in the shoulder. This sent the ambulance racing to Phil's residence for the second time, to treat another gunshot wound. Why did he do it, not once but twice? In Phil's own words, "I wanted to see if it hurt as much as it did the first time."

(28 February 2000, London, Ohio) Some artists bleed for their creative work, but usually not literally. That standard changed on Monday, when a gangster-rap video artist put his final effort into his project, and shot himself in the head while the cameras rolled.
24-year-old Robert created the 10-minute video at his apartment with his brother Michael and a friend named Fred. On camera, Robert reached for a .22-caliber handgun, swung the muzzle of the gun to his temple, and fired the gun.

The two co-producers hindered efforts to save the injured man. Police were summoned to the scene by complaints from a neighbor who objected to the loud music and violent shouting. But when they arrived, Michael had to be restrained from preventing police from controlling the scene, and Fred struck a paramedic. Both face misdemeanor charges.

Robert was 24 when he died in a coma at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

(15 February 2002, Russia) A 26-year-old man tried to enter a bar in Tomilino, near Moscow, carrying a concealed gun. He was stopped by an alert security guard, whereupon the man menaced the guard with the weapon. The guard kicked it out of his hands, and the gun fell onto a billiards table.
The security guard asked the players to pass the gun over to him. One of them, our Darwin Award nominee, thought the best way to accomplish this task was to pick it up with his pool cue. The gun slid down the cue stick, and its increasing thickness was sufficient to push the trigger and shoot the 19-year-old in the chest. He died immediately.

The owner of the gun said he had intended to surrender the gun to the police that day, and went to the bar in order to summon courage from alcoholic libations.

3 February 1990, Washington
A man tried to commit a robbery in Renton, WA. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by the fact that he had no previous record of violent crime, and by his terminally stupid choices as listed below:

1. The target was H&J Leather & Firearms, a gun shop.

2. The shop was full of customers, in a state where a substantial portion of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places.

3. To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked Police patrol car parked at the front door.

4. An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having coffee before reporting to duty.

Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the gene pool. Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn't fire. No one else was hurt

(16 August 1999, Germany) A hunter from Bad Urach was shot dead by his own dog on Monday. The 51-year-old man was found sprawled next to his car in the Black Forest. A gun barrel was pointing out the window, and his bereaved dog was howling inside the car. The animal is presumed to have pressed the trigger with its paw. Police have ruled out foul play. Since it happened in a hunting preserve, does the dog get the head mounted on a wall in its doghouse?

(1991, Nicosia, Cyprus) Under similar circumstances, an Iranian hunter was shot to death near Tehran by a snake that coiled around his shotgun as he pinned the reptile to the ground. Another hunter reported that that the victim, named Ali, tried to catch the snake alive by pressing the butt of his shotgun behind its head. The snake coiled around the butt and pulled the trigger, shooting Ali in the head.

Clement Vallandigham was a well-known Northern Democrat who campaigned for states’ rights during the Civil War. In 1863 Vallandigham was convicted of treason for his speeches attacking the administration of President Lincoln. He was banished to the South, where he continued to voice his political views.
After the war, Vallandingham became a lawyer. In his last appearance in the courtroom, he represented a client on trial for murder. The accused man’s defense was that the victim had drawn his own gun in a fashion that caused it to fire, killing himself. To prove the defense argument, Vallandigham demonstrated the victim’s method of drawing a gun--using the loaded evidence gun as his prop. The firearm went off, and he lost his life--but proved his case.

(March 2001, Ghana) Tribal clashes are common in Northern Ghana, and people often resort to witchcraft with the hope of becoming invulnerable to weapons. For example, Aleobiga, 23, and fifteen fellow believers who purchased a "magical" potion to render them invincible to bullets.

After smearing the magical lotion over their bodies for two weeks, Aleobiga volunteered to test the spell. He stood in a clearing while his friends raised their weapons, aimed, fired...

You'd think he would have tested the spell on a non-essential body part first. Aleobiga is now roaming the Great Savannah in the sky, and the jujuman who supplied the defective magic was beaten for his failure.

"People injured or killed in the Michigan firearms deer season include a Bay City man shot in the leg while trying to photograph his dog holding a rifle, which accidentally went off." 28 November 2000 Michigan Live

"An off-duty Los Angeles police officer accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun, and was treated for a groin injury at a nearby hospital." 14 January 2001 Sacramento Bee

(11 April 2000, Kentucky) Larry and his friend Silas decided to reenact the William Tell scene where the famous archer is forced to test his prowess by shooting an apple off his son's head. But instead of apples, they used a beer can, which was closer to hand. You might suspect that the pair were teenagers, but in fact they were grown men of 47. Larry put the beer can on his head and urged Silas to shoot. But Silas missed the can, fatally wounding his lifelong friend Larry on Tuesday night.Authorities said the men had been drinking, and that the shooting was not prompted by an earlier altercation in the parking lot.

(May 2000, Argentina) An Argentine policeman accidentally shot a cleaning worker in the leg while trying to use his regulation pistol as a bottle opener. Sgt. Jorge Ceballos was guarding a Cordoba City bank, when the cleaner stopped and asked for help opening a soft drink. The policeman found his bare hands inadequate to the task, and decided to use the pistol trigger as a bottle opener instead. The cleaning worker was pernanently disabled, and the Sgt. Was fined $47,000. The Sgt. Deserves an Honorable Mention, as only his questionable marksmanship prevented him from winning a Darwin Award.

(27 February 2000, Colombia) A woman tried to smuggle an automatic pistol into a high-security prison in Bogota by concealing it in her rectum. Unfortunately, she was unable to remove the weapon from its snug hiding place. In great distress and needing medical attention, Tirsa told wardens at La Picota prison that she was pregnant, and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Prison visitors sometimes smuggle drugs and liquor to inmates, but rarely do they cram automatic weapons into their private places. After three days of hospitalization, she confessed the real reason for her pain to hospital staff, and surgeons removed the 7.65mm pistol on Wednesday. Tirsa was charged with illegal weapons possession.

Robert, 37, shot himself while explaining gun safety to his wife in Glendale, California, when he placed a .45-caliber pistol he thought was unloaded under his chin and pulled the trigger. Shovestall's wife told police that the incident occurred after her complaints about her husband's 70 guns prompted him to demonstrate their safety.

In San Jose, California, Herman, an avid hunter, used the butt of his shotgun to bash his girlfriend's windshield during an argument. But his loaded gun accidentally discharged into his stomach, killing him and ending the argument.

(2002) This one did not make the press, but my colleagues in the hospital all vividly remember this patient. At best, he earns an Honorable Mention, since he did not die, nor did he lose his reproductive capacity.
This young man presented himself to our Emergency Department covered with burns on all of his exposed skin. His hair was singed close to his scalp. What caused these injuries? He had posed himself a question, and become overwhelmed by curiosity.

Needing to discover the answer to his question (revealed soon) he proceeded to shoot a propane tank with a .22 caliber rifle. Having survived the first stage of his stupidity, he gave the propane ten minutes to leak out, and then held a burning lighter and walked slowly towards the hissing propane tank.

The question was: How close do you have to be to the propane tank before it blows up? The answer: fifteen feet.

(19 March 2002, Ohio) "Shots fired, shots fired -- I'm hit," a police chief radioed to headquarters. The 52-year-old officer reported that he’d been shot in the leg during an incident that began as a routine traffic stop.
He had pulled over a rusted Chevrolet missing its license plates, but before he could emerge from his police cruiser, the driver had opened fire and put a bullet through the cruiser’s windshield. The suspect then charged the chief, who was shot in the leg during the ensuing struggle.

A statewide manhunt was launched to locate the gunman, described as a white, bearded male, 6' 4" tall and weighing 195 pounds.

One week later, the law enforcement team nabbed their man: the police chief himself, who confessed to fabricating the entire event to hide a blunder. He had accidentally fired his rifle through the windshield of his police car. To cover up that mistake, he drove out to a county road, radioed in for help, and fired his weapon to make it sound like there was trouble at the scene of a traffic stop. Then he accidentally fired his weapon again, striking his own leg.

To inadvertently discharge a weapon once might be considered a simple accident, but twice earns this police chief an Honorable Mention. Had that shot ricocheted... he might have won a Darwin Award instead!

(February 2000) Years ago, I was visiting my local gun range when I noticed a gentleman having trouble with his muzzleloader. You load a muzzleloader by pouring black gunpowder down the barrel, placing a bullet on top of the powder, and ramming it down tight with a rod. You shoot the loaded gun by cocking the hammer and placing a pinch of gunpowder under it. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer falls against a flint. The resulting sparks ignite the powder, a jet of flame flashes through a hole into the main charge, and the gun goes bang.

This gentleman loaded his gun, but when he pulled the trigger, nothing happened. He tried it again, and again nothing happened. So he looks down the barrel. It's dark in there and he could not see anything. So he pulls out his lighter, and holds the flame against the flash hole (where the pinch of powder is placed) while STILL looking down the barrel.

I ran up and separated idiot from gun before anything could happen. The cause of the malfunction was old, degraded powder. It's people like this that cause waiting period laws to be enacted.

(26 March 2002, Montana) Another gem from the FAA accident reports: A pilot and his passenger were hunting coyotes from the air, when the passenger accidentally discharged his shotgun into the right wing of the aircraft, causing the plane to crash. The two hunters were injured, but survived, as did the fortunate coyote.

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February 24, 2003, 03:32 PM
Wonderful conpendium! :neener:

Did you compile it, Keith, or is it on the Web somewhere?

Carlos Cabeza
February 24, 2003, 03:36 PM
Nominee: This guy and a friend were playing "secret agent man" in the house with a 9mm handgun. A door to door salesman interupted the fun. While the guy was at the door, his friend secretly loaded the gun and put it back on the coffee table to appear it had not been touched. Guy comes back to the game and pointed it at the friend, friend screamed in terror and then guy points it at the floor and blew his big toe off ! I am ashamed to say this poor toe less guy is my brother.....................The nitwit friend has been banished from household and bro got an expensive lesson in safety...................:rolleyes:

February 24, 2003, 04:06 PM
So, your brother and his friend are HOW OLD?

February 24, 2003, 04:32 PM
Let me add one of a local flavor.

THere is a family here known to be full of kids that "aren't right"
8 siblings in all. The oldest boy who has a history of violent "fits" is hauling hay with his younger, smaller brother. Brother A gets mad at brother B for undisclosed reason. Brother A stsrts to slap brother B. Brother B in fear of his older brother going into one of his "fits" retreives .22 pump rifle from cab of truck and shoots older brother in the foot to make him stop. He is unsuccessful. Brother A is now into a fully blown all out "fit". Brother B shoots again this time in the upper thigh of the same leg. This incapacitates brother A enough to allow him to escape. He leaves brother in the field and takes the truck home (15 miles) to get his father. They return to the field to find brother A calmed down but in severe need of medical attention. Father asks brother B how this had all com to pass. So brother B retrieves the .22 again and proceeds to shoot his brother once more for demonstration purposes.

Brother A survived with no side effects. Brother B was hospitalized from the beating he got from his father.

True story. The family is not know for its intelligence.

Carlos Cabeza
February 24, 2003, 05:56 PM
At the time of said incident 15 yrs. Weapon belonged to dipstick friends Dad.

February 24, 2003, 06:16 PM
I just typed different terms into the Darwin search engine (gun, rifle, shotgun, firearm, etc.)and cut and pasted the results.

Pretty weird stuff!


February 24, 2003, 06:26 PM
wow. some of those are pretty stupid, and others are pretty funny, really.

February 26, 2003, 02:51 AM

I used to live in Renton and I used to buy ammunition from H&J Leather & Firearms. I never knew about that attepted robbery.

Sad to say that they are not in business anmore. Most gunshops in King County are gone now.

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