Rules 1, 2, & 3 FAIL: PA Gun Store Shooting


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ExTank
December 8, 2012, 04:04 PM
Craig Allen Loughrey, 7, Shot To Death At Gun Store (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/08/craig-allen-loughrey-7-sh_n_2264183.html)


A man's handgun went off while he was holding it as he got into his truck in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store Saturday and the shot killed his 7-year-old son, authorities said.

Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, was getting into the truck when the 9 mm handgun discharged,....

It's disturbing enough that a 7 y/o boy has died due to his father's negligence, but the tone of the article suggests something else.

It may just be me, but the "slant" of the article is that the gun just went off for no apparent reason; I can think of at least two very valid reasons for it to go off unintentionally: Mr. Loughrey assumed it wasn't loaded, and failed to keep it pointed in a safe direction. Finger-on-trigger may also be involved.

ETA: I meant to say the two reasons were loaded gun and finger on trigger; someone else getting shot was muzzle direction.

While I don't want to heap insult on top of injury (the article said Mr. Loughrey was "distruaght;" well DUH! He just shot and killed his son!), like most accidents and unintentional discharges, a failure of basic firearm safety was key.

So let's all stay safe out there, and have a much happier holiday season than the Loughrey's, and for those inclined, maybe say a prayer for the soul of little Craig Loughrey, and for his family as well.

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Hapworth
December 8, 2012, 04:07 PM
Indescribably sad.

SwampWolf
December 8, 2012, 04:22 PM
I can't begin to imagine how "distraught" the father must be feeling. This unfortunate incident brings to mind another horrible tragedy that happened decades ago in Michigan. As I recall, a father took his young son deer hunting for the first time on opening day. They were later both found shot to death at their vehicle; the son shot through the heart from his deer rifle and the father dead from a gun shot to the head. It didn't take much investigation to determine that the boy was killed by his rifle, which was apparently loaded when he was extracting it from the case, and the father committed suicide, unable to cope with the unimaginable grief and, doubtlessly, unable to overcome his sense of guilt over his culpability in the accident.

We need to continually remind ourselves to be safe with a firearm.

ATBackPackin
December 8, 2012, 04:40 PM
Utterly tragic, sometimes in life we just become too complacent. If this does not remind people to follow the safety rules 100% of the time then nothing will. I just really hope that it was quick and that child did not have to suffer for his fathers negligence.

1911 guy
December 8, 2012, 04:53 PM
I've seen just enough bad crap in the world to be almost paranoid when it comes to safety and my kids. This is just terrible all over. I feel bad for the kid, dying because his father was complacent. I feel bad for the father having to live with the fact that he killed his own son due to negligence. Just sucks all the way around. Then there's the rest of the family. Brother and sisters, mother, grandparents, etc. Just sucks.

Like everything else in life, guns have a certain element of risk. You make an effort to be safe driving to work every day, so make an effort to be safe when usinf anything else that can harm you or others. Including guns.

Yoda
December 8, 2012, 06:16 PM
The article I read (see below) suggested two safety issues. First, the father said he had removed the magazine, but there was still a round in the chamber. This is either a training or negligence issue. Second, the father was holding the gun, and it "went off" as he was getting into his vehicle. Was his finger on the trigger? Did the gross muscle movements associated with getting into the truck cause a contraction of his trigger finger? And then, there's always NRA rule #1.

Guys, always keep in mind your obligation to BE SAFE, regardless of how experienced you think you are. And if you aren't experienced, get training before you make a fatal mistake out of ignorance.

Here's the link:
http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/northeast/view/20121208police_boy_7_shot_to_death_at_pennsylvania_gun_store/srvc=home&position=recent

- - - Yoda

mnrivrat
December 8, 2012, 06:59 PM
Gun Store Shooting ? What does this have to do with a gun store other than it happened in their parking lot ?

I can't imagine the grief and guilt being felt by the father in this tragic accident. I agree with the previous posters to alway follow the safety rules when handling a firearm. You must stay aware .

Hardtarget
December 8, 2012, 10:10 PM
My nephew made a statement to me that fits very well into the shooter fraternity.

He said..."Don't get so busy knowing what you do that you forget to do what you know".

I thought...I know to keep my finger off the trigger...point in a safe direction...treat the gun as LOADED, always. I try to remind myself of these things every time I'm with my guns.

I cannot imagine what is going through that whole family right now. It is just so sad.

Mark

Gun Geezer
December 8, 2012, 10:21 PM
Almost mulched my daughters one day as they were bidding in a leaf pile. I still get sick thinking about it. I doubt I would have survived it.

The Dad will never be the same. His private hell is all the punishment he'll need.

Bubbles
December 8, 2012, 10:29 PM
Note that dad took the rifle and handgun to the store to sell them. I'd bet the handgun was loaded when he took it into the shop.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY MOST GUN DEALERS HAVE SIGNS STATING THAT FIREARMS COMING IN FOR SALES/SERICE NEED TO BE UNLOADED.

ExTank
December 8, 2012, 11:08 PM
Gun Store Shooting ? What does this have to do with a gun store other than it happened in their parking lot ?

Have you read some of the comments in the article I linked to? Granted, it's the HuffPo (first article to come up in my Google search aftrer hearing about it on the radio this afternoon), but people are saying things like:

"What business does a child have even being near a gun store?"

"The NRA is the font of all evil; we should ALL just stand up to them and put them out of business and get some common sense gun control in this country!"

And on in a similar vein.

Lex Luthier
December 9, 2012, 12:56 AM
This poor man will suffer forever for his epically poor judgment. His guilt should be his punishment. Hopefully he is also eighty-sixed from the range. Poor kid.

Ignition Override
December 9, 2012, 02:39 AM
May God help that poor guy and the kid's mother.

Even if the gun bug had bitten me many years ago, I never would have wanted a handgun at home, because of any young boy's curiosity and ability to figure things out.
The risk to my son would have been a thousand times greater than the extremely tiny risk of needing a handgun.

Onmilo
December 9, 2012, 02:51 AM
Uhh, the risk didn't come from that poor little kid.
The risk came from his extremely stupid father...

coloradokevin
December 9, 2012, 04:18 AM
Another totally preventable tragedy. Guns aren't inherently dangerous, but people who handle them without the proper respect for their power certainly are.

We once had an officer in my department shoot himself by accident. He was at our range, in the parking lot, and was attempting to disassemble his Glock for cleaning (I presume because our work range has a "clean weapon" policy, and the officers' guns are checked prior to quarterly qualifications). Anyway, the officer pulled the slide to the rear, ejecting the round in the chamber. He THEN removed his magazine (I'm sure you guys see the problem with this order of operation), placed the barrel of the gun on his thigh, and pulled the trigger. He very likely would have died from the wound, had another officer not heard the shot and immediately rendered aid. The officer is still working for my agency these days, and admits that this incident was a big screwup on his part, and has cost him a lot of lingering pain and disability in that leg.

To me, hearing about an incident like that reminds me that some people (no matter how much training they've had) simply won't take their training seriously enough. In that particular instance we can find a number of violations of simple firearms rules/procedures:

1) Never let the muzzle of the weapon point at anything you aren't willing to destroy.
2) Treat all weapons as if they are always loaded.
3) Understand the procedures for loading/unloading your firearm.
4) Use the clearing barrels to load unload (that's a department rule, but still).

breakingcontact
December 9, 2012, 08:52 AM
Sick. Only good that can come from it is for others to think about and practice gun safety and encourage others to do the same.

Alnamvet68
December 9, 2012, 10:08 AM
Very sad and disturbing event. I cannot fathom why the father had his weapon in hand while entering his vehicle.

MachIVshooter
December 9, 2012, 01:00 PM
I cannot fathom why the father had his weapon in hand while entering his vehicle.

There's nothing wrong with holding the weapon while he got in. It was the condition zero firearm, finger on the trigger and negligence of muzzle direction that resulted in tragedy.

berettaprofessor
December 9, 2012, 01:55 PM
What does this have to do with a gun store other than it happened in their parking lot ?


Wouldn't make near as good a headline if it was only "Dad accidentally shoots son". Sad, and stupid tragedy.

mister_murphy
December 9, 2012, 11:00 PM
The issue I have with this story, and many more "almost" stories is that there is a huge attitude problem with something so simple as checking to make sure a firearm is unloaded. I have seen a few folks at a gun show pull a "unloaded" handgun out that turned out not to be "unloaded"....Of course they always say its "unloaded, I know it is"...(they dont care if others know it is or not)

Ive also hung out at a couple of local gun stores over the years, that have signs stating something around "all firearms must be unloaded" or there abouts. I couldnt tell ya'll how many "unloaded" firearms I saw that turned out to be actually loaded.

The main issue that I find that links these issues together is attitude. These folks always think the rules are for others... These same folks always seem to feel they are better, more proficient, more trained, etc so that they rules dont apply to them. I find this attitude disgusting at best, at worst, well, the mods prob wouldnt let me post that....

ATBackPackin
December 10, 2012, 04:27 AM
The issue I have with this story, and many more "almost" stories is that there is a huge attitude problem with something so simple as checking to make sure a firearm is unloaded. I have seen a few folks at a gun show pull a "unloaded" handgun out that turned out not to be "unloaded"....Of course they always say its "unloaded, I know it is"...(they dont care if others know it is or not)

Ive also hung out at a couple of local gun stores over the years, that have signs stating something around "all firearms must be unloaded" or there abouts. I couldnt tell ya'll how many "unloaded" firearms I saw that turned out to be actually loaded.

The main issue that I find that links these issues together is attitude. These folks always think the rules are for others... These same folks always seem to feel they are better, more proficient, more trained, etc so that they rules dont apply to them. I find this attitude disgusting at best, at worst, well, the mods prob wouldnt let me post that....
I am teaching my nephew to shoot and I regularly, even with surprise phone calls, drill him about the four golden rules. I am making sure that they are so ingrained that he doesn't even have to think about them. I have told him that many, many people have died from "unloaded" firearms.

SwampWolf
December 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
drill him about the four golden rules. I am making sure that they are so ingrained that he doesn't even have to think about them.

I agree with everything you said and applaud what you're doing. My only caveat is that, no matter how well "ingrained" we are with the rules of gun safety, we still have to "think about them" and think about them always. The old adage "familiarity breeds contempt" is an unfortunate consequence of not thinking.

ATBackPackin
December 10, 2012, 12:43 PM
I agree with everything you said and applaud what you're doing. My only caveat is that, no matter how well "ingrained" we are with the rules of gun safety, we still have to "think about them" and think about them always. The old adage "familiarity breeds contempt" is an unfortunate consequence of not thinking.
Good catch. After re-reading what I wrote I completely worded it wrong. I meant to say that he would not have to think to remember what the rules are, not that he didn't have to think to apply them safely.

Skribs
December 10, 2012, 12:47 PM
Hard target, I'm stealing that quote.

MagnumDweeb
December 10, 2012, 12:57 PM
So at one point he pointed the gun towards his son. I get in the truck all the time with passengers, my gun always goes in with the barrel pointed towards the engine and I keep by my fingers away from the trigger. RIP and best wishes and prayers.

mister_murphy
December 10, 2012, 09:30 PM
ATBackPackin,

Thanks for teaching your nephew the golden rules. i hope that he always remember those lessons you are giving him. I do appluad you for doing this for him and giving a great gift.

gspn
December 10, 2012, 10:26 PM
The saddest thing is that someone else usually underwrites your mistake. In this case it was a precious child.

twofifty
December 11, 2012, 01:25 AM
I don't see the logic behind opening a vehicle door and getting behind the wheel ALL THE WHILE holding a handgun. Getting into a car or pickup usually requires both hands - they're used for support on the door and steering wheel, or to help shift one's weight into the car. Holding a handgun at the same time makes an everyday task into a 3-ring circus act. Clueless.

The use of a holster, gun rug or handgun box would have kept everyone safe and sane. Poor kid.

MachIVshooter
December 11, 2012, 10:37 PM
Getting into a car or pickup usually requires both hands - they're used for support on the door and steering wheel, or to help shift one's weight into the car.

Maybe if you're paraplegic.

I get in and out of vehicles all the time with both hands full. Unless it's a really tall truck or low-slung, narrow entried sports car like a Corvette, it's really not difficult. Heck, plenty of one armed (and even no armed) people drive cars.

PS-

DO NOT use your steering wheel to support your weight, unless you're ok with replacing the column. It will eventually give out. Modern tilt columns are cast aluminum and plastic; They're not the solid steel tubes of yore. And the door handle? Yeah, that'll break too. If you need to aid yourself in vehicle entry with your hands, grab the roof over the door (or use the "Oh s***" handle inside)

9MMare
December 12, 2012, 01:15 AM
Very sad and disturbing event. I cannot fathom why the father had his weapon in hand while entering his vehicle.

The article I read said that he was putting the gun in a car gun safe when it went off. I dont remember exactly but I think it may have referred to the glove compartment too.

EVIL
December 12, 2012, 11:13 PM
Horrible tragedy ... really hits home for me as I have 7 year old son who I am teaching the rules of firearm safety to, with his BB gun as he accompanies me on trips to the range. We are just getting ready to move up to a .22, as his safety has been demonstrated to me for over a year now.

It never hurts to have a tragic reminder to keep you own personal situational awareness & adherence to the rules proficient, and avoid complacency. I am very cautious but as a reminder to myself to be safe when I am so focused on teaching him safe handling & drilling him the 4 rules.

I have on a couple of occaissions seen unsafe behavior at the range, competitions several times and I have always corrected the individual(s).

More recently, a gentleman who I compete with was shot in the abdomen by a .45 JHP in his home by a ND from a friend mishandling a carry firearm. I have never observed him mishandle a firearm after numerous times in competition once. He had to have a portion of his colon removed, lost 50 lbs and was out of work for 6 months. The friend was an 'experienced shooter' who 'cleared' the firearm incorrectly, and was placing it into a pistol case when he had a ND & it riccocheted off a heavy workbench and into the gentleman's abdomen. Thankfully, the gentleman has made a mostly complete recovery --- but I tell this story only to illustrate that this happens to guys like us. You cannot control the actions of others, but you need to have your brain engaged at all times.

Legionnaire
December 13, 2012, 08:21 PM
Another totally preventable tragedy. Guns aren't inherently dangerous, but people who handle them without the proper respect for their power certainly are.
Gotta disagree with you on the underlined part, Kevin. Of course guns are inherently dangerous ... just like chainsaws. It's why you have to treat them carefully.

ExTank
December 14, 2012, 11:58 AM
I think what coloradokevin was saying is that guns, in and of themselves, typically aren't dangerous. Few are of sufficiently bad design to randomly discharge for no reason whatsoever, and those designs/models usually go bye-bye from the market toot-sweet in recalls.

It's that when you add people to the mix (people handling guns, people shooting guns, etc) that they are as you describe; a potentially dangerous tool if improperly handled, but safe it treated and handled with respect.

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