22 Mar 12
An injury-accident occurred in TX earlier this week, within a county whose sheriff’s department we’ve worked with on several occasions.
On company property, a warehouse worker was carelessly showing a newly-purchased Taurus 1911 (45ACP) Pistol to another worker. As the result of a subsequent ND, a single bullet (WW SXT) passed through the shooter’s other arm, exited, and then re-entered the upper abdomen of his friend who was standing adjacent to him. Gun and ammunition both functioned normally!
The bullet performed as advertised! The impacted arm is badly mangled, and some permanent disability/disfigurement is a certainty. The torso-wound on the second person is less serious, but will also require significant convalescence.
I talked with the Sheriff yesterday. He was asked to lecture the management team at this particular company about this unfortunate incident, and was interested in my take on preventative measures.
The person who was holding the pistol when the ND occurred was not in violation of any company policy by possessing nor carrying the weapon on company property. These warehouse workers occasionally make deliveries in company trucks and, in this part of TX, driving around unarmed is not a smart thing to do!
So, drivers are all armed, all have TX State CCW Permits, and remain armed when working in the warehouse.
In my opinion, the problem is not the presence of guns in the workplace. They are necessary for the security of workers, just as is the case at metro police-department headquarters, where hundreds of armed police officers come and go every day!
The problem is unnecessary gun-handling!
In most police departments with whom I work, an officer walking around police headquarters with a pistol in his hand, outside the range, and for no legitimate reason, will find himself grievously reprimanded, and probably suspended for several days! In the police business, we know that such unnecessary gun-handling immediately precedes most gun-accidents, and it is thus not tolerated.
Even TSA now recognizes that virtually every ND that has ever occurred in an airport has been a direct result of somebody (gun-owner, airline employee, TSA employee) handling the gun, for no legitimate purpose, during the check-in process. In every case, had the gun simply not been touched, there would have been no accident.
The Military still doesn’t get it! Interminable, and utterly unnecessary, loading and unloading of pistols, strictly for political reasons, predictably generates no end of gun-accidents. If pistols in question were simply left in holsters, and not touched, all those accident would never happen!
So, my suggested contribution to the Sheriff’s lecture is that armed workers be strictly prohibited from handling guns on company property, other than on a pistol range, or when necessary for legitimate self-defense. Holstered pistols, that are not touched, are utterly inert and completely incapable of discharging!
The company should also insist that all holsters used by workers on company property completely cover the trigger guard as the pistol is holstered, so that, when properly holstered, the pistol’s trigger is altogether inaccessible.
An alternative, and one commonly exercised my many companies, is to ban all guns on company property. Such stupid, naive “rules” are routinely ignored and are entirely unenforceable anyway. Cynical “managers” know full-well such rules are habitually violated, but put them in place anyway, strictly because they think they will be able to personally wiggle off the hook when an accident takes place. Such “managers” care not a whit for their employees, nor their company, and are a disgrace to their profession!
Many go armed every day, at work, and every other place they go. Guns in holsters are never a problem. Guns in hands are!
“When you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them”
C Wright Mills