COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS — A drunk idiot decided to wave around his 9mm pistol to distract his opponent in a beer pong match. His opponent, obviously not amused with having a gun waved around in his face, pushes the idiot. This results in said idiot discharging two rounds because – you guessed it – his finger was on the trigger. The first bullet hit the shoulder of a 20 year old bystander and the other hit his competitor’s finger. According to DNAinfo, who originally covered the incident, the 20 year old that was struck in the shoulder was oblivious to the game even going on because his face was buried in his phone.
Prosecutors said Shannon had an FOID card and conceal-and-carry permit in Arkansas, where he lived until February. When he moved to Illinois, however, Shannon got an Illinois driver’s license, but failed to update his gun paperwork.
How many red flags do we have? I think we’ll need all of them for this amalgamation of dumb.
Step 1: Alcohol And Guns Never Mix – Ever!
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the founding of our country with firearms. And there’s nothing wrong with having an adult beverage or two. But alcohol and firearms are two things that should never touch. As every concealed carrier knows – if you decide to drink and carry, you forfeit your permit, your firearm, and could face harsh penalties even if your BAC is at the legal driving limit. And that’s the least of your problems.
Step 1b – Never eat/drink anything that alters your mood or personality while having a firearm on you. Being sober is the only way to truly rely upon your own judgement in a situation.
If you want to drink, place your firearm in your safe at home. If you’re out and about, unload it and follow your state’s regulations for the proper storage of a firearm. This typically includes locking the firearm in a container in a part of the vehicle that is not readily accessible. Check with your state first, though, to find out your situation.
Step 2: The Four Fundamental Safety Principles – Always!
There is no such thing as an accident with firearms. There’s only negligent or purposeful discharges. You are always legally culpable for your firearm while it is in your possession. Quite a few states make you legally culpable when it isn’t. So when your freedom and the safety of yourself and others are at risk – don’t take chances. Always follow the four fundamental principles of safety when dealing with firearms.
- Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
- Do not point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Know what is in front and directly behind of your target.
Following these simple four rules eliminates the vast majority of negligent discharges.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Permit Is Valid In The Place You Are In
It is nobody’s responsibility to know the law except you. When you break it, there are consequences. One of the quickest ways to wind up in a whole boat load of trouble is not following the state and county guidelines concerning firearms in your area. In this idiot’s case, he didn’t have an FOID card or a valid Illinois concealed carry permit – he had Arksanas’. How much help is that for him? None. If you’re a resident of Illinois, the only valid concealed carry permit you have is the one Illinois issues – and it best come right alongside your FOID card. We didn’t pick those rules – that’s Illinois’ rules.
Step 4: Pay Attention To What’s Around You – Situational Awareness
The person we feel worse for in this story is the 20 year old. He probably had his face buried in Facebook or texting a girl when he realized that a friendly game of beer pong had turned violent. The 20 year old wasn’t carrying a firearm – he wasn’t even in this fight – but now all of the sudden he’s a victim of it. According to Elite Daily’s coverage of the story, the 20 year old got driven to the hospital where he is expected to make a decent recovery.
You don’t have to live by the sword to get cut by it. It doesn’t matter whether you are armed or not, you have to pay attention to your surroundings. That doesn’t mean you can’t respond to texts or have a good time but people are unpredictable and sometimes dangerously stupid. This is one of those cases.
For the concealed carry community, we always try to reinforce these fundamental principles because the idiot that’s inflicting harm on others (or himself) may be too dumb to know what he’s doing. It’s our job to spot those idiots – because they can be as dangerous as an intentional bad guy and not even know it.
Step 5: If You’re Unarmed And Someone Is Waving Their Gun Around – Get Out
And if you ever find yourself at a party and you’ve been drinking – your role as a concealed carrier is over until you sober up. If you see someone who’s been drinking pull a gun – get out of there immediately. Game over. He’s not your friend – he’s not anyone’s friend. Get yourself and anyone around you out of there, call the police, and let them handle it.
If you’re the designated marksman in the group – as we mentioned in this article – be sober and respond as you’re allowed to by law and your own conscience.