A Kentucky “good guy with a gun” is missing a finger, and he’s none too happy about it.
Former Glasgow, Kentucky police officer Darrell Smith is suing Barren Outdoors, and one of their employees, for negligence, over an incident that occurred last March. According to WBKO, Smith went into Barren Outdoors and asked to see a .38 caliber handgun. When the clerk handed the gun to Smith, Smith examined the gun, then he cocked it. The gun went off, shooting off part of Smith’s index finger.
Smith’s attorney says that the lawsuit is seeking to make up for lost income. Smith lost his job on the police force after the incident. His attorney, Alan Simpson, tells WBKO:
He’s permanently disfigured. He went through a lot of pain and suffering. He’s gone through several surgeries. He’s got a lot of medical bills that have to be paid. It ended his career and he’s going to have a lot of lost income.
The suit says that Barren Outdoors’ employee was negligent because he didn’t perform a safety check on the gun before handing it to Smith.
If a cop can’t handle a gun safely, why should we assume others who aren’t trained can?
This incident is disturbing on several levels. First, take note in the video that Smith and the clerk who was assisting him were not the only people in the store. There were at least two other customers, and two other clerks. Everyone involved was fortunate that Smith’s finger was the only thing that was shot. Second, cops are supposedly trained to properly handle firearms. The store clerk definitely screwed up by not checking the gun to make sure it wasn’t loaded. But shouldn’t Smith have also checked the weapon before he started playing with it?
If a trained law enforcement officer is this casual and careless with a gun that he only assumed wasn’t loaded, and never checked, how can we feel comfortable around the thousands of largely untrained “responsible gun owners” that we encounter?
Here’s the store surveillance video of the incident, via WBKO: