Clinton, IN — Imagine for a moment that you were carrying a pistol in a public space, and all of the sudden, you accidentally squeeze off a round. Now, imagine if this place was a school.
There are two possible scenarios that would take place; the first one is that police return fire and you are killed. The second, less lethal result would be your inevitable arrest and charges of public endangerment, unlawful discharge, illegal use of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, terrorism, or a myriad of other infractions associated with sending a deadly projectile hurling through a space occupied by innocent children. You would immediately be facing fines, jail time, probation, and firearms restrictions.
However, if you are a government agent who's trusted with carrying a deadly weapon into places others cannot, you needn't worry about any of those repercussions. The scenario below just so happens to prove it.
Vermillion County Deputy Tim DisPennett, identified as a 19-year veteran of the department, was giving instruction to vocational students at South Vermillion High School when he pulled his gun and "accidentally" shot a student.
The class was geared at teaching students how to be police officers, and participants in the drill were acting out a scenario with a “bad guy,” according to WTHI.
Hopefully, none of the students being taught by Deputy DisPennett were paying attention to his instruction — as his methods are clearly flawed.
"This morning at South Vermillion High School, there was an isolated incident in one of our vocational classrooms. The incident was an accidental discharge of a firearm by a law enforcement officer during a drill. One student was injured without life-threatening injuries and has been taken to the hospital. Only SVHS is currently on lockdown, due to the abundance of emergency personnel in the building," read a statement sent out to parents after the shooting.
Luckily the student who was shot was not severely injured and will be okay. As for the deputy, he has not been arrested, nor fired, and has only been placed on paid leave. Detectives with the department are now investigating the shooting.
Aside from the above-the-law treatment of this officer, the excuse for the weapon accidentally discharging is nothing short of asinine.
Guns do not fire themselves.
Weapons companies spend a significant amount of time and money making sure their guns don't simply 'go off.' While it is entirely possible for older single-action revolvers, which required the hammer to be cocked, to go off when dropped, the idea of a modern pistol accidentally firing without someone pulling the trigger is simply absurd.
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There are more guns than people in the United States. It is estimated that Americans own around 357 million firearms. If these weapons were so prone to accidentally firing, there would be a lot of dead Americans. However, that is clearly not the case.
The reality is that these cases of guns "accidentally firing" most always involve police, who are entrusted by the public to responsibly carry weapons, failing miserably at their jobs. You could rest assured that if a mere citizen were to shoot their fellow citizen in their home 'accidentally' they would be cast out by the anti-gun crowd and plastered across the mainstream media. They would also be in jail.
However, if your job is to carry a firearm for a living to ostensibly protect society and you cause injury to others by shooting them in their home — you are immediately presumed innocent and given special treatment.
In fact, TFTP reported on several instances in a single week in which officers "accidentally" fired their weapons. Some of the unintended victims were shot as well.
At a Halloween party in October 2016, a cop in North Carolina shot and severely injured her own daughter as she showed off her service weapon. Like this officer, she was not charged.
Prior to that shooting, a cop in Ohio fired his weapon into a daycare center — while it was fully occupied. He was also not charged.
During a wrestling tournament at Fowlerville High School in 2018, panic ensued as a gunshot rang out. The shot was fired from the gun of an off-duty Flint police officer who was there to watch his son wrestle.
"A parent had a revolver in their pocket that discharged somehow and went off in the middle of our wrestling tournament," said Steve Richardson, an official with Michigan USA Wrestling.
That parent was a police officer whose identity was protected and who was not arrested—two privileges that would most assuredly not be given to a civilian who accidentally fired off a round in a school.
"After the police were here and did their investigation and did what they had to do, we were able to resume wrestling and finish our tournament," Richardson said.
According to the school, the cop shot the gun while he stood up sending the bullet into the floor. Luckily the floor was wooden and the bullet did not ricochet and kill a child. However, multiple people were injured as children and adults trampled each other.