Fowerville, MI — 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 being 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 people. 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.
During a wrestling tournament at Fowlerville High School on Saturday, panic ensued as a gun shot 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 is being 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.
"I'm waiting by my mat on a stair, and right next to me, about like five inches away, all I hear is a loud boom, and a gun goes right next to my foot and barely misses me," John Allen, a 12-year-old who witnessed the gunshot, said.
The gunshot caused immediate panic as parents frantically grabbed their children and headed for the exits fearing the worse.
"I remember right away I just yelled, and my mom grabbed me, and I just ran," John said.
"People were crazy, it was a stampede to get out of the gym. Kids were stepped on and lost and it was complete chaos," witness Chelsea Marie said.
At least one person had to be transported to the hospital to be treated for a broken ankle.
As WWJ reports, in an email to parents, students and staff, Fowlerville Athletic Director Brian Osborn said the off-duty officer is licensed to carry a firearm weapon legally in the district.
Police told reporters that the gun accidentally discharged, somehow implying that it simply must've gone off by itself.
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Fowlerville Police Chief John Tyler released a statement saying the incident will be referred to the Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney's Office once the police investigation is complete.
However, the officer has yet to be arrested.
Aside from the above the law treatment of the officer, the excuse of 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.
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 gun in a school '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 inciting panic -- you are immediately presumed innocent and given special treatment.
Just over a year ago, TFTP reported on three instances in a single week in which officers accidentally fired their weapons. Some of the unintended victims were not as lucky as the people in the school that day.
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. She has not been charged.
Prior to that shooting, a cop in Ohio fired his weapon into a daycare center -- while it was fully occupied.
Just after those two shootings, a 20-year veteran deputy of the Fresno County Sheriff's Department was shot and killed by his fellow officer. Officials immediately ruled it an accident and began the narrative that the gun somehow just went off on its own.
Deputy Sgt. Rod Lucas was having a conversation near the Fresno Yosemite International Airport about how to carry backup weapons when one deputy's weapon was discharged striking Lucas in the chest.
Lucas was in the room with two other deputies, and, according to Mims, there was no dispute at the time -- ironically, just a conversation about weapons safety.
"The detective had his weapon out. During this discussion, the detective's weapon discharged," the sheriff said. "Sgt. Lucas was struck by the bullet in his chest, and he dropped to the ground."