|Lonnie Pinnix, Needs a Gun Safety
Course, and a good flogging.
From North Carolina, we hear tell of rather guy who shot his wife in the back with a black powder handgun, which was loaded with toilet paper. Read it here.
I won’t dig into why he did it. However, one line seemed to stand out
It’s unclear how the toilet paper was propelled from the firearm if there was no bullet.
Apparently, the reporter has little clue how firearms work. Perhaps I can provide a bit of insight.
The powder in the barrel burns and releases huge amounts of hot gas. The hot gas pushes the projectile down the barrel. The projectile can be pretty much anything: a bullet, steel or lead shot, dimes, gravel, rock salt, sand, gummi-bears, wadding.
Wadding is a thin fabric or paper spacer that does three things for the black powder firearm: it keeps the powder contained in the chamber, helps provide a seal between hot gas and projectile, and — more importantly in my view — lowers the possibility that the projectile will accidentally ignite the powder as the projectile is rammed onto the charge.
Toilet paper, by the way, makes a really good form of wadding.
Even if you don’t have a projectile in the gun, it can still be dangerous at close range. Say, within a few yards. All that hot gas, left over bits of gunpowder, and wadding have to go somewhere and they do it quite rapidly. Rapidly enough to do serious damage to people that are too close to the business end of the barrel.
Just the same, this guy appears to have clearly violated rules 1 and 2. I was going to say he also violated rules 3 and 4, but it’s pretty clear that he knew exactly who and what he was shooting at and that it was intentional.
Rule 1: he was under the very mistaken impression that just placing a standard charge and wadding in a firearm renders it either unloaded or makes it safer. It does not.
Rule 2: he may not have been willing to kill his wife. Then again, maybe that’s exactly what he wanted to do.
Guy’s still an asshole.
Cooper’s Rules for Firearms Safety
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
4. Identify your target and what’s behind it.