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For Want Of A Holster

For Want Of A Holster

This story popped up the other day. No pun intended.

Man without gun license accidentally shoots himself in genitalia in Marion

MARION, Ind. – A man accidentally shot himself in his genitalia in Marion, according to the city’s police department.

That’s not really funny, but I bet a lot of people laughed.

There, the man told officers that he was on a walkway near a Girl Scout cabin when the Hi Point 9mm handgun on his waistband (without a holster) began to slip. When the man reached down to adjust the gun, he says it discharged.

The obvious question is what was this man doing near a girl scout cabin. I’m sure the police will be looking into that.

The less obvious question is; Why didn’t he have a holster?

The answer is because if you don’t have a license to carry a firearm and ditch the gun when the police are approaching you, you might not have time to ditch the holster. Having an empty holster can lead to awkward questions from the police, and provide them with enough to obtain a search warrant. So, a lot of people who aren’t supposed to be carrying firearms don’t use holsters.

I’ve seen this a few times over the years. That is, I’ve seen people with firearms and no holsters AND I’ve seen people who have shot themselves in the genitals or thigh because they were wearing sweat pants or some other pants with no belt. If you’re not used to carrying a firearm (at least legally) and the gun is not securely holstered, it’s very likely that you will put your finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger.

Bad things happen that way.

Ask Plaxico Burress. Not that I believe his story completely, however he did try to grab a falling pistol and did shoot himself.

Just like our unnamed victim in this story.

Also, like our unnamed victim, Burress didn’t have a license to carry a firearm. Also, being New York City, he didn’t have a permit to even possess a firearm. Even worse, Burress lived in New Jersey. New York City is stingy with licenses for it’s own residents, never mind people from across the Hudson. Not that New Jersey is much better than New York when it comes to licenses and such.

Indiana doesn’t require a permit for mere possession of a firearm.  Indiana does, however,  require a permit to carry a pistol concealed or openly. So, the headline in the original story is correct, the man was unlicensed.

Fox News, which seems woefully ignorant of English sometimes had this headline for essentially the same story.

“Indiana man with unlicensed gun accidentally shoots self in genitals, police say”

People are licensed, inanimate objects are registered. Well, not in Indiana which doesn’t have registration requirements for firearms. Our unnamed victim may or may not have been legally allowed to possess a firearm in his home or some other places. I wouldn’t bet on on that, but it’s possible.

Speaking of Fox News. Here is a prime example of not straying into area about which you know nothing. Not at all related to today’s topic, but it’s a good reminder that sometimes you have to “Stay in Your Lane.”

Fox also used a stock photograph of a 1911 pattern firearm, not the el cheapo Hi Point 9mm that the man was carrying. In a prior day, that would be called a “Saturday Night Special”, but that sorry story is for another day.

I don’t know that we’ll see any more news stories about this incident, but I’d guess that the Marion PD will have more conversations with the unnamed victim. At which point he will likely be a named defendant. Which might not be the first time he’s interacted with the criminal justice system.

Oh, and the Marion Police Department did put up a Facebook post on the incident. Because everyone puts items like this on their Facebook page.

There are four take home lessons here.

  1. If you are going to carry a firearm, make sure you have the correct license or permit.
  2. Buy a holster.
  3. Don’t hang around girl scout cabins.
  4. Be familiar enough with any firearm you plan to carry to NOT put your finger on the trigger when you don’t intend to.

Guns aren’t toys, guns are tools that serve a number of purposes. Like lots of tools, if handled carelessly they can cause injury or death. Just like a snow blower or even a table saw.


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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. If you’re not going to holster it, at least load it Condition 3. That way you’re not going to drop hammer on a live round without racking the slide.

    • Well yeah, but a holster is best. Actually, not carrying if you’re not supposed to possess firearms is probably better. Then again, people that aren’t supposed to carry probably don’t care much about the law.

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