"Pistol fires accidentally at reception for Georgia's Rep. Bob Barr"
August 7, 2002 5:01 PM   Subscribe

"Pistol fires accidentally at reception for Georgia's Rep. Bob Barr" someone hands a loaded handgun to a u.s representative -- and nra member -- and it accidentally discharges. how they are going to spin this in can only imagine.
posted by dolface (28 comments total)
umm, make that "I can only imagine"
posted by dolface at 5:04 PM on August 7, 2002

Having personally talked to Barr, let me tell you all that he is a moron.
posted by Hall at 5:04 PM on August 7, 2002

It appears the matter has already been spun:

Through a spokesman, Barr said: "This accident only underscores the importance of proven gun safety measures, especially when owning and handling antique firearms."
posted by rks404 at 5:07 PM on August 7, 2002

Guns don't kill people. Politicians kill people.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:17 PM on August 7, 2002

...he is a moron.

Having interviewed Barr while working as a reporter in his district, let me assure that his particular brand of moronism serves his politics very well.

This incident might change things, though. Inability to handle a firearm is perceived by many residents of Georgia's 7th District as a character flaw.
posted by eatitlive at 5:26 PM on August 7, 2002

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
- Mark Twain

I didn't realise the true meaning of this quote until now.
posted by will at 5:27 PM on August 7, 2002

how they are going to spin this I can only imagine

I can see Charlton Heston before me, looking serious, quoting lyrics.

"Cleaning my. Gun. With the safety. Off."
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:29 PM on August 7, 2002

"Cleaning my. Gun. With the safety. Off."

Your Heston sounds like Shatner. =)
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:32 PM on August 7, 2002

Now, if Barr had ever actually been in combat, he may have known to check the chamber...
posted by Ty Webb at 5:36 PM on August 7, 2002

"Nobody was in any danger. We were handling it safely, except that it was loaded."

Maybe Bob slipped because his palms were just freshly greased. There's only one reason to go to a lobbyist's home.

I just had a flashback to Chevy Chase on the old Saturday Night Live Weekend Update.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:45 PM on August 7, 2002

There are some real gems here.

" We were handling it safely, except that it was loaded"

Yeah. That loaded part's a bitch. Also, here's your spin:

"I am thankful Bob was careful to always keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction."

Good old Bob! Woo-hoo! That could have been ugly!

posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:46 PM on August 7, 2002

"Widener had opened his gun cabinet to Barr and others at the reception and acknowledged that it is unsafe to store a loaded weapon there."

That'll be those "proven gun safety measures" in action then? Obviously not the ones I was thinking of that involve keeping halfwits away from firearms.
posted by zygoticmynci at 5:52 PM on August 7, 2002

A true story about gun safety and how accidents can happen.

A bunch of years ago I was dating a NYC policewoman. One evening we were sitting with her parents at the dining room table enjoying an after dinner drink. Her old man, a retired detective, asked me if I’d seen his daughter’s new 9mm pistol.
We went up to her apartment, she lived in the second floor apartment of her parents two family house, and she proceeded to show me the weapon. I dropped the clip and checked the chamber when she handed it to me. I mentioned something about it being a cool gun, and told her I wasn’t wild about semi-automatics. She laughed and said they were as safe as a revolver.
She pointed the barrel down proceeded to load a clip. The next thing I knew the damned thing fired! She went white. I took the gun away, unloaded it and tried to calm her down. It didn’t work. Her parent’s dining room was directly below the room we were in.
I raced down to their apartment and her parents were calmly sitting at the dining room table. Without saying a word the old man pointed to the brand new hole in the table.
“It was her”, the old man said. I nodded affirmatively.
He pointed to a seat and told his wife to, “Get him a brew.”
His daughter came downstairs a couple of minutes later and the old man, without looking at her, said, “That goes back in the morning.” All she could muster was a contrite, “Yes sir.”
The 9mm incident was never mentioned
posted by flatlander at 6:10 PM on August 7, 2002

Nobody was in any danger.

posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:16 PM on August 7, 2002

Dangerous? You bet. Strong? Perhaps. Ah, but I have NEVER heard of anyone looking 'smart' while handling or using a firearm. So, when mishandling a firearm I suppose you look twice as not smart.
posted by tomworking at 6:20 PM on August 7, 2002

A .38ACP (9x17mm) pistol? *snort* Well, at least nobody was in any danger of actually getting hurt at any point, although it sounds like the people involved really wouldn't be missed regardless.

flatlander: what in the . . . ? Did she accidentally pull the trigger? If not, would you please tell me what manuf and model if you happen to remember? You've got my curiosity piqued.

. . . $5 on a Glock or maybe Beretta 92-clone since she was police . . .
posted by Ryvar at 6:29 PM on August 7, 2002

If I remember correctly, it was a S&W 59 and it was her gonna be her off duty piece. She said it was a malfunction.
BTW, it never went back.
posted by flatlander at 6:55 PM on August 7, 2002


* breathes *

* re-reads the "we were handling it safely" part *

posted by yhbc at 7:10 PM on August 7, 2002

Morons don't kill people. Morons with guns kill people.
posted by jaronson at 7:11 PM on August 7, 2002

a gunshot occured in close proximity to a politician? and nobody is being held on suspicion of 'terrism'? man, we ain't never gonna get our homeland security together that way.
posted by quonsar at 8:37 PM on August 7, 2002

I hate to rain on the Bob-Barr-is-a-moron parade, but it's worth noting that he's one of the few members of Congress who appears to be genuinely concerned about citizens' privacy, and has been consistent in that stand under both Clinton and Cheney. This American Prospect article, In Bed with Bob Barr: How conservatives became the ACLU's best friends, lays out the history -- Waco, Clinton's attacks on 4th Amendment habeas corpus rights after the OK bombing, 9/11 -- nicely (and isn't as pissy as it sounds).
posted by mediareport at 10:11 PM on August 7, 2002

Frankly, inability to handle a firearm safely IS a character flaw. Only an idiot hands a firarm to someone else without first verifying it's unloaded & only an idiot of similar proportions accepts same without personally verifying the unloaded status. These bozos should be drummed out of the NRA.
posted by Pressed Rat at 6:02 AM on August 8, 2002

Let's all chant together now...

"Never assume the weapon is unloaded until you have checked/cleared it yourself first."

"Never take anyone's word as to whether a weapon is loaded or not."

"Never point a weapon, loaded or otherwise, at anything you are not willing to destroy."

BTW, I've deliberately let my NRA membership lapse.
posted by alumshubby at 7:10 AM on August 8, 2002

mediareport: You can have an admirable concern for privacy and still be a moron. Case in point.
posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM on August 8, 2002

Reminds me of a Simpson's episode.
posted by drstrangelove at 9:02 AM on August 8, 2002

You can have an admirable concern for privacy and still be a moron.

Exactly. Reagan cared about privacy.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:28 AM on August 8, 2002

Hey, I have no illusions about Bob Barr. I just saw something of a pile-on, and thought it was worth mentioning that Barr has been extremely active -- out on a limb, even -- on privacy issues like Echelon, criminalization of the disclosure of classified information and the use of facial recognition technology in public places, among others.

In short, he may be a moron on many issues, but he's a fucking genius on a few that I think are pretty important.
posted by mediareport at 3:59 PM on August 8, 2002

Guns don't kill people. The NRA mishandling guns kills people.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:03 PM on August 9, 2002

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