If, as a Kentucky state legislator, you "accidentally" discharge your Ruger .380 semiauto handgun in the capitol just before the governor gives a speech there, you can react a few different ways. "Oops, I'm sorry" seems good. "I'm an idiot" is better. Rep. Leslie Combs went with "It happens."
Combs, a Democrat, was apparently in the process of unloading her pistol in the capitol annex building, in advance of the state of the state address, when "it went off," as they say. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. But somehow a lot of people who discharge their weapons blame the damned mischievous hunk of metal for going off, all on its own.
The funny thing is, she didn't even need to unload the darn thing to hang out in the capitol, since Kentucky's gun law explicitly states that "nothing...shall preclude a member of the body, holding a concealed deadly weapon license, from carrying a concealed deadly weapon at a meeting of the body of which he or she is a member."
Combs, in her own words, described how she tried to unload the pistol in a room with a colleague, Rep. Jeff Greer:
"I was purposely disarming it to put it up because I didn't like it and I didn't want to use it any more," she said. "... I had had it in my purse I carry usually, and I thought I'm going to put that sucker away."...
Greer, who said he was in Combs' office to talk about a road project, said the gun "was pointed away and down toward the ground" when it fired.
It, like, just fired, man. Crazy, huh? Like, I took the magazine with all these bullets out and cycled the action and well now it's cocked so safety off and let's just pull the trigger and OH SHIT, THERE'S STILL A SLUG IN THE CHAMBER HOW CAN I BE EXPECTED TO REMEMBER ALL THESE THINGS STUPID GUN AUGHH.
Combs told another media outlet: "I thought it was totally clear...I am a gun owner. It happens."
Yes, it happens, and it's called a negligent discharge. Not an accidental discharge, a negligent discharge. You did that. It is a thing that happened because of stuff you did. Hume, causal connections, and all that. Of course, Hume had flintlocks, which are admittedly a lot easier to clear than automatic handguns. There is a consolation, though:
"I was particularly careful," she said. "Rep. Greer was on the other side of the room...No one was in harm's way. I made sure of that."
Well, that's nice.
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