According to the Washington Post, about 20 elderly people sat down for an early Thanksgiving meal (a week early?) at a church in East Tennessee and decided to discuss gun safety in light of recent mass shootings.
An 81-year-old member of the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains said,
“Well, I’ve got my gun on me.”
He pulled out his holster, which held a .38-caliber Ruger handgun. He removed the magazine, cleared the chamber and showed the gun to the other parishioners. They talked about how to safely bring guns to church — and how sad it was that so many people nationwide had been killed in recent mass shootings. Earlier this month, a gunman killed 26 people when he opened fire with an assault-style gun during Sunday service at a small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Tex.
The 81-year-old man put the magazine back into the gun and put the gun back in the holster, Parks said. Later, while people were cleaning up, a church member who had missed the demonstration asked to see the weapon.
As he was about to show the to the church member, the man accidentally pulled the trigger not realizing the gun was loaded. A bullet fired across the palm of the 81-year-old’s hand and hit his 80-year-old wife, who was sitting in a wheelchair next to him.
Panic ensued as most people weren’t aware of the second demonstration and — having just discussed mass shootings they assumed an active gunman had entered the church.
“They had their backs to it. Somebody hollers, ‘He’s been shot! She’s been shot! Call 911!’ So someone grabs their cellphone and calls 911, and says we’ve had somebody shot at church.”
45 minutes later, police realized someone had accidentally discharged a handgun and hospital and school lockdowns were lifted.
Both the husband and wife’s conditions have been stabilized as of Thursday evening. The couple’s family has asked their names not yet be released.
This isn’t funny, but it is a sad commentary on our society. At 81, some people can’t tie their own shoes, how are they allowed to carry a firearm… INTO CHURCH!?
(Photo, YouTube; via Washington Post)