The internet has been telling me for years that I'll shoot my junk off if I persist in the foolish fad known as appendix carry. I finally went looking for some data on appendix carry accidents, and while it's a fairly small sample size, I think it's enough to shed some light on who is most at risk for shooting themselves.
First, a confession: I've been carrying aiwb for about 8 years, so I'm admittedly biased. However, I didn't leave off any links that involved appendix carry, and if you know of one that I missed, please leave a comment and I'll add it.
There are, broadly speaking, four categories to these self inflicted shootings.
- Stupidity. This should be obvious, right? Of course, this one overlaps into the other categories, but I'm putting it first because these events are caused by people violating the two main safety rules. “Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.” “Always keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.”Up first: man shoots his junk off! Yes, it can happen. Now the internet can say “I told you so”.Show off shoots himself.Man sitting on toilet has unexpected discharge… While the article doesn't say what model of pistol he was using, I'd bet it was a 1911. Please, please, do NOT de-cock a 1911 on a loaded chamber! It's not safer. Carry it as it was intended, cocked and locked. Leave it in the holster until needed. If that's not safe enough for you, get a gun that has a de-cocker.Is it bad that I find this next one (which is a collection of events) hilarious? Alcohol and guns are not a good mix.There were more, but that's enough to show the trend.
- This next category came as a surprise: incidents that occurred while holstering. The surprise was not that this happens, but that it's second on the list. The major lesson from this category: don't get complacent, it can happen to you.
Holstering your weapon deserves your full attention.
Well crud, here it is again: another guy who shot himself in the junk. On the bright side, he didn't notice… This guy got off relatively easy.
There were more in that vein, but the lessons are the same. It only takes a second or two to safely holster and the cost of failing to do so may be extremely high.
- Incidents that occurred with no holster; the surprise here was only that it wasn't second on the list.Pocket carry failure. Or is it success in this instance?Wait, again with the junk shooting?! C'mon, internet. Let it go already!
- Last on the list is equipment failure. These poor souls made at least a passing attempt to do it right, but Murphy shot them in the butt' anyway.First subcategory: an otherwise good holster that wore out.Second subcategory: substandard gear. Most of us gun folk are gear junkies and we all love to try new stuff… and who doesn't like to save a buck? This guy found out that nylon holsters are never a good idea.Don't buy junk. “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” I'm not pointing fingers, I've been guilty of this mistake. What's worse is that especially in the holster category, there is a lot of high priced junk. 🙁 The barriers to entry into making holsters are pretty low, and a lot of people claim it's easy – “a caveman could do it”! It's a lot like cooking, almost anyone can do it, but most don't do it very well.
In conclusion, yes, you might shoot yourself in the junk. Thankfully the odds go way down if you're not drunk, or stupid, and use good gear.
If you know of any stories that I missed, especially ones that might fall into a different category than what I presented, please comment and let me know.