A 68-year-old Redfield, Iowa, man may be vying for a Darwin Award as he recovers from two—yes two—self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Apparently Larry Godwin caught a raccoon in a live trap and decided to dispatch the critter. He took a .22-caliber handgun and shot at the ’coon, but the bullet struck the trap and ricocheted, hitting Godwin in the lower right part of his abdomen. The shock of being struck by the bullet precipitated Godwin to drop his handgun, whereupon it discharged, hitting him again in nearly the same place. Thankfully, Godwin’s injuries were not life-threatening.
After I quit laughing, I pondered this a bit. Clearly, Mr. Godwin violated Rule 4 (Be sure of your target and what is behind it.), but one can’t help but wonder what the heck was he thinking? I cannot imagine standing off a few feet and trying to thread a bullet from a rifle—let alone a handgun—through the wire surrounding the ’coon.
An extension of Rule 4 might be: Consider the consequences of every bullet you shoot. Each of us is responsible for every bullet or shot load that leaves our guns, regardless of the circumstances. It does not matter whether those consequences were intentional or not, we own the ejecta.
I am very glad that Mr. Godwin’s injuries are relatively minor, and even more grateful that he didn’t hit some other person. Too, I am sure that he is feeling a bit embarrassed about this incident. If there can be any good from this event, it would be that he, as well as the rest of us, be aware of the impacts of our behavior.