Gun ownership is part of the American Constitution. But there’s a certain degree of responsibility involved in owning your own firearm. Reckless handling and storage of a gun can hurt an innocent person. Or if you’re particularly foolish, you can hurt yourself. A perfect example of this took place last week when a hiker managed to shoot themself with their firearm.
According to a report by the National Park Service, a man at Emerald Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park) injured himself when a firearm stored in their backpack accidentally discharged.
“The man was hiking in the area with a handgun in his backpack. When he set the backpack on the rock, the gun discharged firing a round. The round struck the man in his leg. The round did not exit the man’s body. There were numerous visitors in the Emerald Lake area when this incident occurred.”
Emergency medical aid was dispatched and provided to the man. An ambulance drove him to the Glacier Basin Campground, where he was then brought to the Medical Center of the Rockies via medevac helicopter.
Carrying and concealing a firearm is legal in the Rocky Mountain National Park, assuming you have the correct permits. The park discourages bringing a firearm, however, asking hikers, campers, and backpackers to instead bring bear spray as a form of wildlife protection.
Had the man been following proper firearm safety, there would not have been a bullet loaded into the gun while in transport. Had he intended to keep it ready at a moment’s notice, he should have held it in a proper on-body holster. And even then, a loaded ammo clip should have been kept separate and the safety should have been active. There were multiple ways this could have been prevented.
As a result of his actions, the man now has a bad injury and what will undoubtedly be a rather large hospital bill. Had things gone more poorly, this may have resulted in a death, whether it was his own or someone else around him.
Don’t be an idiot, treat your firearms seriously.