Guntimes at Redneck High

Back in the day I lived in a podunk rednickish suburb and went to a podunkish redneck school. This was Texas, mid 70s, think Dazed and Confused and you have it dead on. Needless to say there were plenty of gun owners. One day I was riding around with one of them — we were all just starting to get our driver’s licenses so driving anywhere was fun and cool — when my buddy asked me to open his glove compartment. A dark bundle fell out and I heard a snap, it sounded exactly like a bullwhip cracking. There was a gentle spritz of moisture across my legs and some dark droplets hit the kick panel to my right. I looked down baffled, it took a slow count of ten before it hit me, I had just been shot.

Accidents are common with guns. I don’t know single person who has used a gun to fend off an attack — yes I know it has happened and when you need a gun for that purpose not much else will work. But I’ve known a few people who got hurt or worse accidentally. Like the kid who went to college at nearby Southwest Texas State, now called Texas State University. Back then it was a famous party school, and the kid and a couple of my friends went out and got hammered. The kid got so hammered that when he went back to his apartment he got confused, he was probably blacked out at the time according to my pals who were with him earlier that night.

The kid tried to get into his apartment but his key wouldn’t work. In his drunken state he decided to just break in his bedroom window and worry about it in the morning, at least that’s what we figured happened. There was just one problem: it wasn’t his door he’d been trying to open and it wasn’t his bedroom window he went to next. It belong to a single girl who was woken up by a dark shadowy figure grunting and cursing and smashing in her bedroom window. I can’t say for sure but it seems to me like this particular lady later testified she’d been assaulted recently. Anyway, bottom line, she had a hand gun, gave the kid ample warning which he either didn’t hear or didn’t care about. Finally, terrified and on the phone to the police, she shot him. Just as anyone is trained to do in these situations, she shot to kill.

My own brush with a bullet wasn’t fatal, not even close. My friend was a bit of a gun collector, he even ordered kits for replica antique guns and made them with his dad. They had ordered and built an old single action revolver replica, the kind where you have to cock the hammer by hand before you can fire it. My buddy was so excited to play with it that he got home from school, set up a couple of phone books in his garage and started shooting away. But the garage door opened signaling a parent was home, so he hastily put the cocked gun and ready to fire weapon in his glove compartment. He was going to show it to me, that’s why he told me to open the glove compartment later, that and we were both dumbass teenagers who didn’t think much beyond trying to get some boob. It fell out, the impact was enough to set the hammer off, it fired right between my legs — I was lucky. The bullet struck my inside shin, and that it was a low powered low caliber round mostly used for targets and show, it could have just as easily hit me in the face or the crotch.

It’s funny that the first thing in both our minds was that we were going to get into huge trouble (In fact to this day I never told my parents). At one point my buddy tried to talk me into not going to the ER, he even offered to break into his dad’s liquor and help me ‘deal with the pain.’ An offer I refused, he ended up panicking, dropping me off at a minor ER where my family doc worked and driving away! Poor guy. The funny thing is, the doc didn’t seem to mind. I told the doc what happened, he shrugged his shoulders and warned me to be more careful. Back then in Texas it was just a matter of sewing it up, notifying the police of a minor accidental shooting, which they didn’t even bother to send a cop for, and that was it. All I have left is a perfect little oval-shaped scar and fond memories. A sharp contrast with the memories formed in the aftermath of most shooting incidents.


  1. DiscordianStooge says

    As a cop, I responded to a call of a guy bleeding in an ally behind an apartment complex. Guy had moved in recently, came home drunk, and went into the wrong building of the complex. He went to where his apartment should have been, and the door was unlocked, so he stumbled in. The guy who actually lived in the apartment was also drunk, and this wasn’t the best neighborhood.

    Anyway, the resident asked the drunk kid to leave, and he didn’t, because he was drunk and thought it was his own apartment, so they fought, and the resident ended up throwing the intruder out the window. Luckily, it was a half story up, and the kid wasn’t seriously hurt. Had there been a gun involved, I imagine it would have been much worse.

    Also in MN, we just had a man shoot his granddaughter because she snuck out for a smoke and he didn’t bother to ask who was there or warn that he was going to shoot before he opened fire.

    I’m not anti-gun, but a lot of people are incredibly stupid.

  2. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I can’t say how surprised I am that you didn’t realize you were shot. I was shot in the leg (.22 cal pistol) in a mugging back in ’95, and it felt like someone hit me with a baseball bat. Plus, of course, I was terrified, with 2-3 guns pointed at me.

    And in the aftermath, I remain in favor of gun controls to cut down on the number of guns out there.

  3. says

    It an obvious fact, if you do not have a gun, you can not shoot someone. All that needs be done now, is work out how best to make this possible. (Unless of course, you want to be able to shoot someone.)

  4. says

    Banning guns altogether (as in the UK, for instance) won’t do a blind thing to solve the problem of mass shootings. After all, the last time nobody at all had a gun — before guns were invented — there were fatal shootings all the time.

    P.S. I am being sarchastic.

  5. sylwyn says

    I suspect this has been commented on before, but I’ll mention it anyway. I was looking at Wikipedia yesterday and noticed the Connecticut shooting incident on the ‘recent news’ section. Just below it was a report of another school assault (same day, but in China) where 22 children (ages 6 to 11) and an elderly woman were injured by a knife wielding man. According to the article no one died. While the article didn’t state the knife wielder was trying to kill the children, I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better contrast to illustrate the how guns make killing easier.

  6. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Professional criminals in the UK have no difficulty getting hold of guns. On the other hand- whatever their faults- professional criminals don’t indiscriminately massacre people with their guns.

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