On Sunday evening, a 36-year-old was showing his girlfriend how safe his guns were by holding them to his head and pulling the trigger, when one of them fired, according to reports by the girlfriend to police. The victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene in his Oakland County, Mich., home. The girlfriend said the victim had been drinking most of the day, according to CBS Detroit.
Accidental gun deaths are alarmingly common. But they sometimes occur even while in pursuit of gun safety. Just last week, a Florida man accidentally shot himself in the leg just after leaving a gun safety class. He said he had been inspecting the new gun and had been “manipulating the slide,” according to the Palm Beach Post. Last year in Ohio, a gun safety instructor accidentally shot a student during class. And in 2012, a Virginia man accidentally shot himself and his wife during a gun safety class.
Gun deaths are poised to surpass car accidents as the leading cause of death among young people. A dearth of public health research on guns has left us with little direction about how best to curb these deaths.