Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
It happened to me
I have been wanting to share on this topic in writing. I have given the speech many times, but never have taken the time to write it out. If you are new to fire arms, or know someone that is please read all of this and show it to them. You have my premission to reprint this for helping to educate anyone on gun safety so that they may avoid going through what I and my blood brother have. It nearly cost both of us our lives, and I still have the scars to remind me of the lessons that I had to be riminded of the hard way.
I grew up around guns. My maternal grandfather was former army. WWII, and Korean war veteran, a ranger, and member of the 10th Special Forces. He grew up traveling with a wild west show, and was a trick shooter. He taught me well. I think he started teaching me as soon as the diapers came off. His biggest thing to impress on me was the first three factors when handeling fire arms. They were SAFETY, SAFETY, AND SAFETY. The Ten Comandments of Safty were heavily instilled in me. Safe handeling became like second nature to me.
This brings me to the point where I am going to tell ablut the things that I quite knew better than to do, and did anyway. I learned several lessons from it, at the cost of nearly loosing my life, I am alive by no small miracle.
I was 18 young, strong, stubborn, full of fire, and thought that I knew everthing I needed to know. (Generaly a typical 18 year old male). I had in the week before been stabbed while walking home from work. It was a rare thing in the small Texas town I grew up in. I had been jumped, and suffered 17 superficial wounds, if I had not known how to fight back I truly belive I would be dead. I was able to injure 3 of the 4 attackers enouhg that they dicided it better to leave. I had to walk over a mile to the nearest house to use a phone to call the police, and an ambulance was sent as soon as they heard that I had been stabbed. I gave a description of the car, and the attackers injuries, they had covered thier faces with bandanas, typical of gang bangers. They were captured. The next day some people had informed me that some gang bangers were asking where the guy that got stabbed lived. It seemed to me like they were looking to retaliate for thier frineds going to jail. I made the detective aware of this, he thought I was just being paranoid. I decided to take no chances, and my mother freaked out big time. I was walking because my jalopy had broken down again and I was trying to make enough money to get it running again. Needles to say mom says no way are you going to wind up walking again. So it was time to get me a good truck. Also hearing about possible retaliation she allowed me to unsafe grampa's rifle for defending the house. We lived way out in the sicks, respnse times from LEO were usualy at least 15 minutes. Mom wanted us to be able to defend against an attack if it happened.
2 days later I was in town pumping gas in my truck when a car pulled up at the pump across from me. The guys inside piled out quick and were coming right at me. Some how I pulled the fuel nozle out of the truck and sprayed them with it. I still do not remember doing it. I remember holding my zippo lighter open, they were staring hatefuly at me. One seemed to do all of the talking. He said we will get you, he made reference to a gang and made some hand sighns. I said I think I need a smoke. They left. The clerk in the store called the police. They showed up shortly after the gangbangers left.
I talked to the detective again. He suggested I stay away from the town that they lived in, that I should watch for sighns of them possibly following me, and to call if they continued to bother me. I realized right then and there that twice lucky was pushing it. I needed a stand off weapon. I went to my tribal blood brother's house. The two of us picked our brains for what would be a good stand off weapon that was legal. I was too young for a hand gun that was out of the question. We came up with the idea of a sawed off shot gun. I went to a few pawn shops and found what I thought would be good for the use. It was a single barrelled single shot, single action with external hammer. I cut the barrell off to 19 inches, and filed it smooth. I pistol gripped the stock. I then did the major no-no. I turned it into a widowmaker. I removed the trigger, and trigger guard, and did the work to make it fire by simply pulling the hammer back, then let it go. I thought it to be a stand off weapon. I knew if at gunpoint I had the other person knew if my thumb left that hammer he was going to die. I kept it loaded with bird shot. It is deadly at close range, without chancing over penetration. Just what I wanted.
Now to the point. I was at my blood brother's house with a few other friends, I was relaxing with a few drinks that turned into a few too many. I had the gun in the pocket of my duster. my blood brother put it on because he was fixing to go to the store, and I told him he could wear it. He said here take your gun. He pulled it out of the pocket, and was turning it to face upwards, I crossed its path, the hammer caught on the sleeve of the jacket, and was pulled back enough it discharged. I was getting up off of the couch at the time, and found my self spun sightly forward, the raor of it echoed in my ears, I noticed that I was holding my chest. We made eyecontatct for what seemed like forever. I tried to speak and nohting came out. I looked down and saw the blood. I realised also that I could not breathe. I was shot in the chest from arms reach distance with a 12 ga. shot gun with #6 shot. My left pectorial was shredded, my lung collapsed and was now filling with blood. It missed my heart, and the aortic arch by a miralce. Less than 1mm from what the surgeon said.
Here is where it gets interesting. Everyone was panicking. I started to walk outside. It was an unseasonably cold November night for North Central Texas, Somewhere in the 10 degree area. I made it to the porch and I remmber falling. I opened my eyes and it was dark where I was but I could see purple light, and a person above me saying he is dead. I remember it well, I could hear people screaming in the back ground. I could hear my blood brother's mom screaming his name, saying don't do, please don't do it. I head a gunshot. I jumped and tried to talk, there was so much blood in my mouth I just gurgled. The man standing above me looked with great disbelief, and I rember hearing a beeb beeb beeeb sound. He touched my neck and then turned me on my side said spit it out if you can. He yelled he is alive, I have a pulse he is breating, get that helicopter here now. Things started to move real fast, I can not rember much for the next few minutes, I just kept tring to ask how is my brother. When I finaly got the words out, one of the medics said he is alive, and they are putting him in protective sustody on suicide watch, he almost shot himself, a cop knocked the gun away from his head, and it went off. He is ok, just shaken up.
I was in the operating room before I knew what was happeinig. I have no memory of the next 3 days. I spent 23 hours on the operating table, 5 surgeons worked on me. Thankfuly I am left minus a piece of lung the size of a baseball, I still have use of my left arm, I have left pectorial muscle. A scar about as big around as the bottom of a soda can right over my heart. another scar from the chest tubes and a long scar that runs along my left side where they opened me up to repair the lung. I spent 6 days in the hospital. I was strong, young and stubborn, I was home for thanksgiving. My mother was dying of terminal cirrosis of the liver I knew it could be our last one together, I was not going to spend it in a hospital. The doctor released me to go home. I stopped at the police station in my home town to thank the first responders that helped to save my life that night. They were all happy to see me. Surprising as that may seem, I had a tendency to raise some cain on occasion as they usualy were called when I did so.
They asked if I would agree to have the gun destroyed. It was legal, but they felt it dangerous, it had nearly taken 2 lives in 1 night. I said no. I agreed that it shoud be made inoperable, pictures of me from that night should put on a plaque with the gun, and it be used as a teaching aid for gun safety. That idea won out. The detective still has it, and uses it. My blood brother was released to me from suicide watch. We hugged, and made a pact right then and there to never mix alcohol and guns, and to always break one open when handeling, and keep it pointed in a safe direction. We still shoot together, and are closer than ever.
Last edited by Bud Helms; May 18, 2009 at 08:32 PM.
Reason: A couple of spaces to aid the reading - Bud