BEAUMONT, TEXAS — According to witness statements reported through KCEN, a patient in a doctor’s office was hit when a bullet careened through the wall and struck her in the hip. That bullet? It originated from a concealed carry handgun stored in a purse. The firearm allegedly fell out of the woman’s purse while she was in the waiting room and trying to retrieve paperwork.
The wound is considered non-life threatening but certainly damaging and definitely scary for the rest of the patients and staff in the office.
This has prompted the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Pavilion to release a statement reiterating their no handguns policy.
“We sincerely appreciate the swift actions of our Associates and rapid responders to an unfortunate event that occurred this morning at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Pavilion. What we know is a patient accidentally discharged a handgun in a physician office waiting room, causing non-life-threatening injury to another individual, who was cared for immediately and has already been discharged for home. Handguns are strictly prohibited on all CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System campuses, as safety for our staff and patients is always a top priority. We are thankful for the rapid response of our teams and will continue to provide ongoing support to our staff as needed. We are working with law enforcement on the ongoing investigation.”
At the very least, it’s good news that the incident occurred in a doctor’s office — where healthcare professionals were quick to administer care. The unfortunate part is that a woman’s life was placed in needless jeopardy by the absolute, inconsiderate actions of another patient.
As a forum for the discussion of responsible, concealed carry practices, situations like this unfortunately come up from time-to-time. These incidents create a bad name for concealed carriers and give us an added stigma. That’s not necessary.
We all know that responsible, concealed carry is completely safe. The only type of concealed carry practice that isn’t, is when the carrier “just assumes” that everything will be okay.
It won’t — and in this case, it didn’t.
So what now?
Well, let’s start off with the tip of the iceberg of where this concealed carrier messed up.
1. Unsecured firearm
A purse is not a secure place for a firearm — unless it is physically restrained and protected by a holster within a purse. We discuss this and many other facets of purse carry in this article.
2. Too Much Rubbish Blocking Access To The Firearm
If your purse is packed to the gills with garbage, how do you expect to take out your pistol and use it? You can’t. Next point.
3. A Purse Not Designed For Concealed Carry
Purses are status symbols. People spend thousands of dollars getting really nice purses meant to show off how much expendable income and poor taste they have. That’s great, fine, and good. It’s not designed to carry a firearm. They DO make purses for that. And if that’s your preferred style of carry — consider strongly in investing in one.
4. Failure To Maintain Situational Awareness
Situational awareness also means being aware of yourself. It is a constant vigilance to be mindful of yourself and others around you. When you fail to consider the well-being of yourself and others, that firearm is more of a liability than an asset. Take the responsibility seriously or don’t carry — for everyone’s safety.
This isn’t some sort of hate for women or those who carry concealed in their purses — this is an honest appraisal of where the big failures took place in this scenario.
If that handgun was…
…secured in a high-retention holster placed in her purse and/or had a purse designed to conceal a firearm
…kept separate from any paperwork or forms needed to transact business
…this wouldn’t be a story and a poor woman being treated in an adjacent room wouldn’t have suffered a gunshot wound to her hip.