Fairfax County, Virginia, police announced Friday that a 46-year-old man has suffered a minor injury and is undergoing medical treatment after he accidentally shot himself with a pistol at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association.
In its daily recap of incidents and crimes on Friday, the police department reported the accidental discharge took place at around 3:30 p.m. in the National Firearms Museum, which is based in the NRA’s Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters.
According to police, the man, an employee, was participating in firearms training at the shooting range located in the museum when he attempted to holster his pistol. As he did so, the weapon accidentally fired, injuring the man’s lower body. The man’s name was not disclosed and no charges are expected to be filed.
Still, many online were quick to seize upon the incident and mock it, given the NRA’s fierce lobbying against any form of gun control. “Cue up the Alanis Morrissette song,” one writer at the Huffington Post said. “NRA employee becomes poster child for gun safety,” the New York Post read.
The NRA has not issued any comment on the incident, and local media reports do not indicate whether the employee was leading the training session or simply working on his own.
The NRA claims to train more than 1 million people in gun safety every year and has trumpeted statistics from the Center for Disease Control that show relatively low numbers of accidental shooting deaths among children as proof that education, not regulation, works.
Still, Friday’s shooting appears to be at odds with some of the writing on the NRA’s website.
“Most cases of a firearm discharging unintentionally are properly called a ‘negligent discharge,’ although I suspect people prefer to use the term accident because it somehow implies no one was really at fault,” contributor Jim Wilson wrote in an article about accidental shootings.
Accidental discharges “generally signal serial errors and oversights, and perhaps technique flaws as well,” editor Frank Winn wrote in another article. “They also tell you a lot about the shooter who has one in terms of character, or at least that’s our opinion.”