File this under: Guns don’t shoot people. Old people with guns shoot themselves and other people:
A man accidentally shot himself and his wife at an East Tennessee church on Thursday while he was showing off his gun during a discussion on recent church shootings, police said.
Elder members of First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains were cleaning up about 1 p.m. after enjoying a luncheon held to celebrate Thanksgiving. They began talking about guns in churches, according to Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks.
A man in his 80s pulled out a .380 caliber Ruger handgun and said, “I carry my handgun everywhere,” according to Parks.
He removed the magazine, cleared the chamber, and showed the gun to some of the men in the church. He put the magazine back in, apparently loaded a round in the chamber, and returned the gun to its holster, Parks said.
“Somebody else walked up and said, ‘Can I see it?’ ” Parks said. “He pulled it back out and said, ‘With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.’ “
He pulled the trigger.
“Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon,” Parks said.
The gun was lying on its side on a table. The bullet sliced the palm of the man’s upward-facing hand, then entered the left side of his wife’s abdomen and exited the right side, Parks said.
Both the husband and wife, who is also in her 80s, were flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with injuries that police said didn’t appear to be life-threatening. Their names had not been released as of Thursday evening.
He’s in his 80s and carries his gun everywhere. He’s from Tennessee, so it’s a wonder he hasn’t shot that last tooth out of his mouth.