Here’s one way to liven up an Easter vigil service: carry a loaded semiautomatic pistol into church with you, leave the safety off, and let the trigger catch on your pocket, firing a round off during the service. Bonus points if the bullet grazes your hand, giving you something very like stigmata! At the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, Pennsylvania, one of America’s Responsible Gun Owners was wounded by the negligent discharge Saturday night as Mass was nearly over. Happily, no one else was hit, proving that God was quite pleased with the offering of hot lead.
According to WTAE TV, the Sacrament of Armament occurred around 11:00 Saturday night, as the service was nearly over:
Police say a man had a gun in his pocket and it discharged when he stood up. The bullet grazed the man’s hand.
An Altoona newspaper reported the trigger caught on the man’s pants and the gun’s safety was not on.
Another member of the congregation, Jason Wagler, was attending the Mass and caught part of the aftermath on his cell phone:
“I noticed the gun was handed to another gentleman. He immediately concealed it in a white program, so I took pictures of the gun inside this program,” Wagler said.
The injured gun fondler, who had a concealed carry permit, was taken to a hospital for treatment; police have not yet released his name, but they really need to, if only for the Darwin Awards’ “near miss” nominations. No charges have yet been filed, and it’s not entirely clear what ultimately happened to the poor innocent gun, which we hope is being properly cared for.
WTAE notes that “It’s unclear why he brought a gun into church,” which means that their website should be inundated with emails explaining “FREEDOM” and “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you communists understand?”
Expect similar complaints (and nothing else, we hope) to be aimed at Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, who said that “guns have no place in our cathedral or any of the other parishes in our diocese.” He added that churches “must be an environment in which all feel safe.”
Doesn’t the Bishop know that Jesus wants us all to have guns, and that’s why He rose from the dead with an AR-15 In His hands and then wrote the Second Amendment? Besides, guns are safe, when used properly. The real question is whether the Bishop is doing anything to protect parishioners from the threat of bicycles.